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UmmFriend and I were sitting on his front porch smoking cigarettes and laughing when the local 5-0 rolled up. I was wearing nothing but my t-shirt and underwear. He was just wearing boxers. And we were smoking and talking and just generally being of no nuisance to anyone. As they made their way up to the porch, we put on our serious faces.

“Lovely afternoon, officer.”

“How can we help you today?”

“Were you yelling and screaming inside the house earlier?”

“I don’t know that we were.” (The key to dealing with law enforcement in my small town is to deny or pretend to not understand what they’re talking about until they’re very specific about what they are looking for.)

“We got a complaint from one of your neighbours. Says there was an awful lot of screaming and yelling coming from the house that frightened her children. Took the call about 30 minutes ago.”

We looked at each other.

“I don’t think I would categorize what happened here today as ‘yelling and screaming’. That makes it sound like we were having a fight and I assure you, officer, we were not fighting.”

UmmFriend took my hand and kissed the back of it.

“I assure you, officer, there was no fighting or arguing going on here at all.”

The police officer looked at the ground and then back up at us from the bottom of the porch stairs.

“You kids better keep it down. I’m not going to ticket you because it’s quiet here now, but if we get another complaint today we’re going to give you the $125 fine.”

And then the nice policeman left.

“Totally worth 125 bucks if it happens,” UmmFriend said.

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