Mud Lick, Alabama Sheriff Roy Templeton finally had a moment of peace. He’d managed to catch up on all of his paperwork, the department’s bullpen was silent, and he was lost in his dog-eared copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
Then the phone rang.
“Hey Sheriff, it’s Buford MacElroy from Garage 66,” the voice said over the phone. “We’ve got one of your cruisers in the shop and a bullet hole’s in the windshield.”
“What?” exclaimed the Sheriff. “I haven’t heard anything about an officer injury. There’s been no calls from EMTs about one of my people getting shot. What am I missing?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, Sheriff,” replied Buford. “The deputy here says he shot his service gun through the windshield to stop a perp from getting away.”
Sheriff Roy’s face hardened. He fell silent. Then, taking a deep breath, he told Buford to keep his deputy at Garage 66 until he got there with help.
After ending the call, Sheriff Templeton exploded into the Mud Lick Sheriff’s Department bullpen with a burst of righteous fury and anger the likes of which few have ever seen.
“WHICH ONE OF YOU DUMBASSES LET DEPUTY TYRONE OFF DESK DUTY?” roared the Sheriff.
A voice piped up from one desk. “He said he wanted to treat everyone to Starbucks, Sheriff. We just got that new Starbucks in, and everyone likes good coffee.”
“Okay, Deputy, your new name is Deputy Dumbass,” Sheriff Roy barked. “We’ve got three unwritten rules around the Mud Lick Sheriff’s Department. What are they?
“Arrest anyone wearing Tennessee Orange on sight, never lend Deputy Tyrone a cruiser, and never let Deputy Tyrone near a service firearm,” the man now named Deputy Dumbass stammered.
“And did you ever stop to think we have these rules in place for a reason?”
“Sheriff, he just said he wanted to get coffee for all of us.”
“Then why did he get access to a service revolver before you gave him the keys to a cruiser, Deputy Dumbass?”
“Because it’s dangerous out there for cops and Deputy Tyrone deserves to come home for dinner, even if he’s making a coffee run?”
Sheriff Roy softens his aggressive stance ever so slightly. “You’re new here, aren’t you?”
“Well since you’re green around here, let me tell you why rules two and three exist. You see, before Deputy Tyrone came to Mud Lick, he was a Sheriff’s Deputy in another county. One night while he’s on patrol, he spots a couple at a gas station he thinks might be under the influence of methamphetamines. So when he gets out to question them, the guy driving the truck pulls off and leaves his girlfriend at the pump. You want to take a guess how Deputy Tyrone handled the situation?”
“Good, because it was a rhetorical fucking question. Deputy Tyrone handcuffed the female to the gas pump, dove into the back of the pickup, and fired several bullets into the cab. Three struck the male suspect in the head, creating the vehicular equivalent of an unguided missile that thanks to our Lord and Savior Bear Bryant struck a telephone pole on the side of the road.”
“So why is he still a Sheriff’s Deputy?,” asked the bewildered Deputy.
“Because we protect our own in law enforcement, no matter how much of an idiot they might be, and Coach Saban needed a favor or two in his back pocket come signing day one year. So now Deputy Tyrone sits on desk duty. He never gets anything more lethal than a Maglite within arm’s reach. And no one lets him near a cruiser. Understood?”
“Good. You’re coming with me to Garage 66 to pick up the cruiser Tyrone shot a bullet through. That should serve as enough punishment once you’ve driven back to the Department with him. What’s your name, Deputy?”
“Deputy Dumbass, Sheriff?”
“No, I meant your real name.”
“Deputy Wayne Blackstock, sir.”
“Deputy Blackstock, I’m sorry for the harsh treatment earlier. I guess I really need to follow more of this Stoic philosophy I’ve been reading lately.”
“What’s a ‘stoic,’ Sheriff?”
“Get to the damn garage before you piss me off again.”