Thursday, May 1, 2014



guest article

Muzzleloaders for survival

Keeping in line with my philosophy of low tech weaponry, the next progression in weaponry would be the muzzleloader.

This article assumes that one is able to discharge a weapon without drawing unwanted attention to one's self, and that you are using these weapons for hunting, as opposed to defense (Though a cache of pre-loaded cap and ball revolvers would work pretty well for this purpose in a close range gun battle).

Why would anyone want to bother with a muzzleloader? The reasons are a few, but they are sound. As many of you may have noticed, ammo has not only gone up considerably, but is also becoming scarce. My mother informed me that when she went to pick up my pellets at Walmart, that there was a limit of two boxes per customer. Having a muzzleloader will allow you to effectively take game, and save your modern ammo for a situation in which it would be more useful (Such as gun battles, which if you're smart, you will place yourself in a situation into which you will not be getting into any in the first place?). These guns can purchased through the mail in most states, without any background checks or hassles.

With the muzzleloader, you need only to aquire the powder and the caps (or flints, if using the flintlock, which would be an even easier ignition system to keep going long term). A mould can be purchased cheaply, and there is no shortage of lead. Last that I checked, track of the wolf had plenty of powder in stock, but they have a 25lb minimum purchase. (Federal law permits a maximum of 50lbs in possesion). However, you can mix and match the granulations for a total of 25lbs, so you can have some of the finer granulation for your cap and ball revolvers, and the coarser granulation for your rifles/shotguns, as well as some of the ultra fine for priming your flintlock flash pans should you need to. The price for the Goex powder at the time of this writing is $18.76 per 1lb can. I saw no mention of a hazardous shipping fee? But figure for a total of around $500.00 you will have a lifetime supply of powder.

I read an article once that stated that a .50 cal using round balls will work in a pinch for taking small game. The ideal for the smaller animals, would be something like the .32 calibre squirrel rifle that Cabela's sells, but they are charging a lot of money for that gun now. So barring that, a 12ga percussion shotgun, or perhaps a flintlock musket would be a good choice? The shotgun and musket can fire shot for small game and waterfowl, as well as other birds, and can also fire a large projectile for the taking of the larger game animals. The flintlock serves double duty as a fire starter, which is why it was so popular with the mountain men long after the advent of the superior percussion ignition guns. If you are located on the plains, then I would probably suggest a Hawken rifle for the longer shots at the larger game animals. I read another article, in which a group of men were shooting their .58 calibre Hawken rifles at an effective range of 600 metres/yards. You will need to install a tang sight for these longer ranges to compensate for the rainbow like trajectory of the muzzleloader.

The price of these guns, as with all guns, has now risen considerably. I purchased my Hawken as a kit many years ago at a price of $119.00. You will probably not pay any less than $400.00 now for a new Hawken. A word about kits. They are only worth it if you really want to build your own gun. After you take into account all of the work that goes into one, they really are not any cheaper. And as it stands, they are not much cheaper to purchase in the first place. I did see a used Hawken at track of the wolf for around $269.00, which would be a good price. Gun shows are another good place to look for deals.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

po nellie ch 2

Stay tuned for a guest article tomorrow.  I'm still considering the Bison Reprint idea.  It's a good idea, I'm just not sure of the comments taking too much time, not to mention the TWO friggin computers at work are both acting up.  I'll let you'all know.

Ch. 2


Almost all empires declines can be traced back to either soil infertility or water supply disruption. Which makes sense since the whole reason an empire gets to be the big cheese in the first place is a surplus of food. The Agricultural Revolution allowed centralized governments to thrive because of a reliable storable surplus of food and in turn those governments vied for the position of empire by turning that surplus into military and economic power ( geology of course had a lot to do with things, of course, but that makes for an initial advantage. In the end, food surplus also drives even the best placed. Not to mention human nature as imbedded in our culture, honed through hundreds of thousands of years way before farming, of food being our primary driver in all behavior from mating to marriage to death ). American Empire is no different than the Roman. After Rome could no longer advance and conquer new land, after they were checked in what would become Germany, after the Persians stopped them, after they encountered endless desert past the fertile African coastline, there was no where else to go. And after that it was a matter of time before population growth met up with overworked farmland and soil degradation. Once the surplus wealth could no longer buy foreign grain it was pretty much Game Over. All the other details, barbarian invasions, severe weather occurrences, hyperinflation and taxes driving farmers from their lands, was the putrid icing on the cake.


America did not advance to empire because she was special, or better, or democratic or any other jingoistic flag waving propaganda. She did so on an ocean of oil unique in the world ( even today, a hundred fifty years later after the first oil well was sunk, we are still something like third largest oil producer ). Geology certainly didn’t hurt- we had almost all the ores needed in abundance and some of the best collection of farmland around. But oil was what made us great. Oil won us the Second World War ( it certainly wasn’t strategy or tactics-we essentially still threw the masses of poor conscripts into harms way in mass assaults ) and allowed us to colonize half the globe ( we gave the other half to the other country that practiced socialism and sacrificed large numbers of indentured peasants in wave assaults. If you look at FDR and Stalin objectively there is little difference other than facial hair ). The problems began when oil started to be a little less abundant. Once we reached the apex of domestic Lower 48 continental production, things became a bit harder to control.


The 70’s really sucked engorged donkey member for the US. We had to abandon the Gold Standard, our oil production peaked and plateaued ( our whole empire was based on oil GROWTH. Plateau meant end of growth ), because of those two we had to concede defeat in Vietnam ( not strategically important, but important in holding the empire together ) and also start triaging our oil supply which included shutting down our industrial production. Luckily for us, we had a Nazi sounding birth control glasses wearing guy roaming the halls of power that had a great idea. Let’s get the Saudi dudes to start pricing the sale of oil in dollars. Since they are the eight hundred pound guerrilla of OPEC, others will follow. And it succeeded beyond all expectations. Suddenly, the US didn’t need a real manufacturing economy anymore. All we had to do was keep the military hardware flowing and protect our good buddies at the House Of Saud and we could print up worthless paper money that everyone else had to take as trading chits for oil. Then, as if this alone had reversed our run of bad luck, then the North Sea and the Alaskan oil started flowing and suddenly we were again seeing oil gushing in the quantities Americans had come to see as their birthright. Even better, we had enough oil to force down the price so much that the Soviets, facing their own Peak Oil, couldn’t get enough money from their oil and went into a collapse- having the effect of giving us another ten years of free flowing petroleum as Russia looked like an African third world craphole for a time.


Yet, all good things must come to an end. We never were completely out of the woods-our standard of living has very slowly eroded for decades and our society turned onto itself as the fighting over a shrinking piece of pie never stopped. The great thing about it was, the decline was slow enough to be manageable to the average citizen. It sucked, but far better than total economic collapse. But by 2005 it was all over but the fat bitch in a weird horned helmet singing. That was the year, in hindsight almost unanimously agreed upon, that globally conventional petroleum peaked in production. We immediately went into production of everything else we could get to combust in our motor vehicles, from turning half our corn production into ten percent of our gasoline, to making Canada our number one oil exporter even if most of that “oil” was tar sand liquids. Total liquid fuels have declined somewhat, but they would have dropped like a stone without all the oil substitutes we employed. Most exporter nations were seeing five to eight percent declines PER YEAR.


And yet, this wasn’t the worst of it. We just started hyper-inflating the money supply ( much easier now with computers compared to physical paper being needed ) to make it look like growth had not stopped with the oil supply. That kicked the can down the road. No, the worst of it was, the pricing of money in dollars was being assaulted by all sides. One could make a case that we invaded Iraq for no other reason than they tried this first, or at least were the first credible threat. Without the Petro-Dollar monopoly, we were screwed, blued and tatooed. And it was a lot worse than just an economic depression we had to look forward to.



Of course, the silence didn’t last too long. Introspection was not a strong suite in most of today’s youth- although to give them credit, at least the following chatter was of almost forced quality as if to cover up an embarrassment such as when a guest at a party farted early on in the alcohol consumption phase and there was still a bit of social stigma attached to it. Steve didn’t know what to think, although he knew that although he had no information, what he could figure out, what anyone with half a brain could figure out easy enough, was that something very strange indeed had just happened and it was so far from normal it had to be a game changer. Like, if a German tank suddenly showed up at the road leading into your Polish village, that pretty much gave you a clue that there would soon follow very few if any Sunday services, your cousins baptism or a tasty lunch at the cafĂ© tomorrow. Steve hadn’t done much more than follow the bigger news stories for some years now- the newspapers had shrunk in news and bloomed in gossip, sports and trivia and the TV news was so focused on the mundane and had such restrictive blinders on about anything not of interest at the moment to our DC Mandarins, they were both irrelevant. Anymore, if you just read the Internet connection homepage bullet-point headlines you kept up almost as well as if you had spent hours combing through the mass media offerings. Steve understood that this was probably by design. What the lemmings didn’t know to frightened them kept them from running to the cliff. But he certainly didn’t have time to devote to ferreting out whatever truth was out there. He had to work most of his waking hours. Now, completely lacking in any background information to explain things, he was regretting his forced disinterest in keeping up with what had been going on.


“Does anybody know someone to call to get any kind of answer to what the fuck just happened back there? A bunch of hayseeds and soccer moms don’t just suddenly get stupid and go nuts. And all the stores don’t just suddenly run out of most things. How empty was the store, anyway?”

“Had to be at least half empty. I mean, it was kind of hard to tell. You had some isles that were still full like usual. You know, the retched crap like the soy meat and the gluten free bread products. And it wasn’t like a regular storm where only the bread, milk and beer were gone. It was more like most things that came in on a daily basis weren’t being restocked. But I’d say, pretty close, about half the stuff was gone.”

“So, not even during our worst storms and road closures did we see this. Back east when the ice storms took out the electricity for two weeks, obviously there was going to be a run on the stores and shortages, but nobody ever went batcrap crazy and started shooting the place up and looting and whatnot. And it wasn’t like people were buying anything and everything, except perhaps pseudo-health food crap, in desperation prior to the riots. They had plenty of stuff in their cupboards. What is different this time? What are we missing?”
“Probably they were running out for some time, right? People have seen their home stash dwindle down, then they hear something that gets them spooked, really freaked out like they know there won’t be anything at all left for whatever reason. One person calls another, they call two more, in fifteen minutes half the town is in a panic.”
Nicole piped up from the back seat, “Pull over the next spot and I think I know who to call to get some more info. I’m about to puke back here from claustrophobia and car sickness
combined, plus I’m getting a bit nauseous as Tyrone and Mary are grab assing and I can imagine what befouled condition his pencil dick is in. If I add trying to talk on my cell at the same time I‘m going to blow chunks right on the back of your head.”

They went on for a few more minutes before Susan pulled off at the first possible spot. They were on the state highway heading north and mostly it was drop-offs or cliffs on either side with nary a flat stretch or valley the whole length. After much shuffling and flailing about the whole carload of human sardines emptied out and began bemoaning, stretching, bitching and in general acting like they had just crossed the country rather than just driven twenty minutes. Nicole got busy on her cell phone, and like yawning the contagious maneuver prompted most parties to do the same as if anybodies unimportant, unconnected and uneducated acquaintances would have the wisdom to shed light on the current situation. Well, at least they were trying.


“Okay, one of my classmates from GBCC was a poly sci dude, heavily into international events, banking, even military history. Loved to go on and on about what he called The Big Picture. I don’t event think he was all that serious about getting a degree, it was more like a really weird hobby with him. I met him playing D&D,” cries of Dork, Dweeb, Nerd and Poindexter where brandied about as Nicky grabbed her crotch and flipped everyone off, “which he claimed was how he recharged his mental batteries. Anyway, he was clearly pretty excited about all this. It was The Collapse Of Western Civilization according to his barely suppressed enthusiasm. A whole bunch of other nations have broke off with us, even most of our allies, he mentioned a standoff in Germany between our troops and theirs, and refused to honor the dollar as a trading currency. He was going on a bit about this and that, but I remember the ‘sixty percent of our oil is imported and about the only ones still promising us anything is Mexico and Canada.’ He seemed to think that we’ve lost half of our daily fuel supply over the last month. I guess one country after another kind of joined an avalanche deal on screwing us. He also went on about nuclear weapons and posturing, but didn’t seem to think it was a huge threat. He mainly talked about how almost nothing is getting shipped around much. Been that way for some time, everyone was covering, substituting, raising some prices to keep all the inventory from selling. But this is after End Game, in his words. The crap has already hit the fan.”

Steve felt he should be dipped in shit, and said so.

Mary chimed in, “I watched a couple of documentaries on organic farmers and permaculture. I remember them talking about our big farms, how they needed so much oil to grow and transport the food. I think it was like a quarter of the oil we use. But, it could have been energy. You know, like a damn making the electric to freeze the food. Anyway, I know it was a ton of oil just growing food.”
“So, we just filled up with gas. The retards are shipping gasoline to stations, but not food to stores? How much sense does that make?”
“A little. I mean, we all probably fill up more often than we go shopping, if you keep anything at home. But your tank is only twelve gallons, and nobody keeps spare gas around. And gas had kept going up in price the last few weeks. Perhaps enough to keep its consumption down?”
“So they were trying to buy time? Hope to get things turned around before it fell apart? Keep us all in the dark?”
“Sounds about how they’d do it, right? I wonder how many Internent blogs got Spammed or blocked or shut down if they smelled a rat.”
“Well, we got a pretty good idea. We are fucked. Now what do we do about it? Keep driving? Where?”

Steve got to thinking more, because this had been brewing subconsciously already. His brain had already formed its own conclusions, not too long after the shooting of the Trooper. That kind of crap just was simply not done. Even in big cities, only really wigged out super fucking disturbed criminals popped cops. Your average citizen did not. Ever. Even as they were being framed, abused, harassed or intimidated. Hell, cops came to steal your kids, put them in foster care, Joe Average still believed in the law and thought he could seek redress peacefully in court. For it to be deemed self defense if a cop was trying to get you to stop stealing food, that was a paradigm change ( Steve only had a vague idea what ‘paradigm’ meant, but he was sure he was thinking of it in the correct context ). And Steve could actually accept it. Oh, this was as surprising as trying to take a shit in the wee hours, it feels weird, and then a flying monkey weasels his way out, covered in feces and blood, smiles at you and proclaims a top of the morning to you. Obviously you are going to be shocked, surprised, dumbfounded and a little grossed out. At the monkey. At the system falling to shit in no time whatsoever? Not so much. Consciously, you always just plodded along in acceptance. Subconsciously, your sentient simian of average intelligence had to know the whole fucking thing was long past expiration date and only blind luck had saved everyone’s asses so far.


Steve wasn’t well versed in much of anything other than corporate management, but he pretty much knew nothing had been working. And so all this made sense. Sure, he was a fucking moron for not waking up to this a lot sooner, and perhaps preparing like those crazy bastards on TV with all the guns and cammo and weird military food-although who’s crazy like a fox now, right?- but you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Not having a good goddamned of an idea of what to do was not an option. They could sit around and be road kill, or do something, anything. They didn’t have to be stupid about it, but they also needed to act in an expedient manner.

“Okay, troops. I see this as Shit Or Get Off The Pot. We need to make some really hard decisions, right now. First, decide if you are going to find a safe hole and wait for help. You saw how much help three law enforcement agencies were in town. They managed one cop. He didn’t last long. If any of you forgot, Hurricanes in New Orleans and New York City saw about zero troops moving in to restore order or bring food. For days. And they had outside resources to bring in. If this shit in national, and there is no reason to think otherwise in my opinion, there is no outside help. But you can go that option. You might want to. Because I see one way out of this, and that is to go preemptive. We need to do one better than those lone yahoos fighting over groceries. We need to go steal our own. Right now. Nothing is going to last long. We need to turn around, go find a soft target, and take their food. Simple as that. And we have to back it up with force, if necessary. I don’t expect any of you to shoot anyone. I’ll have to do that. But you need to be my eyes and ears, and help me load up the car with the loot. Everyone pile in, and you’ve got about fifteen minutes to decide. Right outside of town, we drop off those not willing to participate.”

Surprising everyone, perhaps, not a word was spoken. The silence went a lot deeper than last time.


Several minutes later into the return trip, Steve happened to look past the irritatingly long hair of his lap buddy Michele whipping into his face and catch in his peripheral vision a flashing light in the rear-view mirror. Cop car behind them. If he had stopped himself and thought about it, he would have done nothing. But now that he had made up his mind and banished the indecision, and as long as he turned off his natural over-analysis tendencies, this stuff just got easier and easier. He roughly pushed Michele off his lap into the tangled pile of people in the passenger seat and began instructing Susan as he kept an eye in the rear view mirror. “Suz, don’t argue, just listen. Keep your eyes straight ahead and turn on the blinker like you are pulling off. Loosen your grip on the wheel. When I say ‘now”, tighten up on the wheel and take your foot off the gas. Don’t slam on the brakes. You just need to keep us on the road. Okay?”

She nodded, suddenly looking nervous.

Steve put his hands on the steering wheel, keeping his eyes on the mirror.

This was deliciously perfect. The vehicle was one of those pimped out pick-up trucks turned patrol car, so hopefully it was a lot less stable then a typically lower center of gravity passenger car. “Everybody, brace yourselves for impact!”
Before the first hand could reach out or confused inquiry be voiced, Steve savagely yanked the wheel to the left, impacting the pick-up going at a high rate of speed. He held on and kept pulling over into it, until the truck lost control and shot over the edge, sailing into space. Steve yanked the wheel back over and let go, “now!”. The caddy fishtailed in the dirt and they almost followed the truck down into the gorge but Susan obviously had some experience driving while grabbing ass and did a masterful job of not killing them all. The car righted itself and slowed.

“Okay, you beautiful bitch! Thank you. Most wonderfully done. Go ahead and stop and back-up to the crash. Anyone fucked up from the jostling? Bashed heads? Bruised limbs? No? Boy, that was lucky. I thought we’d knock somebody out. You sure you’re okay, Mary?”

Steve reached over and opened the drivers door as soon as they’d come to a stop, “Flashers on, please. Safety first!”, and pushed Susan out. “Just keep an eye out, okay? If they were traveling in pairs I need a shout out so I can act like a good Samaritan and this guys pissed off buddy doesn’t ventilate me.”
“Goddamn, Steve. This is some fucked up shit, boss. Just what is it we are doing here?”
“You want to go wait with the mob outside Wally World? Hope they are still selling some guns, still have ammo. I’m arming us so we stand a chance. It was a sign from Baby Jesus himself that he loves us, sending the,” Steve looked down the hill and cocked his head slightly to better read the now upside down door sign on the smashed to crap busted up twisted truck with a limp arm dangling from a shattered window, “tribal police out here in the middle of nowhere so we could requisition his firearms. You know every swinging dingus in law enforcement from the Feebies to the game warden to the BLM is well heeled from anti-terrorist grants after 9-11. We don’t need a machinegun, but we sure could use a few long guns and more pistols. You having second thoughts? You going to be one of us who bails at the edge of town? I guess that means the rest of us walk, right? I’m not judging you, it is just that you’ve been the one stepping up for me since all this shit went down. I kind of like knowing someone has my back. And, yes, this is some fucked up shit. I just killed some poor bastard. Or, if he is still alive and struggles, I’ll be killing him shortly. I’ll have nightmares and guilt later. Right now, we are all surviving.”

“Give me a bit to process it, okay? I just start thinking about one thing, there’s another. Give me tell the city limits, okay? Just like the others.”

“Okay. Keep an eye for me?”
“Least I can do.”

Steve was hoping his Libertarian Tea Party Righteous Indignation tirade on LEO’s being heavily armed wasn’t feeble bullshit. They needed more weapons, even hunting rifles would be okay. And ammunition sure wouldn’t hurt. He reached the wreck and didn’t notice anything in the cab. The officer, as white as white could be for an Indian Reservation cop-which was okay with Steve since now at least he didn’t have to feel guilty about being a Caucasian killing off one of the last redskins-was still moaning in a barely audible pitch but there was enough blood pooling under him that Steve wasn’t too worried about him lasting too much loner. Luckily for Steve the driver side was now facing away from the road, so he could cut the seatbelt away and drag the guy out and still not be fully seen if another cruiser showed up. He didn’t need the belt as it was too bulky, so he just took the semi-auto and all its clips, then unlatched the bulky key ring. It was going to be a little obvious as soon as he unlocked the truck bed cover that he was up to no good, but he was sure that was where the long arms were going to be. Just to be sure, he quickly checked under the seat and behind it for any. Nope.

“Send one of the guys down so I can tilt the truck up and get into the bed.”
“Fuck him.”
“Tyrone says Fuck You.”
“Tyrone is my least favorite right now. How about it? Jerry, Joe?”
The two didn’t look enthusiastic but they came down and started to manhandle the latch end of the bed up and to its side. And the little fairy didn’t even drama up! Steve peeked into the opening, the cover raised as far as it would which wasn’t much more than a foot or two. “Jackpot, boys and girls. Joe, you’ve got us all beat skinny-wise. Can you shimmy in there and start pushing everything out?”

Everything was two plastic rigid long gun cases, a first aid kit of no small size, what he assumed was ammunition in one of those old military metal cans with the pop up lid and a few obviously personal items they weren’t going to root around in just about now. “Let’s get this and go, guys. I’m nervous as a cat on the stovetop waiting for someone to start dinner. Put em in the trunk and let’s jam back in. One of you know anything about a Glock? I seem to remember a safety on the trigger, so if you figure out the magazine release you should be able to operate it without too much embarrassment.”

Joe volunteered, oddly. Steve hoped the gay blade wouldn’t break his wrist on it. The guy sure was skinny. Oh, FUCK! Seriously? He hadn’t ever thought of this before, really? He wondered if Joe had AIDS. That was going to suck, if a bullet sprayed contaminated AIDS cooties on him. Well, focus. Worry about that later. Let’s ride!


Not too many minutes later and at the edge of town, the fiercely unimposing gang of ne’er-do-wells gathered for yet another conference. Damn thing was getting as bad as a democracy, sourly mused Steve. “Okay. Decision time if you want to stay together. Look down at our sad little pathetic town. Fires. Hear the gunfire, still? Danger lurks people. But you can easily camp out here away from this crap, it can’t go on too much longer. I don’t want you with me if you are going to pussy up when we have to do whatever needs done. I don’t expect you gals to be super warriors, but you’ll still have to do unpleasant things. I can’t guarantee anything, even that I’m not overreacting. But I’m throwing the dice and that’s what you have to do also. I don’t need to debate with you, either. In or out. You all know what just went down. And I’m kind of glad. I jumped right to the top of the food chain, asshole-wise. I probably couldn’t have described what to expect any better without that stroke of luck. I’ll wait over there. Decide if you want to do this with me, walk over. If not, walk away.”

Joe and Jerry were the first, with barely any conversation. Steve imagined Joe liked his new pistol and wasn’t going to want to part with it, and as they say about Mama Ain’t Happy, Jerry was most likely easy to convince. Give a girl a gun, they get a sense of empowerment. Susan didn’t even talk to any of the others but came over with almost no hesitation. “Does this make me your number two, I join up with you now?” she asked quietly. Steve was momentarily confused until he felt a fingernail softly trail up his inner thigh. Wow! Okay. Message received. He smiled at her. Sure, she was close to ugly. But she had a nice rack, and she was showing herself to be quite the tough little bitch. Steve wasn’t going to complain. In fact, this was turning out to be one of the best days he could remember in quite some time! The hated corporate masters were now powerless to effect his fate, he just extracted revenge against The Man, and now a little hottie wanted to bump uglies with him for a share of the admitted tiny power he might wield even if for a very short time. It was good to be king.


Nicole walked over, even if she seemed reluctant. She kept looking back at everybody else, even faltered once. But she came over. And that was it. The rest turned at walked further away as if to firmly make the statement. Tyrone even flipped off Steve. “Psycho fuck. No way we’re getting mixed up with you.” Well, that was kind of harsh. Here he was, just trying to help a brother out. Ingrate son of a bitch. Although, honestly, who the hell wanted Tyrone hanging around causing trouble? Worthless tits on a bull turd. Mary was just his dingle-ball ( hanging on an asshole, get it? ), and Michele was probably going to go WD’s soon. And Maria was a smidge out of shape. So he is left with a professional shit stirer, two fags, one which might be contagious, and a new girlfriend who has a reputation as a skeevy whore ( Steve’s Little Brain reminded him that it really didn’t care what Steve thought and since it really was All About The Little Brain, Steve could shove his unsolicited opinions up his ass ). He felt like he was back in grade school, he had just chosen the least worst kids for his dodge ball team, and felt oddly triumphant.


Okay, Team Steve…”

“Team Steve? Ego, much? We need a MUCH better moniker.”
“Did you spend two years in our esteemed local institute of lower learning to memorize words like that?”
“I also learned the word, ‘blow me, doughboy’.”

“I’m not familiar with that one.”

“It’s the same as the word ‘pack it up your flabby pale ass’.”

“Don’t say it, Joe.”


“Okay, let’s table the discussion for now on our cool new name and or if applicable mascot.”
“Five Fingers?”
“That’s as fucking gay as Team Our Adorable Leader Steve. And it brings to mind The Fickle Fist Of Fate Fucking every last one of us right now. We need upbeat and cheerful.”
“Okay, really, moving on. I have a great target in mind. I might even go so far as to call its selection masterful, inspired and Better Than Sliced Bread.”

“Team Wonder Bread!”

“How is that going to strike fear and envy into our enemies hearts? Moving on, we are going to hit the senior center. Before you all get stupid on me, sniveling and weeping, buying into the four decade old geriatric myth of insipid poverty as exemplified by tales of resorting to eating dog food from cans, look at it from a social survival standpoint. Oh, let’s drive as I convince you all of my great mental gymnastics. I call shotgun. Suz, go behind K-Fart, the back way by the smoke shop. Much less traffic, I hope. Anyway, these ancient decrepit fucks have been alive so long, despite the Feds irradiating them for ten years or so with aboveground testing of hydrogen bombs and shit like nerve gas in New York subways, not to mention the big ag corporations feeding them Spam and Velveeta, and now after all these close calls with the Grim Reaper they are hooked up to oxygen tanks and colostomy bags. They might not have had very good lives, but they sure were long as fuck. Not our fault they pissed them away kissing the boss’ ass in cubicles or blowing the milkman after popping pills from boredom. These Leave It To Beaver motherfuckers have hung around long enough. They aren’t going to be getting any more shipments of pills to keep them alive, so I can’t imagine taking their food is really going to mess them up all that much. And, more importantly, I don’t think a lot of people are going to have the same idea.”

“Um, that is so diabolically genius I can’t really argue with it. And it probably isn’t as fucked up as killing a cop. No offense.”

“Not to worry, my cohort in defense. Don’t sweat it, just stand by the car and defend the food I bring out. I might kill a few oldsters with heart attacks, but I don’t think it is going to be much worse than that. Oh, and if you fuck this one up like you did the food back at the store, make sure to shoot me before I put a bullet into your brain. But, again, don’t worry. We can all be born anew in this brave new world. Start afresh. Redeem ourselves. Get it?”
Joe looked sufficiently chastised and resolute, so Steve was filled with confidence his award winning leadership was bearing fruit. “The rest of you are helping me. Pull around to the back. Every industrial size kitchen opens to the back, for deliveries and aping of course the great tradition of keeping the hired help out of sight of visitors. Locked. Okay, they aren’t complete idiots. You guys stay here, I’ll go through the front and open ‘er up.”

Steve hurried around to the glass entrance and found those doors locked as well. He picked up a combo trash can and ashtray, but of course it was too flimsy. The establishment must have spent the three grand a month per patient on salaries and advertising rather than good furniture. He hoped their frugality did not extend to the pantry quantities. He only achieved a small crack in the glass. What? They thought a resident was going to build up speed in a wheelchair and try to ram out to freedom after lights out? He tried again but mainly just began tiring himself. Fuck it. He went back around and told Susan to drive around and ram through the front, shades of Arnold “I’ll Be Back” in Terminator, and go back and resume position. This was taking long enough, and he didn’t need the masses congregating here trying to contest his spoils of war ( War On Aging? ). The windows offered little resistance to the Caddy, leaving as little evidence as the truck ramming had ( Detroit really needed to use more than Styrofoam and plastic on car bodies these days ).


Steve wandered the halls, peeking into rooms and seeing mostly catatonic occupants ( the glass busting in seemed to have little effect on them. Must have had their hearing aids turned off ) and no staff. Didn’t he read about patients at a mental hospital during Katrina being left to fend for themselves? Or was it an old folks home? Well, no matter. He’d stay cautious in case the faraway mega-corporation actually took money from their bloated bonus fund to hire a guard, but this was turning into a cakewalk. No competition and no resistance. Once he found the kitchen, there was a lone occupant. The middle aged, probably minimum waged Hispanic woman was catnapping in her chair behind a desk between the kitchen and back door that must have comprised the entire department administration effort. She startled at his throat clearing, started jabbering incoherently in her native tongue at the sight of his firearm, heaved herself up and out of her chair, extra jowls jiggling and gravity challenged bosom swaying madly, extended stomach lurching and shot to the exit at a surprising speed given her diminutive stature. She bolted outdoors, screeched at the sight of the others, especially the other armed teammate, started imploring Jesus-obvious even to the second language impaired- and careened away. Well. That was easy. “Let’s load up, gang. Every can they have except condiments. No frozen except a couple nights Barbeque meat. Again, Joe, eyes out. No dicking around.”

It didn’t take them long with everyone hustling and then filled up the trunk so much someone was going to have a suspension repair pretty soon. They even moved the cops belongings into the back seat. Plenty of room now, as the dead weight was pruned. He felt bad for Mary, well along in pregnancy, but the price of following the species tendency in caring for the breeders had the price of Tyrone. And if anyone was, he was destined to be removed from the gene pool.

“Another job well done. Now, Let’s figure out where to go with our booty.”

“I vote for anywhere out of town.”

“I don’t think any of care to stay here. But where?”

“Ryndon. Past that and there is no river. Well, we could go south of there, there’s the lake. Well, pond, really, but standing water anyway.
“I think that is going to do just fine. Susan, what does the gas look like?”
“Almost like I can see the needle moving towards empty as I drive. I’d say that is going to be about our last destination, with perhaps a partial return trip to town.”
It didn’t take too long-perhaps another fifteen minutes. There were plenty of fires along the way, especially at the general store next to the RV campground. Steve thought a propane grill and tank would be great for the meat, but there seemed to be a lot of activity there, mostly of the armed individual variety. He had the boys in the back seat look into the gun cases and ammo can, and it wasn’t bad but neither was it a great logistics victory. One case held a shotgun and the other a scoped bolt action hunting rifle. It would certainly help arm them, but it wasn’t military grade weapons he had hoped for either. No matter.

They arrived at the lake finding little activity. One family had set up tents already, so Steve had his crew go to the opposite end. They probably weren’t a threat, he just didn’t want to get in any pissing contests, and truth be told had no desire to be near the kids hooting and hollering. Bad memories, and not conducive to any kind of budding romance he was hoping for. Steve said a few words to the father, left some meat for them as a peace offering ( they had plenty, even if they gorged for several meals ), and went to set up their camp. Which wasn’t more than a fire pit. They had no shelter or even extra clothes. Luckily they were all dressed warm enough from hanging out in the work parking lot enjoying the show of destruction, but as soon as this mild weather broke they had yet a new problem. Besides having to eat their meat roasted over sage brush coals. Not the tastiest coating. But Steve found himself ravenous. Must have been all that anti-social activity.

That night saw them retiring early. They had one flashlight from the cop’s stashed items but no new batteries. So they pretty much went to bed after the fire was allowed to die down, all of them cramped but safe from the mosquitoes in the car. Which was probably a good thing, because due to the snoring, tossing, farting and groaning he kept waking up. The last time he stayed up and decided to go out to pee, in the hopes of then sleeping better with an empty bladder. And heard a group of males whispering not far from the camped family. He still had his pistol strapped on, not because he was paranoid and vigilant but because after eating and after being molested by Suz in the nearby bushes he had barely kept awake getting back to the vehicle and crashed hard, merely by accident staying armed. He wasn’t going to play the hero, had little interest in endangering himself for strangers, but he wasn’t going to get the group find the Caddy, either. He was doing the right thing, but for selfish reasons.

There wasn’t any moon, but the one thing he always loved about getting out of town here was the clarity of the sky and the fact the town wasn’t so big as to wash out the nightly stars. When you weren’t freezing your junk off or being eaten by bugs, a few times a year you could sky gaze in peaceful tranquility. They were enough to see by and he still had his shoes on so he could move without pain which might include whimpers and sharp intakes of breath.


Steve didn’t wait to hear what they were up to or try to fight fair. He saw there were three of them. He was a crappy mostly unpracticed shot, but he was fifteen, maybe ten, yards out-their center mass was going to be hard to miss. He opened fire on the first and saw him fall from the muzzle flash of his second trigger pull. And then was quite blinded, his night vision ruined. Great tactics, moron, he chided himself as he turned to run and promptly tripped over a bush. And again, Lady Luck must have had grand plans for her new favorite, because the bullets started flying overhead about as fast as he fell out of their way. Now he was deaf too. Well, hopefully they were too, he prayed as he yelled out. “Hey! I’m over by the other camp. Someone get some shots over this way. Shoot at the flashes!”

Which was met by impacts near his body. He barely heard the booms, felt the impacts and the stinging dirt hitting his face. They must have had ear plugs in, Steve lamented sourly as he scrambled away from his last position. This was not exactly going by plan or expectation. He guessed that back-up would have been a good idea. Of course, guards would have also. There was more to this Great Leader crap than stealing food from invalid old folks or ambushing cops. He wasn’t doing much except trying not to get killed himself when he heard the gunshots from the car. He saw one go down, and so started firing at the other, presumably the last one. And even as he connected on the second to last round, as instructed the team started firing at his muzzle flashes. Fuck, now they listen, he scrambled again for cover. “Guys, GUYS! Stop firing you fuckers. I think we got them all. You can stop trying to shoot me.” Which brought yet another shot, met by several answering. What the hell? The camper. Now the bastard was helping out. Hope the cunt got hit. Except he had kids.


“You guys done?”

“You hit, Steve?”
“No. I’d be cussing at you, maybe shooting at you if I was. Shitting myself more if I was. Get the flashlight. Let’s see what damage there is. Whoever has the rifle, use the light. Let the pistol and shotgun cover you. I’m pretty sure that’s it. Unless someone is waiting on us, but how else are we going to clear them anyway, right? Three between you and the tent, and then see if the family is okay. I can’t hear too well, how are you guys doing?”

“Got a buzzing from the noise, but I can hear you okay. I won’t hear the small stuff, like someone sneaking up on me.”
“Turn the car around and get some real light going for a few minutes. Then we can use the flashlight after we get an idea of what is going on.”
“Won’t that announce our position?”
“And the shots didn’t?”
“Okay, good point.”

The three ambushers were nicely dispatched. No withering pain or unsettling high pitched cries. Just nice and dead. The dad at the camping site was a different story. He seemed to be gut shot, and was not shy in letting everyone know it hurt like a motherfucker. Nor was he too happy that his wife was laying dead in a puddle of blood. He was trying to drag himself to her, and the dead baby the wife still had in her arms. Nichole started screaming worse than the guy, dropped he shotgun and was acting all the girl. Susan didn’t seem to be appreciative of her trauma, but Steve was fucked if he was going to put up with that crap and pushed her forward. Shit, if Joe the flaming girl wasn’t losing it, Nichole sure as shit shouldn’t be. They weren’t even close enough to see if it was pellets or bullets that did them in, so why was she thinking she did it? Of course, he wasn’t sure if you could tell the difference between pistol rounds and shotgun pellets, so the only thing you knew was that the bitch was dead. And it was the husband joining the fight against the wrong target that got them killed, anyway. Steve wondered if this was just a Fem thing, crying to relive stress. Well, more important things to do.


The three attackers each had an M-16. Or, at least the civilian version. A hunk of shit weapons system, at least according to his bigger brother ( from whom Steve had learned much of his weapons lore ) who had to carry the thing over in the middle east occupation. He was probably still there. Fucked. Just like his kids on the other side of the country. If Steve was going to cry, it would be over them, not some local snot sucker he didn’t even know. Anyway, the rifles came with a total of ten magazines between the three former owners. Not exactly enough to start and sustain several firefights. Best to go see what was in these yahoos car. That had the bonus of getting them out of the immediate area in case anyone did investigate. And perhaps it was time to swap out for a better gas mileage vehicle. Steve retrieved all sets of keys-one had vehicle keys included. He gathered the troops, telling Nichole to stuff the crying or stay here alone, and they took the road back towards the pavement. Everyone was armed now, and the pistol holders now also carried long guns. Not much ammo except for the pistols, but not bad for several hours of being awake and a half day from the start of all this shit storm.

“Here’s a car, boss. Hoods still warm.”
“And the key fits. Let’s look for anything useful. I hope to hell they have more ammunition.”

“I don’t see anything. Some spare sweaters we can use, that’s about it.”
“What kind of dick hole only has three or four boxes of ammo for an assault rifle?”

“The kind that we attract.”
“Well, at least we have the car. We’ll be as crowded as before with all the food but perhaps we can get further.”

“Any gas in it?”

“Oops. Let me crank the key- and fuck me. Not much past the red.”
“What about the family camping? Where was their car?”

“Perhaps behind the trees?”

“Why does this remind me of the Senior Center? We’ve really got to pull our heads out of our ass.”
“Above our pay grade. That’s why you’re the boss.”
“Okay, let’s turn around and go back. And we need to see about the supplies we can get from them.”

The car was indeed hidden in the trees, but it was a large pickup, also with little fuel. It was going to be of little value. They did procure a few camping supplies and the dads rifle, but not much more. The meat given to them must have been the only food they’d had.

“We need to find another place, a better shelter. And figure out how to do it with little gas left. Then figure out how to get more and better supplies. Susie, if I told Jerry to lead this circus, would you still be attracted to me?”
“Probably not. No offense.”

“Crap, I didn’t think so. So I’m stuck figuring out the brilliant moves?”



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Friday, April 25, 2014

guest article

Gadgets and Gizmos: Rifle Chamber Inserts

Rifle chamber insert adapters are another excellent item to buy.

During a break down, ammunition will be like gold is today.  As the break down continues, the value of it will skyrocket. 

Imagine the average person, during a collapse, having only a baseball bat or kitchen knife to protect their family with.  Ten rounds of anything would have very high value.  They have a 308, 303, 30-06, 30-30 or a Mosin Nagant, but not one darn bullet.  They know where they can trade for ten rounds of 32acp or 7.62x25.  However that won't do them one bit of good.  Enter the chamber insert.

The chamber inserts great advantage is the flexibility it offers.

Here is a partial list of available adapters:

32acp in a            308 or
                             30-06  or
                             303 or
                             30-30  or

30 carbine in a     308 or

7.62x25 in a         303 or
                             7.62x54r or
                             308 or

22 long rifle in a   222 or
                             223 or

7.62x39 in a         308 or

These will cost between $15-$30.

I know that for some, trading ammo is a no-no.  This article is only about the usefulness of the chamber insert.
Note From Bison:  It seems I've lost near about half my readers.  Just to remind everyone still standing, I love you guys!  Thank you for being true.  Jim

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

po nellie




Empires rising and falling are as old as agriculture. For whatever reason, whether drastic climate change wiping out the large herd animals or if it was something as simple as the tripping point where generations of splitting off from the tribe to form a new ones led to a widespread over-saturation of hunter-gatherers, agriculture was viewed after hundreds of thousands of years to be for once a viable and desirable new paradigm. And once farming took hold, whatever its other disadvantages, militarily it was hard to counter in its own areas ( fertile and watered land as opposed to wasteland of inedible grass ). Growing and living largely on grain allowed a surplus to be gathered and stored, not just to supply military expeditions but to support a larger population which led to more soldiers and more farmers to grow the surplus for the soldiers and for the craftsmen to generate more weapons. In short, it was the first way to centralize warfare. And after that genie was let out of the bottle, there was no going back. The cycle of empires was born.


The side in an agricultural war that fields the most men, adequately fed, best equipped, all other things being equal, is going to usually triumph. Yet to field the most men you need the most land, and you either stole more land through war or you overworked the land you had to produce more- hoping that this would enable you to steal more land to replace that which you just ruined. The history of war through the Agriculture Age is that of degraded land, land changing hands and in general land being the currency of the realm. For those poor pitiful idiots who wear Birkenstock sandals and braid their armpit hair, decrying why we can’t all just get along in rainbow harmony, it must seem like quite the shock that folks normally kill each other for the chance to eat. But that is the reason for wars. And for any society that wants to just be left alone to hoe their turnips in tranquility, to be at one with Mother Gaia and to practiced enlightenment by living peacefully, well, soon the legions will be at their door glad for easy conquest at the unique prospect of unprotected cropland. Morons.


In the last five hundred years, give or take, the dynamics of empire have changed. First by the one time “gift” of colonization, mainly due to germ warfare but certainly not unaffected by the race to deep sea sailing dominance, and then second by the much more generous but much more quickly used ( but of course in our own defense we did have a much larger population by then, thanks to surplus food from the freshly enslaved New World ) one off endowment of carbon fuels. The use of coal and surface ores was enough to get the whole Industrial Revolution ( and make no mistake, this was a revolution in all ways of doing things just as much as the Agricultural Revolution disrupted everything ) started and when petroleum was ushered in to widespread use it was like adding gasoline to the fire. Activity exploded, not least war and the fight for empire. But make no mistake, coal and oil and plutonium are not renewable resources. We used up our own, controlled most everybody else’s, have started to run out of theirs and are now scraping the bottom of the oil barrel by utilizing fuels known by generations of oil geologists but never seriously considered because the amount of energy they returned was either extremely low or even a net energy loss ( tar sands essentially convert natural gas to an oil-like substance to use in cars or more likely military vehicles-it is debatable how much energy gain there is from the whole process if any ).


Our five hundred years of surplus energy are over. We still have the dregs left, but fundamentally for all intents and purposes the surplus that drove our economies and our extreme population surge are over. We still have the need for that energy, however, because we have a lot of people we are still feeding ( not to mention there are a lot of folks that got wealthy off the current system and have absolutely zero interest in seeing that disappear ). And despite what a bunch of idiots making money hand over fist in the sustainability movement would lead you to believe, surplus population doesn’t just go gently into the good night when an energy contraction occurs. People tend to take starvation rather personally and try to do something about it, usually including utilizing violent force. Any historical perusal of recent African conflict will give you plenty of examples, not to mention The Arab Spring which has absolutely nothing to do with the fight for democracy and everything to do with the lack of affordable food ( brought on, at least to start with, by the American ethanol program which took globally distributed surplus corn and put it into domestic gas tanks. By now the global drought is contributing ). Yet somehow we think our own nation, which is overpopulated despite what we are told by the advocates of Forever Growth, will peacefully transition to a lower population and go from a centralized food production system back to a decentralized one despite the fact that all that once greenbelt land surrounding cities is no longer fertile farmland but built over suburbia ( the horror of suburbia is not the waste of resources but the destruction of farming ). Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing you get in a paradigm change is conflict. And our empire, because its energy flow is broken and there is absolutely no replacement, has started its disintegration. Which you can bet on being violent rather than peaceful. We can all agree that the fall of empires happens regularly. None of us agree on the details of their fall. Generally because they leave few if any records ( the last 500 years were relatively peaceful transfers of power because the whole was still in an energy surplus. This is NOT a historical norm ). Why? Total destruction and almost total die-off. Why is this time any different?


Commence Drama

Steve took a good long breath in, exhaled violently, prayed to Sweet Baby Jesus for a Zen like state of calmness ( knowing full well the contradiction ) and for good measure a Seinfeld moment of Serenity Now. While he wasn’t the worlds most patient fellow, nor was he prone to fits of wild anger. And yet, trying to manage a retail store full of stupid pimply faced fat assed dumb ass bimbos ( of both genders ), one was always faced with a compelling need to strangle yet another Moron Of The Year award winner. Nicole, supposedly less idiotic due to her advanced years of twenty-three and winner of a community college degree of moderate accomplishment for some arcane study-probably having to do with the lesbian artist of the newest sad sack Third World country, was busy with office politics of Machiavellian levels of intrigue against all and sundry on her shift. Susan was threatening to go sleep with the regional manager to get her way with the schedule and while Steve didn’t think she was all that hot, she wasn’t exactly disgusting enough to turn away if the guy was having typical levels of marriage blue balls. Plus, she could suck a golf ball through a garden hose for all he knew, which would obviously queer the equation. Michele was probably doing crack, her energy levels being through the roof. Not that he could get corporate to authorize him a piss test ( although they had no problem giving one to a sixty year old former FBI agent-to give one example of folks obviously NOT doing drugs-

Prior to hiring him ). In fact, corporate had even told him to accept less application just to save on the urinalysis costs. So he was left with fewer choices of idiots and got stuck with crew members like he had now.


Good friggin Christ on a pogo stick, welcome to entry level corporate management. Steve honestly couldn’t believe he was here in this tiny office desperately trying to calm himself before he killed someone. Like Tyrone, despite the name as pasty white and middle class as they came. Stupid son of a bitch, gets Mary pregnant a week after she passed her probationary period. Luckily for him, his performance revue heavily leaning towards his ability to perform miracles with gaggles of malcontents, she was part time and didn’t qualify for medical ( which would have looked bad on him if the company actually lost money on the deal ). Of course, he still had to keep her slot open for her pretty close to forever. He wasn’t going to read up on the ObamaCare section that covered that, not on his own time. Let the corporate weasel lawyers do that. He was working sixty hours a week on a slow period, so fuck ’em. Still, if he could have just shit canned her without official cause before she passed probation. Not that he would if he had a choice. Not that he gave a shit. Stupid bitch could be either Tyrone’s or Nevada’s problem. Just that if she lawyer-ed up there would be yet another problem with corporate. Shit, between the in-fighting with staff ( Maria used to go out with Tyrone, so there was that conflict in a trio of hate and discontent ) and with having to second guess his big bosses in HQ, it was a wonder he got shit-all done actually running the damn store.


Stationary World was just another typical big box business that ordered by the container from China and marked up everything to stratospheric levels except for a few Sunday Ad specials. And even then, while technically his store lost money which came out of his bonus, he was sure the company still made money on even those deep discounted items. For fucks sake, they were asking fifty bucks for a stack of CD blanks, and Steve could go online and buy the upgrade DVD blanks for half that! With shipping included, and that was with oil at $125 a barrel. Steve wasn’t sure what the real estate cost to house those CD’s was, his pay level accounting was restricted to a generic group labeled Store Expenses which included labor and utilities. Woe behold if they exceeded his allotted 33% however! No, we can’t break it down for you, but you had better control it anyway! Just like he had better control Jerry from pumping Joe in the ass in the back room during a break. He tried that, the rainbow coalition would be suing his ass, getting on corporate’s ass, getting them on his ass, being a pain in the ass and in general making asses of themselves ( the fags were obviously heavy with the ass symbolism ). And would they even flush the fucking toilet after getting down? A shit smeared condom floater did nothing to help his apatite at lunch time ( which was pretty much whatever time the fucktard brigade left him alone for three seconds so he could walk across the parking lot to pick up either his choice of genetically modified corn or soy greasy spoon or go to the high end Yuppie Scum coffeery and buy an overpriced bran muffin to try to jam last weeks poorly chosen food item out of his colon ).


Steve really didn’t think he had made enough poor karmic decisions to deserve the life he was leading today. Here he was after a marriage from Hell, no visitation rights to his two kids yet forced to pay elevated levels of support to a bitch who made three times his salary. He was forced to keep this job, or a similar one, or face a good stiff prison term ( during which, his support obligations didn’t cease ). After the bitch had cheated on him. But then, hadn’t she cleared the bank account and been able to afford a good lawyer while his financial position went from precarious to as shit stained as Jerry’s prophylactic. Fucking bitches lib. If it has the misfortune of being birthed with balls, second class citizenry became mandatory. Just like any Black could shout racism and get what they wanted, gals just kept shouting Historical Oppression to get more and more power and money. But was he bitter? Nope. Steve was a fat loser with a receding hairline, his life was a pathetic mess, but he was double dogged fucked if he was going to give up. He was only thirty and the kids were half way to emancipation. Sure, forty years old before he could re-start his life, and most likely in poor health then. Well, worse than now- but come on! He had started biking to work, both to save money after his cancer riddled Nip shit bucket blew fluids from random parts of the engine in an orgy of self destruction as if being seen with its owner was too embarrassing, and to get some lard off his ass.


Steve wasn’t going to win any Mr. America contests, but he was starting to shed pounds and tone up somewhat. He still had a ways to go, but the wheezing had subsided and the hair wasn’t coming out in clumps. He was still going to kill his body in ten years just from the stress, but at least he was slowing the process. Then, he could do what he wanted with his life. Not that he had any clue what that was going to be, but at least the option was nice. Thirty, and already looking forward to a mid-life crisis as he pondered what the hell to do with himself. He sure as shit wasn’t going to keep working at this pace. But hobbies weren’t important enough to devote his life to. Steve was just another pathetic fool wasting oxygen and resources, treading along on the gerbil wheel until the sweet release of death. Yet, as cynical as that sounded, he just loved the whole process of jaded observational humor that kept him happy, or at least happy enough to keep from performing suicide by bottle. Happy was relative, wasn’t it? Happier than Joe who had to suffer a stretched rectum and near future incontinence for a few fleeting moments of what he had to convince himself was love. Happier than Michele who would soon lose her teeth and last brain cell simultaneously. Even happier than his ex-wife who was so obsessed with money she might as well just sell her soul to the Devil and be done with it. Bitch never had enough, so could never be happy. At least Steve was surrounded by such losers that he felt superior half the time. Or at least mildly happy he wasn’t as unhappy as they were. Not that he wasn’t suspended in his own corporate hell. But at least there was an expiration date. Unlike if he had stayed with the evil harpy. Her insatiable appetite for wealth would have surely killed him, with no end in sight outside of a coffin.


Steve’s pleasant pseudo-insane mental diarrhea was irritably interrupted by yet another friggin commotion out in the adjoining break room.

“I’m telling you, some shit is going down. I went to the store this morning before I started” yeh, fifteen minutes late and then you worked five minutes before you went on your three weeks monthly Female Troubles time extended bathroom break, you skeevy whore, grumpily mused Steve, “and they didn’t have my usual. Not the bread, OR the cream cheese. I looked for some crackers which were almost out and not even any hard cheese. The clerk said a couple of trucks were late. I went up to Wally and I got my food there, but their shelves were just as sad sack as here. Just now I went down to Joe’s and they are even worse off. Okay, it’s still technically winter, but there hasn’t been a drop of water on the roads for weeks. No way the trucks can’t get over the passes.”

“I think the news said that there was a truckers strike, just like the Seventies during the inflation.”

“The news is full of shit, you moron. My cousin is a trucker. Most of them are corporate drones or independents. What Union? Just like everyone else, they are desperate to keep their jobs NO MATTER HOW LOW PAYING!” geez, thought Steve, like I set their pay scale. And like I didn’t know that was directed at me. “Ain’t no truckers going to go on strike.”

“What about the oil price? Didn’t they talk about the Strategic Reserves getting used to bring the price of oil back down under a hundred bucks?”

“What the crap are you talking about?”
“They have oil stored underground in old salt mines, or something. It is supposed to be used if the oil exporters ever cut off our overseas oil. But I think there is only a few weeks worth of oil there.”

“A few weeks of total oil, or a few weeks of replacement overseas oil?”
“Fuck all if I know. I would imagine it just replaces the foreign oil. You know, because the government hates to put any money into anything except their salaries.”
“Hey, I just got a big bump in my Food Stamp card. It’s something like $300 now.“
“That buy you much of anything, anymore?”
“Well, not much. But at least the fuckers are giving us something extra to make up the prices going up.”
“Joe, you are sooo cute when you try to stick up for your favorite House Negro. Of course he is going to give you all more money on your cards. Who do you think that money benefits? Big Ag. Corporates. Suits. Hell, when they went to all electronic payments, CitiBank got the contract to process all those payments. They get more money every time we get more money. All this shit you think is done for you is actually just welfare to the rich. Which you pay every time you get a paycheck. Ain’t nobody gives two shits about us poor fuckers. You should know that.”


Steve was thinking about going out on the floor to see if anybody was actually helping out the few customers who meandered on in from the streets, confused about the whole Internet and therefore clutching desperately to the few retail outlets left. That, or they hated Wally’s because of the lowlife inbreeds who shopped there and they didn’t realize they could save 60% by not coming in here. Which meant the dregs of the affluent shopped here, the old fuckers on Social Security or the Yuppie Scum. Both miserable specimens, but you were kissing corporate ass, so you might as well kiss customer ass while you were at it. You can’t degrade yourself past a certain point. And speaking of corporate asses, there was the phone ringing. Cheap cunts actually had a separate phone line from the number listed in the phone book.

“Greetings from Stationary World, Steve here. How may I help you?” Who else was going to call here except headquarters? Yet he still had to vomit up the standard public greeting. God fucking help me, would you like some fries with your Big Hack today? He gripped the phone harder, held it away from his ear and violently shook his other hand at it, flipping the piece of equipment the bird. He placed the phone back to his ear in time to hear some drone explaining who he was as if this placed greater importance on the upcoming message. They pushed smart phones and computers and these stupid fucks couldn’t just send him an e-mail? Technology over twenty years old as it was? Double all prices and put their food items outside on tables. All of them? He had cases of shit in the back, beef jerky and protein bars. Yes, all of them. Double all prices, was he sure? Yes, and do it immediately. Okay, whatever, hail corporate!


Steve was sure these guys were out of their friggin minds. Didn’t anyone remember the Congressional investigations on price gouging when the oil shortages hit years ago? If the supermarkets were experiencing shortages, and they started selling already overpriced office pogey bait at double prices, wouldn’t some lawyer somewhere love to sue the company because of the angst of an overweight disadvantaged ghetto dweller in the inner city who had to starve for one day as his television viewing snacks were cut in half, brutally forcing him to cut his caloric intact from six thousand calories to a mere four thousand? The Horror! Well, fuck a sharp stick! Why should he care all that much? Orders from high up. I was only following orders! Shades of Nuremburg.

“Someone, get in here! I know you are all loitering about avoiding work and customers. Two someone’s, actually. I need help with the stockroom. We are putting up a sidewalk sale.”

So who does he get but Maria, round and wheezy. Of course, as soon as Nicole sees Maria volunteer she’s got to act all helpful. Probably just wants to make sure nobody was talking about her. Although if she was helping in the back room, how the heck was she going to monitor the other group? Probably had an inside mole to report back to her. So he’s got one out of shape and one master at Make Work, so obviously this is going to be another Steve Does Most Of The Work event. Shit in a Dixie cup. At least they didn’t have to mark over too many prices since nearly everything was still in cases. They never sold much food to begin with- if you thought the CD’s were marked up too much you should try mortgaging your house to buy some of the food. So all they had to do was put one sign on each stack of food and just mark over the few items from the sale floor. He had the two girls get shopping carts and do the display items and he started carting the heavy crap on a dolly from the back room.

“Jerry! Get Joe and you two get a couple of chairs and go sit out on the sidewalk to keep an eye on all this shit. If any of it gets swiped, it is my bonus for the next eighty years. I know you don’t care about that, so just keep in mind you two can be scheduled for night shift. Each of you on alternate nights, just in case you get the idea it is a paid grab-ass shift. You can’t guard it with your lives, but try at least. The only ones wanting to steal this will be the crack heads, and I know you boys can handle a hundred pound toothless walking zombie. Or, if he gives you too much shit, go get Michele to talk him down. She probably parties with all of them.”
“Will do boss, sit on our asses and look menacing to those appearing to be permanently unemployed and ill nourished.”

“Maybe one of you can clean windows or sweep around the tables. You know-look busy so I don’t have the girls crawling up my ass about how easy you two have it, as they stand around ignoring customers.”

“And don’t be using the crap window cleaner we sell to the rubes. Shit streaks like your underwear. Use the janitorial supply stuff.”

“Okay, but it is almost our lunch time.”
“I’ll spell you guys one at a time. And let you two go home a bit early-I’ll clock you out. Just do this without the usual fuck-ups, okay?”
“Now you’re talking! No worries, boss.”

Jerry was a decent enough fellow. Oh, the whole crew was close enough to a rabid pack of worthless curs to be a constant pain in the ass and a source of never ending stress for Steve, but Jerry, while cut from the same cloth as most of their generation, at least had a smidge more gumption and drive. He wondered if that was from being the dominant partner? Had to be the bacon bringer and protector? God knows Joe was fruity enough to sit under the Christmas tree in a basket, carrying on about girly shit with the gaggle of clucking gals in the store, for all he knew trading recipes for the best vaginal douche. Joe was pretty much tits on a bull. He would follow Jerry around like a puppy dog if you let him, and he didn’t have his nose up Jerry’s ass he would be getting all catty with the other girls. But Jerry helped around the place, lifted the heavy crap alongside Steve. And he actually usually listened to instruction, which alone kind of made him Managers Pet. Actually, thinking about it, Steve had pretty good experiences with fags in other jobs. Good work ethic and exceedingly polite. Joe must be the exception to the rule, the cunt. Steve wondered if the attitude stemmed from generations of persecution, and the camouflage of a amicable corporate lackey helped fly under the radar.


Steve surely didn’t want any damn AIDS cooties sprayed around the place ( okay, he’d admit it- the condom in the toilet was only one time, and the more he thought about it the more likely it was Joe was the culprit, with his womanly wiles probably talked Jerry into pumping him and then planted the evidence unbeknownst to his partner ), but if the price of a decent worker was for him to be a flaming queer, Steve would put up with a whole ward of the fairy’s. If Tyrone was this generations answer to manhood, he’d prefer Jerry any day of the week. Tyrone was a large strapping lad, and dumber than a box of rocks. Well, he came off that way. But Steve suspected there was an animal cunning underneath it ( why else was he attracting and going through all the gals here like a flu patient through a box of tissues? ). The problem was, he wouldn’t use any muscle other than his mouth to complain and bitch. Hey, we all bitch and moan, stress release from work and life, but Tyrone was just about the biggest waste of a body Steve had ever encountered. Anything that avoided any kind of physical effort was greedily embraced, even to the point of doing more work avoiding work than if he had just expanded the smallest amount of effort to begin with.


Steve decided that he might as well get the worst over with first. He sent Jerry to lunch and decided to put up with Joe the first hour. Not that he had to come up with any kind of conversation- luckily Joe was of the firm belief that if he wasn’t gossiping face to face he had to be gossiping on Facebook or Twitter or wherever it was one celebrated the mundane and trivial online. So Joe kept thumbing his way throughout the first fifteen minutes or so, variously tittering to himself, laughing out loud or tisking, “oh no he DIDN’T!”. Steve was content to leave him be, having little customer interaction other than sending one case of jerky inside with a buyer after he inked a price on it for the cashier. Then Mary waddled outside and called to Steve that corporate was once again on the phone, which Steve needed like he needed another orifice on his ass.

“Okay, Joe, I got to take this. Do NOT leave here. You are supposed to make sure this stuff doesn’t walk off.” Joe made a halfhearted wave to, perhaps, signify his understanding even as he madly dashed off another universe saving text. What a fucking lost cause. He probably got fucked up the ass so much his brains had leaked out of his rectum. Steve rushed to the back not so much as to swiftly answer his masters summons but more to get back to Joe before the moron got fired for doing something really asinine. He went through the magical incantation as greeting and was informed to once again double the price. Great. Just this morning overpriced candy bars for a dollar weren’t selling, and now the corporate wizards wanted to get four bucks each on them. You could buy four of five pounds of sugar for that amount of money. Well, whatever, this wasn’t his circus, he was just the ringmaster.


Steve hurried to the storeroom for more blank price signs and another roll of pricing gun tape and went back outside. And found Joe still texting, his back to the tables which know stood empty. “Joe, did someone buy everything all at once, just the few minutes I was gone?”

“Sure, some guy said he was taking it all inside, I gave him the price list to give to Mary.”
Which was a bit odd, since Steve could usually hear the register from his office. Sure, he had been listening to Master Accounting blather on, but he could usually hear the register on a background noise level. He went inside to ask Mary, who of course hadn’t had a customer in ten minutes. Fuck! Steve just got ripped off, which came right out of his bonus. Even if it wasn’t a matter of losing his job, he still would have to fight to get only the first price increase subtracted from the profits rather than the second rise. The jerky alone had to be a few grand at the new, new price. Headquarters was never going to buy the stuff disappeared immediately upon initial placement. Unless he said nobody was out there, and that WAS probable unemployment. Why, Steve shouted silently, WHY? Sweet Baby Jesus in high above heaven, he was getting just a mite tired of getting bent over and fucked up the ass on a daily basis. He had almost two decades of his ex-twat taking half his gross income, Uncle Fucking Kenyan Kunt taking another twenty percent and he was just barely getting by with enough left for groceries because rent for his tiny tin trailer took nearly everything he had. And that was five fucking miles from work because it was out of town and ten percent cheaper than anyplace else. Not that it was inexpensive per se, this being a mining town so every swinging dingus here from the ghetto to Snob Hill paid extra for everything from tampons to motor vehicles-and two hundred miles from civilization didn’t make anything any cheaper.


Steve lit up a cigarette, against every regulation corporate included in their ever swelling binders of rules, and at this point didn’t give a shit. One of the bitches was probably going to narc on him, call HQ like a toad licking whore just to get a few extra brownie points if they ever wanted to get promoted. Why, he had no idea. Anyone here more than five months could see his steady progressive hair loss from the stress. He guessed that once he was fired, either for smoking in his office or being responsible for the food theft, fuck it, take your pick, he could work in front of a deep fryer or a dishwasher. He’d only take a half of a pay cut. If he only ate gruel rather than take out, and worked a second job and only needed four hours of sleep, he’d be just fine. If he got a second, let alone first job.

“Hey, Steve, come on out and take a look at this shit next door. We might have trouble.”
Are you double dog dicking kidding me? Steve couldn’t believe this shit. MORE??? “What the fuck, Tyrone? I’m at a very low threshold for bullshit right now. Your bestest buddy of all time just let a shitpot of money go walking away, I can’t fire the imbecilic fuck stick because all HR shit goes through corporate, I’m probably getting fired because of it, I can almost feel more hair falling out and if I have to put up with one more act of fucking shit from any one of you ass clowns I swear I will go Postal and stomp your tiny testicles or ovaries into a goddamned pile of stinking goo!”
“No, seriously, boss, I think you had better come up front because some weird shit is going down next door.”
Fuck me with a knobby sharp stick, these people and their drama. Steve lit up another cigarette because by now he felt like a blindfolded prisoner in front of a wall and slowly and wearily shuffled to the front, using every remaining molecule of whatever self restrain the had left not to pick up a heavy ceramic coffee mug proclaiming its possessor to be the World’s Best Boss, because some rare genius in corporate purchasing actually realized that we all needed every possible brownie point in narrowly avoiding termination every day so one simply had no choice but to kiss the ass of the next one up the pay grade, take it with outside and bring it down with all his might on top of the empty vacant sharp pointy head of that stupid vile fuck Joe.


And looked out to a scene of general mayhem in front of the shopping centers giant grocery store. Now, normal every day behavior at Kroeger’s was aggressive driving to the front-most spot, blatant disregard for the safety of pedestrians while backing out of a parking stall or shooting around near the front entrance, in general acting like your very fucking existence was reliant on acting like an asshole inflamed with hemorrhoids. But this was White Boy country. A quarter Latino, a handful of Indians ( feather, not dot ) from the half dozen reservations nearby, but pretty much Wonder Bread City with seventy percent plus white folks. In general, your average Casper has had passivity pounded into his /her head viciously and repeatedly over two generations, admonished for showing any aggression whatsoever. The schools punished any male behavior, the media painted all Whites as psychos if they didn’t desperately clutch to their feminine side, even the military was going to the Air Force model of clean uniforms while remotely killing the enemy. In short, Honky’s were pussies. Yet here was a scene out of Detroit 1960’s or LA in The Hood after the Rodney King trial. White folk were getting their hate on out there.


If those crazy motherfuckers didn’t look so scary, it would have been pretty hilarious. One group was wrenching every cart lined up in a carry scrap that the clerk had been gathering from the lot and corrals and running with them, jowls jiggling and guts lurching and saggy tits bouncing to the front door where there was a huge logjam of incoming and outgoing both trying to use both the doorways. Another group was actually trying to grab bags from the ass end of cars people had already bought and packed, a whole lot of bellowing and stomping and slapping but little actual damage as folks were only used to loud voices and posturing rather than hands on violence- those that had a bit of practice such as bullies and their beaten wives had just enough self preservation to realize that while this poor bastard of a community had been taken over and trashed by California asswhores and turned into a Yuppie enclave, there were still quite enough rednecks and ranchers who went around with rifles in their trucks and sometimes even pistols on their hips ( Nevada was still an open carry state outside the big cities such as the Socialist Peoples City-State Of Las Vegas, as such places preferred their citizens disarmed even as their governments stole by votes ) that one had better tread lightly even in anger least they end up sucking on the high velocity end of a bullet.


So, it was quite funny looking from a distance, like two of Joe getting into a girl fight over a piece of jewelry, until one group pointed towards Steve and his group at the front of the store and hollered something about them having plenty of food in stock and they started lumbering forward in full mob form. Steve didn’t think any of them were armed, but three or four on one you could still get the shit kicked out of you with nothing more than ringed fingers and sharp toed boots.

“Ah, guys…FUCKING RUN!”

That also would have been just a little bit funny to an outsider looking in, as the group started flying elbows and assholes wildly about, and then promptly went inside into harms way rather than scatter to the outside of the building where they would have been away from the treasure the crowd sought. Steve picked up Mary in a fireman’s carry as her wide wheezing frame was too stout to run around, and even more amazingly Tyrone, who Steve would have normally thought as one who would have shoved her to one side if she became a roadblock, at about the same moment seemed to have the identical idea and scooped up his pregnant Mary and ran with her. Joe squealed like the pussy he was and jumped into Jerry’s arm at the site of the other two lumbering couples, much to the shock and displeasure of his mate, and they both promptly veered into a cardboard display of boxed tax return software and went down in a sprawl. Steve of course started laughing uproariously and tossed over his shoulder to “get up and run faster, dumb-fucks”. He then veered off, “keep going for the back loading exit, me and Maria will meet you there”, ran into his office, dumped his charge ungently into his chair and ripped a necklace with key out from under his shirt and unlocked a bottom desk drawer containing a revolver and box of ammo. He tossed the box to Maria, quickly unthreaded his belt from two loops, threaded the holstered weapon on and hurriedly buckled up again. “I’ll be damned if I was going to a bank deposit unarmed, fucking corporate bastards”. He didn’t have the strength to scoop up Maria once again so he grabbed the back of the office chair she was on and started pushing it easily down the cement floor, hustling out the back away from the sounds of merchandise being tossed about in the front of the store.


Steve arrived to the rest of the group with a grinning Maria who was clearly enjoying the ride. Uncertain where to go from there after they stood around looking vacantly at each other for some time, he suggested they ease on around the front and see what had changed if anything. As they walked up the north side of the building facing the freeway he could see the Mexican restaurant set off to one side was being guarded by a few gentlemen of Hispanic persuasion who carried hunting rifles and shotguns. Its next door neighbor the Colonel’s Chicken hadn’t had any of the owners family members to supervise the orderly transfer of food stocks into waiting vehicles and had already been looted, as evidenced by the gaggle of bewildered uniformed teenagers outside amid debris of honey ( honey SAUCE, Steve reprimanded himself, since the bees had all started dying off the chicken chokers had substituted an atrocious blend of corn sweeteners with flavorings for the once plain unadulterated topping which had made the prospects of eating a biscuit as close to bliss as was possible on this mortal coil ) packages and a wind swept blizzard of white napkins. Kroeger’s had become even worse off with many a car fender bender as those trying to flee met those in a hurry to get some groceries before the shelves became bare. There was even a T-Bone wreck close to the main road that had to have involved speeds far above a safer twenty-five. They could hear sirens in the distance, but they didn’t seem like they were those of approaching emergency vehicles, rather ones arrived close by. Steve guessed that Raley’s and Wally and any number of convenience stores or eateries on the other side of the highway were the initial targets of first responders. He wasn’t sure how many city cops or county deputies were on duty at any given time, but it surely couldn’t be enough to cover all the grocery stores. There were only five in town, but once you add in the ethnic small mom and pop stores and wholesale suppliers and restaurants full of #10 cans, there were a hell of a lot of targets for the towns twenty thousand residents. Even if only ten percent went nuts and joined the panic shopping ( and Steve suspected that more than that number had no meaningful employment and could easily engage in such an activity at any given time ) that was way more than the cops could handle.


They finally saw a lone State Police vehicle barrel in at full speed with sirens and lights. Great. Steve would have preferred a local deputy or officer, who were generally pretty laid back. Professional, without a doubt, but never with the wild eye fear and panic the big city boys always had and were always ready to lash out because of. The Highway Patrol boys, on the other hand, were glorified meter maids handing out tickets for revenue enhancement and like their ilk in about every other state were vicious combative pricks with giant chips on their shoulders and attitudes worse than midgets in a tall persons world because of it. If any Barney Fife motherfucker was going to throw gasoline onto a fire, it was going to be these idiots. Steve was sure he wasn’t the only one with a low opinion of the Governor’s Bully Boys, and as soon as someone figured out they had numerical superiority in a mob and could lash out anonymously ( which obviously had already happened almost everywhere as the fighting for rapidly shrinking supplies intensified ) the patrolman was going to be in trouble.

“Watch what the asshole in the squad car does. Ten bucks says he pulls down on someone as soon as he gets out.”
“Shit, ten bucks says he opens fire within twenty seconds of bailing out.”
“Ten bucks says we are stupid for standing here if bullets start flying. Let’s stand at the corner of the store so we can duck back around if they do start shooting.”
“Who has a pick-up truck?”
“So we can all get the fuck out of here really damn fast if we need to.”
No one volunteered.

“I have my grandpa’s old Cadillac. That sucker is big enough for all of us if we double up on laps. It will be crowded but at least there is plenty of leg room and nice upholstery.”
“You got any gas in in, Susie?”

“Well, not much. The tank is big and I only drive a few miles a day so I only fill it up on paydays.”

Steve tossed her his wallet and told her to use the credit card. Well, probably two-his limits were usually always in site. “Jerry and Joe can go with. The rest of you wait here. Susan, fill up across the lot. It doesn’t look busy or dangerous. Don’t come back the south backside. I saw a bunch of idiots carrying out all the cases of soda from the back room. They might try to stop you so avoid them. Loop the long way back here past Dos Amego’s. Stay away from the food riot.”

“Why are we all bailing out together? Most of us have our own cars. Why cramp ourselves together and go out of the way if we are all wanting to go back home?”
“What’s your hurry? Most of you were working to closing, right? We all just get out of town until this craziness dies down. We stay together for protection, drive a bit out of town, hang around and drive back. You got cells, nobody is going to be out of touch. Look, the store is being torn apart for food, but you can all bet some fuckers are going to be stealing all the electronics. The store is toast. I’ll come back alone to assess the damage, but for now nobody needs to go down with the ship. We stay in town, we get in the middle of a huge traffic jam as everybody tries to go home and…”

Steve’s eloquent argument was interrupted by gunshots. Small pops, so most likely the State boy. Well, small compared to the following booms which might have been 12 gauge. They all mostly ducked out of the line of fire behind the corner, but no one could contain their curiosity so everyone was poking their heads around the side of the building. The nearby Mexican place saw a bustle of activity and a flurry of thrown cans, a jabber of Spanish and they are took off. Smarter than his group.

“Anybody know the number for Susan or the boys? Find out what is taking so long. How many damn people are exchanging shots over there? Sounds like a SWAT team mowing down an elementary school that got in the way of a fugitive.”

“……fuck, fuck, FUCK!” boomed from someone’s tinny speaker on their cell phone, “fucking ricochet just hit a car next to me. I hope we have enough gas, ’cause we are getting out right goddamned now! Joe, you fuck stick, you let go of the trigger before you take the nozzle out. Fucking retard. Joe, take your girlfriend and get in the car. We’re on the way. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Be ready!”

“Does anyone see her?”
“I see smoke from the station. I think someone just caught the spilled gas on fire.”
“How are you going to see smoke that fast from a puddle? Something needs to be burning from the gas.”
“What, am I Fire Marshall Bill?”

“Who the shit is that?”
“Character from a Nineties comedy show. Jim Carey and his first acting role. Played the token white boy with the Damon Brothers.”
“Let’s just say, you’re walking along, trip and fall into a tub of hydrochloric acid. What would you do?”
“That’s the one!”
“Fires getting bigger.”
“Here they come, boys and girls. Are we all ready to go on a road trip?”
They all piled in and sped off, relatively speaking of course because of the traffic. Up the hill and over the highway, right into stalled traffic. “Fuck the state road, at least through town. Hit the shopping center. Go around the back way then loop around to the theatre. The residential area roads will get us through the Wal-Mart area clusterfuck.”

They twisted and turned and screeched around partial roadblocks, one time the big cast iron Caddy ramming a small rice burner violently out of the way with barely a registered dent. Susan flipped on the radio and scanned for news.

“….once again, the President has declared a national emergency and called for a suspension of lawlessness. He pledges strong responses from each state governor using the National Guard if necessary. All citizens are urged to immediately stop desperate food hoarding and to stay home to avoid blocking the roads for emergency responders. There will be further announcements on possible imposed curfews.”
“What did they just say?”
“That Obammy disapproves of desperate people.”
“He STRONGLY disapproves. I feel chastised already.”
“The fucktard is going to send in the Guard AFTER all the food is looted and gone.”
“Then he’ll shoot us on site if we go out after dark.”
“I feel safer already.”

“I guess ours aren’t the only stores not getting resupplied.”

“I think we are just figuring out this thing is a lot bigger than we understand.”

No one spoke after that.


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