FEBRUARY 16, 2020
MY SUCKY VALENTINE
So anyway, Denby returned from work after a hard week of trying to meet the unreasonable demands of staff in a large nonprofit medical organization. He stayed awake for 24 hours to monitor the work of guys running data cables in one building because Freeman demanded he attend a meeting at 7:30 am in Administration whereas the cablers started work at 3:30pm. So he was out the door at 4:30am only to return at 6:30 am the next day because the cablers ran into trouble in the old decrepit building. Then the IP migration for the new clinic site took place Friday and Denby was out there in East Oakland from 8:00am to 8:00pm following orders and migrating PC's and printers. He returned to his stall at the new Island-Life offices to collapse into a chair, fully clothed and dreaming of computers swimming upstream through Alaskan rapids to spawn in their original datacenter.
Some time around 1:00 AM, he woke up in the chair and half-asleep he stumbled to the shower to hose off. He had just removed his pants, but still had not removed his hat when an acrid smell jolted him sharply awaked.
The smell that awoke him was the smell of the dinner of tandoori he was supposed to have had the previous night. It was still in the smoking oven.
Right then all the smoke alarms went off. Because of that, someone called 911 saying there was a fire. Denby did what he could to dispel the smoke with fans and opened windows and when Household members came down from the loft he said it was just a case of burned toast.
Nevertheless the EMTs showed up and they wanted to take his pulse and make sure he was not high on something and the CMP showed up because they are supposed to do that, and the Fire department showed up because they are down the street and have nothing to do.
The Fire department guy looked at the burned pan and fired a volley of ABC foam, covering the pan, the stove and the surroundings.
Why did you do that? Said Denby. "It was not on fire."
"Protocol," said the fireman. "Why are you not wearing any pants?"
"I was going to take a shower," Denby explained.
"Wearing a hat and a shirt?" The fireman said incredulously.
"What's all this then?" said responding officer Pince-Nez, before Denby could explain. Everything had happened so fast.
"Well, " said Denby honestly. "I burnt my dinner."
"Sounds like a case of arson. And you clearly are sans cullotes. Which is another infraction."
"I think you mean sans pantalons. . .". Denby said.
"Don't ever correct me again," said the Officer. "You do not seem to be from around here."
"I am from the Island," said Denby
"Not from around here," noted the officer.
A female officer came through the door. "Say Joe, there's something interesting . . . what the heck! Why is this guy not wearing any pants? Is this some kind of illegal social gathering?"
"Social gathering without a permit. . . ". The officer began writing furiously in his notebook.
Little Adam came stumbling out into the crowd. "We havin' a party?"
The lady cop looked kinda cute in her uniform and Denby smiled and waved when he saw her looking at him. Her eyes narrowed into slits.
"Social gathering and minors present, a city violation. Women and men in various states of undress," said Officer Pince-Nez, eyeballing Suan and Tipitina who stood there barefoot, wearing negligees. All right you are all coming downtown to answer some questions."
"Downtown? Silvan Acres has no downtown. There is no place within distance worthy of the name. Where are you taking me?" Denby said.
"You are going to San Rafael City Jail my man and I would advise you to stop dissing my burg. And you, wise guy, stop looking at my partner like that."
Things began to get more chaotic after that. Suan and Tipitina said it was one in the morning and they had been sleeping. Little Adam ran into the middle of the throng "Don't you hurt my friends!" Denby made a sudden move to grab him to safety, while everyone else started shouting which triggered something in the Officer's amygdala which caused him to tackle Denby and put him in a carotid hold while the lady cop knelt on his back.
"Ihhhhh . . . can't . . . breathe . . .", gasped Denby.
"They all say that," said the cop as he put the come-alongs on Denby's wrists.
In the squad car the lady cop leane back, looked him up and down and asked, "Are you Jewish?"
"Half," Denby said.
"Well have your good half tell your goyische half to behave." And she turned primly to face forward again. She was still kind of cute despite having knelt on Denby's spine with some force he knew he would feel for some time.
So that is how Denby, once again, found himself in a city jail on V-day without his pants.