Simon Banks wearily leaned back in his chair and looked upwards at the ceiling. Receiving no indication of divine intervention, he sighed and looked through the windows of his office into the bullpen.

'What in the name of Heaven possessed me to even THINK about sending Sandburg and Ellison to this conference?' Simon got up and poured himself a cup of coffee. Blissfully smiling at the aroma, he sipped and thought. 'Sandburg has to go because he's never attended as a detective. God knows everybody else has gone. Besides, even HE might get something out of a conference on Community and Media Relations. Good Lord! He might even wind up teaching it!'

Simon eyed his newest detective with a jaundiced eye before sitting back down at his desk. 'And it's been a while since Ellison made an appearance at one of these things. Hope they've forgotten about the last time.'

Confirming to himself that he'd made the correct decision in deciding to send both Sandburg and Ellison, he finished his coffee before reading the memo stapled to the file lying on the desk.

'Dear Captain Banks.

While I understand this sort of conference might not be exactly what your detectives expected when they joined the Cascade Police Department, it is necessary that each member of the CPD attend on a regular basis.

Those involved with presenting this conference take these issues seriously. Please stress to your detectives they should attend this conference and consider the issues presented with just as serious an attitude.

Please also remind them that a serious exchange of information and opinions should result in a calm discussion leading to a successful resolution of handling various Community and Media Relations.

I would appreciate it if you would have your attending detectives revise the enclosed and return it to my attention immediately. The information received on these forms will help those running the conference to integrate those attending from the various City Departments in a social atmosphere to aid in obtaining an open and frank exchange of opinions during the three days of this conference.

Thank you - Heidi Schlesser (Media Relations Dept.)'

Simon grunted. 'Hmmm...a serious exchange of information and opinions should result in a calm discussion leading to a successful resolution of handling various Community and Media Relations. Guess they do remember Ellison's last attendance.' Sighing, Simon flipped open the file and removed the two pieces of paper. Slowly, he began to chuckle.


NAME - Blair Sandburg

RANK - Detective, Major Crimes

NICKNAME - I have many nicknames given to me by those I have met throughout my life including my mother, partner, friends at the CPD, friends I have made in places other than Cascade including those in foreign countries which I'm not sure can be translated into English.

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT - I'm not sure what information you're requesting. Are you wanting my most embarrassing moment as a child, adolescent, teenager, or adult? After all, what is embarrassing to a child might be humorous to an adult. Are you talking about personally embarrassing? Being embarrassed in front of others? An embarrassing physical event? Please clarify what information you need. I don't want to burden you with unnecessary personal trivial biographical data. Thank you.

A SKILL I HAVE THAT IS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN - Please advise why I would wish to advertise a certain skill that is not generally known by others. If I wanted it known, wouldn't I have made it public is some fashion? Once it becomes known, then it's not a skill that is not generally known. Is this a trick question?

THE MOST INTERESTING NEW YEAR'S EVE I EVER HAD WAS - Which New Year's Eve? Jewish New Year? Chinese New Year? The one celebrated on December 31st? Most cultures throughout the world celebrate a form of year ending and year beginning based upon their religion. I'm not certain this question is legal as you're not supposed to inquire as to a person's religion. Please remove this question. Thank you.

MY PET PEEVE IS - I am working this out via therapy so this is covered under patient/doctor confidentiality. I'm very certain of my position on this because I've been in therapy since I was in diapers.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY BEST FRIEND IS - Is this another trick question? After all, the attendees of this conference are mostly police officers. Given the nature of this closed society, you aren't likely to obtain answers that will give you any insight as to their inner selves. If you want, I can refer you to several good therapists who might be able to help you draft a better question.

I'M BETTER THAN ANYONE WHEN IT COMES TO - Well, this is embarrassing. Could that be an answer to #4 above? However, I think I can state without reservation or ego that I'm very good at writing reports. I doubt I'm better than everyone else since that would be a subjective decision. It depends upon the type of report and the information required for each type of report. Nevertheless, I feel very good about my level of report writing.

MY FAVORITE FORM OF EXERCISE - Are you referring to physical or mental? After all, one is just as important as the other. Considering how busy you must be in correlating all the data from the other participants of this conference, I don't want to give you a lot of unnecessary verbage. Just let me know at your convenience.

AN ADJECTIVE THAT DESCRIBES YOU THAT BEGINS WITH ONE OF YOUR INITIALS - Busy. I stay very busy. Idle hands are the Devil's work as some say. But I personally don't believe that. It's my personal decision to stay busy, both physically and mentally. That's not going to be a problem during the conference, is it?

AFTER REVIEWING THE ABOVE INFORMATION, WHO ARE YOU (IN 25 WORDS OR LESS) - How can anyone clearly state who they are in 25 words or less? Names, identification, numbers...they all illustrate who we are perceived to be. Any sort of answer to this question comes only after several years of intensive therapy, but I still don't feel qualified to answer this question. (Sorry about going over the 25 words thing).


NAME - Ellison, James

RANK - Detective, Major Crimes

NICKNAME - Jim if you must but Detective is preferred

MY MOST EMBARASSING MOMENT - That's on a need-to-know basis. You don't need to know.

A SKILL I HAVE THAT IS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN - Classified information. Contact the US Army if you have questions.

THE MOST INTERESTING NEW YEARS' EVE I EVER HAD - Classified information. All I can say is that it involved a rubber chicken, a ceiling fan, and orange marmalade.

MY PET PEEVE IS - Ridiculous questionnaires.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY BEST FRIEND IS - His ability to fill out ridiculous questionnaires.


MY FAVORITE FORM OF EXERCISE - Working out in the gym.



"He-he-he-he." Simon chuckled as he wiped his glasses. Then he opened his desk drawer and pulled out a blank memo pad. Chuckling again, he wrote:

'Dear Ms. Schlesser - I've reviewed the attached forms and fail to understand your complaint. The detectives in question have filled out the questionnaire honestly and to the best of their ability. Good luck on your conference.


Capt. Simon Banks - Major Crimes'

Simon opened the door to his office. Walking across the bullpen, he laid the folder on Rhonda's desk. "Please see this gets out as soon as possible."

Rhonda glanced at the memo and grinned. "I'll take it up myself in just a few minutes," she promised.

Simon nodded, knowing Rhonda was dying to get a look at the contents of the folder. After all, Ellison had made everyone aware of his displeasure about the conference and the various forms associated with it.

Simon looked across the bullpen to where Jim was leaning over Blair's shoulder. Both men were staring at the computer monitor as Blair rapidly moved the mouse back and forth.


Both Jim and Blair looked up, hearing Simon's chuckle. They watched their Captain chuckle all the way back to his office.

"Do we want to know?" Blair asked, glancing at his partner.

Jim shook his head. "Probably not." He heard muffled snickers and glanced across the bullpen. "Now, what's gotten into Rhonda?"