Look out, Christmas police on patrol

Police log, 24 Oct. 1995. Responded to a call reporting unauthorized premature carol-singing, suspect 16-year-old white female, 5'10", brown eyes, brown hair. It was a clear-cut violation for sure. There she was, right out in public, singing "Winter Wonderland" at the top of her lungs a week before Halloween.

I approached the suspect. "I'm sorry, miss, but you're under arrest." "Excuse me? Who are you, anyway?" My red-and-green badge flashed. "Christmas police, miss. You're charged with preseason carol-singing with intent to dilute the spirit of Christmas." As I read her her rights, I felt the familiar satisfaction in my work. There's no job like being on the Christmas force.

Police log, 3 Nov. 1995. My partner Phillips and I were undercover, investigating [store name deleted] for allegedly decorating out of season. We had enough evidence for a bust, all right. Wreaths, bells, garlands, ribbons, lights, all over the place. Even a big tree, right in the middle of the store, and three weeks before Thanksgiving. All we needed was an admission of willfulness. I approached the manager. "Say, nice decorations! A little early, though, eh?"

"Well, I suppose, but then it's never too early to decorate for the holidays." That was enough for me. I pulled my badge.

"Christmas police! You're under arrest for excessive commercialism, spineless avoidance of the term 'Christmas,' and willful dilution of the Christmas spirit." Phillips slapped the cuffs on as our men rushed in. "I'll see you in court, pal. Your Christmas-wrecking days are over!"

I was dusting the tree for fingerprints when a rookie ran in. "Sir, we've got a call about four suspects, two male, two female, singing carols out of season!"

"Hold on, kid. Black music folders? One of them a cute little blonde?"

"Yes, sir!"

"They're legit. Autumn rehearsal for the purpose of performance or recording don't they teach you recruits anything?"

"Sorry, sir!"

"Just remember, rookie: our mission is to preserve and protect the unique spirit of Christmas, and that means Yuletide carols being sung by choirs, and that means they have to practice! We catch 'em in January, then we bust 'em!"

"Yes, sir!" He scurried off as I put the tree into a cellophane bag as evidence. I knew the really busy season was just around the corner.

Police log, 17 Dec. 1995. After a long investigation, we busted the principal of [school name deleted]. No backbone, either. Sang like a canary once he saw the charges: conspiracy to eliminate Christmas, carol censorship, religious intimidation, the whole works. This guy had kids singing, "All I want for the holidays is my two front teeth ." Even banned red and green decorations. Real slimeball.

Just as I suspected, though, he was only a pawn of the real Christmas-haters, the big boys who've been trying to wreck Christmas for years. The Nativity-torchers, the Bible-banners, who rule the schools with fear and intimidation. The reason I joined the force. The dreaded Ack Loo syndicate.

Our stool pigeon having kindly pointed the way, we surrounded their local HQ. Through the door I could hear them, making their twisted plans. "Ha-ha-ha! Christmas grows weaker by the year! Soon we will ban Nativities altogether!" "And crosses!" "And carols!" "And Santa!" "And candy canes!" "With its culture destroyed, America will be ours! Muuuaah-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

That did it. I flipped up the safety on my trusty Browning, gave the signal, and kicked in the door. "Freeze! Christmas police!"

The leader snarled, "Not so fast, coppers! We've got lawsuits, and we're not afraid to use 'em!" I laughed through narrowed eyes.

"You're living in the past, boys. Those lawsuits are no match for our Founding Fathers body armor! Cuff 'em!"

"Curses!" they spat as we took them away.

Police log, 25 Dec. 1995. Another season over, Phillips and I were just finishing up the day's paperwork when the Chief walked in. We sprang to our feet. "As you were, gentlemen," the Chief said. "I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done."

"Thank you, sir," said Phillips. I added, "It's an honor to serve under you, sir."

The Chief's face broke into a radiant smile. "I want you to know I care about all my officers. We're more than a police force for goodness, you know. We're a family. And if you ever need backup, I'm always monitoring the radio. So don't hesitate to call."

"Yes, sir. Thank you. And please tell your mother hello for us." He grinned, winked at us, and turned to go. "Oh, and sir?" He paused. "Happy birthday, sir."

John Keisling, a math Ph. D. candidate, never, ever says "Happy Holidays." He wishes all his readers a very merry Christmas.

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