Just the Facts, Ma’am

The 1950s detective in the fedora ponders the hesitation of the woman on whose doorstep he and his partner stand.   After an appropriate pause, he nods stoically and proceeds.   “Perhaps this world is a hallucination, ma’am, but, that noted, we need the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

“Officer, I appear to be hallucinating,” says the woman floridly.

“No matter, ma’am, just give us the facts as you see them,” 

“Well, officer, we are all born sinners, as the Holy Bible teaches.   There is Original Sin, the one we all have as a birthright from the first woman and the first man God ever created, who disobeyed Him (in favor of a cunning snake and a seductive woman, respectively) and there are the sins people commit on their own after they are born.    It is hard to tell, officer, which category of sin applies when.   Also, when to roast the unrepentant sinner at the stake and when to hate the sin and love the sinner, that is, when to forgive, even the most terrible sins.”

“Whatever one thinks of any of this, ma’am, the Christian leaders who most righteously frown on sin can also be very forgiving when the sinner is a friend of their cause with a huge public platform.  ‘Who among us?’, you know the drill, ma’am.”    

The woman intently studies something just over the officers’ shoulders.   Neither detective turns to look at her hallucination.

“The Bible also notes, ma’am, that all is vanity, and this striving after the wind benefitteth not anyone who seeks not to lose their soul in a futile quest for that which cannot be found,” says the detective.  

After a suitable pause, the detective continues “all that said, ma’am, what we are really after are the facts.”

“OK, he lied, which makes him a liar, I know that.  I voted for him, knowing that he was a liar, but then he lied publicly more than 8,000 times, so far, as documented by the pundits and their researchers.   We also call them pundents, officer, though I have no idea why so many people have adopted Sarah Palin’s mispronunciation of the word.”

“Perhaps they are being mischeevious, ma’am,” says the deadpan detective mischievously.

“I knew he was not a very ethical man when I voted for him.   I didn’t imagine he would behave this unethically once we made him the most powerful man in the world, literally did not see it coming.   We voted for him to put an end to corruption, to drain the swamp, as he promised to do.   We live in desperate times, officer,  I just did what millions of other desperate people also did.   But you’re not here about any of that, are you?”  

“No, ma’am,” says the detective.  

“So you’re not here about my reaction to his long speech in front of the Conservative Political Action Conference?”

“No, ma’am,” says the detective.  

“I didn’t like to see him hugging the American flag again, or using the word ‘bullshit’, I don’t think that’s a good thing for the president to do, with children watching it on the internet and so on.  On the other hand, I admit, I was impressed that he didn’t hump the flag while he was hugging it.  The temptation to drive his hips into it a few times must have been strong.”  

“Yes, ma’am,” says the detective, with no discernible emotion.  

An awkward interlude follows during which the woman watches a vivid and troubling scene unfolding behind the impassive detectives.

“Well, ma’am,” says the detective finally, producing a business card he hands to the woman, along with a photograph of a dog  “if you see this pooch, please contact me at this number.”  

“We certainly will, officer, always glad to be of service,” says the woman, who then begins keening uncontrollably. 


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