The New Equipment
O’Krupke’s eyes narrowed as he gazed down at that which had been handed to him by the sergeant-at-arms. He held it there in his hamlike hand, limply. He considered it; he used deductive reasoning and failed to deduce much. He looked around at the other cops in the precinct briefing room, similarly staring blankly at what they’d been given. He considered the object again. He gave up considering.
“Sarge, what the flamin’ fock is dis?”
Sergeant Pflanagen’s eyes beetled at O’Krupke. Pflanagan was built like a hairy hillock. Atop Pflanagan’s head was an indecently naked pink globe that rose from the crest like one buttock of an insufficiently hidden baby, which deepened now in hue to hydrant red. His head fell to one side like his neck had snapped from the sheer weight of stupidity that had just been ladled over to him.
“It’s a daisy, O’Krupke. It’s a goddam-goddam daisy, you idiot.”
O’Krupke looked down at it again. It was, in fact, a daisy. He knew it was time to shut up. He did not shut up.
“Sarge, whyju give us daisies for Cryssakes?”
Pflanagen handed the last daisy, from the dainty wicker basket he’d been carrying, to the last cop in the room. He sighed. “O’Krupke, you remember last week how dat kid had that banana and was unfortunately shot by MacGonad?”
“Ah, you mean dat kid who was on the fire escape playing the violin?’
“No, that was a different kid-”
“Oh you mean dat guy who was driving and we shot out his tires and he went off that bridge ’cause the car looked like maybe stolen, though I guess not?”
No, O’Krupke, that guy was no kid, and had no banana-”’
“Uh, You mean dat kid with the zucchini?”
“O’Krupke! That was three weeks ago! The kid last week?”
“Banana! The banana kid, O’Krupke!”
“OHHHHH- the BANANA kid. Sure. Sorry, I get them mixed up sometimes.”
Pflanagan was admirably holding at a low scarlet simmer, “OK. So you remember how we were gonna get the new guns this week? With the 34-dumdum bullet automatic action and the 500 yard laser sights?”
O’Krupke perked up, “Yeah! Hey, yeah! When’s you passinem out, sarge?”
Pflanagan looked down at his basket shyly, “…you’re holding it in your hand, O’Krupke.”
O’Krupke was impressed with technology. Looked like a daisy, was a 34-dumdum bullet automatic action gun! He looked carefully for the trigger.
Pflanagan continued, “They decided instead of the guns, we get daisies. They say when we have guns we shoot all kindsa people alla time so they’re gonna experiment with giving us daisies instead. They say maybe we should try bein nice and we can even give the daisies right to ’em if they get tough, and they’ll be all happy and like take the daisy and give ’em to their mom.”
There was silence in the room. Then there was a lot less of it.
“HOOOWAH!” howled Wynne-Courke, “ I love flowers!”
“My heart thrills at the delicate fragrance exuded from dese fragile petals!” bellowed Frammingham.
Pflanagan had to shout to subdue the exuberant expressions of joy. “RELAX! Yeah, we’ve taken back all your old guns. But don’t worry- we got a plan to make dis work! For one thing….”
“YEAHH! We hate those stupid guns! I am SO TIRED of shooting that noisy piece a gobbidge,” O’Krupke joined in, tears brimming in his bloodshot bloodhound eyes, “plus, I’m tired of all the corpses!”
“I can’t wait to use my pretty daisy to subdue potentially alleged perps!”
“Shut UP Milligananagan, though if you hadn’t tear-gassed those kindergartners this wouldna precipitated so fast- So for one thing, you get special holsters that fit the daisies, so don’t worry about them getting too wilty. Plus you get a fresh daisy daily, or as needed once you use ’em up. Oh, yeah, don’t worry guys. We’ll keep you well supplied…wit daisies!”
A quartet of police in the back quickly improvised a beautiful harmony, and burst into song:
“We’re tickled pink by all the ways we
Shall delight in our new daisies
Oh what beauty- oh what fun!
Much nicer than those stinky guns!
Give billyclubs, and we’ll confess:
We’re not likely to hit you less
But if provided with a flower,
The populace can cease to cower:
We thank the people for this gift
Our spirits all begin to lift
As our voices lift in song
Yes we can all get along!”
O’Krupke stopped in mid-whoop. He leaned forward, eyes narrowed. His street-hardened instincts told him there was more, “Hold on just one stinkin’ minnit. What more you gots to tell us Pflanagan?”
Pflanagan shrugged mischievously. “I gots to tell ya there’s no more tear gas. Thanks to Milligananagan. But we got an alternate. Lemonade!”
“WHAT?” Screamed 47 delighted cops. “WE LOVE LEMONADE ON A HOT SUMMER DAY!”
“Yup- cold, delicious refreshing lemonade. An it ain’t for to throw in their eyes it’s to like sit down on the stoop with ’em and talk it out and have some refreshments. Each one of youse gets a couple carafes. They’re thinking maybe in a month we might get some nice cookies too. Also, they took back the riot gear, and all of youse get nice silky blouses in the pastel tone of your choosin’ instead,”
“I dibs chartreuse,” O’Krupke said quickly, to Wynne-Courke’s dismay.
Milligananagan said, quietly, as if to himself, though all heard, “finally- the little children won’t think I’m some kind of killer robot and run from me? Dis is a gift beyond my most foivent hopes-”
Pflanagan was hurrying now to finish, “…and there ain’t no more fire-spoutin’ tank, wit which we crushed that jaywalker last week. Instead, we got one giant 10-man skateboard! It’s gonna take some practice to balance through sharp turns, but once you get some momentum it rolls pretty fast, and there ain’t nothin’ like a well-executed 10-man nollie kickflip”
There was pandemonium. Everybody loved skateboards. Several police officers fainted. Some laughed joyous peals of laughter such as they had never laughed before, while others wept openly, without shame. There was a tearing of hair and a rending of shirts. Humble gratitudes were offered unto the heavens.
“HOLD ON a second!” O’Krupke interrupted, “I gots one more question, Sarge.” He growled.
“What is it, O’Krupke?”
“How do you load dis ting?” O’Krupke held his daisy up.
Pflanagan smiled, “Wit LOVE, O’Krupke. Wit love you load it.”