A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
His head jerked when he heard the elevator doors in the outer office open. Then his lip twitched as the phone on his desk rang that ring that lets him know Beth Breath is calling. Reluctantly, he picked up the receiver. “Yes?”
“Detective Guypan is here to see you, Mr. Bolt.”
Steel mopped his face with a handkerchief, took a deep breath, then said as calmly as possible, “Send him in.”
A slight, youthful-looking man of Asian descent entered Steel’s office, followed by a hulking uniformed officer who was—rather incongruously—weeping.
“Good morning, gentlemen. Won’t you please sit down,” Steel said, waving to the chairs in front of his desk.
The crying officer, perhaps blinded by tears, didn’t hit his target cleanly. He toppled the chair and ended up sprawled across the floor. This only served to upset him more, if the increased lachrymal activity was any indication. He scrambled to right the chair and seat himself properly.
When he had, Detective Guypan tried to say, “Mr. Bolt, we’ve come to talk to you about—” but he could barely be heard over the other’s sobbing and sniffling. The Detective lost his patience; “Officer Arias,” he said loudly. “Greg! You can not react like this every time you run over a cat!” When Officer Arias still could not contain himself, Guypan said, “Oh, for the love of—go wait outside!”
Without saying anything, the disconsolate constable got up and left the room, hitting himself in the face with the door only once in the process.
The two men remaining in the room looked at each other for a few seconds before bursting into laughter.
Steel said, “Oh Moogoo, what the hell was that?”
“Steel, I’m sorry to say, but that is the new breed of civil protector on the Crescendo Cove Police Department.”
The two laughed some more.
If you think they’re being overly familiar, perhaps you should know that these individuals have been friends for years. In fact, Steel’s father smuggled Moogoo Guypan’s father out of China after he’d been arrested for criticizing the government. Mr. Bolt brought Dr. Guypan to North America, then saved him from the indignity of having to open a restaurant or a laundromat (worthy enterprises both, but not suitable for a man of Dr. Guypan’s education and brilliance) by giving him a job as an engineer at Bolt Fasteners.
The two had remained friends ever since. Steel even mediated a dispute between Moogoo and his father when the former chose a career in law enforcement over academia.
That’s why the two had looks not of acrimony, but of genuine fondness when Detective Moogoo Guypan finally said, “So Steel, I imagine you know why I’m here.”