A cop’s #1 belief: I’m not gonna be the jerkoff that shoots his own partner. I live and breathe this mantra, and I repeated it before, during, and after shooting my five partners. Accidents happen, but the Chief isn’t so understanding, so for my next assignment he gave me Joe, a partner made of wood.

    What bothered me about Joe was not that he was made of wood, but that he was a newbie, fresh out of the academy. The academy doesn’t teach anything worth a damn these days, especially not how to evade bullets, as my five pardoned felonies have shown me. Also Joe was made of spruce, the meekest of woods.

    Our first night on the job we got an easy call: routine gang shooting. I got one hand on the wheel, one hand on my radio, one hand on my gun, bada-bing bada-boom before you know it I’ve shot Joe 36 times. And what did this maverick do but survive all of that and then flop out of the cruiser, his spruce frame knocking out every gang member as he fell. That’s when I knew that we’d make a good pair and that the municipality shouldn’t let me still have a gun.

    The crimewave goes down and concussions go up. I get a custom ejector seat installed in our cruiser, so Joe can smack into ne’er-do-wells and enforce the law. It’s basically a baby seat covered in sawdust with a big spring under it – my design. Joe’s wooden torso gets covered in all sorts of medals – they really detract from his gunshot wounds. He’s gonna make a great wooden detective, maybe even chief.

    So pretty soon the Mrs. wants to meet Joe. He comes over, brings us a lovely casserole, but the wife isn’t expecting him to be made of wood. She loses it, screaming and running around everywhere. I shoot a look at her and some bullets at Joe. We take our meal outside, without her. Nobody disrespects him while I’m around and under federal scrutiny.

    I ask to meet Joe’s family – turns out he’s got none. He doesn’t even have a home, just spends his nights alternating between a security guard and a mannequin at this one clothing store. I try to comfort him, show him that his partner is all the family he needs. “It’s alright that you don’t have a family,” I tell him. “I probably would’ve shot them anyway.”