A cyclone party took shape at his place after a cyclone was forecast. He’d rather party with his fellow crewmates from the Dazzlin’ C blasting Eighties music.
Still, there’d be slim chance he'd be pulled over. Besides, as a rule, drivers aren’t arrested unless they attract attention. Cooktown’s police rarely arrest drunk drivers because everyone drives drunk, including the Cooktown police. It wouldn’t be feasible to book one another.
Artie curses then, storms off in his ute. Strengthening winds scatter palm fronds and debris across the road as he nears the pub. There’s a police car parked out front, so Artie pulls up further.
He squints through the windscreen. Angela stands under the glow of streetlights, next to the cop car. It’s his next-door neighbour, Constable Crews. Crews was nicknamed ‘Comfortable Cruise’ by some of the sassier local girls. Angela gives the constable dreamy looks, a satisfied
smile, and a goodbye kiss under the lights of his patrol car.
She’s in her early twenties, pretty, and she’s trying to fill a void with love that Artie couldn’t fulfil. Artie is young, as well. He has a slight stoop, and he suffers in personal relationships. His lips curl as she turns and heads towards him. Her skirt billows and she clutches her handbag to her chest before entering Artie’s ute.
“What’s goin’ on with him?” Artie snaps.
Crews’ headlights switch on. He drives past slowly then, stops, backs up, and gets out of his vehicle. He approaches Artie with jutted chin, chest thrust out, and one hand tapping his
baton. His demeanour revealed a hint of menace.
“Got ya license there, mate?”
“Yeah.” Artie replies, lacking eye contact.
Crews demands Artie take a breath test. Artie exhales. He’s over. He hands Angela the car keys.
After a few hours filling forms at the station, Artie trudges home muttering obscenities about crooked cops.
Along the way, an idea springs to mind. If he were to cut a small back cut at the base of Crews’ palm tree, followed by an undercut, wind gusts combined with the weight of the palm would make it fall. He uses a bush saw and cuts just enough to leave it standing until wind gusts fell it. There’d be no evidence, and the cuts were made to ensure it would land squarely on Crews’ carport.
Artie returns from his endeavour to the cheers of his mates after Angela informed them he had been locked up. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody blasts. More cheers. Then, Artie chimes in
with his own rendition:
“Is this a cyclone, or is this an allergy?
Caught in a landslide, felling of a palm tree.
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and sneeeeze.”