By Jack Keillor
My first day on the force I accidentally shot a 7-year-old in the face.
Linda had made me a loaf of banana bread for breakfast that I was eating on my drive into work. I had my gun nestled between my knee and the wheel for easy access just in case. I didn’t have my police-issued holster yet and I didn’t bring my personal holster because I didn’t want to deal with bringing two holsters home. Holster owners know what I’m talking about. Well, as any gun or banana bread enthusiast can attest to, the damn things can get mighty slippery and eventually the gun started to fall. When I went to grab it, wouldn’t you know it, but my thumb got caught in the trigger and kablamo! A mother loses her child.
If I’d known I’d have actually shot someone I’d probably have just kept driving. I’m not proud of that fact, but the accident had already been made and I didn’t see the point of ruining two lives, especially since the second one was mine, and I’d grown quite fond of it. When I saw it was a kid, my first instinct was to again run. I made it about eight steps before I realized a crowd had already gathered. I knew this wasn’t going to end well for me. It was my first day! I didn’t even know anybody that could possibly have my back! This kind of stuff always used to happen to me back then. Like when I worked at Payless and I got fired the first week for getting caught on camera pocketing the cash from the sales. I was going to put it in the register at the end of the day, I was just sick of opening the damn thing over and over again. Nobody trusts anybody anymore, it’s just sad.
I did the right thing and called it in, not that I had much of a choice. But before I did I went into my car, got the banana bread, tore chunks off until it was shaped like a gun and put it in the kid’s hand. While waiting to meet my new co-workers at the scene of a murder I’d just accidentally committed, I found myself getting hungry. I’d wasted all of my banana bread on that gun, after all. I noticed that there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken across the road and figured I wasn’t doing much good just standing around this body, so I went in and ordered a ticket for their buffet. I had no idea the treat I was in for.
For the most part, KFC’s buffet leaves something to the imagination. It’s got chicken, it’s got another kind of chicken, a third kind of chicken then some mashed potatoes and corn or something. They’re all fine if you don’t really know what corn or chicken are supposed to taste like, but many of us do, and we know that it isn’t this. After sampling a few items, I was crestfallen. I shot a child because I was afraid of dropping my banana bread, this was it for me. My last meal before a lifetime of imprisonment. I would never be a cop, or a father, or even a guy that hangs out with the cops and the fathers but doesn’t really have any kids or a place to live right now. I was going to be stuck in what was basically a basement studio apartment with a pedophile for the rest of my life and this soggy-ass chicken was the last free meal I would taste? No, no that just simply wasn’t going to do. I was about ready to go ape-shit in that place until I gave their biscuit a try. Good God, did I give that biscuit a try.
It was warm, gooey, flaky and filling all at the same time. Mixed with their mashed potatoes and gravy, you could barely even tell that the mashed potatoes and gravy were terrible! It was a food experience so pure it should be revised into any texts of a biblical nature. It was certainly worthy to be a part of any man’s last meals, and I was glad to have it be a part of mine. Luckily, it wouldn’t be my last meal. No, I would have KFC’s biscuits for many years to come.
When the boys showed up they had a plan; replace the banana bread gun I’d made with a real gun with its serial number scratched off, cover the child’s body in fake tattoos and glue a beard to his face. By the time they were done he looked exactly like known drug dealer, rapper and killer, 35-year-old Professor Murder. Even his own family were convinced, financially, that their son was a 35-year-old criminal mastermind, the man that had been terrorizing these streets for as long as the police had needed a scapegoat. That is, until he came up against rookie cop Jack Keillor.
Not only did I not have to pay for my crimes, I was a hero in the news. The guys at the station patted my butt when I walked by and called me, “sugar tits.” They loved me down there. They loved me like I loved those biscuits. If you ever find yourself in a bad situation that you have no control over, grab a KFC biscuit. It’s smooth yet bold flavor will really help you take your mind off things.