Ripped from the headlines:

“I went to bed real early – around 7pm, so it all happened right about that time,” Officer Roberts was busy scribbling into his little blue notebook and didn’t even glance up at me. I dragged my hands over the top of my head. When I’d started balding ten years ago, I’d shaved the whole thing. Now, all I could feel were the patches of whiskers where the follicles were still trying to do the job.

“Are you sure on the time, sir?” he asked.

I cleared my throat before replying, “I remember it was 7pm because Law & Order had just started and I wanted to watch it in my bedroom where I could maybe get some peace and quiet and not have to listen to Gloria bitch about my “pervert murder stories”.” Officer Roberts finally lifted his head and looked at me, his eyes narrowed.

“What happened next, sir,?” he asked, his voice a low monotone.

“Well, I thought I heard thunder – like a boom or something. But, thunder doesn’t have foot steps and it doesn’t slide around on a person’s roof like a God damn crack head.”

“Mr. Jenkins, can you describe the actual altercation for me, please?” Officer Roberts tucked his double chin back against his chest and started scribbling again.

“Sure thing, Officer,” I said as I spit into the lawn – my lawn. “I went out the front door and looked up onto the roof,” I motioned to the house, pointing at the exact spot I’d found that naked jackass. “I yelled for him to get his scrawny ass down off my roof. He started to wave his arms all around, I think to try to intimidate me or something. But, I just yelled again,” I paused to let that sink into the officer: the eyes I was giving him said it all: I am not prone to intimidation.

“And then what happened, Mr. Jenkins?” Officer Roberts looked behind him at the ambulance parked in my driveway. We were both actively trying to ignore the naked man being strapped to the gurney. He was finally coming to after being tasered. I think Gloria was a little traumatized by the whole thing but I don’t mind telling you that it was a pretty cool thing to see the taser in action.

“What happened next is that he jumped down at me. Like a God damn puma. He landed on top of me and I bashed my head against the drive way. That’s my blood right there,” I pointed at the inky blots of rust embedded in the concrete. “I must have blacked out for a moment because next thing I know, he’s in the house, knocking over my brand new flat screen television. Do you know how much those things cost? I called 911 on my cell while Gloria screamed and ran into our son’s room. It isn’t right for a man to be attacked, for his wife to be terrorized in his own home. This is America, I’ll remind you.”

“Yes, thank you, Mr. Jenkins. Can you describe how the shots were fired?”

“Well, I was on the phone with 911, like I said,” I hoisted my pants up and hesitated before continuing. I’d heard one too many stories of innocent people getting sued because a criminal had been injured while committing a crime. “That idiot was assaulting our vacuum cleaner – who can say why addicts do the things they do? Fact is, Gloria and I were both afraid for our lives. She must have grabbed my old .38 revolver before running into our son’s room.”

“How old is your son?”

“He’s twenty-nine, Officer Roberts.”

Did the perpetrator try to physically assault your wife, Mr. Jenkins?”

“Well, he was in our house, wasn’t he? Destroying our belongings?” I got pissed off just thinking of that asshole dumping the dirt from the vacuum back out onto the floor like it was confetti and he was running around in a party of one. I folded my arms across my chest, straightening my back. “If I’ve told Gloria once, I’ve told her a million times: Intruders don’t get warning shots. And, they sure as shit don’t get three of them! Because that is exactly how you end up with some dope fiend jacking off on your living room rug. Are we supposed to just clean that rug and move on? Knowing he defiled it?”

“I suppose that is up to you and your wife, sir,” Officer Roberts cracked a smile, so slight I almost missed it. “And if you can get that vacuum cleaner fixed.”


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