CURSLOUDSKI: I've had just about enough of your backtalk, Scum. Come clean or you'll be sorry.

SCUM: I still don't know what I did wrong. What's the beef?

CURSLOUDSKI: Oh, that's it. You really burn me up. Get ready to taste dirt, because your face is hitting the floor.

DOWN: Jack, Jack, take it easy.

CURSLOUDSKI: I know what he's doing. He's trying to get my goat, that's what. Let me at him. Come on. Let me pulverize him.

DOWN: I don't think that will be necessary, Jack. Stay calm.

CURSLOUDSKI: Calm? You want calm after what this guy's done?

SCUM: What have I done?

CURSLOUDSKI: Enough, Scum. Your goose is cooked.

DOWN: Look. I'll try to explain again. But I don't know how much longer I can keep Jack under control, OK?

SCUM: I'm trying to cooperate.

DOWN: Yes, and we appreciate that. We do. But you'll have to try harder. Now, again, to begin at the beginning. I'm Capt. Trevor Down. My friends call me "Slim." This is Sgt. Jack Cursloudski. We work on behalf of a team of homeowners and tenants associations known as the Backyard and Balcony Question squad.


DOWN: Right. By responding to a complaint, going to that party, investigating, and finding you and bringing you here for questioning, we are only doing our job. So try not to aggravate my colleague here, OK? You don't know how hot-tempered he can be. You don't know him like I know him.

SCUM: You're right. At this point, I don't know Jack.

CURSLOUDSKI: Oh, you know plenty, Scum. But until you spill the beans, we'll keep giving you the third degree.

DOWN: Let's get to the meat of the matter, shall we? You stand accused of operating, or attempting to operate, a Class B outdoor cooking device - commonly known as a charcoal grill - without authorization.

SCUM: And you're saying that was somehow offensive?

CURSLOUDSKI: As bad as a 12-ounce T-bone in a tub of tofu.

DOWN: Do you have anything to say in your defense for your offense?

SCUM: Time out.

CURSLOUDSKI: Oh, you'll have plenty of time out when we throw you in the slammer, Scum.

SCUM: Why do you keep calling me that?

DOWN: Scum. Socially Confused, Unauthorized Meat-cooker. It's an acronym.

SCUM: So you're saying I'm here because I wanted to help out with the cooking at that party? You're upset because I would have put food on the grill? I don't get what's at stake ... or what's at steak.

CURSLOUDSKI: You crossed the line, Scum.

SCUM: Will you cut it out with this good-cop, bad-cop thing? Aren't you laying it on a little thick?

CURSLOUDSKI: Thick as New York sirloin. You'd better listen to Slim, here, before I tear you apart.

SCUM: I guess my chances of making sense of all this are Slim to nothing.

DOWN: What my emotional friend here is trying to say is that in cooking as you did, you violated a code. In this context, you were not licensed to grill. Ignorance is no excuse. If you are a guest at a party, you must not - unless invited - usurp the role of the person stationed at the grill. Oh, certainly detractors will diminish the significance of this rule, calling it merely "propane politeness" or "briquette etiquette." But we are among those who uphold the rule for a reason. We see it as a sacred right extending from our ancestral forebears. The keeper of the flame - and the keeper of the flame alone - holds the authority to shish the kabobs, determine the timing and placement of food on the grill, disperse mouthwatering morsels to the masses, administer marinades and seasonings, and ask the timeless, crucial questions such as, "Did you say medium-rare?" and "Who wants theirs with cheese?"

SCUM: But there seems to be some kind of misunderstanding. I respect the code. I only wanted to help the chef, because I know it can be a hot, tough job. I didn't actually interrupt or take over or anything. I have only the highest respect for grilling and its place as a summer rite and its flavors - from salmon steaks to vegetarian pizzas. I don't mean to ham it up, but I'm not going to chicken out. You got the wrong guy. I'd much rather go right to a bar and grill than be wrong at the grill and go behind bars.

DOWN: Very well. Maybe we were a bit hasty. We'll let you go. Consider this to have been a warning.

CURSLOUDSKI: What? You gotta be kidding me.

DOWN: I think he means what he says, Jack. We made a mistake. Or a mis-steak.

CURSLOUDSKI: So. OK, OK. Let's get back on the street and stop wasting our time with this Scum. Put a fork in him. He's done.

As one who prefers outdoor grilling to being grilled, Brad Bolchunos is relieved to learn he may not be "Scum" after all. Instead, considering his propensity to hesitate verbally and the lack of his own grill, he may be more of an "Um."

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