Silly Grins

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's All Little Stuff


“I brought my lunch this time, along with a little extra. I know you don’t usually eat this stuff.”

“A little bit won’t hurt. My wife will bring something in in a minute.”  

“Yeah, she always does.” 


“So, did you see that new doghouse I was working on out there, the one that was just painted?”

“You mean the one next to the tree?”

“Yeah. Had some extra installation from the house. That thing will keep warm in the winter.”

“That’s gonna be one happy mutt with an insulated crib. It doesn’t get that cold around here, does it?”

“You know, even with the installation, you’d be surprised how the cold months can make make things hurt a little. That’s why you won’t see me in the water when the currents change.”

“You break anything playing sports.” 


“No. This is from when I was contracting. Remember how I mentioned that I did a few jobs after the service.”

“You mentioned it before. But I didn’t think I should ask.”

“You don’t have to worry about that. It doesn’t bother me… really.”

“I’ve never served or done any work like that, so I don’t know how to talk about that stuff.”

“Well, I wouldn’t recommend it. You never want to have to take anyone’s life… no, it’s okay. Kind of a trip, really.”

Pick Up


“After one of the patrols, we were sitting around, eating. Kind of like now. Just a group of guys from just about everywhere. South Africa, South Korea… guys from a lot of different places. A few of the guys were hardcore. When you have to clear a village, you shoot everything. Had some practical advice for that kind of work.” 



Yeah. How you never surrender. If the side you’re with is ever about to start waving the flag, the hired guns don't stand a chance. That’s why you’ve got to be ready to take out the people you are working with. Do you want your fries?”

“No, go ahead.” 

“So, we were sitting there, eating, and the usual questions get asked. One of them is how many people you’ve killed.”

“I’m listening.”

“We’re going around the circle. One guy says six. Another five. Another nine. And then one guy says over one hundred. We were all kind of surprised.” 

“I think that’s your wife at the door. She’s got her hands full. Do you want me to let her in?”


“No, I got it. Could you do me a favor? I don’t usually talk about this stuff when she’s around.” 




  1. "That’s why you’ve got to be ready to take out the people you are working with"

    I think most folks who hear "I killed so I wouldn't be killed" doubt it...think their coulda been another way? If the listener is wrong then the speaker probably wouldn't be there.

    They say the winners write history. I think the fastest thinkers get to enjoy more of that history than the folks who doubt their own instinct.

    I hope the conversation continues.

    1. This voice telling the story never did give his own number or tell what he'd done other than that there are lines that no one should cross. And how it sucks. And how there are people who get hired to do things that suck. Things I don't understand and can be thankful that I haven't had to understand.

      And he said, yes, there are such things as bad people.

      He mentioned something about choices, maybe to do with terms and conditions of contracts. Some people are hired just to guard stuff and may see things on their way in and way out...

      The conversation does continue, for a set of three. At least, that's what it's probably got to be given the time constraints.

  2. People who've done the 'dirty' work are as varied as those who haven't... My maternal grandfather never talked much about his war experiences until right before he died. He chose me to be the one to hear. Like a confession. He didn't say as much, but I got the impression that the reason he went almost his whole life without talking about it was simply that he didn't want the awkwardness that goes along with interacting with someone who knows you've killed before.

    My paternal grandfather, on the other hand, was a mean bastard and it seemed like he wanted everyone to know...

    1. People sure do get messed up. Sometimes it's more obvious than others. Conflict after conflict, there are more and more people coming back with serious issues, something that gets missed here, in J-land.

      Work that gets done and the aftermath, the conversation turned to the latter. And it kind of explains why some people, if they do come back from some stuff, end up with an understanding that it's all small stuff.

      At least, that's what I got.

  3. So is the dog really blind and will the "installation" keep it warm... and I really hope the courtesy doggy bags are used to take the doody to the right receptacle.

    I started watching Apt Pupil last night, I don't ask about work done for your country or contract work after... puts people in a weird space. I get uneasy.

    1. Yes, the dog in the picture is really blind. The white parts are her eyes... she never sat still, so getting a decent shot just wasn't happening. Might write about her... a good dog. A good story that kind of explains why she hasn't been put down. Still a lot of life left in her.

      But she is not the dog the house in this story was built for.

      Contracts are never asked about, but when the stories get told, listening is about all that can be done, all that maybe needs to be done. Yeah, I can relate to feeling uneasy.

      As for 'doggy bags' there was a can right next to the designated play area with a big sign on it's gate. Just in front of the newspaper I was reading.