CSI: Tower City

Miscreant musicians
While the following story is based on real events, any resemblance of characters to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

"Thank God it is Friday," Tower City Security Officer Bob thinks, sipping coffee from his TGIF mug, staring at the bank of monitors in Tower City's central security bunker. "Ah, the Fresh Clean Air™," Bob says to no one in particular, taking in a lungful of the odor-control scent and drifting off to the hum of the mall's mammoth air conditioners.

His walkie-talkie breaks the reverie. "Breaker 1-9, I think we've got trouble." It's Bob's trusted lieutenant, Ethan Hunt. "Loiterers?" Bob asks.

"Worse. Musicians." It hadn't even occurred to Officer Bob. Today the mall is hosting acts from the local jazz festival. Who knows how many surly sax players are down there, brewing up revolution? Officer Bob shudders. "I better call for backup."

When Officer Bob arrives at the stage, he sees a gang of young hooligans wearing shirts emblazoned with George W. Bush's face. Which would be OK -- even patriotic -- except that Bush's face is surrounded by a red circle with a line through it, the universal "-busters" sign. Perhaps not grounds for throwing anyone out of the mall -- perhaps -- but the hooligans also have instruments. Nothing's worse than hooligans with instruments.

Officer Bob tries to reason with them. "People don't want to hear your dissent."

"But this is an instrumental," the guitarist retorts.

"How about you turn the shirts inside out, so it's like keeping your opinion inside?" Bob asks, but the guitarist keeps soloing, so Bob cuts the power. "Independent thought has no place in the mall," he warns the underemployed miscreants as he hustles them out the door. Another calamity barely averted.

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