the chester's mill police department is right next door to mills new & used books. when i was picking up my books the other night i noticed a sign in the window saying they're hiring new cops. that would be an awesome job, doncha think? my dad gave me all of his old hardy boy books a few years ago. they're a little old school, but they made me want to be a private detective for a while. that's almost the same as being a cop.
my uncle chuck--my dad's brother--is thinking about applying to the chester's mill police department. i don't know if he'll get the job, because he's never worked as a cop anywhere before, although he went to the maine criminal justice academy. maybe they'll give him credit for being a night security guard at the wal-mart over in lewiston. probably not such a good reference, though, 'cos he got fired for sleeping on the job. he hasn't applied to the cmpd yet, but mom and dad had him over for dinner a while ago and he said he'd been thinking about it for a while.
chuck is what they call the black sheep in the family. mom doesn't like him much, but he's family so she puts up with him when he comes up from boston. treats him okay even though he's been getting in trouble for years. he got suspended from castle rock high school for fighting and then got busted for shoplifting at burpee's department store. everyone in town knew about it. he wasn't really trying to steal something, he says. a bunch of his homies dared him to see if he could do it without getting caught. bummer that he did. had to go to court and everything, and ended up doing a bunch of community service. picking up trash on the side of the 117, stuff like that.
i overheard my mom ragging on him for telling me about that. "don't be like your uncle, go to college," she told me later. guess she's afraid i'll idolize him and turn to a life of crime. as if! i want to be the president of the united states, not a guy like uncle chuck. he's okay--he even volunteers at a soup kitchen down in boston, so he's not a total jake, but he spends most of his time playing football or going to the gym. getting buff, he says. looks gross to me. you wanna hear something funny, though? he's a member of the elks club. he gave me one of their weird horned hats when he came up to visit once. high-larious!
after he graduated from chester's mill high school, he went right into the army. i think my grandpa had something to do with that. i don't know where they sent him. he doesn't like to talk about it. someplace where they speak spanish, i think, because he's always goofin with me, trying to teach me some words. i told him i'm taking french, but he keeps talking to me in spanish anyway. kinda annoying.
first thing he did after he got out was get caught speeding, big time, and had his license suspended for 30 days. mom says that he let his best chance to go straight slip away when he got a divorce and moved out of state. that was five years ago, but he said he was planning to move back to chester's mill. i never know what to believe, though, because to tell the truth, uncle chuck is a bit of a nutjob. he says his ex-wife's new boyfriend threatened to beat him up, so he applied to get a concealed weapon permit last year. or maybe it has something to do with darla, the woman he's been living with since the divorce. mom always calls her "the other woman." i call her a bird brain, because she's wacko.
uncle chuck says he doesn't like boston, but it sounds more like maybe boston doesn't like him. i don't know what my mom thinks, but maybe he could get a job and make something of himself. there's worse things in the world than being a member of the chester's mill police department, dontcha think? it's freely radical.