A Very Short Story


On a bright but cool October morning Irving Phlabatt was walking down a leaf-lined street near his house. He spotted a police cruise stop about fifty feet ahead of him. As he walked closer to the car, a chubby policeman stepped out the front passenger side door. Irving wondered what was going on.
“May we see some ID please?” The policeman said as Irving came to within ten feet of him.
“Why, sure.” Irving reached into the left rear pocket of his bluejeans and pulled out his billfold. Opening it, he took out his driver’s license. He handed it to the policeman, who examined it.
Irving asked, “A-am I doing anything wrong, officer?”
“What are you doing?”
“Just getting some exercise.”
“Getting some exercise, eh?” The policeman hand Irving’s license back to him. “We have to write you a ticket.”
“A ticket?” Irving’s mouth gaped open. “What for?”
“Exercising? Since when has that been illegal?”
“For a few weeks.”
“Why didn’t I hear anything about it?”
“It was a secret declaration.”
“Fearless Leader probably don’t want nobody outliving him.” The policeman wrote out a citation and handed it to Irving. “Now get in the car, and we’ll drive you home.”
Irving obeyed the policeman as he wondered what sort of weird parallel universe he’d been transported to. The he realized who Fearless Leader was. And then the ruling made complete sense.
Once inside the cruiser Irving instructed the policeman where to go. When the cruiser arrived at his house. Irving stepped out of the car. The policeman who had written Irving the ticket said, “We’re sorry about the ticket. We don’t make the law–”
“You just enforce it.”
The policeman nodded.


Music–“Out of Time”–Chris Farlowe



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