The Adventures of  Indiana Fred and the Smoking Police
As printed in the February Issue of the Columbia River Reader…

The man was either in his late thirties or early forties.  He had on a leather jacket, boots, and an old Fedora hat.   A person would not have to look too close to notice that he was in need of a shave. 
"Hello" says the man as he swaggers into a Saint Helens Tavern.   "My name is Indiana Fred and I want a Beer".

A woman tended bar.  She was a bottle blond and appeared to be a bit older than Fred.
"What kind of Beer" she asks.  "We have a number of micro brews on tap."

"I don't need any yuppy beers" say Fred  "Just pound me a Bud in the bottle.

Fred sits down at the bar and the bartender sets a bottle down in front of him.
He lifts the bottle to his lips and takes a long swallow. "I needed that" sighs Fred. I have had one hell of a time out there.  I have been  hunting for the lost Riverfest Medallion."

"Riverfest was months ago" says the lady barkeep. "I think that someone already found the medallion".

"That's why I was having one hell of a time. Life's not easy lady."

Fred reaches into his pocket and pulls out an old Zippo lighter.  Before anyone can say anything, he has an unfiltered lucky strike in his mouth and is lighting it.

"Nooooo" cries the bartender.

An Alarm sounds, the doors burst open and Indiana is suddenly faced with four paramilitaries in brown shirts jack boots and smoke detector medallions hanging from their necks.
"Please remove and extinguish that cigarette sir" says one of them. 

"Who the hell are you? Asks a started Indiana.

"We are the smoking police, and you are in violation of St. Helens Ant-Smoking ordinance".  Growls a large brown shirt with Corporal stripes.

"I never heard of such a thing.  Since when can't you smoke in a bar?" Asks our Hero.

"Since July 1, 2001", says the Corporal as he starts to write a Citation.

"Cuff the Bartender this isn't her first offense", shouts their leader. 

"Hey, I tried to stop him!" she shouts.

"Tell that to the City Administrator.  You were warned." Smirks the Corporal.
"As for you".  The Corporal starts to hand the citation to Indiana.  "If you intend to smoke again, you had better do it in Scappoose or Rainier, not here.  St. Helens is smoke free and by God we intend to keep it that way."

Indiana is dumbfounded.  He stands there numb.

"This is a new world, a new world order, and a new cleaner city." States the Smoke Policeman. He then, along with the citation, hands Indiana a stick of Spearmint Gum.  "Chew on this Mr. Fred.  Welcome to St. Helens. 

Hey; and be sure to have a nice day."

The Columbia River Reader is printed monthly by Randy Sanders. 
P.O. Box 551 St. Helens, OR
Telephone 503 366-2201
Or email him at

Bill Eagle loves to read your letters and answers them too..  You can email him at

Home                                                       Bill's other published stories