The moment officer Marco Bosconi spilled his coffee he knew it’d be that kind of day. Not only did he mess up his last clean shirt, it was the last Donut Shop k-cup left for the office Keurig.
Officer Bosconi was one of three officers assigned to the community liaison office at the Westridge Mall. It was the kind of patrol given to officers who’d offended the wrong people. It was painfully dull and sure to prevent promotion.
The arrival of Winston Eberhardt III only confirmed his suspicions. He was dressed in a tweed three piece suit and wore a non-rebreather mask. A thin tube wound it’s way from his mask into a briefcase he was carrying.
“Excuse me,” said Winston.
“Are you having medical difficulty?” said Marco in an effort to be helpful.
“Yes. I’m a narcoleptic who’s got sleep apnea,” said Winston. “I must be constantly vigilant.”
Winston rolled his eyes. “No,” he said. “I’m here to report an assault.”
“Oh, please sit down,” said Marco. “Please, tell me the details. Where and when did this happen?”
“Ten minutes ago, in the food court. The man at the next table smelt putrid. I suspect he hadn’t bathed in nearly a month,” said Winston.
“I’m sorry, did you say he smelled?”
“Yes. And I want him to receive a condign punishment. I suggest he be locked in a cell with an agitated incontinent skunk.”
“I’m sorry, but how could you smell this man if you had your mask?” said Marco.
“That’s precisely my point. I’m an olfactory specialist. I’m keenly sensitive to noxious pollutants. I can ill afford to have my olfactory system damaged by harmful airborne particulates. The incident was so upsetting I hyperventilated my entire supply of oxygen. Now I’m at the mercy of common atmospheric conditions. By the way, you may want to switch to a deodorant more appropriate to your endocrine system. Why aren’t you writing any of this down?” said Winston. He took the pen and paper from Marco. “Here, let me. I’ll do it myself.”
Marco stood and grabbed Winston’s briefcase. “The least I could do is help you with your oxygen,” he said. He carried it through the mall to the office of Dr. de Haan, DDS. It only took a couple of minutes to refill the briefcase. When Marco returned Winston was still writing his complaint.
“I had this refilled at the dentist,” said Marco. Winston placed the mask over his face and turned the valve on high. He gave several deep breaths.
“Whoa,” said Winston. “I feel funny. What was I here for?”
“You were thanking me for fixing your problem. You were just leaving,” said Marco.
“Alright then. Thanks again,” said Winston.
Winston zigzagged his way down the mall. An amused cashier joined Marco to watch the spectacle as Winston walked smack into a pillar.
“I guess his heightened olfactory couldn’t tell the difference between oxygen and laughing gas,” said Marco.