Trying to explain to the cops that I wasn’t drunk wasn’t easy, given I was wearing a plastic garbage bag, one heel, and a feather boa. I was, admittedly, holding a tumbler of vodka and apple juice, but it wasn’t mine, officer – honest.
The kindly officers were about to drive me home when my then-boyfriend crashed out of the bushes, eyes crossed and wearing a dumb smirk that told me he’d got rid of the incriminating evidence. Probably not very cleverly, as he was still covered in muck.
“‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo. What ‘ave we ‘ere then?” said my possibly-as-of-that-moment ex-boyfriend. “How dee do, officers? Seem to be a problem?”
“Evening sir,” said the older officer. “Out for a walk are we?”
“Indeed,” said the ex. “Taking the air, as it were.”
“Wearing a plastic bag?”
“Yes. I find it does wonders for the skin.”
“And presumably so does working with modelling clay?”
There was a silence, in which I wondered if it was too late to make a run for it.
“Heh, heh,” I said.
The ex elbowed me in the ribs. “Don’t know what you’re referring to, sir,” he said.
“Then you don’t know anything about the Civic Centre statue?”
“That monstrosity? Someone should really do something about that. Corrupt officials should never be immortalised.”
“So happens we’re in agreement,” said the officer with a slight smirk. “Have a nice night then.”
The two of them got back in the patrol car and drove away, leaving us to stare at their retreat, hugely relieved.
The next morning, the local paper blared at us, “Duo caught in photo vandalising revered town hero.”
The toast in my mouth became a leaden lump. I swallowed it down and handed over the paper.
After reading, he smiled. “Yeah, but look,” he said.
The ex pointed to the picture of the statue. Our measly attempt at creating a new truthfully-worded plaque had vanished. The modelling clay had been taken and shaped into a rather rude appendage on the statue’s head. Beneath were two men, sneaking away from their handiwork.
“But who – ?” I said.
I squinted at the picture. My mouth fell open.
There, in the corner, a black shoe, the bulge of a walkie-talkie.
The back of their heads were visible too, and I knew I’d seen those two heads before. Walking toward a police car just last night.
Goes to show that even police can be artistically inclined.