The Donut-Bagel Rift

Officer Tom Pillard and Officer John Johnson were two very different men. Pillard was calm, quiet, calculating, kind-hearted, and careful. Johnson was explosive, loud, brash, dim-witted, and non-alliterative. This may be enough to lead some to believe that they kept company with each other because they complemented each others' differing personality traits so well, but they in fact didn't really even get along, let alone actually liking each other. The only real reason for their 'friendship' was 'The Donut-Bagel Rift'.

After watching a special on liposuction that scared the hair off his back, and doing some soul-searching and belly-investigating, the Chief had one day decided that the police force was going on a diet. However, he was unwilling to give up most of the food he so loved, and so he declared that it would be against regulations for an officer to eat doughnuts (which he had never been much of a fan of, anyway).

This made a lot of people very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move.

The proposed alternative to doughnuts was bagels, by the logic that both were of similar shape and made of dough, and those who already enjoyed bagels were quick to note that, among other things, bagels 'don't make our hands all sticky when we wear them like rings and eat them off our fingers', which was considered to be a very important benefit. But not all the officers were happy to trade a sweet taste for cleaner fingers.

Among the offended, besides the doughnut-loving populace of the police force, were the owners and employees of the local coffee shops, who feared bankruptcy, and the doughnuts themselves, who threatened to take the Chief to court on the basis of the new rule being a hate crime against doughnuts. A good deal of yelling finally shut up even the most vocal and doughy of the opposition, but the damage was already done, and the resulting discord between the doughnutters and the bagelunatics split the officers of the Townburgville Police Department into two bitterly disagreeing factions.

Not long after this incident there was an argument between the beefy Constable Lawrence and the brainy Constable Georges over whether the incident should be called "The Doughnut-Bagel Rift" or "The Donut-Bagel Rift", which ended with Constable Georges being put into a headlock until he agreed that 'Donut' was the more acceptable spelling, proving once and for all that being smart is absolutely useless at the Townburgville PD.

So it was that Pillard and Johnson were bereft - friend-wise - their chums having sided with the doughnut lovers, and so they and the other bagel-supporters began to awkwardly develop new bonds, like shy children on the first day of school.

This is where Detective Sergeant Gary Turn came in.

An avid bagel advocate, and the officer with the lowest amount of effort expended per successful case, Turn was generally considered a 'cool guy', and was highly respected by all of the officers of the TPD. So it came as no small surprise to Johnson and Pillard that he sought them out in particular when his detective buddies went the way of the doughnut.

"Tom Pillard, isn't it?" Turn had said, offering his hand to the quiet man. "I hear you're smart."

"I hear you're lazy," Pillard whispered, ignoring the hand with a look of 'I'm sure you've got a disease and I don't much want to catch it'.

Turn laughed, loudly. "Was that a sentence or a squeak?" he said, directing the question toward anyone in the vicinity other than Pillard.

"He said he hears you're lazy," Johnson had said, turning from whatever work it was he had been screwing up.

"Is that right? Quite the pair of cajones on him, then, and quite the pair of ears on you. What's your name?"

"John Johnson," said Johnson. "But I've only got two ears."

"...your parents were geniuses just like you, weren't they?"

"Yes sir!" Johnson had said, beaming at the memory of his dear mum and pa. Pillard exhaled quickly, his equivalent of a laugh, and Turn caught it this time, shooting the quiet man a wink.

Thus a friendship born of mutual cajoling, disrespect, and preference for bagels had been born, and as Johnson and Pillard found a seat beside a lounging Turn at the local delicatessen, there was nothing they wanted more than a baked and boiled ring of dough.

"What's the matter?" Turn asked, upon looking up from the newspaper he was reading to see the glum faces of his friends. "Let another mute escape from the station?"

Turn was kidding, but Pillard and Johnson weren't laughing.

"It was the same one," breathed Pillard.

Turn looked at Johnson. "He says it was the same one," Johnson reiterated, staring hungrily at the bagel in front of Turn.

"That's what I thought he said. What happened to you being smart, Pillard?"

"...he was wearing a fake beard," Pillard grumbled.

"How do you know it was fake?" Johnson challenged. "It sure looked real!"

"Because he didn't have it yesterday."

"Maybe he grows it fast," Johnson suggested.

"Maybe it was fake," Pillard countered.

"Maybe you two should shut up so I can read my paper in peace," offered Turn, whose newspaper was upside-down. The other two had not questioned this fact for their own reasons.

Johnson thought Turn was simply being detectively, trying to decode secret messages in the newspaper or something.

Pillard thought he must not have been reading the paper at all, and was probably doing surveillance.

Turn thought that the waitress he was watching over the top of the paper had an amazing backside.

"We should eat now," Johnson suggested, still staring hungrily at Turn's food.

For once, they all agreed on something.

The End

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