Written for 1,000 Words Of Foolishness
Mother Of Invention
Jeremy Putzworth raced into Chief Hogensnoz’s office, tripped over the threshold, and clumsily smashed into the trash can that sat near his desk.
“Chief, I’ve got it!” he said, awkwardly climbing to his feet.
The pudgy chief of the Long Island 4th Precinct didn’t even bother to look up from his newspaper, donut and luke-warm coffee.
“I’ve been working on this for weeks. You gotta take a look.”
Chief Hogensnoz disdainfully scrutinized the young man from over the top of his paper. “You know, just because your dad is the Mayor, doesn’t mean you can just rush up here any old time you want and interrupt official police business.”
Jeremy had been given the ‘out-of-way’ job as head of Transportation. Which actually meant, he was no more than a mechanic down in the garage basement.
“I tell ya, Chief, this little gizmo here will take pounds off of ya. You’ll be slimmer and looking better in no time at all.”
“Is there something wrong with my weight, Putzworth?”
“Well, Chief, you eat all those glazed donuts everyday and uh . . . well, that stuff can kill you, not to mention put a few pounds on.”
“Are you practicing to be a household pest, Jeremy? Because I’m warning you, I don’t have time for your crazy contraptions.”
“Check it out, Chief.” Jeremy set a little black box on the desk. There was a discernible click as he threw the switch.
Instantly, an image appeared over the top of the box. It looked like a pile of dog poop.
“Oops, hold on, I forgot to adjust the vertical hold.”
He fiddled with a switch and a perfect replica of a glazed donut appeared.
“There, that’s got it.”
“And what in the hell is that supposed to be?”
“Go ahead, grab it,” Jeremy said excitedly.
Hogensnoz studied the floating donut for a moment, then passed his hand through it. “Okay, what’s the catch?”
“Well, it’s a perfect hologram of a glazed donut. Cool, idea, huh?” Jeremy said, grinning from ear to ear.
“And this is suppose to make me lose weight?”
“Yep. Everytime you’re hungry, just reach for the donut.”
“But I can’t grab it because it’s not there.”
“Exactly. That’s the beauty of it. You’ll be able to have a perfect donut sitting right in front of you all day long, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to eat it.”
Hogensnoz rubbed his face. “This is probably the stupidest idea you’ve ever come up with, Putzworth. Although, I must admit, the electric bullets that didn’t need a gun to be fired is a pretty close second, along with the boomerang nightstick, of course. But this--” he motioned facetiously at the donut, “--this takes the cake.”
“Thanks, Chief,” Jeremy said proudly. “And like I said, I’m real sorry about that guy shooting himself in the leg. I told him he shouldn’t carry electric bullets on his belt.”
“Look, kid. Just work on the cars, okay? They’re the most important tool a cop has.”
“Sure, Chief, if that’s what you want.” He grabbed the real donut off the desk and chucked it into the garbage can. “You won’t be needing that anymore.”
In utter astonishment, Hogensnoz, gazed at his donut in the trash. His faced turned a bright shade of red.
“Get out, Putzworth!” he screamed. “Get out before I do something . . . illegal!”
Jeremy ran for the door.
The next day Jeremy didn’t go to see Chief Hogensnoz, nor did he go the day after that. In fact, it wasn’t until a month later that the two crossed paths again.
Sergeant Bludgeon scrambled into the Chief’s office. “We got a bank robbery in progress on First and Elm.”
Chief Hogensnoz jumped out of his seat and struggled to button his pants. Grabbing his uniform jacket, he jammed his right arm in the wrong hole and swore. At that moment, Sergeant Bludgeon saw his chance, and tried to grab the donut off the desk. His hand passed right through the donut! Baffled, he tried again.
“Would you stop screwing around with that, Bludgeon?”
“Uh, sorry, Chief,” he said with a bewildered look. He couldn’t take his eyes off the donut.
“I want you to send every available man we got, understand?”
“I got it, Chief.”
“All right, then, get! I’ll meet you down in the garage in three minutes.”
“Yes, sir. I’m on it, sir.” The sergeant hurried out of the office.
Five minutes later, the Chief hit the backdoor to the garage parking lot and saw Sergeant Bludgeon in a heated exchange with Jeremy Putzworth.
“Oh, God,” he thought, “now what?” As he hurried forward, he began to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation.
“Well, you just put them right back on!”
“But I haven’t tested them yet! They’re not safe,” Jeremy tried to explain.
He shrugged heavily. “Well, here’s the Chief,” he said, slowly backing away. “You explain it to him.”
Hogensnoz rushed up, his jowls bouncing. “What the hell’s going on? Where’s my car?”
“It’s like I was trying to tell him, Chief, the cars are all in the back.”
“Well, get ‘em up here. We got a 413 in progress and I need my car!”
“But, sir, that’s just it, all the tires are off.”
It took a moment to penetrate, then the Chief let out a howl, “WHAT?”
“Take it easy, will ya, I can explain . . . .”
Hogensnoz, on a rampage, headed for the back. “I’m gonna kill you, Putzworth!”
Jeremy hurried after him. “But, Chief, you told me to work on the cars, remember?”
They walked up to the three remaining cars in the garage. They were all up on blocks with no tires. “In God’s name, Putzworth, what have you done?”
“Well, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell ya, Chief. I’ve invented a new kind of tire.”
There was a stack of tires directly in front of them.
“Bludgeon, get some men and get these tires put back on as fast as you can.”
“Well, he’s the one that took ‘em off, Chief. Why don’t he have to put ‘em back on?”
“Just do it! The both of you. Now!”
“Aw, Chief, I didn’t wanna get all dirty, there’s probably gonna be camera crews on the scene.”
That was more then Chief Hogensnoz could take. Disregarding the other two men, he grabbed a tire and carried it to the car.
“But, Chief, I haven’t tested them yet,” Jeremy pleaded. “I don’t even know if they work right.”
“Look, I don’t care. Just get them on!”
As the last tire was installed, Chief Hogensnoz punched the engine. The tires smoked and squealed, spinning madly just inches above the ground. Suddenly, the car began to bounce, and each time it hit the ground it would bounce a little bit higher.
Sergeant Bludgeon leaned into Jeremy and whispered, “Just out of curiosity, what did you do to the tires?”
“Well, the idea was to have a car that could get around heavy traffic in an emergency. So, I, uh . . . I filled the tires with helium.”
In the distance, as the car continued to bounce away, they could hear Chief Hogensnoz scream, “I’m gonna kill you, Putzworth!”