Humor Fiction posted October 10, 2018

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A Very short crime, humor piece.

Nobody's Perfect

by DonMac

I keep replaying it over and over in my head. What did I do wrong? I've been a cop for over fifteen years and I've never botched a case like this, not even close. Sure, I've made the occasional paperwork error; like forgetting to dot all the I's and cross all the T's, but nothing like this. Well, the thirty-day suspension has given me plenty of time to think about it and it just gets worse on every replay.

I'd been tracking the Geriatric Bandit for nearly two months and the leads had been few and far between. I've been considered the go-to-guy when it comes to the wayward elderly ever since I cracked the Kissing Codger Case over a year ago. You may have read about it, not a female over seventy was safe walking the halls of their rest homes. It's kind of become my specialty and the BUCK stops here you might say. Part of the reason things went down the way they did is because of the pressure being applied by the press. They'd been having a field day with this one and it was getting downright embarrassing.

Geri, as I like to call him, has been running amuck in retirement villas across three counties and he always seems to stay one tottering step ahead of me at every turn. His M.O. has been late night ransacking of rooms while the occupants were zonked on their bedtime meds. The only items reported missing have been the rubber knobs from the bottoms of canes and walkers. My investigations had revealed that there was a big black market demand for these items in some quarters. Who woulda guessed it?

I had shrewdly detected a pattern in his hits. Having deduced that he would next strike at the swanky Crystal Palms Resort for the Senile in upscale Orange County, I elected to throw caution to the winds and go undercover. Donning one of my many elderly disguises, I arrived at the Crystal Palms at dusk under the pretext of looking the place over for my ninety-eight-year-old father who could no longer stir his own oatmeal. I figured I could easily piddle away the few hours left until bedtime doing origami and sipping kumquat cocktails. This plan worked to perfection, and when the opportunity presented itself, I secreted myself in a centrally located linen closet to await the arrival of my nemesis.

The wait was long and I was beginning to feel as old as the part I was portraying when I sensed that something was afoot. It may have been that rattling of a doorknob from down the hall, I can't be certain. I slowly cracked open the linen closet door and peered down the dark corridor. I felt the familiar rush of adrenaline in anticipation of the impending encounter with the perp. To me, there was nothing like the chase culminating in the collar.

At the far end of the corridor, I thought I could make out a form just disappearing into a doorway. I crept out of the closet and, hugging the wall, made my way up the corridor. Arriving in the area I judged to be where I had seen the shadowy form, I stopped, listening intently. I couldn't be certain which door the perp had entered, so I waited breathlessly for some clue. Then I heard it, a muffled thump from behind the door to my left. Steeling myself for what I was sure would be a physical encounter, I faced the door. Two quick breaths and I planted my foot squarely into the door just above the knob.

The next sixty seconds were chaos. There was the sound of splintering wood followed by the bang of the shattered door striking a wall. Above it all was a piercing scream that made my blood run cold. With cat-like reflexes, I dove through the open doorway, rolled once across the floor, coming to rest on one knee, my 44 mag leveled at the sole occupant of the room. "Go ahead Granny, make my day", I snarled.

Before me, in a sitz bath, sat one terrified, naked, elderly woman still shrieking at the top of her rapidly deoxygenating lungs. Something didn't seem quite right here. Sheepishly, I glanced around the small room, lowering my weapon. With a sinking feeling, I realized that Granny and I were the sole occupants.

"This isn't going to sit well with the Chief", I thought to myself.

No matter how many times I replay it in my head, it never comes out any better. Thankfully, Granny survived the ordeal but the lawsuit is still pending. Maybe I should look for another line of work.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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