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Drunk Tank Zero

Arnold Ziffel

“So, what are you in for, pig?”

Arnold turns slowly to look at the scruffy white kid sitting on the concrete bench beside him. Arnold is chewing on the short stub of a disposable chopstick while he takes in the tattered black hoodie, the moth-eaten black watch cap, the cargo shorts.

“Ass-fucking a police officer and crapping in his mouth.”


“What do you think, Einstein?” Arnold hops off the bench, trots over the unadorned concrete floor to another young man lying on his side with a roll of toilet paper cushioning his head, snoring lightly. “Always make ‘m show you the money first.” He shakes his head and spits on the floor. “It’s always a fuckin’ power thing with the goddamn cops.” Arnold raises his right back leg and lets loose a yellow stream soaking the kid’s already soiled Wal*Mart t-shirt. The kid doesn’t stir.

“What did you do that for?”

“Pig’s gotta take a piss. You think I can hit the crapper from down here?” He jabs his snout at the bleak, seatless metal appliance sticking out of the opposite wall like a robot mushroom. “Just be glad it wasn’t you. This time.” Arnold nods back at the now-wet kid on the floor. “What’s the deal with Sleeping Beauty?”

The kid on the bench shrugs. “Jimmy swallowed all our pills, when the cops pulled us over.”

“Lucky fuck.” Arnold rolls over on his back, schooching across the floor, attempting to get a scratch out of the smooth surface. He stops and stares at the clock on the wall, its hands moving with all the verve and alacrity of break time at an Eskimo molasses factory. With half-lidded eyes he watches the perfectly uniformed cops sauntering about outside the door, doing whatever cops do at 5am. Making photocopies, drinking coffee, grab-ass.

The kid on the bench scratches his head. “Ya ever, ya know, get a DUI?”

“First time, eh?” grunts the pig.

“Uh, yeah.”

“Run your mother’s mini-van over some mailboxes?”

“Nah, they caught us doing donuts in Jimmy’s Honda in the parking lot at the factory.”

Arnold rolls onto his side, hooves clattering on the hard floor. He lets loose a wet one. He quotes in a sing-song voice, “Git yer girl in the mood quicker…”

“Hey, how’d you know we had 40’s?”

The door clangs open and a uniformed figure beckons to Arnold. “Ok pig, you’re free to go.”

The kid pops off the bench. “Hey, what about me?”

Arnold looks over his pork shoulder.

“Don’t worry about it kid, you’re just getting started.”

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