Archive for November, 2017

murca circa ’10

“Check this out.”

Tom turned in the direction Ed was looking, toward the entry door of The Swamp. Forty- five feet across the easily hosed, unpainted concrete floor of the tavern.


“It would figure better if it were a shotgun or a .22. That’s an M16.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Tom, a Long Island kid until he moved upstate at 16, had worked some stints on dairy farms before finding a niche as a paralegal. He was Irish, and he was good at acting calm.

“Jesus, Tom.”

By now the fellow was through the door and in the middle of the room, standing in a circle with three other guys. He cradled the rifle like a baby.

“He’s careless as shit with that thing. If that muzzle swings toward me, I’m moving….wait…here it comes. Fuck this shit.”

Ed jumped off his bar stool and strolled halfway across the room. The fool was violating the number one rule of gun handling: “Never let the gun point toward anything or anyone you don’t want to shoot, even if you are 100% sure the gun is unloaded.”

Tom followed, beer in hand, and Ed continued:

“You have got to be shitting me. Nobody else finds that a problem?”

“Guess not. Surprised? This is a goofball place, so there are goofballs here. Why do you think WE’RE here?

“That’s fucked up. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s loaded too.”

“Be cool. I’m gonna go check it out.”

Tom casually strolled over to the group and struck up a conversation that Ed could not hear over the din of all the others. At least fifty people in the bar, and nobody seemed the least bit rattled by a man walking in with an M16 and carelessly waving it around.

Tom returned with his imperturbable expression intact.

“It’s a walking stick.”

Ed just looked at him, so he elaborated:

“It’s a walking stick made to look just like an M16. It’s a walking stick.”

“And he doesn’t use it to help him walk?”

“Apparently not.”