My partner, Bill Gannon, and I were at the Buenos Aires airport when we got the call from our Captain back at LAPD.

“Sergeant, I need to ask you two to go to New York City before you head back to Rome.”

“How’s that, Sir?”

“I just got a call from the Commish at NYPD. He’s had a tricky personnel brush fire flaring up since St. Patrick’s Day. He’d appreciate an hour with you.”

“Sure thing, Captain. What’s the beef?”

“From what I could make of it, NYPD has a lot of Irish cops. Most of ’em still show up for Mass most Sundays. They’re sore about how the Archbishop there has gummed up the works and let poofsters overrun what they consider THEIR own parade.”

“Got it. The boys are right, y’know.”

“I know they are, Sergeant. But the whole world has gone PC and it’s had an effect on department morale. Do what you can, okay?”

“Sure thing, Sir.”

Gannon and I got rerouted and were at the embarcation lobby when a CNN news flash came on.

“This is Purvis Wildside reporting live from CNN/Manhattan. Moments ago paddy wagons started hauling scores of drunk ACT UP! demonstrators off the street in front of a theatre in the 52nd Street area. We do not know at this moment why this is going on but when I asked one officer for an explanation he just laughed at me, saying something homophobic and very rude. The nerve! I noticed that the demonstrators were wearing “Dolan for Mayor” campaign buttons and one of them, it turns out is a Jesuit in town to give a speech. His name’s Martin and he told me just before this big brute in blue, with red hair, grabbed him to take him in for booking, that every place he was scheduled to speak this week was just closed to the public this morning for Health Dept. citations or fire code violations. I’ll send it back to you in Atlanta, now, and check in as events warrant…”

“Joe, I think we can reticket again and go direct to Rome. The Commish obviously got some excellent advice already. He doesn’t need our help, now.”

“Sure looks that way, Bill. I’ll call the Captain and let him know. He’ll be very happy to hear this.”

“So am I. I could wait but the airliner to Rome serves some terrific Italian vintages. And the appetizers? Molto bene!”

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