The Veteran and the Protester

Having survived his drunken attempt to get a whore he only knew by sight to marry him, Cheese decided to drag Mack downtown to see the American Legion parade. It was a nice walk for a hot Saturday morning as the pair made their way from the Jungle to Main Street, where all the action would take place.

“Well, I’ll be a fucked-duck,” Cheese exclaimed, “They’re offering a free drink to vets.”

“Oh for christ-sake,” Mack complained, “Are we gonna have another repeat of last night? I mean…”

Cheese interrupted him, “Naw, I’m over that overindulgin’, nut-crackin’ slut-bag – besides I think she gave me crabs bigger than the one’s they pull out of Pacific near Crescent City.”

Having no idea what Cheese was talking about when it came to crabs or where ever that place was, he chose to ignore it, instead responding, “Good, I’m lookin’ forward to this parade and I ain’t in no god-damned mood for your shit today.”

“Well, fine,” Cheese shot back, “And fuck you too in the asshole, Asshole!”

Being a bit slow witted from the night before, Mack asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means I’ll be standin’ right here, waitin’ for this shit-hole to open so’s I can collect my free drink,” Cheese huffed.

Mack waved him off in disgust and continued down the sidewalk to get a better view of the parade as it moved by. A block away he found an empty street corner in the shade and sat down to watch.

The delegation from Wyoming had jus’ finished passing in review when Mack heard the commotion up the street where he’d left Cheese. His spidey-senses went off telling him that his pard had somehow managed to get his saggy-ass in trouble again.

Hurrying back up the side-walk he could see Cheese sitting on the edge of the sidewalk, his hands cuffed behind his back. Not to far away, surrounded by a gaggle of brown-shirted Coppers, was a man’s body laying on it’s side, face towards the building wall.

Mack realized Cheese wasn’t going to get his free drink today, but rather a free trip to the local hoosegow. As the ambulance pulled away, it’s sirens wailed telling Mack that the man wasn’t dead – at least not yet.

Later that day, Mack visited Cheese in lock up, asking, “So what in the fuck did ya do?”

“He was in my face, yellin’ somethin’ ‘bout all vet’s ought pay for their own healthcare and quit leeches off tax-paying citizens,” Cheese answered, “And I asked him when was the last fuckin’ he paid taxes?”

“No, wait — I wanna know how he got on the sidewalk,” Mack cut in, “Did ya hit’em or somethin’?”

Cheese gave a half-smile, “No – the fat bastard jus’ laid down on the sidewalk and decided to take a nap!”

“Oh, well that’s good,” Mack responded, “I figgered you kicked the shit outta him or somethin’.”

Cheese rolled his eyes, knowing it was going to be a long stay. He also wished for that free drink he could be enjoying instead being locked up again.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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