Loony Sam the elusive burglar was on the run. He had just pistol whipped the night clerk at the local Seven Eleven and loaded his jacket with loose change and tight wads of cash worth almost five thousand dollars. Raghu the clerk was terrified and feigned to faint at the first blow of the pistol butt on his bald scalp. There was a strawberry lump on his shiny pate oiled and massaged with Dabur Amla Hair Oil a little before his shift. Amla not only shines the scalp like a billiard ball but also keeps the mind calm in spite of lumps and bumps. So when Sam was busy loading his blue denim with the green loot, Raghu rolled sideways and opened one eye to press the red alarm button under the nacho counter. The bell rang, heads turned while the CCTV cameras started rolling overtime. Sam was a smart burglar, he had his George Bush Halloween mask on. Confused patrons started asking him for an autograph instead of apprehending him, thinking it was some sort of a promotion stunt. Raghu meanwhile yelled, “He not the Real McCoy, but he a real looter, and a bad shooter.” The patrons laughed loudly as Raghu massaged his scalp and Loony Sam fled while bowing at the amused patrons and waving to the security cameras.
Sam ran past Julian and McGinty while jumping over the fence at Capital Oaks, crossing Laughing Buddha Thai Cuisine finding a dark alley past the pool to enter the lot at Motel Flamingo. Chaggan Lal Patel owned Flamingo and his new manager was Purushottam Thapa, a promising young recruit from Nepal. Chaggan had stopped hiring ungrateful kins' that regularly quit their positions once their visa status was adjusted or they managed to arrange a contract marriage with local bar girls to become fast track US Citizens in a slow track economy. Purushottam was a devout Hindu and practiced chakras and pranayamas while checking in guests and practicing the headstand. Sally the masseuse at The Niagara Viagra Spa saw Sam jump the fence into Flamingo Motel and called the police promptly, performing a rare civic duty. “Ah ha, it’s me Hun! No, not that, I am calling to report the Loony Fugitive you guys are looking fo. He jumped straight cross the fence into the Indian Motel.” The policemen rushed out of donut shops into their squad cars, while Sally rearranged her cleavage to restore symmetry. Sirens blared, lights flashed while terrified pet owners jumped out of the way and emasculated pit bulls barked at the masculine pursuers.
Sam saw the motel manager’s open door with the lights turned off. It would be a perfect place to lay low till the heat cooled off. He flew across the lot and was about to enter the manager’s coop when his wits flew. He heard a guttural laugh so loud and so deliberate that he never recalled having heard one before. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA! HO, HO, HO, HO, HO, HO! Sam was a smart burglar and checked his data bank to verify Christmas was still weeks away. No, it could not be Santa. Then he saw two curved steel knifes flying in circular motions in the semi darkness. Bad idea, Sam thought and changed course, fleeing away from Motel Flamingo. Meanwhile, Purushottam had just finished his Laughter Yoga and practicing katas with the kukri knife.
It was a long day and he was tired after a day well spent. He bowed to a picture of Hanuman Ji, pulling the blinds and closing the door. He then shoved two cotton balls into his ears to keep out the street noise and jumped into his sleeping bag zipping it over his head. This made sure he had a good night’s rest even if there was a party next door at Bubba Neon’s and the amplifiers were delivering decibels far beyond pious tolerance. Chaggan knew this practice well and did not attempt to wake Purushottam once he went to sleep, calling him a modern day Kumbhakarna.
Lieutenant Rogers was in the Flamingo lot now taking charge of the operation as Incident Commander. Unit 5, to the rear. Delta cover the rooftop. Squad six crawl to the basement. Keep your phones on vibrate and text only! Only Rogers was to blare command over the bullhorn while the other bullfrogs were to remain invisible and quiet texting all their concerns to Incident Command. Sally leaned out of her window drooping her cleavage trying to attract future business. SWAT Commander Carothers arrived on scene with his fleet of four armored vans and ten snipers. Sam was a local menace and not to escape.
Rogers blared his warning over the bullhorn. “Come out Sam! We know, you are in there” Hostage negotiators were on scene, as media helicopters hovered overhead. Sally adjusted herself again for an ever growing swarm of potential clients. However, as the bellowing and hollering progressed outside, there seemed to be no response from the manager’s quarters. The area was cordoned off and sniffer dogs were put to task. The canines started barking at Sally and her strong perfume. Sally reassured the canines. “Chill Hun, its Opium, you know what it is, I can put some on your collars too!” The alarmed Sergeant yanked the dogs away and redirected the search.
Sirens, horns, lights, barks, warnings and bullhorn but no sign of Sam. It was not possible to storm the building either. There was too much media. TV Channels 4, 2 and 11. Newspaper correspondents from The Chronicle and The Merc. Other vans were on the freeway. News directors were well known for their maxim of “It leads if it bleeds.” There was a possibility of bleeding in more ways than one. Rogers kept hollering and FBI was on their way. A terror connection was discovered. Sam once had lunch with a conspirator as reviewed in a hotel lobby camera. The sun was about to rise, when the manager’s door suddenly opened. “Everybody step back and lie down.” The whole swarm of eager squads hit the ground in one swift move. Some took cover while others dived under canopies. Out steppedPurushottam, all of his stocky 4’ 11” frame. Rogers blared his bullhorn at Purushottam, “Hands up, in the air and stand still.” Puru was shocked. He knew Chaggan Lal rented out his motel to sleazy patrons, but they were mostly married men and their mistresses, but this! What could have Chaggan done to incur the wrath of the whole squad?
Rogers frisked and questioned Purushottam. Puru explained with his limited English vocabulary how Sam fled the night before while he was practicing his laughter yoga. The correspondents from the media were waiting. This would be a major embarrassment. Rogers had to think fast. “Mr. Purushottam, what was your profession in India?” Puru
thought for a moment, thinking hard how to explain his job of selling magazines for a commission and replied “I was the Commissioner of Subscriptions.” Roger’s had found his missing link. He told Purushottam to go back indoors and close the door again.
He then looked at the assembled media and announced, “Mr. Thapa, a Commissioner in his home country, chased Sam away after a brief scuffle.” The media found their story and a hometown hero. The headline in The Chronicle that evening read, “Commissioner Purushottam Terrifies Loony Sam.” Chaggan Lal, saw the print and called Purushottam. The phone kept ringing as Purushottam went to bed early that evening. He had cotton ball in his ears. Sally kept wondering at her window, while Loony Sam got even loonier behind his mask.