One fine afternoon at the army surplus store.


A collector friend in Europe had a request, so earlier today there was an exceedingly rare occurrence in metro Louisville.

I went shopping at an army surplus store.

The man on duty, who I took to be the owner, was helping a customer. Technical jargon aside, they seemed to be talking about flamethrowers.

Their conversation turned to current events. I wasn’t paying much attention until the customer said, “Well, they’ll have to get past us, won’t they?”

“The liberal assholes will say it’s Trump’s fault.”

“Did you hear that actress talking about the hurricanes?”

“You mean the bitch from Louisville?”

“Yeah, she said they were punishment for electing Trump.”

“I get so tired of the redistributive socialist media pushing those people down out throats.”

“They’ll find out soon enough.”

At this juncture, your eyebrow surely is arched: really, this guy used the word redistributive aloud?

Yes, he really did.

It occurred to me that as an older Caucasian male with a fairly short haircut and clad in a white t-shirt, I was undercover for all intents and purposes, looking (though not thinking) just like them.

They felt no need to censor their chat with me standing nearby, although maybe thoughts like these aren’t out of the ordinary coming after a conversation about flamethrowers. They might still be there, having moved on to tactical nuclear weapons.

Still, it’s just as ridiculous to blame natural disasters on this or any other president as it is to suggest an unknowable God is punishing us for gay marriage, or any other such rubbish.

Before I had much of a chance to introduce climate change as a topic or further contemplate my status as a sub-human liberal, albeit one camouflaged suitably and unthreateningly pale, the owner came up, smiling.

“What can I do for you?”

After I showed him my checklist, we transacted business. It almost felt normal.

I wonder if he knew?