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Bump City
The Last Good Cop #2
There was a good cop in Seattle Washington in the early 1990s. His name was Juan Stabone, with a high, proud and well-rounded bald dome of a skull, a muscular man of five feet and nine inches, a judo and jujitsu expert with a penchant for doing “the right thing.”
This understandably made him antipathy incarnate where his fellow officers were concerned; a herd of pension jockeys sprinkled with a mob of cowards and a spattering of bullies and thieves. Juan had wanted to be a Tacoma cop, the roughest city in the Pacific Northwest, the place where a man of heroic mien might make his name. But his darling daughter and beautiful wife wanted to live in Seattle, and, since it was against Juan’s high ethical code to police a city he did not live in, Seattle it was, a conceitedly grungy but in actual fact soft place, by many a Northwest-bound bum, longingly called Freeattle.
When the Columbine mass shooting happened, it was Juan Stabone that developed the live-shooter protocols for entering and securing the facility. Juan prided himself on never having fired his weapon in action, making hundreds of arrests with simple verbal compliance, judo, jujitsu and good old concrete football! If he wanted to shoot folks he had joined the military. He saw himself as a keeper of the peace in the most storied American sense: and took such mythic characters to heart as Marshall Matt Dillon and just about every part played by John Wayne.
There was really only one harrowing adventure—besides keeping from getting fired by the brass for doing his job rather than kissing their ass—and that was when he was called to a convenience store front to address a panhandling situation. He arrived to find a rapidly aging black man sitting on a milk crate smoking crack on the front walk. This was no call for which a weapon should be drawn, not even a taser or a baton. This was a keeping the peace call for certain, and Juan Stabone had not yet met a man on the street—no less a bum—who could best him in the manly art.
He approached directly but not overbearingly and bent slightly, “Sir, perhaps we can discuss a more appropriate place to enjoy your smoke,” as the man maniacally sucked on a smoking Mountain Dew bottle filled with aluminum foil and caustic vapors.
The man, ashy dark, with a compressed nappy head of hair bespeaking hard times rather than a weekend of fast times, snarled at him through the smoke and said, “Says who, you blue-skinned mutherfucker?”
The man rose in a coiled crouch and the peace keeper kept his promise to himself, never to get “knocked the fuck out,” on the job, for he knew this Tacoma legend on sight and extended his hand, “Says Officer Juan Stabone, Number One fan of Johnny “Bump City” Bumpus, World Welterweight Champion.”
The man stared slack jawed and retired his pipe to the crate and straightened up and Juan noticed he was not altogether straight and had fallen far from glory. The good cop then hooked his thumbs in his belt and suggested, “Champ, I’d like your autograph, but first I’d like to find you a better set-up than this. I know a lady who runs a halfway house and cooks a fine chicken stew. What do you say? I’ve done her a few good turns and she’d be glad to have such a man as yourself under her roof.”
The worn-out fighter scratched his prematurely grey beard and nodded, kind of slinky like, “A bed and hot food would be nice.”
With that Juan arranged to get a storied pugilist off the sorry streets of Seattle and made damn sure that his personal carry weapon, an old snub-nosed .38 revolver, was autographed Bump-CTY, [scratching that I kind of cramped the hand] the letters etched into the wooden grip with an oyster shucker employed before a grill at the storybook retreat Juan had found on the Hood Canal for his ring hero and social zero.
He’d always bear that weapon with the pride of a proven peace keeper.
prev:  The Dao of Juan Stabone     ‹  fiction  ›     next:  ‘Charity’
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Add Comment
NCApril 2, 2020 12:00 AM UTC

Bravo!
Glasgow NedMarch 31, 2020 9:22 AM UTC

I had to google Johnny Bumphus. Sad to say he passed away in January of this year.
responds:March 31, 2020 7:36 PM UTC

Thanks for the sad news. I'm glad to have him in the story.

The real cop this character is based on did have an amiable encounter with Bump City.