Our local highway generally parallels, or overtops the historic Iditarod Trail. Various and sundry constabulary patrol the nearest thirty miles. Now I don’t know how you’d prove it without being earmarked a significant percentage of Obama’s stimulus to fund the finding out, but I’d bet dollars to—er, donuts—that, per capita if not mile, our breed up here choffs down more of those confections with which cops are so identified than any other of their brotherhood anywhere. No contest.
Last Sunday, as our family motored toward church, ahead at a pullout right beside the old trail, the red lights of a patrol car flashed. Rubbernecking in passing, what did we observe but that, incredibly, the officer had pulled over what we recognized to be the long familiar, plain-black, undercover bane of the disobedient and unwary who flaunt or forget the law along these local miles of the Iditarod. Now its driver had his eyes closed, frowning. My first thought was that we were witnessing a rare occurrence, the police-world equivalent of a citizen’s arrest.
Then the more likely interpretation dawned on me. I bet we’d witnessed a ruse of theirs to trick their employers—us—into thinking they were hard at work in the citation process. The real deal, though, was that the plain-clothesman had probably come by some really extraordinary sugar-coateds. Then he’d radioed his buddy to confab on the Eklutna Flats for a sharing. Looking hard at work on our dollar, they were making short work of a baker’s dozen. What I’d taken as a frown could have been nothing but the undercover agent’s facial expression of near-death ecstasy as he savored another mouthful of those to-die-for rings of heaven-sent confectionary sweetness.
Creative little cogs in Rod’s brain turn. Yea, that’s it. Customize myself a ticket-proof car. Visualize it. The flashing red light appears in my mirror. I flip the switch revving up the special turbocharged vaporizer under the hood and turn on the under-seat microwave. The officer pulls in close behind. Funneled from the vaporizer into my fan-enhanced exhaust system, then picked up by his intake and blown full-force into his cab, arrives a powerful blast of concentrated essence of donut. Shocked, and under an irresistible pull, he forgets radio, computer, and ticket book. Opening his door, he’s drawn forward. Knees quaking, hands shaking, drooling, at my door his eyes desperately search inside. Empty donut containers lay strewn around, a tell-tale sign. An additional touch, a red cop light, lies casually on the seat, its wires leading up under the dash. It could flash if it had a bulb and its wires connected to anything.
“Officer, I’m on special assignment. One-Fingered Louie, the Donut Stealer’s back, and up to his old tricks. Sinister. Dangerous. Gotta tell you, I’m carrying concealed. Packing heat.”
From concealment in the hidden microwave, I draw out a bag, donuts so hot that, if he had his senses about him, he might wonder if, like a midair refueling, I had some system of resupply straight from the bubbling vat, say a suction tube like you see at the bank drive-up window passing between a donut bakery truck and my car as we run together in adjacent lanes. I pull out the biggest, fattest, greasiest, glazed, jelly-filled he’s ever seen. Tantalizingly, I sink my teeth into it. I offer nothing, just await the inevitable. He’s a cop, isn’t he? Overcome, he reaches out.
I allow him one. He almost inhales it and begs another. Feigning caution, I look both ways as if making sure we’re not watched. Index finger to lips I go, “Shhhhh” (as in don’t blow my undercover cover.) Then I hand the poor man the whole bag, start my engine, assure myself that he’s too ensconced in Paradise to care, and drive away down the Iditarod Trail.