Once upon a time, in Bristol, Rhode Island, the police busted a pizza delivery franchise because someone was using it as a front to sell marijuana. This crazy story imagines a role for Colonel Edmond S. Culhane, Jr. who was at the time the head Trooper there.
The Colonel, who in retirement insists that he is "a dinosaur" (but not a purple one) and that he be called "Mr. Ed," actually inspired me to write a whole bunch of poems. He himself is a very talented poet.
A story like the one that follows is called a satire. Satire is when you seem to be making fun of something but you are also saying something very serious.
Thus the story really doesn't mean to make fun of the Colonel and the Troopers or to make light of the problem of people selling drugs.
What I am really commenting on is the folly of government and taxpayers who fail to give them what they need to do the job right because they will certainly leave no stone unturned in their efforts to protect the public.
And perhaps there is a little message as well to Troopers underscoring the benefits of fitness and good nutrition.
A PIZZA CONNECTION
So, what is this tale that the folks are all telling?
The one that starts out with a young man who's selling
On each of his pizzas, a topping of pot --
'Til Culhane and his Troopers got wind of the plot.
The case it was broken when they got a complaint
From a guy who said: "Fellas, anchovies these ain't.
They're flowers and twigs from that cannabis weed.
And if there is something that I sure don't need,
It's narcotic reactions that might interfere
With my pleasant enjoyment of this pizza here."
If arrest, you suspected, brought an end to our tale,
You don't know our Colonel. Now, sit back, I'll regale
With a crazy tall story, a dogg'relly poem.
(They're amounting, I fear, to a fairly large tome!)
It might look haphazard or highly refined;
But there's always a pattern to the criminal mind.
What one crook will dream up, some other extends
To further nefarious criminal ends.
This well-known progression led the Boss to surmise:
"Criminality's reached way beyond pizza pies.
If I am correct, and I'm pretty darn sure,
Fast food as an industry's no longer pure.
It's adultered, infiltered, infested and rife --
And not very wholesome. No, not on your life!"
With his staff, he developed an anti-crime tactic
That showcased his flair histrionic, theatric.
He ordered the Troopers to frequent and haunt
And visit impromptu fast food restaurants.
And each time they did, he directed they sample
All wares and comestibles in quantities ample
Enough to detect any contraband drugs
And while they were at it, any roaches or bugs.
"Check french fries and pizza, ice cream and snacks.
Kids, do your duty, though you court heart attacks."
So, off went the Troopers, descending like flies
On every purveyor of burgers and fries.
At Wendy's, McDonald's, they tested the fare.
Is there anything left? Guess they haven't been there.
So, before very long, they had cleaned up this act.
And I guess we'd be happy, except for this fact:
We got an unlooked-for, untoward result
That leaves us not sure should we wail or exult:
In a year of retrenchment, attrition and freeze;
In a year when no office avoided the squeeze;
In a year when no belt was not tightened a notch
And our rhetoric fiscal began to sound Scotch
To our astonished amazement, our shock and surprise,
Culhane took the Troopers and doubled their size.
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