“And finally,” Holt said, “I’ll need volunteers for a joint exercise with the 66th next week in Boro Park --”
Boyle opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Amy’s hand shot up. “Count me in, sir!”
Jake, Boyle, and Terry all swung their heads to stare at her. Rosa leaned over and hissed to Boyle, “Why’s everyone so surprised about Amy brown-nosing? I don’t get it.”
“Santiago,” said Holt, “I have not yet described the exercise.”
“I know what the exercise is, sir,” Amy chirped, “and I am more than happy to volunteer.”
“You’re happy to volunteer … for Purim patrol,” said Holt.
“Costumes,” said Holt. “Alcohol. Noise complaints. Raucous celebration.” He leaned forward, eyes narrowing. “It’s everything you hate. What’s your motive, Santiago?”
“Oh,” said Rosa. “OK, now I get it. Yeah, seriously, Amy, that makes no sense.”
Amy’s face turned red. “I just. I’ve never … done a Purim thing. I thought it might be nice to … experience the holiday. Culturally.”
“Oh my gosh,” said Jake, “do you want to learn about Purim for me? Babe, that’s incredibly sweet, but I haven’t celebrated Purim since I was like ten, and also, being the cop at the block party is like the world’s worst way to learn about anybody’s holiday, and also, also, Holt’s right, you will completely hate it.”
“I’ve done my time on Purim duty,” said Terry, “and I got to say, it gets pretty rowdy out there.”
“Don’t listen to them, Amy,” said Boyle. “Purim is a wonderful holiday full of joy and –”
Rosa snorted. “Didn’t you get punched in the face by Queen Vashti last year?”
Amy drew herself up to her full height. “Contrary to popular belief,” she announced, “I do not actually hate all forms of fun ever. I will enjoy this interesting cultural experience and it will be absolutely fine.”
Amy staggered back to the precinct at 11:59 PM on the last night of Purim, carrying an enormous Mordecai beard and leaving a trail of damp confetti behind her. On seeing Jake and Holt waiting for her, she let out a quiet groan.
“I told you,” said Jake. “If you really want to do Purim next year, we’ll stick to the big fancy baskets and the weird triangle cookies.”
“Hamantaschen,” said Amy.
“OK,” Amy said, “maybe you were right. I might not be cut out for Purim with the 66th. But --” She grinned suddenly, and shook her hair. Glitter fell out of it. “That doesn’t mean you didn’t underestimate me.”
Holt’s eyes narrowed. “Explain.”
“It’s midnight now, right?” Amy took the giant fake beard she’d been carrying, and laid it out on her desk. “And somehow you were all too busy enjoying my misery to notice that every time I checked into the precinct over the past three days --” She reached into the depths of the beard. “-- while you were saying ‘I told you so’ --” She pulled out a plaque, and held it triumphantly to the light. “-- I took a previous year’s Halloween trophy with me. I've got them all, losers. Every last one of them.”
“Oh my God,” said Jake, and dove to check his desk. Then he popped up again. “Oh my God! Jewish Halloween! You sneaky bastard!”
“Well,” said Holt. He reached out for the plaque, and held it up to the light to begin examining it. “Well, well.”
Amy smiled sweetly at Jake. “Happy Purim from the ultimate person-slash-genius, babe.”