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Back at You
by Eric Miller

The police officer emerged from his car and motioned to Gus to roll down his window.

“Good evening, officer,” Gus  said, with a cheery lilt. “Is there a problem?”

“You were zigging and zagging from one lane to another.”

 “Officer, I never cross the line.”

 “Have you been drinking?”

“Yes and no.”

“What kind of answer is that?”

“We do a special type of drinking at our monthly dental meetings.”

 “What dental meeting?”

“The one every first Tuesday of the month at Ristorante Balsamico.”

“Are you a dentist?”

“I was at a dental meeting, doing some dental drinking, so I guess I’m a dentist.”

And what pray tell is dental drinking?”

“Rinsing and spitting.”

“Okay, Doctor, enough of your nonsense. What is your name?”

“Gus Spiddore, at your service,” Gus said proudly, as he thrust his hand out the window  to press the flesh in good will.

The officer grabbed Gus’s 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 Gus’s hands behind his back.

“Is it something I said, officer?”

“Where’s the gun?,” the officer shouted.

“What gun?”

“The one you just tried to stick in my gut.”

“I was just trying to shake your hand.”

“You mean you were trying to shake me down.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

 “I’m 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 following morning.

“Well then, may I call my wife?”

“Sure, give her my love,” the officer replied.

Gus accepted his fate and sat on the chair all night waiting for the Chief, a patient of his, who arrived the next morning.

“Hey, Gus! What brings you here?”

“Oh, hi 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.”

“Officer, is this correct?”

 “Yes, except for the omission of his sticking a gun in my gut.”


“I tried to shake his hand.”


“I thought he had a gun.”

“Gus, what do you say we just forgive and forget?”

Gus nodded and left, confident that vengeance would be his. It came several months later.

“Good afternoon,” Gus said, instantly recognizing his nemesis from the police station.

“Hello, Doc,” I’ve got a really bad toothache,” the officer said, extending his arm toward Gus for a handshake.

Gus grasped the officer’s wrist, and with a forward pull on his arm swung him around, put his knee in the officer’s back, pushed him to the floor, and hog-tied him with dental floss.

“That should hold you, for the time being,” Gus said. Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be with you shortly.”