Tag Archives: shaky premise

Chapter 33 -Belt Fed Revolution

The town appeared largely empty. There were lights on in a few buildings, especially those nearest the highway, but I couldn’t see movement in any of them. Since I wasn’t doing such a great job of getting noticed by being obnoxious, I decided to act like a typical looter instead.

I saw a gas station-convenience store and decided to make this my target. If I could get gas without being hassled that was a bonus, but I figured if there was a group protecting this town, this gas station would probably be on someone’s priority list.

I shut the Jeep down by one of the pumps and got out, slinging my new rifle over my shoulder. The gas station building was a squat brick affair with a blue metal awning surrounding the top. The roof was designed to keep the rain and snow off while you pumped gas with and had a few flourescent lightbulbs that intermittently flickered away above my head.

I was being watched. I didn’t know where my observer was, but I had definitely gained the interest of the locals. Now I had to hope they didn’t decide to just blow my head off before having a word. I looked around again to see if there were any lumps in the nearest grassy areas that looked out of place, but other than some opportunistic graffiti artist who had painted his or her initials –PLM–on the gas station door and some other things nearby, everything appeared correct in its setting.

I approached the door to the gas station with my head slightly down, keeping my eyes moving back and forth. I reached out to pull open the door to the little gas station building and heard a voice call out in an almost conversational tone.

“That’s about far enough.” said the voice, coming from behind the blue metal awning.

I couldn’t get a fix on the person the voice had come from, but I guessed it was about two feet to my right and above me.

“Funny ain’t it? It’s always the last place you look.”

The voice was silent for only a moment. “Why don’t you get in your vehicle and head on back down the road. There’s nothing for you here, ‘cept maybe a quick an’ nasty death.”

“Aw, but you make this place sound so exotic.” I kept my eyes moving between the awning and the plexiglass windows of the gas station. “There a place around here where I can get some water? Maybe barter for some gas? Famous last words, right? I’m not a looter.

“This is our gas. Everything in town belongs to us now. Get in your truck and get down the road.”

I was pretty sure I was being stalled. The warning wasn’t forceful or threatening enough to make me feel like I was in immediate danger, so I kept watching the reflections in the gas station windows waiting for the real welcome wagon to show up.

“Okay, no problem.” I said. ” Look, let me just get some water for the road. Maybe we can trade? I don’t have much, but maybe I have something you need?”  I grinned when I heard it. The thing about there not being a lot of manmade noise to provide  a screen meant sounds travelled a lot further.

This was especially true when the thing you were trying to screen was a diesel engine that was practically screaming as you accelerated in a blind panic.

I had expected their version of a quick reaction force to at least be subtle. This expectation was shattered when I saw the black Ford F-450 plodding on toward me. Diesel’s were great for a lot of things, but impressive acceleration wasn’t really one of those things.

My new friend on the rooftop wasn’t talking now. I was guessing they figured any single individual that approached their little haven would be shitting themselves by now at the sight of the big shiny black truck coming their way. My pants however, remained unshat. I was in fact pretty confident I could shoulder my rifle and  put a round in the driver of the truck, but I refrained. Such asshattery, fun as it may be, was like to get me killed.

Someone had gone to great expense tarting up the Ford with big chrome smoke stack style exhausts poking up out of the bed and a chrome grille with flames and a skull with red glowing LED eyes. Awesome. I bet if I were looking a the back of the truck there’d be some naked lady mudflaps –with erect nipples–hanging behind the dually’s fender flares.

I made a note to tell whomever was running this show that when you’re trying to make a statement, bullets say it best. I had to decide now how interesting I wanted to make this. I would settle for ‘not dead, but pissed off’ for now.  There was an ice chest next to the gas station door, the large kind that was used to store twenty pound bags of ice. I opened the door and used the lower lip like a step to climb the ice chest and vault myself onto the roof.

The watchman on the roof was alone with just a radio and a Kalashnikov. There wasn’t a lot of room up here and he had remained lying in the prone for concealment. I didn’t have to cover much ground to get to him.

I mounted him and put my knee in the middle of his back placing all my weight there and then evening it out by putting my other knee on his neck. I grabbed one hand and threw a readied zip tie around his wrist. He fought briefly to keep his other hand free, but I shifted my weight from his back to his neck and the additional pressue and subsequent lack of oxygen there took the fight from him.

Once I had him secured, I snatched up his AK and sat my rifle atop the awning. The big Ford pickup was tearing up a field just a few yards distant now making a straight line for the gas station. I ejected the magazine from the AK and extended the bayonet.

The driver of the truck obliged my plan by pulling up almost next to the ice chest. All four doors of the cab were flung open almost as one and people spilled from the inside to take up flanking positions.

I hoisted the AK above my head shouting at them “Geirtýr! Sigr!” and sent the  AK  hurling like a spear through the big trucks windshield, the bayonet sticking nicely in the dash. I ducked as soon as I launched the gun and waited for a salvo to come my way.

“Hold your fire!” I heard someone below yell at the assembled group. “Okay, mister! You let our man go and come on out!”

I laughed . “Lemme think about that for a minute.”

I looked at my captive and shook my head. What was that old quote about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

“You okay?” My captive was red-faced and ready to spit nails I had no doubt, but I didn’t think I’d done him any permanent damage.

“Screw you!” he spat, his face growing redder.

“Noted.” I shimmied  behind him grabbing his ziptied wrists and pulling him up to his knees. There was an unmanly expression of pain and some swearing, but he got to his knees easily enough. I crouched behind him and got him stood up. If some wanna- be- hero had an itchy trigger finger, I’d rather someone else finds out.

As my captive reached his feet, I heard someone let off a three round burst and I yanked my captive back to his knees. Talk about swearing. This guy let off a string of expletives that would have made a drill instructor smile.

I lay on my back and laughed. I yelled out “Nice shooting there, quick draw! Just remeber friendly fire gets returned by friends when you least expect it!”

I heard several voices yelling and one voice responding in protest.

I went through the process of getting my captive stood up again and called out “Okay! Now that we’ve figured out who’s going to be shooting who in the back during your next outing, how about we all be real cool and have a little talk?”

Another voice, calmer, called back “A’right. Come on up to the edge and let us have a look at you.  Jim, you okay?”

“”I’m fine! I ain’t hurt!’ said my captive.

I pulled him close and spoke in a voice only he could hear ” ‘Kay, Jim, we’re going to walk nice and slow to the edge.  Just remember if you get shot here, it won’t be in the back, so you best hope you’ve no enemies down there.”

Jim nodded and we took the couple of steps to the edge. I still hadn’t identified a face to put to the voice. I smiled as I stepped to the edge and pointed at the truck. “See, I mean you no harm. I even gave you his rifle to show my good intentions.”

A man standing by the driver’s door said something in a voice I couldn’t hear, but I got the gist which was I’d ruined his baby. There was a quick heated discussion that took place between that man and the someone still in the cab of the truck.

This went on for a few seconds and ended when the man at the driver’s side door turned and fired several rounds from his shotgun into my Cherokee.


I drew my revolver and thumbed back the hammer. I saw several muzzles raise uncertainly in my direction.

“Hey partner? I’m going to need your insurance information!” I yelled as I tried to make my profile as small as possible behind my meat shield. I heard a couple of chuckles at that and then the man in the cab stepped out on the driver’s side and waved.

He was wearing a giant stetson cowboy hat and black BDU’s. “The fuck is it with cowboy hats now? There’s no cowboy’s in Michigan for fucks sake …”

I was talking to myself but my captive responded “We got cowboys all over these days.”

I  grabbed my rifle, and gave a wistful look over at my second shot up Jeep in less than a month and let out a sigh. I walked Jim up to the edge of the roof over the ice machine and gave him a little push backwards as I took a chance and jumped over the edge first and onto the ice machine.

I made it all the way to the ground before I got rushed and thrown to the pavement. As I was being flex-cuffed I looked over at the man nearest me and asked “What? Are you guys Michigan State fans?”

I thought I heard laughter before things went all grey and fuzzy around the edges.

Chapter 18 – Belt Fed Revolution

The bodies at the bottom of the hill had been stripped clean of what people considered valuables. The contents of the cars had also been tossed down the roadside. I noticed a lack of tire irons and other things that made good weapons of opportunity. Mostly there was windshield wiper fluid, jump leads and the randomness that makes up people’s second homes. One item of interest was a roll of burlap three feet wide by 50 feet long. I grabbed this up along with a couple of empty water bottles. Everything else was junk including the bodies.

John was stripping the shirt off one of the larger males and using it to make a pack. A snappy one liner ran through my head but I dismissed it and left him to his task. I crouched at the bottom of the ditch waiting for John to finish collecting the things he thought would help him, all the while I kept scanning with the monocular.

The quiet no longer bothered me. It no longer bothered me mostly because there was little quiet. The sounds just weren’t the sounds I was used to hearing. Red winged blackbirds–highway birds as I thought of them for their insistence on gathering in the median–were calling out to each other soliciting mates and warning off rivals. Combined with the ravens and other birds in the cornfields around us, the birdsong itself was a screen to most noise. Hel, it was deafening.

I looked out to the ravens in the field and apologized for interrupting their meal. My hand went to my hammer beneath my shirt and I called out to the ravens asking them to remember my name to the All-Father. I thought about that for a moment afterward and realized I might not necessarily want Odin as my battle buddy. Instead I thought of my grandfather and my uncle and hoped they were watching with approval.

I looked up and realized John had been standing next to me for some time. I cursed myself again for my less than sterling situational awareness. “Ready?” I asked as I stood. “As I’ll ever be. I didn’t find much on them, but I took what I thought might help.” He dug into his pocket and withdrew a piece of blue metal “Found this too. I needed a knife.” He unfolded the blue metal into what I thought of as a carpet knife. He had a lockblade knife that was fed with razor blades that could be replaced when they wore out. I nodded my approval as I turned it over in my hand. “Find any blades to go with it?” He smiled and held out his other hand which contained a small plastic case of refills.”Sweet.” I said and handed his knife back to him. “Aww, you too!” I raised an eyebrow at him as he let out a laugh. Good to know he had found a sense of humor again. We would need every mental tool at our disposal to make it through what our lives had become.


Our march didn’t have much more to go. Lucky for me as I didn’t think I’d be able to do the marching. The copse of pines turned out to be a bit farther away than I had thought and I was still trying to determine whether or not the fact that it separated two farm fields was a good thing. As we got closer I saw that among the pines were some scrubby little deciduous trees mostly young boxwood  and elms. I wished I’d bought some Real Tree camo; I would be almost invisible here with it.

I chose a spot amongst the leafy trees that had clustered together and dropped my pack there. My back thanked me for it with another twinge of pain. I grabbed my scavenged burlap and begin to unroll it. I used my Ka-bar to cut the burlap into strips and after a bit of rummaging in my ruck I came up with a small sewing kit. I cut the burlap into a few long sections which I left intact and began sewing the smaller strips onto it. John watched me with something approaching fascination.

“Well,well, if it isn’t little Suzy Homemaker lost in the woods!” I laughed at his joke and continued sewing. “Well?” he looked at me as if expecting an answer to an unasked question. “Well what,John?” “What are you making, Ms Homemaker?” he chortled. I stared at him until the smile left his face. “The proper term would be a ‘field expedient ghillie suit’ ” I replied and added “Jackass.” He continued to look puzzled. Fuck him, I thought. It’s not my job to educate the whole damn world.

I kept working on the suit and test fitted it to see if it would cover my ruck when I was wearing it and how far down it would hang. Eventually I came up with something resembling a poncho that covered me almost to the knees. Satisfied with this I gathered up some of the local plant life and began adding it to the suit. When I was satisfied I laid back against my ruck and closed my eyes. “Uh, excuse me?” Well that was nice. I had closed my eyes for about ten whole seconds. “What, John?”  He wasn’t trying to hide his exasperation. I appreciated that since I reading facial and verbal cues wasn’t a huge strong suit for me. “What do you think you’re doing?” I sat forward and looked up at him. “Sleep, John. What I am trying to do is called ‘sleep’. You are on watch and I am going to lay my ass here and rest for several hours.” I tossed the burlap to him “While you are not busy patrolling the perimeter, try to make yourself a ghillie cape, or frilly ghillie dress. Whichever moves you.”

John threw the burlap back at me “Look, I’ve about had it with the damn gay jokes, okay? And what the hell do you mean you’re going to sleep? Shouldn’t we be moving? I mean I don’t know about you, but I…” That was as far as I let him get. I leapt to my feet, my revolver came out and landed barrel first against his forehead knocking him backwards a bit. “Not a democracy, Johnny. This is what I am doing. You don’t like it get gone, but don’t you open your mouth to utter one single word of complaint.” I looked at him to see if I was cutting through his line of bullshit to the part of him that did the thinking. I thumbed back the hammer on the revolver and took aim at him. “This is the last time I am going to have this conversation. Say anything other than an agreement or goodbye.” I walked forward and pressed the revolver to his forehead. For a moment I saw a glimmer in his eye that was telling him to grab the 9 millimeter and meet me and his death like a man. I wasn’t conscious of how much pressure I had on the trigger but we were reaching the point of no return. John just stood there looking bewildered. I dropped the revolver and decocked it.

John stood there rubbing his head. I apologized mentally to my grandfather who had always told me not to point a gun at something I wasn’t going to kill. Although in fairness to myself,I thought, I would have killed John. He relented and held up his hands in surrender. “Okay. Sorry, you’re in charge Mr Stalin” he thumbed away a trickle of blood from where I had bashed him with the gun’s barrel. “But if it’s not too much trouble, would you clue me into the plan?”

I dropped back onto my ruck and holstered my revolver. “I’m going to sleep for a few hours. Then I’m going to wake up and let you sleep. It’s called standing watch.” I made a the motion of a man walking with my fingers “you are going to keep an eye on things while I sleep. If anything looks wrong, you will wake me up and I will go kill it.” I pointed up at the sky “and when it gets dark, we will start moving so as not to make ourselves huge, and in your case flaming, floating,dancing targets to anyone with eyes”.

I closed my eyes and pulled the impromptu ghillie over my head. “And” I said as I kicked out my legs to relax “I’m in charge. I get to make the gay jokes. When you’re in charge you can pick something about me and make jokes about it.” I folded my arms over my chest and swatted at something flying near my face. “And by the way? You’re never going to be in charge.” He threw something at me and I chuckled. I was just able to reach my holster with my hands across my chest as they were, so I drew it out and held it in my hand as I faded off to sleep. As I did I thought I heard John say “We’ll see about that, fuckstick.”

Chapter 7 -Belt Fed Revolution

I woke up Monday without the benefit of my alarm clock. I was ready to get moving and hopefully pick up something in the way of work, even if– like those fleeing from the south– I only came away with rumors.

I turned on my tablet and opened the browser. I was greeted with the headline Israel Declares War. Apparently the Israelis had enough of their various neighbors and decided that the best offense was a good offense. Details were sketchy but apparently Tehran was the first to go through means of what appear to have been commando style raids followed by similar attacks in Iraq, Yemen and Syria. It wasn’t unexpected by anyone of course, but the fact that the Russians and the Brits jumped in behind Israel certainly was.

I drank my coffee and read about the British (mainly) along with a few squadrons of Russians leading bombing missions against Iran and the economic impact this was bound to have on the rest of us. Our President so far had remained neutral and had not committed any forces in support of Israel, but I was sure that would be coming. More importantly I wondered where the aggressor countries were going to get their oil from to fuel their machines of war since they had begun attacking the source.

Ah well, that’s why I’m not a politician. I’m sure they’ve all thought this through and have a solid plan in place. I grabbed my cellphone and chose the GasBuddy app to see if the effect had been immediate. I was surprised to see that the price had only risen 60 cents overnight. I added a couple of things to my “to-do” list for the day which included filling up one of my 5 gallon Jerry cans and getting some more ammo for my 12 gauge.

I rolled out of the house looking my best. I had polished up my wingtips and was even wearing a tie as I hopped into my Jeep with a handful of resumes. I settled behind the wheel and glanced down to make sure my little 9mm pistol wasn’t printing against my clothes. Satisfied that I looked more or less like Joe Average, I set off.

I was surprised to see no line at the gas station when I arrived. I pulled up and waited for the guard to come check me out. I nodded a greeting to him as he approached and called out “Morning” in as friendly a manner as I could manage. This was a new guard I was unfamiliar with. I glanced toward the station to see if everything was okay and judging by the bored look on the clerks face it was.

The guard approached me and I saw him switch the safety off his AR as he came toward me. This guy didn’t look like the typical ex-service type gas stations loved to hire. He didn’t even look much like an off duty police officer for that matter. The guard was unshaven and his BDU’s looked like they had seen better days; days when washing machines existed. He was wearing what I liked to call a “shoot me” holster strapped to his leg which sported an enormous, shiny Magnum Research Desert Eagle.

I waited as Mr.Friendly (his BDU’s didn’t have a name tag and I didn’t think Mr.Cheese Burrito–which he appeared to have smeared into his BDU’s was a name he was likely to endorse with much enthusiasm) ran my card through to see if I could afford to fill my 5 gallon gas can. After Mr.Friendly handed me back my card and finished chewing my ear off with all his good-natured banter, he waved me through to a pump and then stood near the back of my Jeep while I filled the can.

I tried to engage him a bit, by pointing at the Desert Eagle in his shoot me holster and asking if that wasn’t a bit much for the job considering he had the AR and enough magazines to take over a small town. He grunted at that and stood there looking bored. I left Mr.Friendly to carry on with his impersonation of a detached bad-ass and finished attaching my Jerry can to a secure mount in the cargo area of the Cherokee.

As I was closing the liftgate, I heard Mr.Friendly mutter “Damn it” under his breath and turned to look in his direction. I saw a group of rough lookers heading our way. I ignored my first reaction which was to draw my own weapon and stand defiantly waiting for them to approach. This turned out to be a good idea as he lowered his rifle and waved them on.  As soon as his hand went into the air, my ass went into the driver’s seat.

The Cherokee fired up and I put it into first gear and took off. Mr. Friendly obliged my reaction by stitching up my Jeep with a well-aimed burst that luckily did little damage. As I was rolling forward I had the presence of mind to reach down and grab the lever that put my Jeep into four-wheel drive as I was sure the gate on the other side of the gas station probably wasn’t going to be opened for me.

I aimed the Jeep up an embankment next to the guard shack on the other side of gas station and gunned it. If you’ve never owned a Jeep you might be mistaken in thinking I took off like a lit rocket. The truth is, a Jeep will go anywhere. It just won’t go fast. I hit the embankment at around 15 mph hoping that the slightly oversize  tires would climb it without digging into the curb and sending me flying end over end.

I guess I picked a good angle to try as my Jeep bounced slightly as it popped up over the embankment, its straight 6 cylinder engine roaring as I still had my foot on the gas. I checked my rearview which was now set at an odd angle and saw the group lead by Mr.Friendly running after me. I hit third gear and headed out onto the largely deserted road as the Jeep’s tires squealed in protest at being treated like speed rated tires on a sports car.

As I continued to accelerate I readjusted my rearview mirror and saw the group stop in the street. Apparently Mr.Friendly had forgotten his rifle could cover the distance between us more easily than his feet could. A fact for which I am duly thankful.

As I reached the Jeep’s top speed of 65 mph I caught a glimpse of blood on my mirror. I looked down at my shirt which had a lovely red blotch covering most of the right side. I couldn’t feel any immediate pain and all of my systems seemed to be functioning so I continued driving, hoping to catch sight of a cop car.

A quick scan of the road revealed no traffic to speak of and nothing that resembled a cop car, so I decided to put the Jeep in neutral and let it coast as I grabbed a quick look in the visors vanity mirror. There was a gash in my forehead that ran from almost my hairline to my eyebrow. I relaxed a bit knowing scalp wounds and their propensity to bleed which wasn’t life threatening.

I found a likely spot where I could pull safely off the road and grab my bug out bag.I pulled the bag forward into the front seat and relieved it immediately of the most important thing it carried right then, a semi-auto shotgun. I jumped out of the Jeep and tossed the bag on the hood. As I stood there fumbling things out of the bag so I could get the QuikClot on my scalp wound, I noticed a chunk of hair and a pretty impressive spurt of blood on the roof. Apparently Mr.Friendly wasn’t a good shot at all. It looked as though I’d done all this to myself as I dove into the Jeep’s drivers seat and smacked my head on the little rain gutter that ran the length of the Jeep’s roofline. A walk around the vehicle revealed Mr.Friendly’s only hit, a broken tail light.

I repacked my bug out bag and tossed it into the passenger’s seat as I carefully got back in the Jeep and headed back the way I had just came.

Chapter 6 -Belt Fed Revolution

I spent the rest of my Sunday preparing tubes to store my guns and get my ruck loaded. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not Johnny Militia, but I had enough guns that I could shoot a different one every day of the week without shooting the same one twice. The big choice for me was whether or not to take my Mosin Nagant.

I loved the capability of the Mosin, but the idea of lugging that boat anchor and enough ammo to keep it fed wasn’t exactly what a man with a limp dreams of. I definitely liked the idea of being able to cover a lot of ground in terms of finding ammo so to me my choices then were pretty simple. I’d decided on my .357 revolver and compact 9mm for self-defense. To cover the road between those two I was taking my 12 gauge shotgun and a bolt-action .243 with a 3-9×40 scope. The only other weapon I planned to take was my takedown recurve bow and a couple of extra bowstrings.

Yeah, I know. Didn’t he just say that the Mosin weighed too much? Yeah, he did.The guns I chose–with the exception of the .357 and the shotgun– were light polymer framed pieces. The Mosin on the other hand had a heavy wood stock and also had the disadvantage of being about 8 feet long. Of course carrying the ammo to keep all these guns fat and happy on the other hand was an entirely different story.

A lot of the blogs I read, especially the “spicy” ones are also what I like to call “gear-queer” blogs. You’ll notice I’m not breaking down my gear, tossing out names and all the other things that get gear queers turned on. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

My gear was just that. Gear. Tools. Maybe some people would get all wet talking about the features of the really cool new Phillips head screwdriver they bought, but to me it’s just a tool.

The only big name thing I carried that I would get all warmed up about was my Ka-Bar, Sweet Louise. I bought this knife when I joined the Corps to remind myself of where I had been. And unlike a lot of the other things we tend to accrue throughout our lives, I kept Louise no matter what happened to me.Whenever I loaded out for one of my trips into the woods, I made sure Sweet Louise was right up front in easy reach. Some days I would rather have had my Ka-Bar than any gun I owned.

My loadout (save for the weapons) was really simple. I had a first aid kit I’d picked up from the local home improvement store, supplemented with a few extras like a tourniquet, QuikClot, extra absorbent feminine sanitary napkins, off brand anti-diarrheal, aspirin and a mucus expectorant with Guaifenesin. I also nabbed a big bottle of extra strength arthritis pain reliever, for the times aspirin just wouldn’t cut it.

I probably went a bit crazy with the other weapons in my loadout. I carried a machete, an M7 bayonet that my uncle used in Viet-Nam, and an entrenching tool with a sharpened edge. Yep. I think I had the weapons covered. Several pairs of wool socks, heavy leather gloves,two canteens, a change of clothes and my sleeping bag. All totaled I was carrying about 80 lbs, another reason I went heavy on the weapons: if I had to bug out on foot, I wouldn’t be going in anything that resembled a hurry because of my knee, but I’d certainly feel a degree of safety as I hobbled along.

It was late in the afternoon when I’d finally gotten all my things sorted. I’d sat down at the computer to begin doing a bit of spot editing on my resume when a news article caught my attention.

The New Carpetbaggers

By John Mokhat.

History has seen their like before. After the Civil War, Northerners were heading south with the aim of buying up huge swaths of property left uninhabited by the war. This trend seems to be experiencing something of a comeback, but with a twist. Southerners are fleeing north now, with rumors of jobs and opportunities spurring their steps.

I spoke to one of those heading north, just outside Louisville Kentucky with his girlfriend and their 7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.  According to Steve Brenfield, an IT professional told me “there’s no jobs down here, Rebecca–my girlfriend here– is a nurse, and she couldn’t find a job either”.

This family is not unlike the scores of people I witnessed making their way up I-65. When I asked some of the others why they’d taken to the highway they answered me with a literal interpretation “there’s not as much traffic as there used to be”.

I had to chuckle a bit in disbelief. What did these people think they were going to find here? We had a governor a while back that kept talking about Michigan’s “great economic recovery” and the rebuilding of Flint, a town that was close to being its own third world nation long before the “economic downturn” hit us, but talk is all it was.

I thought about it for a while and decided that for those on the road the prosperity of the North must mean Canada. Michigan could barely fund its social services as I had so recently discovered and whatever manufacturing jobs there were were filled by people that would almost literally kill to keep them. Not that I could blame them.

As I drained my last cup of coffee and finished tweaking my resume I decided to post a classified ad for my motorcycle. The only toy I had that I could for sure do without.

Even in these times there were still people out there convinced that things would turn around. When an opportunity like picking up a 1960 Harley FLH for a song came up, they just couldn’t resist. Within 30 minutes of my ad hitting the web, I had two emails about it. Thank the gods for Craigslist and optimists.

Since I now had Monday off, I began to plan for visits to several areas I figured I’d be able to store my weapons caches in without too much risk of discovery. This meant a trip in the Jeep, which made me smile. Even though gas was down a bit ($10.35 a gallon at the station nearest me! Score!) the Jeep was an unrepentant gas guzzler, but it was also a gas guzzler that would go anywhere I pointed it without complaint.

The plan was to drop off some resumes early in the morning and then get to digging some holes.  How hard could that be? I went to sleep that night feeling a bit upbeat. I was a man with a plan. I was an intelligent, mature, professional with a lot of experience, and I was eager to get to work helping those less fortunate. Things were looking up.