Deccy was always up for a bit of craic, but even he was having second thoughts about this latest dare. The weather was bitterly cold to be out and about, even with his overcoat, hat, scarf and mitts, he could feel the bite of the wintry wind.
He could hear his mates snickering from their hiding place in the bushes as he started walking down the path. He had to admit, despite the cold wind, it was a nice day to be walking in the Phoenix Park.
He strolled around, waiting for the right moment to complete his dare. He didn’t have to wait long. Coming the other way was a pretty young woman, overburdened with Christmas shopping. She was a perfect candidate for his prank.
Deccy had been to art college and prided himself on his professionalism, even though he’d yet to make it big in acting. Still, you never knew when you might bump into a talent scout, so he always tried to give his best performance.
Clearing his throat theatrically, he started a rendition of Silent Night as he walked along beside the young lady, wooing her with his Bing Crosby impersonation. She tried to ignore him, but despite her best efforts, he could see a smile creeping into her rosy cheeks.
By the time he started Jingle Bells, she had stopped walking altogether and was watching him prance around her as he sung.
As the song came to its chirpy conclusion, she was even humming along.
That was when he whipped open his raincoat to reveal his nakedness.
Her eyes went wide with surprise, but he didn’t hang around to see what she would do next. He turned and raced off as fast as his gangly legs could carry him.
He didn’t get far, however.
Just his luck that she was an off-duty Garda, but to make matters worse, she happened to play full back for Clontarf’s ladies rugby team.
His legs went out from under him as she tackled him to the ground.
“I think we need to take a trip down to the station, don’t you?” she said, twisting his arm behind his back to negate any objections.
Once handcuffed, she dragged him back to where she had left her shopping, and made him carry the bags all the way down the road to the local Garda barracks, where she placed him in an interview room and left him to sweat.
Was it just his imagination, or had he heard giggling as he sat there, waiting?
He looked at the mirror on the wall, trying to see through it to the room on the other side. All he could see was a reflection of himself.
Always the performer, he struck a pose. He couldn’t help himself.
Yes. He could definitively hear giggling now. It sounded like a Hen Night was going on next door.
Finally, the interview room door opened, and the young woman walked in. She was accompanied by a colleague, a stern-faced male Garda with bushy eyebrows.
The lady Garda was now in uniform, Usually, they were anything but flattering, but she managed to pull it off quite well. Actually, if he was honest, she looked damned sexy in it.
Deccy flushed with embarrassment and quickly headed back to his seat, as he had been in mid-pose when the door burst open.
“I think we’ve had quite enough of your fooling around for one evening, don’t you?” the male Garda asked. “You gave Garda Jennings here quite a shock earlier and exposing yourself in public is no laughing matter.”
The female Garda tried to hide a smile.
Crestfallen, Deccy started to apologies, explaining that it had been a stupid bet with his mates. He pleaded for leniency for this, his first offence. “I’m not a perv, or anything. Honest I’m not! It was just a joke. I’m sorry, really I am!”
“Mmmm,” replied the male Garda, clearly unconvinced.
They sat in silence for a few moments, while Deccy sweated nervously.
Finally, Garda Jennings spoke, “I suppose we could let him off this once, with just a warning … being that it’s Christmas and all.” Turning to Deccy, she added, “but I better not find out that you’ve been doing anything else like this again, or there’ll be hell to pay! Do you understand?”
“But…!” the male officer started to object, clearly intent on showing Deccy the full rigours of the law. He’d have thrown the book at Deccy, if he could only find one heavy enough.
“No, I’m not pressing charges,” insisted Garda Jennings. “Not this time.”
“Anyway,” she added. “Technically, he didn’t actually expose himself earlier. That willy warmer he was wearing prevented that … and I have to admit … the mistletoe was a nice touch!”
More giggling could be heard, coming from the adjacent room.
The male Garda cleared his throat, clearly unhappy at how things were turning out, but his hands were tied. If the young man wasn’t being charged, he had no option but to release him without charge. No file would be sent to the Public Prosecutor on this particular matter.
“So you’re free to go,” Garda Jennings concluded, “But I warn you, I’ve got my eye on you.”
Deccy rose nervously from his seat, not believing his luck.
“Come on, I’ll show you out,” she added, also rising from her seat.
He followed her out of the room, admiring the way her backside snugly fitted into those blue woollen trousers. Outside, in the corridor, he passed a small cluster of female Garda, who wolf whistled at him as he shuffled passed.
Deccy flushed with embarrassment, but always the entertainer, he flashed them a smile and gave them a cheeky wink. “Merry Christmas everyone,” he added as he was led to the doors of the station.
Garda Jennings opened the door and held it open for him.
“Thanks again. I promise, I’ll be on my best behaviour from now on.”
He could see the sun shining off the wet cobbled streets outside. He could almost taste his freedom and felt light-headed with relief. As he passed through the portal, a feeling of elation overcame him. He wanted to dance down the street.
Just then, a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder.
“Hang on a minute!”
‘Shit!’ thought Deccy. They’d been winding him up. He was going to spend Christmas in prison, after all.
He turned around nervously.
It was Garda Jennings. She had followed him outside. “Remember, I’ve got my eye on you ….” she said. “Oh, and by the way, I’ll finish my shift at eight, if you fancy going for out a drink.”
Deccy was too flabbergasted to answer.
“But put some clothes on this time …”
“ I will!” he mumbled, smiling. “Eight, it is then!”
“Oh, and don’t forget to bring the mistletoe…”