I saw a policeman on the bus today. He had a puppet with him. They sat together in one of the side-facing seats toward the back, having a quiet conversation. The puppet appeared to be made of wood. He wore a policeman’s uniform with a little policeman’s hat. When he talked, his mouth opened very far. I noticed that his lips, which were bright red, had been painted on his face.
At first I couldn’t hear what the policeman and the puppet were saying, so I moved to a seat across from them and pretended to be reading a book. It turned out that they were discussing a little boy who had gotten lost at a party. In the middle of the party, the boy’s parents realized that they hadn’t seen the boy in some time. They looked everywhere and called his name over and over, to no avail. Then all their friends joined in, but they couldn’t find the boy either, so eventually the parents were forced to call the police. The officer who came was the puppet. He said that he felt bad for the family, who were terribly upset about their missing boy. Everyone was. He said that there was a chocolate cake on the table that looked delicious but that no one was eating any because of how upset they were. The policeman shook his head and said that everyone probably wanted to eat the cake even more than usual but were stopping themselves because of the boy’s disappearance. “It would have looked like they were celebrating,” he said.
“Oh, shit, you’re right,” cried the puppet, who then smacked himself on the side of his head, knocking off his little policeman’s hat.