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July 09, 2003
In My World: The Hunt for the Rumsfeld Strangler
"It's been months and still no lead on the Rumsfeld Strangler," the police chief chided his officers, "So I've decided to bring in some outside help. Straight from San Francisco homicide division, meet Harry Callahan."
"Just to get things straight," Harry announced, "I do thing my way and no one messes with me."
"I just want to say that..." the police chief started to say, but Harry grabbed him by his collar and pointed his .44 magnum at the chief's head.
"Are you talking back to me?" Harry demanded angrily.
"This isn't going to go well on your review," the chief answered.
"I don't care about my review," Harry answered, putting away his gun, "I only care about catching my man. So what evidence do we have on this so called 'Rumsfeld Strangler'?"
"We accidentally burnt it all," answered one of the detectives.
"We were cold and wanted a fire."
Harry looked to the chief. "Are all your people this incompetent?"
"Pretty much. O'Brien is going to be your partner, by the way."
"And it's a great honor to be working with you," O'Brien said, "I hope that we can..."
Suddenly a sniper bullet came through the window and killed O'Brien. Everyone was shocked except for Harry. "Don't mind this," he says, "Always happens to my partners. I'm better off working alone."
"So what's the plan?" the chief asked.
"I cruise the streets looking for evidence, end up in some blood bath, you take away my badge, and then I finally get the perp in a violent conclusion."
The chief thought about this. "Could I just take away your badge now to speed things up?"
"Don't mess with me!" Harry warned and then stormed out of the police station.
* * * *
The Rumsfeld Strangler's most recent victim had been a mugger in the inner city. It was a dangerous neighborhood, but it was strangely quiet now that hoodlums had been turning up dead. Harry Callahan inspected the chalk outline, and he then looked at a nearby dumpster that looked like its sides has been torn apart by something's teeth.
"What are you doing here, pig?" demanded a voice from behind Harry. He turned to see five thugs standing behind him.
"I'm looking for the Rumsfeld Strangler," Harry answered, "What do you know about him?"
"I know that we're going to handle him and his dog," the leader answered, "Not some stupid cop."
"Yeah, he is known as 'El Perro Loco Diablo', but we’ll kill the beast just the same as we'll kill you if you don't get out of here, pig." The thug pulled away his jacket revealing a handgun as the rest began to ready their weapons.
Harry just smiled. He then drew his .44 magnum, quickly shooting the five before they could retaliate. The leader lay on the ground with a wound in his shoulder, eyeing his handgun that lay nearby.
Harry pointed his gun at the thug's head. "I know what you're thinking, punk, did I fire six shots or only five? To tell you the truth, in the heat of the moment, I lost track myself. But, being this a Desert Eagle, which holds 8-rounds in a clip with possibly a ninth chambered, the question is quite moot. So, you got to ask yourself, do you know what 'moot' means? Well do ya, punk?"
The thug looked between the barrel of Harry's gun and his own gun, and finally raised his hands. Harry then used his foot to kick the other gun out of the way.
"I gots to know," pleaded the thug.
Harry smiled. "The main definition of moot is 'debatable', but I was using it in the meaning of 'of no practical importance; irrelevant'." He then turned to leave. "I got all I need here. Now get off the street before I fine you for littering for getting your blood and your friend all over the street."
* * * *
"We here at animal control would sure love to help you, Detective Callahan."
"You better!" Harry shouted, grabbing the man by his collar and pointing his gun at the man's head, "Because I have a short fuse."
"Apparently," the man said meekly, "Anyway, we've heard about the dog you're looking for. Loves to chase cars, and tends to rip them to shreds if he catches them. Especially hates any that are fuel efficient. I can tell you where he tends to chase cars the most."
"Then maybe I'll let you live," Harry said, putting away his gun.
"So is this how they do things in San Francisco?" the man asked nervously.
"You don't want to know how they do things in San Francisco."
"Well I'd just use them for target practice," Harry responded, "Just like I'm going to do with you if you don't give me the info I need."
"Geez," the man sighed, handing Harry a map, "There is this little word we call 'please'."
* * * *
Another bad neighborhood filled with even worse people. As soon as Harry Callahan entered the area, he was greeted with a number of smiles that didn't look at all friendly. He picked out a large group of tough looking punks to question. "I'm looking for a savage dog and the man who owns him."
"We ain't talking to you copper!" shouted on of the thugs.
Harry pulled out his gun and shot the man. "Anyone else not want to talk to me?"
"You can't just shoot people!" protested another.
Harry shot him. "Anyone else want to tell me what I can and can't do?"
"Hey, man, I don't want any trouble," said one thug, raising his hands.
Harry grabbed him and pushed the barrel of his gun against his head. "Well maybe I do. Now you're going to tell me what I want to know, or I'm going to pull the trigger. I used to think a .44 magnum could take a man's head clean off with a single shot, but it actually penetrates right through it and then through the building behind it and then maybe hitting a little girl playing hopscotch outside. So, do you want little girl being shot on your conscience, or, more precisely, do you want me shooting your conscience all over that little girl?"
"Just, calm down!" the thug shouted, "We saw that dog and the crazy man just yesterday. He tried to strangle Chico!"
"Yeah," Chico responded, "I thought I was done for, but then he saw this French Diplomat drive by, and, apparently, there is nothing he hates more than French diplomats. I think the guy's name is Pierre Rudepierson, and he's going to appear tomorrow on Meet the Press after the interview with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to talk about the what he feels is wrong about American foreign policy."
Everyone stared at Chico.
"So what? I like watching the Sunday Morning talk shows. Can't a murderous thug keep up on current events?"
They kept staring at him.
"Ah, people and their stereotypes."
Harry let go of the man he's holding. "I might be back later for more questions... or just to kill you all."
"Okay, but you should really think about taking some anger management classes."
"I shot the last man who suggested I need anger management!" Harry said angrily. He then thought for a moment, and then shot the thug. "Now I've shot the last man who suggested I need anger management."
* * * *
"You're out of control, Callahan!" the chief shouted.
"I'm just getting my job done," Harry shot back.
"The rest of our Homicide Division is tied up investigating the homicides you've committed during your homicide investigation. Pretty soon, you'll have killed more people than the Rumsfeld Strangler."
"And I've almost cracked the case," Harry answered, "So why don't you shut up before I shut you up."
"I think it's time I take your badge."
Harry flung his badge at the chief's face. "It never suited me anyway."
"And your gun."
Harry grabbed the chief and pressed his gun to the chief's head. "The only way you are getting my gun is bullets first."
"Then eject the clip and remove the round in the chamber," the chief.
"No, I mean I'm going to shoot you."
"Oh, I get it," the chief chuckled, rolling his eyes, "Duh, that was a threat. Keep your gun then."
* * * *
Chomps carefully inspected the pictures on the wall. When he found one that particularly enraged him, he ripped it down and tore it apart with his teeth.
"Nice dog you have there," Harry commented.
"What's so nice about him?" Rumsfeld answered.
"Didn't think you were booked on Meet the Press today, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld," Harry said, "So what are you doing here."
"I'm waiting here to strangle Pierre Rudepierson... and maybe Tim Russert if my arthritis doesn't act up."
"Kind of coy about this, aren't we?" Harry asked.
"Can we talk about this later? I have someone to strangle."
"We talk about this now," Harry demanded.
Rumsfeld saw Pierre coming by. "Fine, we'll talk as I strangle." He grabbed Pierre by the neck and started choking him.
"I know you're the Rumsfeld Strangler," Harry said.
"So? I leave notes saying as much. Don't want other people taking credit for my strangling."
"Well, it has to end."
Rumsfeld dropped Pierre dead to the ground. "You're that cop they brought in from San Francisco," Rumsfeld declared, "You're the one shooting all those street punks. Those are my street punks to kill. Why don't you go back to San Francisco and march in a gay pride parade or something."
"First, I have to take you in."
"For what? Strangling some thugs and some French people? Is that the kind of future you want for the next generation? One where French people walk around unstrangled. Don't you have real criminals to take care of? Or at least some pot smoking hippies to hassle?"
"It ain't my choice. I'm just enforcing the law," Harry answered, his hand near his gun.
All the while, Chomps ignored the scene, jumping up on to a table so he could bite a light fixture that was really, really pissing him off. "Well, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do," Rumsfeld said, parting his coat to reveal his handguns. "It's your call."
* * * *
"I've got the Rumsfeld Strangler," Harry announced to the police chief as he stood next to the body bag that was about to be carted off to the morgue.
The chief unzipped the bag. "It's Pierre Rudepierson."
"Yes, he's been behind the stranglings all along," Harry explained, "And, when I confronted him, he strangled himself."
"Just like you'd expect a Frenchman to do," the chief said, "Still, one thing doesn't seem quite right..."
Harry grabbed the chief and put his gun to the chief’s head. "Are you questioning me, punk?"
"I haven't looked it up yet, but I'm pretty sure there's a rule against pointing a gun at your boss."
"I only know my own rules," Harry said, putting back his gun.
"Anyway, your expense report is too much for us," the chief said, "Either you have to shoot less people or get a cheaper brand of bullet. I think it's time for you to head back to San Francisco."
"Fine with me," Harry answered.
"Just one more question, Callahan."
"Do you anything about that dog outside who’s ripping apart my Hyundai with his teeth?"
"Yeah," Harry answered, checking the bandages on his left hand, "If you're giving him a dog biscuit, throw it; don't hand it to him."
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