Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Suspension: Day Four

As Chief Kingston continued his suspended sentence from beneath the traffic light in Broken Springs, Police Commission Chairman Ernie Hildecrust held a press conference in the Township Hall to update the public on the state of the Chief and to mark the halfway point of his weeklong suspension.

He opened his address with Kingston’s current vitals, including blood pressure, body temperature, and heart beats per minute. According to Hildecrust, Kingston’s blood pressure is fluctuating between 140/90 and 153/95, depending on whether anyone is throwing anything at him. His body temperature is a bit on the high side at 99.7 degrees, but Hildecrust noted that he’s always had a bit of a hot head, due to his anger over being held responsible for his actions. His hot head is most likely keeping his overall body temperature relatively constant. His heartbeats per minute also fluctuate between 60 when he’s asleep and 95 when a big bosomed woman is crossing the street just below him. According to eyewitnesses with binoculars, his heartbeat isn’t the only thing to rise.

“The Chief is doing as well as can be expected,” assured Hildecrust as cameras flashed around him. “He’s a bit hungry and cold but measures are being taken to ensure that he doesn’t starve or freeze to death.”

Several disgruntled women stood near the front, anxiously tapping their toes until one spoke up. “Yes, Commissioner,” she said, as she finished freshening her lipstick. “I have a real problem. I went to Left Aid Pharmacy today to buy a personal massage device, since the Chief can no longer come over and give me back rubs like he usually does. And David Slug told me they were all out! If Jim Kingston weren’t strung up from a traffic light in the middle of town, he wouldn’t let this happen!”

Hildecrust, a bit shocked at the woman’s comment, stammered when he responded. “I can’t see how Kingston’s present uh… situation is at all related to the drug store running out of massagers.”

“But it is!” screamed another woman with an emphysema voice. “No drug store within a fifty mile radius has any. There are needy women here in Broken Springs and by punishing him, you’re depriving us as well.”

“Certainly he can’t be giving all of you back rubs,” said the Chairman. But they all nodded at once. “Well then, perhaps you could find another way to pass the time?”

The small druggist with round glasses peeked out from the back of the crowd and piped, “We have a surplus of condoms, if anyone’s interested. Those sales have really slowed down for some reason. And lubricant… we haven’t sold much of that this week, except to Farmer Bob who had to manually inseminate one of his cows.”

“It’s not fair. I don’t think the Commission’s thought this through.” commented Lonna Jackson, a frequent pedestrian of the intersection, and two of the reasons the Chief still had blood running through his body. ‘Isn’t his punishment a bit severe?”

Hildecrust stood his ground. “Maybe it is to a pampered Police Chief used to getting his way, but to the Commission, the punishment fits the crime. We voted unanimously for a week’s suspension. Some of us wanted more, some wanted less. By gosh, some wanted nothing at all… they wanted to give him a raise! Well, we gave him a raise all right, didn’t we?” exclaimed the feisty Chairman as several audience members applauded, while those in the crowd related to Kingston booed and hissed.

“Is it true that Kingston escaped yesterday with the help of an illegal band of terrorists on their way to fly planes into our water tower?” asked a coy man in sunglasses and black trench coat, identifying himself only as a reporter from the Broken Springs Straight Shooter.

“Yes, the Chief was momentarily on the lam, but they were only immigrants, not terrorists. And they weren’t going to fly planes into our water tower,” explained Ernie, shaking his white haired head.

“Bombs, then?” yelled out an audience member, as the place panicked and everybody began running for the door.

Pandemonium broke out as the standing room only crowd stampeded to the exits and spilled out onto Snowflake Road. Several reporters from around the globe scrambled to report the story, or what they thought was a story in a small Midwestern town traumatized by terror and left vulnerable because its Police Chief was strung up with fish line in the middle of town. For the second time in a week, there was mayhem in the streets of Broken Springs.

A woman running out of the Township Hall as if her coattails were on fire stopped briefly to smile at a CNN news camera. Behind her, police sirens wailed, fire alarms were set off, and the parking lot looked like Slaters Supermarket on a Friday night. “As you can see,” she said while adjusting her cleavage, “Broken Springs needs Jim Kingston.”

Day Five

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