Where did the term jailbird come from? It’s almost unheard of to arrest a bird. After all, birds don’t tend to think about what they do- they aren’t very self aware creatures. Although, there was that one time.
It was right around the time when the old police chief had retired. Desperate for a replacement, the city had hired the first man who applied for a job. Rumor has it he didn’t even show a resume.
The new guy wasn’t what we were expecting. In defence of the city, the recording of his interview (which had been released to the public following his impeachment) showed him to be a pretty ordinary guy. A smooth talker, charismatic, and normal. We learned pretty soon that this guy was anything but normal. We live in a town small enough that no city officials make laws, and it’s far away enough that nobody else’s laws apply to us. So it was this guy making the rules for us.
To start, he banned everybody from wearing anything pink on Wednesdays. To defend the action, he say that he “couldn’t stand that stupid Heathers movie” (we were all too exasperated with the law to inform him that the classic line had come from Mean Girls. We probably should’ve sensed he was crazy just for mixing the two up.) The law caused quite a bit of controversy. Half the public thought he was joking around. The other half took it incredibly seriously and started protesting. The former soon learned that the law was completely serious- as there was soon a considerable amount of little girls in our holding cells.
Then, after not removing the ‘no pink on Wednesdays’ law, he instated communal Wi-Fi. Now, if you didn’t know, even having one or two people using the same Wi-Fi can make it move
pretty slow. Now, if you will, picture about a hundred people using the same connection. We ended up having to rely on a rotation system, if I remember. Once again, another wildly unsuccessful law. But, it wasn’t revoked until his impeachment.
Next he made it a law for everybody to have to own a cat. I’m allergic to cats. I hated that law. But, I’m a police officer, I had to follow the law. So I adopted a cat. Her name was Fritz. I gave her to my neighbor the minute he was impeached, as well as all of my hair-covered throw blankets and pillows.
After that, he instated a law that said everybody had to learn French in honor of his mother, who had died recently. Now, we all felt bad for the poor guy, so we obliged to this law. It felt like more of a kind gesture than an actual rule. What we hadn’t seen coming was how heavily he would enforce it. There were French tests every Friday, where the entire town would cram into the city hall to take a test (and, yes, this did include young children.) Anybody who failed more than three tests in a row would be imprisoned. Again, this led to a lot of young children being held in cells. The officers became more of high-paid babysitters than actual law enforcers. It was a weird time.
Following the French incident, he made it so any new babies born had to be named Charlie. We had no idea why they had to be named Charlie, as he had never disclosed a reason other than ‘I’m in charge of the laws, deal with it’. Now, at the time, there were two or three expecting mothers at the time- all of whom were having girls. They really weren’t for the law.
Everyone at the force has since learned to never tell a pregnant woman that you can’t do anything to fix her problem. There are now three baby girls in our town called Charlie, along with three mothers waiting for consideration to change their daughters’ names.
Although public opinion of him had risen into the negative percents (a feat we didn’t think was possible) he continued to make insane and pointless laws. Of course there were less problematic laws: making everybody drink from a bendy straw no matter what they were drinking; all dogs needed to have glittery collars; every restaurant had to have at least one menu item with a pun in the name.
But then he decided to come for the birds. There was rumor that he had been attacked by a bird as a child- and that he had been repressing the memory until the point where he ran out of laws to make. But that may have been false. After a dry spell of laws, he had come running through the streets yelling about a simply marvelous idea he had had (this was how we had learned of most of our new laws). This idea, of course, was neither simple or marvelous. His idea had been to have every citizen carry around a larger-than-average butterfly net to catch any birds they happened to see. We don’t know what he was trying to achieve with this. But we didn’t have much of a choice.
So, every citizen not in jail had been given a larger-than-average butterfly net and ordered to trap any birds they saw. There was only one bird who had ever been caught. An unlucky little creature, he had ran into a window and been knocked out. A woman had found him and brought him to us. We didn’t really know what to do with him. Let him go and face the consequences, or
hand him into the psycho in charge? It really should have been an easier choice. We did what we were told and handed him in to the chief, who then decided to put him in one of the cells. We
were put in charge of taking care of the bird- which none of us knew how to do. We waited till it was our turn on the Wi-Fi and managed to get it figured out. I’m ashamed to admit that I grew fond of the creature and named him William.
By this point, he had been a chief for about four or five months. Everybody was sick of him. In a small town like ours, it was pretty easy to get a unanimous public opinion. So we tried to kick him out of a position of power- which, under normal circumstances should’ve been pretty easy. He was obviously completely deranged. Not to mention that he had a really annoying voice. But, he created a law that meant he couldn’t be impeached. Apparently, he was as cunning as he was delusional.
But we were sick of this crap. So we threw him in a sack and left him in the forest. There are rumors that he managed to break free and became leader of a wolf pack. But I kind of hope he died (is that mean? I feel like that’s mean.) Either way, I’m the mayor now. I revoked all of the laws he had created, released all of the children from jail, gave all of the Charlies’ mothers special permission to change their daughters’ names and kept William as my pet.
Although he was completely insane, he will never be forgotten. After all, how could you forget the only man to arrest a bird?