Back at You
by Eric Miller
officer emerged from his car and motioned to Gus
to roll down his window.
evening, officer, Gus said, with a
cheery lilt. Is there a problem?
zigging and zagging from one lane to another.
I never cross the line.
you been drinking?
kind of answer is that?
We do a
special type of drinking at our monthly dental
every first Tuesday of the month at Ristorante
I was at
a dental meeting, doing some dental drinking, so
I guess Im a dentist.
And what pray
tell is dental drinking?
Doctor, enough of your nonsense. What is your
Spiddore, at your service, Gus said proudly,
as he thrust his hand out the window to
press the flesh in good will.
grabbed Guss wrist with one hand, opened
the car door with the other, pulled him out of
the car, slammed Gus to the ground, and then
cuffed Guss hands behind his back.
something I said, officer?
the gun?, the officer shouted.
you just tried to stick in my gut.
just trying to shake your hand.
you were trying to shake me down.
dont know what that means.
taking you in.
Back at the
police station, Gus asked if he could talk to
Chief Ferguson, but the officer told him he was
unreachable until he returned to work the
then, may I call my wife?
give her my love, the officer replied.
his fate and sat on the chair all night waiting
for the Chief, a patient of his, who arrived the
What brings you here?
Fergie. This nice officer of yours was just so
very kind to invite me here late last night,
after he pulled me out of my car, pressed my face
in the gravel, cuffed me, and pushed me into the
back seat of his car.
is this correct?
except for the omission of his sticking a gun in
to shake his hand.
thought he had a gun.
what do you say we just forgive and forget?
Gus nodded and
left, confident that vengeance would be his. It
came several months later.
afternoon, Gus said, instantly recognizing
his nemesis from the police station.
Doc, Ive got a really bad toothache,
the officer said, extending his arm toward Gus
for a handshake.
the officers wrist, and with a forward pull
on his arm swung him around, put his knee in the
officers back, pushed him to the floor, and
hog-tied him with dental floss.
should hold you, for the time being, Gus
said. Make yourself comfortable. Ill
be with you shortly.