Jack made a sour face and snorted derision. “Maybe you should go by yourself.”
“Oh, c’mon you need the exercise. It’s good for you.”
Jack folded his arms. “Too damn dangerous out there. Why, back in my day – “
“Yeah, I know, everything was wonderful. Everybody was happy. Cows gave chocolate milk; the streets were paved with gold and the sun shined out of everyone’s ass. Now get up and let’s get out of here.”
“Listen smart ass, nobody ever learned anything running their mouth.”
“Uh huh, whatever you say gramps.”
Freddie strapped on his Glock 9 and shouldered an AK-47. He opened the front door and looked both ways.
“All clear; let’s roll.”
Jack got up reluctantly and checked his .357 magnum before following his grandson out the door. Maybe a walk would do him good.
They headed down the street, both of them vigilant but so used to the routine it seemed normal. As they rounded the corner a pack of hoodlums loomed large but crossed the street before they got any further.
Freddie eyeballed them and grinned. “I think your reputation has made the rounds gramps.”
“Ha ha. Keep it up kid, I might even teach you something.”
A little further on Freddie caught a furtive movement out of the corner of his eye. He kept up his pace and pretended nothing was amiss. As they drew closer to the fence where he knew someone was hiding he let off the safety on the AK-47 and put his finger on the trigger.
As they drew along side a man jumped out in the open raising a shotgun. Freddie let rip and dropped him in his tracks. Jack shook his head as he heard the wail of a siren.
“Well, the meat wagon is on its way. They get more efficient all the time.”
“You mean they used to be slower in your day?”
“Son, in my day this wasn’t happening. Well, it was, but not like now. Not everywhere and all the time. You see, back then –“
“Yeah, yeah, everybody loved each other, there wasn’t as much road rage, the girls were all beautiful, food tasted better and everyone lived in nice houses.”
“You keep making fun of me Freddie, but you don’t know. The world was a better place.”
They reached the store and loaded up a trolley with as much as they could carry and still manage their weapons. They headed for the steel cage fronted counter to pay just as two boys came in wielding assault rifles and started firing at the attendant. He ducked down and came back up with a .44 Magnum and stuck the barrel through the cage and shot it out with them. They decided it wasn’t worth it and ran out of the store. Freddie seemed unmoved. Jack got up from his hiding place and dusted himself off.
They paid for their goods and headed back home. As they walked Freddie noticed the look of disgust on his grandfather’s face.
“Aw, c’mon gramps, life is good. You just need a better attitude.”
“Is that what I need? Listen Freddie; it didn’t have to be this way. People got lazy. Then they got stupid. It started with believing in things you can’t see and it just got worse from there. Bad ideas became more important than people.”
“Gramps, if you’re talking about the 2cd amendment everybody knows that’s sacred. All that shit about gun checks and regulations, that was just getting in the way. Everybody’s armed now, it’s a level society.”
“Is that what they teach you in school now.”
“That and a lot of other true stuff Gramps. You gotta get with the times. This is –“
“Yeah, I know, the land of the free and the home of the brave.”