BY RON BARBOUR
"Where could my little dog be off to without his favorite blueberry muffin?," thought Seattle College professor of Algebra 101 Rex Steiner as he raced down the dark, cold and foggy Seattle street searching for his best friend, and continued thinking,
"Euclid is a well known and respected member of this academic community who has made many appearances on local and national talk shows. I blame myself for Euclid's going missing because I stayed inside the shop longer than usual in an argument with a former student of mine, a very attractive young lady who ripped me for allowing her to become a Humanities major owning a useless B.S. degree at age 22 with an unpaid $120,000 student loan and a lousy job at Starbucks! I mean was it my fault? Did I FORCE her to get that damn loan? I thought her father was a GS-13, step ten with the Department of Labor in Seattle and made the big bucks. Clearly, I got her confused with the pimple faced boy nerd in the third row at the 10.05 a.m. class who used his father's slide rule because he couldn't afford a pocket calculator and college tuition. Accidents happen! And I told the young lady as much in the heated argument that involved several other of my former students working as now as bus boys and strip artists at various gay dance clubs in the Seattle and Tacoma area."
"But I digress. As you can see my attention was stolen for perhaps 15 minutes. When I departed the coffee shop, Euclid was missing from his usual sign post. I thought at first he was chasing after Fee-Fee La Rue, the bitch poodle owned by Seattle Central Community College instructor of Feminist Studies instructor Donna Eastwood who used to be called "Clint" when a macho Teamster longshoreman at the port of Seattle. Therefore, knowing that Clint, err, Donna had an early "feminist anger management" class where Fee-Fee would howl in rage to his man hating lecture,"
So the upset professor hurried down the street towards SCCC.
In minutes he arrived at the main entrance of the college with cold Starbuck's coffee in his right hand and Blueberry muffin in the left. Then he heard familiar barks and looked left to see Euclid being pulled into the OWS camp by a very ugly girl and dirty girl perhaps 16 years old with a hungry look on her face. He hurried over rescue Man's Best Friend in the five years since his wife died, when his path was blocked by a Seattle policeman who was dressed head to toe in black under a white helmet. The last look Rex had of Euclid was the dog being pulled into the camp by the dirty and ugly girl who had been joined by an equally dirty and ugly boy of 17 or 18. Euclid's howls of fear and pain cut into the heart like a sharp knife.
"Civilians, except for the Media, can't enter the OWS camp," said the police officer who helped himself to Rex's coffee and Euclid's blueberry muffin.
"Oh, and thanks for the Starbuck's coffee and muffin even if they are as cold as me poor dead mother! The Seattle Police Department is always grateful for the heart felt gifts from upscale citizens like yourself! Lord, knows we have have hard time keeping a roof over our heads, and feeding our large Irish-American families, even with the overtime we get from the commie mayor of Seattle for breaking OWS heads. O'Hara is my name and _"
"Officer O'Hara!" shouted Rex, "I've just been DOGNAPPED by a very ugly and dirty girl who walked right in front of you dragging my poor dog, Euclid, " Rex shouted at the policeman busy drinking his coffee and eating Euclid's muffin. The burly Irish cop made quick work of the treats and responded,
"Yes, I saw the terrified animal being dragged passed me howling in pain just like an a poor Irish drunk in Seattle at the waterfront being cut off at Kelly's Pub, but what was I to do? There has been an outbreak of The Black Death at this OWS and the health department has ordered the general public except for the Media to be banned from the camp. The only reason the SPD allows the Media, especially The Seattle Times, inside the OWS camp is because we cops want them all to die because of the negative coverage we got at the recent Westlake Park riot where we maced that 84 year old woman..."
"The Black Death?!?" shouted the irate math teacher at the smiling Irish cop, "The Bubonic Plague in Seattle?!? There hasn't been a large public outbreak in the West since about 1350 in England! Why hasn't this been reported on the television news, or at least The Seattle Times? If the dread Black Death gets lose in Seattle, thousands could die and _"
People stopped and soon a crowd of upper middle class jogging togged yuppies gathered, who were quickly joined by a platoon of fellow bicycle mounted young and upwardly mobile, one of whom handed his lawyer business card to Rex Steiner and said, "Experienced hired gun here if you want to sue the Seattle PD."
The policeman O'Hara smiled at man, "Now lad there's no problem here." Then he boomed to crowd, "Move along, people, move along, nothing to see here! Just a poor upset man here missing his wee best friend, a black doggie. Have any of you good people seen him? What's the little missing doggie's name."
"Euclid, " said Rex Steiner adding, "And I know where he is..."
"So there you have it, good people and solid citizens of Seattle! Another happy ending accomplished by your police department! And shortly dog and man will be reunited and the details published in the SPD's favorite newspaper, The Seattle Times, in the local section, but on page B 1 with a color picture."
The large Irish cop put a friendly arm lock on the small professor and guided him to the side. The crowd came apart as first the bicycle riders pedal off down the sidewalks they clearly own to the curses of the joggers, who know damn good and well they own the sidewalks of Seattle.
"Now tone it down, laddie (The Irish cop is about 30 and the professor pushing 50, but the policeman talks to him like he would a teenager) - The poor doggie is likely dead already and in the cooking pot." At that moment a loud animal-like scream heard for blocks is heard. "May the wee little black beast be at rest. " The cop crosses himself....
"I want those dog murdering dognappers arrested immediately!," said the red faced Rex while shaking with fury.
"There is nothing me and my coppers would like better to do, but there is The Black Death to worry about! I have seven young children at home, most of them red heads fathered by me, and me old lady with a bun in the oven! Yes, me and boys would love bust some commie OWS heads this morning and make some arrests, but our hands are tied by the commie mayor and Homeland Security and _"
"Are you telling me Homeland Security knows about The Black Death and dog murders in Seattle and is doing nothing,?" asks Rex with a flood of tears running down his face.
"Yes, they do - the FBI, the Secret Service and the rest of them in Homeland Security have known since the first deaths back in October," responded O'Hara with a troubled look on his face, "But orders straight from O'Bama our Black Irish president is to keep this on the q.t. because the OWS is key to his reelection in 2012. So you can see if The Black Death were to break out at an OWS camp, it would be a PR disaster to O'Bama. As is well known, your Irish cop and politician are the best money can buy and..."
"THE LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES ARE DOING NOTHING WHILE THOUSANDS ARE BEING INFECTED WITH BUBONIC PLAGUE BECAUSE OBAMA WANTS TO BE REELECTED IN 2012!!!, shouts Rex at the top of his voice who is quickly surrounded by several policeman who throw him into a nearby waiting paddy wagon accompanied by O'Hara, a medic and very physically fit young man in neat sports clothes. The medic plunges a hypo into a vein in the neck and Rex ceases his struggles. The young man takes command and quickly flashes a badge, "Agent McKenna of the U.S. Secret Service and Homeland Security."
The medic checks Rex's pulse and heart beat and gives a worried look to McKenna who continues,
"No doubt you have grave concerns about the current situation and well you should, because you are under arrest for violation of U.S.C. 871, threat against the president, which carries a mandatory five years in federal prison, three years probation and a $250,000 fine. In minutes you will be standing before a federal judge and receive the formal indictment. Do you have anything to say? Of course, you have the right to remain silent, but you won't with the drug we just gave you. Yes, you will confess everything I tell you to confess. And if for some reason you don't confess, I'll tell the judge you planned to assassinate the president using a black attack dog to rip out his throat."
But Rex is feeling the best he's felt since someone dumped a drug into his drink at the Five Corner Bar near the Space Needle back in '95..."This must be the same AWESOME stuff," he thinks and smiles to his three kidnappers feeling nothing but platonic love for them. Finally, he sees The Truth About Life And The Great Equation as St Peter and Heaven's Gates appear in a white light and Rex follows him into The Ultimate Destination For The Good.
"He's dead, " says the medic, "looks like we lost another one!"
"And the pity of it is that the poor man just wanted his dog back! Well I'm sure the two of them are together for all eternity. Me old granny from the Old Country said, the Lord allowed good dogs into heaven and I'm sure a gentle Lab would to his liking," said O'Hara, just after telling the driver over the radio to turn the paddy wagon around and head for the morgue instead of the federal courthouse.
"What a beautiful thing to say, you Mick bastard," said the medic who added while pulling a flask out of his coat continued, "Here have a drink of good Scot whiskey on O'Tootle. the police medic, and let's have an Irish wake for this poor dead man who was named..."
"Rex Steiner," said McKenna while going through his wallet and taking the cash while giving the VISA and AMERICAN EXPRESS cards one each to O'Hara and O'Tootle while saying, "Rex has no need of them anymore, but us hard working cops need a small bonus."
O'Hara accepted the drink of whiskey, took a large gulp from the flask, which he passed to McKenna and stated, "You must be Irish."
"Like our president I'm a half breed, half Irish on my mother's side who was an O'Reilly. This is the reason I took the money and not the credit cards - a half Irish cop is only half as corrupt as full blood Irish policemen like you two. Anyhow, the U.S. Secret Service has better pay, perks and credit union. Why clear I above $100,000 a year, and this before the bribes. We SS are not greedy bastards cheating our hard working brothers in blue."
"This here Secret Service sounds like a good deal! Do you have room for a Mick SPD guy. I could use the pay bump what with all my family responsibility?" asked O'Hara after taking another belt from the flash passing it O'Tootle, who finished it off in a last big gulp.
"Not a chance," responded McKenna as the paddy wagon halted by the morgue and the men waited patiently for the attendants to open the doors and remove the body. McKenna continued, "The SS only hires cops who look like handsome movie stars, like himself, I'm told I look like a young Martin Sheen."
The doors open and a man grab O'Hara who growls at him, "It's this here stiff sitting next to me." The lead morgue attendant shoots back in an irritated voice, "Really? Well excuse me! The man has a big smile on his face like he just won the Washington State lottery and was thinking about a cruise to Hawaii, and you have a big red nose with the smell of cheap whiskey about you. It wouldn't be the first time I unloaded a dead drunk cop in full riot gear here."
"Funny guy," says O'Hara, "You need to be on stage as a stand up comic."
The three policemen form an honor guard for the dead Rex and salute his corpse as the attendants roll the cart into the Seattle morgue. In a sober mood the threesome climb into the paddy wagon. The first to speak is O'Hara who says into his radio mike, "Driver take us to the Five Corners Bar & Grill. Where? You know that rotten dive that rips off tourists near the Space Needle that's open 24/7, we all need a strong drink."
"I hope old Rex didn't take our murder of him personal." said McKenna breaking the silence of several minutes, "After all, we were only following orders from the very top of our chain-of-command! If the public knew that Black Death had broken out in Seattle, the panic in the streets would be awesome to behold, worse than 1968, I'll wager. No, President Obama made the right call: let the U.S. Department of Homeland Security quietly deal with the situation."
"I have no problem with that, Agent McKenna, but don't you think killing an innocent dog lover is a bit too much?" said a red eyed O'Tootle who added, "My conscience is acting up gang busters on this one!" while more whiskey scented tears ran down his face.
McKenna responded to the sad police medic, "It's like a military operation when a bomb drops short and kills an innocent man. What do they call it? Collateral damage? Things just went terribly wrong this morning! No one's fault, really. Shit happens. It's not that we are psychopaths. We are normal people who feel really bad about killing a good math teacher at a fine Catholic college, which reminds me to call the Bishop and to tell him he needs to get a substitute for the Doctor Steiner's morning classes. He would have wanted me to do that for him."
"No one responsible?" interjects an angry O'Hara, "What about that ugly commie bitch who stole Rex's dog? I say she gets the next early morning ride to the morgue, along with that hideous boyfriend of hers."
McKenna said in reply after handing a tissue to O'Tootle to dry his tears"But O'Hara, don't you think even drugged, diseased and filthy commies have a right to a meal of prime dog meat? Have you ever been hungry? The Service sent me once to Ranger training in the U.S. Army to spy on this sergeant we thought was going to assassinate Obama. I had to do everything they did since I was posing as trainee soldier including being dumped butt naked in the middle of the Rocky Mountains with a only knife to survive. You best believe I killed and ate any creature I came across for the next several weeks until the helicopter came back to pick me up....So there you are, cold and starving in Seattle walking down the street in the early morning and you see a well fed dog obviously abandoned by the owner. What do you do? I'll let you what, when you're starving to death like I was in Colorado, you dream of a fat dog to kill and cook."
The paddy wagon stopped and the trio of cops walked into the nearly empty bar to the backroom where the cops did their drinking alone. The very attractive waitress with long black hair, Mayan tattoos and low cut black dress took their orders for bottles of whiskey and peanuts. This was delivered quickly, thanks to the slow morning business. The door was then shut and locked on the inside by O'Hara, who did not want the public to see him drinking in uniform.
When the glasses were charged, O'Hara gave a toast, "Up the Republic!" The men downed the drinks in about a microsecond. O'Hara broke the silence with a question to McKenna,"So you're saying Rex Steiner killed himself?"
"Yes, the victim of terrible comedy of errors! It would appear his dog was stolen by an honest Communist, a woman who President Obama would be proud to call friend, too law abiding to steal food, or eat food meant for the homeless at the Salvation Army Mission. What followed was a Shakespearean tragedy."