Grammar Police: A Short Story

Hope you like it! (BTW Cassie is a renowned comma splice finder. She’s known for it. Just a bit of background.)


 

Foreword to Grammar Police:

“Today, May 4, 2020 AD, I hereby announce the Grammatical Act of 2020 has passed and will take effect immediately. Cassie R Sharp is chief of the newly instated grammar police.”

Three months later, Cassie Sharp, chief of the grammar police, propped her feet up on a chair, reading up on basic grammar principles.

“Chief! Misuse of ‘decent,’ it was a baseball game commentator,” An officer cried, butting into her office.

“Not my division,” Cassie explained, “By the way, you used a comma splice.”

“Sorry ma’am,” the officer quavered, stung by Cassie’s censure.

“You know the drill.” The officer sighed, and contemptuously recited the Grammatical Code, the code the grammar police are expected to memorize.

Life as the chief of the grammar police was far from boring. Cassie never knew what kind of infraction would be lurking around the corner on any given day.  Each day was filled with fragmented crimes that seemed to run on and on. Her job was never done. She constantly had to write up some type of diagram, not of a crime scene, but of a sentence.  Her job was as unremitting as a simile, and metaphorically mysterious.

***

Cassie stalked up to a little cottage, fingers clutching her badge. She pounded on the door furiously. “Open up for the grammar police!” A woman, eyes filled with fear, shakily opened the door. “Ma’am, I have a warrant to canvass your son’s electronics.” After several hours of thorough examination, Mr. Barnes was found guilty of misusing  ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and charged with twenty five counts of using incorrect capitalization.  He was sentenced to a week of remedial third grade grammar courses at the local elementary school and was forced to publicly apologize for misleading his many Instagram followers into poor grammatical choices.

***

Sirens roared. Cassie, sashaying up to an apartment, had one hand on her gun and one hand on her grammar book. “Mr. Evans? You’re under arrest for atrocious grammar, publishing a book with more than thirty grammatical mistakes, and refusing to pay your ‘their/there/they’re’ misuse fines. You will be prosecuted.”

“Aw, c’mon! There harmless grammar mistakes, I don’t see what’s wrong.” Mr. Evans fiddled with his dowdy tie patterned with gorillas.

“Aha! Caught you in the act. A comma splice and I believe you misused they’re,” Cassie barked, unfazed.

Mr. Evans groaned, perturbed, as Cassie slapped handcuffs around his wrists.

***

Cassie pulled up to the NicDonald’s drive-thru speaker.  As she stared at the dusty, faded menu board, she heard the crackle of the speaker and a voice she had come to recognize mumbled for her order.  

“Hello, I would like a large fry and the nastiest tea you have.”

“Anything else?”

She paused, remembering the code phrase she had unveiled in her many weeks of surveillance of the undercover operation.  “Uh, yes, I would also like a Big Nic burger. Hold the burger. Don’t forget the extra chocolate sauce.”

His voice slid into a devious tone.  “I see. Don’t worry, ma’am.  It’s coming right up.”

Cassie smirked, thanked the cashier, and drove to the next window. The man who had taken her order winked and handed her the large yellow bag and a styrofoam cup. Fries, tea, and… what Cassie had been expecting:  three neatly folded pages of a high school research paper on the history of well-brewed tea rested in the bottom of the crumpled bag.

“May I have a few packs of ketchup, too?” As he reached through the window, several packets of ketchup in his hand, he caught a glimpse of the shimmering badge peeking from beneath Cassie’s pullover. His hand clenched in fear, knowing he had been caught, and ketchup exploded everywhere.

Looking at the mess, Cassie cried, “You’ve been caught red-handed!” She smashed the handcuffs onto his arm as her coworker grabbed him from behind.  “Mr. Tee, you are under arrest for providing incorrect grammatical equations in the form of fraudulent essays to unknowing highschool students.”

“Actually, it’s Dr. Tee!” he expostulated.  “I have a PhD in the art of irrelevant storytelling from a prestigious university!  You can’t arrest me!”

Unfazed, Cassie picked up the red pen.  Another case solved.

***

Cassie smelled strongly of perfume, soap, and shampoo. In less than twenty minutes, she was to be interviewed on live television for her success in this newly introduced field of the police force. She fiddled with her dress, waiting to go on.

“Showtime,” the assistant whispered, opening the stage door. Cassie strutted forward. She started the interview.  In her interview, she stressed the importance of correct grammar, beautiful sentence structures, and the ever prevalent problem of grammar leniency while texting.

The interview was coming to a close when the last question of the night was asked.  “How do you feel about comma splices?”

Cassie paused and confidently answered her final question.  “Well, they are very common, most people don’t even realize they are using one.”

The interviewer’s mouth fell open, aghast.  OOPS. Silently, Cassie pulled out her red pen and drew a big X on her forehead and put the handcuffs on her delicate wrists.

THE END.  

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