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Captain Willie Whizboom

by Gary Clifton

Dolan spotted the Captain strolling across the squad room, then glanced across at his longtime partner, Detective Velma Garcia. He declared prophetically, “Partner, look in Webster’s for ‘sorry loser’. Betcha Whizboom’s picture’s there.”

Garcia looked up from her computer. “Dolan, that’s a given. Got anything more original?” Twelve years on the job, she was tough, smart, and an extremely capable cop, despite the constant male banter about her remarkable physique, unofficially voted by squad room voyeurs as being in the top 99 percentile of human possibility.

Dolan had been assigned to the Warrant/Fugitive Squad since the Carter Administration - so rumor said. Called “Whitey” because of the rim of snow white hair above the ears, he warily watched Captain Willie Whizboom strut toward him.

A smallish, little man with the demeanor of a sewer rat, Whizboom peered at Dolan over Walmart half-glasses.

Frightened of angry women, crying babies, clowns, Ferris wheels and the dark, Whizboom was further saddled with a whole other problem.

Whizboom was incapable of direct conversation without becoming enraptured with Garcia’s assets, which instantly rendered him incapable of speech. Garcia, accustomed to dumb male peculiarities, thought the affliction hilarious.

Dolan had termed the scenario “macho-eye-magnetism-don’t-stare-at-oversized-boobs-itus”, an orphan’s disease, peculiar only to Whizboom.

“Dolan, Chief wants this mope here” — he tossed a file on Dolan’s desk, carefully twisting Garcia out of his periphery — “found and arrested today.”

A long chain of events had earned him the handle “Whizboom”, which he would carry until cops lost their infinite knack for cynical banter - an occurrence about fifth in line behind “when hell freezes over.”

Dolan glanced at the folder. “Whiz... er, Captain, that’s just ol’ Peachy Pocksocket. A total punk. Just call his mama; she’ll slap hell outta him and make him turn himself in.”

Dolan saw, but didn’t yet comprehend the wheels turning in Whizboom’s beady little eyes. “This guy ain’t dangerous?” Whizboom ventured at last.

Dolan held Whizboom’s inquisitive stare and said, “Peachy tried to rob a popsickle wagon with a Daisy Red Ryder air rifle and ended up busting a beebee at a uniformed cop. Now he’s public enemy number one? Lord, man, number ten oughta do it.”

Whizboom would have eaten a live toad to get himself promoted. When Fugitive Squad Captain Smith had dropped deader than Socrates on the commode last year, the brass made Whizboom boss of the Fugitive unit. Chief of Police was his next mission.

Dolan surmised that, had the good Captain ever encountered a real fugitive, sparks flying from his brogans as he ran like bluebilly hell would have made for another story.

Dolan’s comment speed-shifted Whizboom’s quest for greatness into fifth gear. He’d by golly lead the arrest of this Pocksocket mope, with full media coverage.

At 5:00 pm Whizboom summoned all the news media available on the parking lot of the church of something holy and revealed THE PLAN.

Whizboom and the news crowd would remain well out of the line of fire behind cars, while Dolan, Garcia, and a couple of uniforms kicked the door. When the rapidly growing more heinous Pocksocket was subdued, Whizboom would stand before the media holding the scoundrel by the scruff of his hairy neck, with Dolan and Garcia standing just off-camera to subdue the monster should he become unruly.

Dolan, usually on his third beer by this time of day, sent the two uniforms to the rear and, with Garcia in the lead, approached the front gate. The plan, however, had failed to include the role of the gate guard, Bozo, 150 pounds of pit bull who waited patiently in the tall weeds to bite off scrotums, fingers, or any other appendages available.

Bozo dutifully lunged at the gate, centering his head in the target zone. Garcia, no beginner, picked up a 2x4, laid Bozo low, advanced, kicked the door, and had Peachy in cuffs quicker that the cat could jump a fence.

Whizboom, seeing the successful entry, advanced, motioning the news crowd back: no interest in sharing this triumph.

Garcia was more than just a passive backbencher. Over the years, she had in fact let the air out of a couple of well-deserving thugs. But she liked dogs and had only given Bozo enough love tap to decide who was boss.

Whizboom, in his grand rush for the chief’s job, stood, like a half-size John Wayne in the gate. Bozo, stunned, but still on duty, came suddenly to life and charged the nearest target available: the valiant Whizboom.

Discretion overpowering the grandest of schemes, Whizboom broke for his unmarked car, scrambling onto the hood just as Bozo managed a supersized chunk of Whizboom backside.

He clambered to the roof. Bozo circled below with deadly determination well recorded by the glut of news people standing at a safe distance.

Garcia strolled out, retrieved her 2x4, and spoke softly to the angered canine sentinel. Bozo’s instincts, evolved from a million years of trial and error, did not fail. The national news repeated the shot for days: Bozo retreating at top speed, passing consecutive intersections until he disappeared from camera range.

Dolan and Garcia stared at Whizboom, a broken man, trapped atop a cop car, a bloody tear in his posterior and his career disappearing at about the same speed as Bozo.

Garcia asked, “Whizboom, why didn’t you use your pistol?”

Whizboom completed his plunge into notorious ruination by mumbling, sotto voce, “Forgot I had one.”

Yep, the sound was fully audible when the video went viral on YouTube.

Mama got drunker, Peachy Pocksocket went to jail, Bozo crept back and resumed guard duty, and Whizboom? Forty-two stitches, thirty days in the rubber room, and permanent assignment to the midnight shift in the auto pound.

Copyright © 2016 by Gary Clifton

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