Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Winter’s back, dry as an old crone. Cold days and colder nights define the season. No rain, just stingy spritz here and there, dampening streets…


“They say the drought is back for half the state,” said the Mason’s wife. “Our half.”…


“The weather’s going to be off kilter for some time,” said her husband…


They were eating pizza. It was a good day for it. “How far do you think those school kids will get with the NRA?” she said. “Think the politicians will listen?”…


“I don’t know,” he said. “But they’re sure to highlight the political hypocrisy that has Washington muscle-bound. They’ll point out how much politicians are self-serving whores who blow hot air and collect big pensions.”…


“That’s pointed out every election season,” said his wife, “and then people forget. So what’s the difference?”…


“The difference is that they won’t let up, put their cause aside and walk away from it,” said the Mason. “If they stick to their cause, they may be able to ban semi-automatic rifles altogether.”…


“Since when are you so optimistic?”…


“It would be a hell of a victory, wouldn’t it?” he said. “Then again, even if the weapons were banned, it wouldn’t stop the kooks from going off, though it might reduce the causality list.”…


It would be a start, she thought, ushering in a time of reason. But is it possible? Can a corrupt, self-centered governing body be convinced to cut away a large campaign contributor in favor of moral sanity?…


It was a longshot at best, she thought. Still, considering that nothing else was ever done, it was certainly worth a try…


Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Mason’s wife wondered how many cars with defective Takata airbags were parked within a block’s radius of where she lived; how many automatic assault rifles were hiding quietly in closets; and how many sex offenders lived in her neighborhood, blending well with their surroundings?…


Danger was everywhere, she thought. You needn’t be in Afghanistan or Syria; your own neighborhood concealed a variety of risks that were seldom thought about -- until the bullets fly, or the child disappears, or the neighbor’s head is shattered by exploding shrapnel from a killer steering wheel…


She avoided the news channels after a fresh massacre because the talking heads were sure to serve up the same old tattered clich├ęs. They talked endlessly, showing wearied outrage and utter impotence. Then the reset button was pushed and everyone waited again, absently, for the next tragic event to occur...


It shouldn’t take a genius to understand that automatic weapons are only good for hunting humans and nothing else. They are a soldier’s best friend, but have no business in the hands of civilians, let alone insane school kids. Why is that so difficult to understand? she wondered…


“Do you suppose the shooter was inspired by Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre?” said the witch…


“Possibly,” said the Mason’s wife. “He probably read Mein Kampf as well. They say he was a white supremacist.”…


“He wants to be remembered and talked about, otherwise he would have put himself out,” said the witch. “Last week he was a zero; today all the news channels can't stop talking about what he did. That’s got to be some kind of rush for a sick fuck like him.”…


“The only reason it made national news is because of the number of victims,” said the Mason’s wife. “But there’s been 18 school shootings somewhere in the country since the beginning of the year.”…


“That reminds me,” said the witch. “Tomorrow's the beginning of the Year of the Dog. Happy Chinese New Year!”…


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Mason called his father early in the day just to check up on the old man…


“What’s going on?” he said…


“Waiting for the bus,” said his father over the phone, “as usual.”…


Waiting for the bus was his way of saying that he was waiting to die…


“You’ve been waiting for the bus for quite a while now,” said the Mason…


“So has everybody else,” said the old man, displaying a perverse sense of humor that some found refreshing, while others felt it showcased a kind of grumpy morbidity…


The Mason wanted to change the subject. “Are you taking your girl to dinner for Valentine’s Day?” he said…


“Hardly,” said his father. “I never took your mother out on Valentine's Day when she was alive, and I’m not about to start now. My female friend will have to settle for a night of Viagra-fueled debauchery.”…