Monday, September 21, 2020

Home-field advantage: Guilt!

***Note from the management: This is a work of Fiction***

My oldest sister was a walking example of the Dunning-Krugger Effect.

She watched 30 minutes of network news a day, an amount that she considered exactly the right amount to make her an expert.

Mom was watching TV when Ann burst into the kitchen.

I was preparing breakfast. It was the same thing every morning, oatmeal with lots of fruit.

“Have you seen the news?” she asked, breathlessly.

“No. You know Mom. Daily Mass on EWTN from 8:00-until-9:00, then the rosary until 9:30” I said.

In the background Father Wolf’s dry, papery voice expounding on the last few paragraphs of Luke 17. He deviated from the usual game-plan which was to tie the two scheduled readings together. Rather, he chose to speak about the Gospel reading and a reading from a completely different Gospel.

Father Wolf wove between Luke’s text* of people partying up to the time of Noah’s flood and 'Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it' and part of Matthew 10 where Jesus claims Christians will be persecuted and families will be split asunder.

It was an incredibly bleak homily for Father Wolf.

“A peaceful demonstrator was MURDERED a block from here!” Ann told me in a stage whisper.

I raised my eyebrows, mimicking surprise.

“It was a woman...a doctor. And somebody shot her in the head!” Ann said.

“But that is not the worst of it. Somebody shot a baby and it was right next to Vinnie’s house!” Ann said.

That is when I decided I better turn on my phone.

Right at the top was a text from Marie. “You need to talk to Vince.”

I asked Ann if she could cover for an hour or so.

Ann had her faults, but shirking duty was never one of them. “Absolutely. Take all the time you need.”

Before leaving, I rummaged around in Mom’s cupboard and found a sandwich sized ziplock baggie. I poured some lemon-juice from the fridge into it.

“What are you doing?” Ann asked.

“It is an experiment” I informed her.

That earned me an eye-roll.

While in the mud room, I transferred the spent brass from my back pocket into the ziplock. Then I stuffed the baggie into the side pocket of my work-jacket.

Somewhere between Mom’s and Vinnie’s, I slipped the baggie out of my pocket and dropped it down a random storm drain. Good-by evidence.

I was happy to have ditched it. There was crime-scene tape marking off an impressive stretch of scorched sidewalk and police combing the grass in neighboring yards.

It wasn’t exactly in front of Vince’s house...but it was mighty close to it.

I knocked on the door.

Vince opened the door. His face was a study in abject misery.

“Put on your coat. We need to go for a walk” I said.

He didn’t argue.

We walked briskly for about fifteen minutes.

Then I asked “What happened?”

“I shot the baby?” was all he could choke out.

“Give me the details” I demanded.

“They fire-bombed old man McCorkles” he said. “I saw them pulling quart beer bottles out of a baby stroller and turning them into Molotov Cocktails” he said.

“I have good binoculars” he said unnecessarily. Vince and Sharon didn’t have kids and the money just stacked up. A $1000 pair of binos was chump-change.

“Go on” I encouraged him.

“I was watching from the second story window” he started out.

That is why we were walking. Had we been in front of his house he might have pointed at it, even as the police were scouring the area for evidence.

“...then I saw one of the guys pull out a bottle, wick it and wind-up to throw it at MY house” he said, aghast.

“What happened next?” I asked.

“I shot him” Vince said.

Of course Vince shot him.

“Then, I shot the baby-carriage he pulled the bottle out of. I didn’t know there was a baby in it” Vince said.

Picturing the scorched ground in my head I said “But there were bottles of gasoline, right?”

Vince frowned at me. “Well, yeah. Pretty much packed all around the baby.”

“You didn’t kill that baby” I announced.

“Bullshit. I shot the baby-carriage” Vince said.

“That baby’s mother killed her own baby when she decided to take him to a riot” I told him.

“Trust me, I am a parent. I the only person who is responsible for where my child is. If I knowingly put my child in a dangerous situation then the sin is on me.”

Vince looked at me, dubiously.

“It says so in the Bible” I told him. “Remember the sequence about brothers fighting and the divorcing of women?”

Vince nodded his head. He remembered. “Isn’t that where he says divorcing a woman is the same as prostitution?”

“Back in the day, the only way a divorced woman could put food-on-the-table was to become a prostitute. So basically, Jesus was claiming that the man, the one with authority to make the decision, was responsible for the damages done to the woman” I said.

The argument was a bit convoluted but Vince could see how it applied to him.

“I still need to go to Confession” Vince said.

“Why? You did not commit a sin” I challenged. “One was clear case of self-defense and other time you pulled the trigger the death of the baby was on his mother’s head.” 

Then I pushed a little bit. "What happened after you shot the baby stroller? Did you see a big ball of fire?"

"It was like was was looking through at the gates of Hell" Vince said.

"Then your shot didn't hit the baby. You blew up some beer bottles. You didn't kill the baby, the person who put the baby and the beer bottles in the stroller did" I said.

There is a time to talk and there is a time to shut-up. Yes, the death of the baby was regrettable but it was not on Vince.

We walked another fifteen minutes, then I cleared my throat. “We have some other things to talk about.”

“What?” Vince asked.

“A ton of bricks is going to fall on the neighborhood tonight. We have to get you, Ruth and Mom out of here” I said.

“How can you know that?” Vince asked.

“Because the Marxists got punched in the nose. They looked weak. The only way they can hold their true-believers is to look like they are invincible” I said. "They cannot let that stand."

“Vince, you are standing on the ‘X’!” 

*I took the liberty of slipping the Friday readings a day. In all likelihood, Tim and Vince are taking this walk early Saturday morning. 



  1. Why didn't he dump the brass out of the bag? I would think the brass loose would lose evidence quicker than still in a bag.

    1. Citric acid dissolves the tarnish off the brass. Citric acid is both an acid and a chelating agent. The brass inside the bag is bright-and-shiny.

      If you reload and you have a small batch of brass you want to make pretty, a pouch of lemonade Koolaid and a bit of water will do the trick. Just add a squire of dish detergent to cut any residual oils and soak in the unsweetened, concentrated lemonade.

    2. Re-reading your comment: Yes, it would have been smart to dump the brass down the storm-drain without the bag. The bag has the potential to hold prints.

      Tim is not a master spy. He is a regular guy making it up as he goes along. He makes mistakes but manages to get lucky and adapt quickly.

  2. Maybe there wasn't actually a baby. Using a stroller is a good ruse to make people think there was one.

    1. I'm with you. I would highly doubt there actually was a baby in the stroller. Far more likely that the alleged parent just SAID there was a baby, and the complicit MSM ran with that story without any proof, just as they always do.

    2. To some people, babies are props that can be used to make you look cool on social media. If one gets hurt, you can always make a couple more.

    3. Bill Cosby to his son- "I made you and I can take you out. And make another one that looks just like you."

  3. Come on man, who surrounds their kid with gasoline soaked rags stuffed in gasoline filled glass bottles? Someone who want's their baby sacrificed maybe? If they are true believers no cost to high. Try this: Go somewhere safe. Then pour gas in bottle, stuff a flammable rag into it. Hold it in one hand while lighting it on fire with the other. You are holding on to burning gas and now figuring how to throw it without getting any gas on you. Only crazy does this.

    1. You need to up your Molotov Cocktail game. You don't soak the wick in gas, but kerosene, and you hold it in place with a stopper of some sort, which will keep the gas in its place during the throw and flight. Mitigates a lot of the risk.

  4. Me and my brothers made molotov cocktails when we were kids. Mason jars with lids. They work but you have to be ready to throw as soon as you light the wick


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.