“Time to make the donuts,” commented Officer David Kelly as he swung the police cruiser onto Langley St. The wipers pulsed once, clearing their view through the fresh fallen snow.
“Time to make the donuts,” nodded Jim, and checked the digital dashboard clock. He knew it was five a.m. even before he glanced down. They both looked forward to their morning ritual of a drive through at Dunkin’ Donuts. With hours to go and the city just beginning to wake up, they needed a double hit of sugar and caffeine to prepare for the morning rush.
The drive through speaker crackled to life. “Can I take your order please?”
“Louise! How are you this fine morning?” David enjoyed flirting with Louise who was old enough to be his mother.
“Just fine and dandy, Officer Kelly. The usual this morning?” lilted Louise.
Jim piped up “Actually, I think I’ll have a poppy seed bagel today.”
David turned his head slowly and looked at his partner long and hard.
The speaker crackled again, “Officer Kelly? You there?”
“Hang on Louise, we have a situation here in the vehicle,” David said, his eyes never wavering from Jim’s face.
David raised the driver’s window, lifted his bushy black eyebrows and asked, “You turn your back on our Lord Jesus Christ?”
“Huh?” asked Jim.
David sighed and shifted into park as a car pulled up behind them. “You a Jew now?”
“David, what the hell are you on about?”
“How long we known each other Jim?”
“Since fifth grade.”
David nodded his assent and continued, “And we’ve been on this particular beat together now what… six months?”
“Yeah…?” said Jim warily, wondering where David was going with this line of questioning. Louise pleaded with them to make their order over the speaker, her words barely audible above the heater fans in the cruiser. Two more cars pulled around behind them.
“And every day, at the same time, we drive through this Dunkin’ Donuts and you order a chocolate glazed.”
“Oh come on David…”
“You seein’ that girl Jessica? The one with the huge…”
Jim cut him off, “Yeah, what about it?”
“She’s a Jew, ain’t she?”
“I can’t believe this,” Jim sighed, and turned his head away.
“She is. I knew it.”
A fourth car pulled up behind them and gave a short beep. David scowled in the mirror.
“C’mon David, just order me a fuckin’ donut then.”
David nodded his approval as he rolled down the window. “That’s better. I knew you’d come to your senses.”
“Louise? We’ll have one Boston creme, one chocolate glazed, and two large coffees. Mine with six sugars and Jim’s with one.”
The speaker box was silent for a moment then Louise came on, agitated, “What the hell took you so long? Drive around.”
David put the cruiser in gear and pulled around to the pickup window, the tires crunching over the old gray snow.
Louise slid open the drive through window with a bang, releasing the scent of freshly brewed coffee “What in God’s name were you two chattering about?”
“That’s just it, Louise, Jim here is having a crisis of faith.”
Louise glanced over at Jim, her painted on eyebrows raised under bottle blonde hair. Jim looked away, exasperated.
“Well, here you are then. Two donuts, two coffees. I marked the one with the six sugars. Now, get your ass out of the way.”
“Sorry Louise, in future we’ll try to make sure our personal crises don’t occur in the drive through.” Louise nodded and snapped the window closed before she turned away to prepare the next order.
David pulled out of the drive through and parked in the front of the lot facing out, leaving the big V8 running. Gasoline may be over three bucks a gallon, but it was still below freezing outside. Jim pulled back the tab on his coffee and took a careful sip as David handed him the chocolate glazed from the bag. “I should have thought Jessica would’ve informed you that those Dunkin’ donuts bagels ain’t the real deal anyway.”
Jim spluttered into his coffee. “For fuck’s sake, David, leave off…”
“You know I can’t do that Jim. We have known each other since we met in Sunday school after all.”
“Oh Christ…” sighed Jim, mopping the spilled coffee from his light blue top with a napkin.
“I see you can still take our Lord’s name in vain.”
Jim shook his head and chewed his donut silently.
“We were even confirmed together, Jim. By no less than the Cardinal himself,” David sniffed, “I knew you were dating that girl, but I thought it was just a fling. Now, this morning, I see it’s getting serious, you ordering a bagel and all…”
Jim took another bite of his donut trying to maintain composure. The police radio crackled alerting all units to a multi-car pileup on the turnpike. Unit 53 was still on break though, Officers Kelly and O’Sullivan unable to respond.
“Tomorrow, I suppose you’re gonna want some Lox on it too.”
The donut gone, Jim’s face flushed bright red as his temper flared. “Fuck off, David. I ordered the god damned bagel because I’m getting fat. You’re not so svelte yourself anymore.”
“I see,” said David as he wiped the filling from the Boston creme donut out of his moustache. “I think we have a situation here Officer O’Sullivan.”
Long since done with this conversation, Jim snapped, “How’s that, Officer Kelly?”
David took a last sip from his coffee cup and sealed it up again before he put it down. Reaching over to the dash he flipped on the emergency lights and chirped the siren. “Not you Jim, them.”
Jim glanced over and saw two nuns shuffling through the new fallen snow along the sidewalk, “You may be right, David.” He reached down and picked up the microphone for the loudspeaker. They still had five minutes on their break but this sort of criminal activity took precedence. “Sisters, please halt where you are and wait there.” Both men unsnapped their holsters as they left the vehicle and donned their caps.
The nuns stopped, their breath forming clouds in the cold morning air. Jim noted the two nuns wore two different styles of habit. Could be serious, he thought and moved his hand to the butt of his standard issue 9mm pistol.
David hailed them. “Good morning Sisters.”
The younger of the two smiled, “Good morning Officers. What is it we of the faith can do for you this winter morning?”
Jim’s hand hadn’t left his pistol, ready for anything.
“I’m sorry Sister, but neither of you appears to be armed. I’m sure you understand my concern.”
“I understand your concern Officer, but I am in fact armed,” smiled the younger nun. She pushed the long sleeves of her habit together and produced a tiny .22 pistol out of a well-hidden pocket.
His relief obvious, Jim reached out to inspect the pistol and make certain it was loaded. Satisfied, he chambered a round and handed the pistol back to her. “You might want to invest in a more visible holster, Sister. We wouldn’t have to stop you then.”
“You’re right, officer. This happened to me once before. When I get back to the convent I’ll see if I can find one on eBay. Or maybe one of our parishioners has donated one. I shall inquire when I return.”
David’s eyebrows pulled together as he shifted his attention to the other nun. “And you, Sister?”
The younger nun smiled, “I’m sorry Officer. This is our Mother Superior, Sister Mary Catherine from Rome. She only speaks Italian.”
David’s frown deepened, the crease between his eyebrows severe, “Is she armed?”
“I’m sorry sir, but no, she is not. I offered her the semi-automatic 9mm we normally loan out to guests of the convent but she refused it. She said it would make no difference, she would never fire it anyway.”
David grunted his displeasure and Jim’s eyebrows raised in surprise as his hand went back to his pistol.
David watched Sister Mary, his eyes wary, and raised his voice just as one normally does when trying to drill understanding of English into a foreigner. “Does she un-der-stand, that she is now a guest in this dem-o-crat-ic nation of ours? Here in A-mer-i-ca we take our rights and responsibilities seriously.”
Sister Mary spoke English flawlessly, but feigned confusion and looked to Grace for clarification. She rattled off a question in rapid Italian, What in the Lord’s name is this about?
Sister Grace attempted to clarify for her in Italian, Here in America the constitution protects our inalienable right to bear arms. With such democratic rights comes the responsibility to do so.
And here I thought this was a free country, Sister Mary replied with fire. She looked at the officers, lifted her chin in defiance and said, “No.”
Fucking socialists, thought David and sighed. Jim tensed, ready to pull his gun. “Here… in this country…we cherish our right to bear arms and it is ev-ry-one’s re-spon-si-bil-i-ty to do so, even vis-i-tors to this great nation.”
Sister Grace began another rudimentary translation but was cut off quickly by the older nun. And here I thought the Italian parliament was full of idiots. Apparently, it gets worse the other side of the Atlantic. What do I have to do to make these morons leave us alone? I’m hungry, I want a bagel.
The officers watched the holy interchange with wary interest.
Sister Grace chuckled nervously, “Sister Mary says she is very sorry for her sins and would like to know what we should do now.”
Incensed, Sister Mary began gesturing wildly as she spoke. No, I said I’m hungry and I want a bagel. Why in Jesus’ name do I need a gun to buy a bagel? It’s cold enough to freeze Hell itself out here! Let’s go!”
In heavily accented English, Sister Mary said “Excuse me, please” and tried to bull her way past the two officers. As much as a five foot nothing, octogenarian woman can bull past anyone.
Both officers drew their weapons in response. “FREEZE!” yelled Jim.
“O Jesu!” yelled Mother Mary and put her hands up in surrender.
Her hands also raised, Sister Grace tried to calm the situation, “Officers, I think we just have a misunderstanding…”
Poised and ready, David aimed the barrel of his 9mm at Mother Mary’s forehead. “There is no misunderstanding Sister. Mother Mary stands here unarmed, in clear breach of the second amendment.”
“Mother Mary is eighty years old, Officer. Surely there must be some exceptions. She could hardly lift our guest pistol…”
Jim piped up. “I’m sorry sister, but that is exactly the reason she should be armed. If some crackhead wanted to rob you, how would she defend herself?”
Mother Mary muttered to herself, What is he going to take? My rosary beads?
“What? What did she say!” commanded David, his face crimson.
Sister Grace frowned, her patience with the older woman wearing thin. “She wants to know what anyone could possibly steal from us.”
“It’s irrelevant,” said Jim, “If that crackhead robbed Dunkin’ Donuts it would be your responsibility to help stop him. In America it is your right and responsibility to arm yourself.”
David nodded his agreement, “Are you both familiar with the fable of the Good Samaritan?”
Sister Mary narrowed her eyes, Did this moron just ask a lifelong devotee of Jesus Christ if she knows the book of Luke?
Sister Grace chose not to translate, and nodded her assent instead.
David continued, “Then you should understand everyone here in America has a duty of rescue. I don’t know what you people do in Italy.”
Sister Mary snorted, Is it my duty here in America to rescue donuts? Maybe the crackhead would take pity on this poor old woman freezing to death in her robes and give me one. Though I would prefer a bagel.
Sister Grace sighed loudly. “Sister Mary does not seem inclined to arm herself officer. What shall we do?”
Jim replied, “Then we have no choice but to arrest her.”
“Is there no other way?” pleaded Sister Grace. “The convent is just around the corner. We could go back…”
“I’m sorry Sister but the law is the law. We’re going to have to take her downtown.” He glanced over at his partner. “You got her still David? I’ll cuff her.”
“Yup, go ahead.”
Jim holstered his pistol and located the cuffs. He took Sister Mary’s arms, turned her around and cuffed her.
Sister Mary, you are being arrested, said Sister Grace in Italian, I will go fetch Father Antonio.
Glaring at Sister Grace, Sister Mary replied, “Bring me a bagel.”
The officers escorted Sister Mary over to the cruiser and placed her into the back seat. At least it’s warm in here, she thought.
Closing the door, Jim glanced over the top of the car at his partner. “Close one there, eh?”
David leaned forward and brushed new fallen snow off the emergency lights, “Sure was. I’d hate to think we had unarmed individuals prowling around our beat.”
“That’s for sure,” nodded Jim as they climbed into the cruiser. “Let’s get downtown before rush hour hits. Shit! The coffee’s gonna be cold by now.”
Fucking socialists, they’ll never understand, thought David and put the cruiser in reverse as Jim called it in.
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