Meet the Barbarians

March 15th, 2020

“Men are naturally barbarians, and that will remain forever. The passion, the love, and the lust is intensifying with time – Fawad Khan

“People sometimes tell me that they prefer barbarism to civilization. I doubt if they have given it a long enough trial. Like the people of Alexandria (in a poem by Cavafy) they are bored with civilization; but all the evidence suggest that the boredom of barbarism is infinitely greater.” – Kenneth Clark


Hans called me from down in Texas.

I barely had a chance to say “hi” before he started talking.

“Dad, it’s getting really stupid down here.”

That wasn’t a good start for the conversation, so I asked Hans,

“Uh, so, what do you mean?”

Hans drawled, “I was just at Walmart, and I saw five fights over toilet paper.”

“That’s no good.”

“Hell no, and I couldn’t find any ammo. Nobody has any.”

“That’s no good either.”

Hans went on, “I got a full magazine for the .357. That won’t last long. I got a magazine for the .40. That won’t last long either.”

“No, it won’t.”

I could hear Hans’ lighter click. He was firing up another Pall Mall. He took a drag and said,

“Now I got fifty rounds for my .45, but that won’t last long either. Mostly what I got for ammo is shotgun shells. Tomorrow, after work, I’m buying a home defense shotgun.”



He took another drag on his cigarette, and told me,

“I’ll get one of those shotguns with the short barrel. They are only about $700. They’re easy to maneuver. They hold up to fifteen rounds. After that you have to reload, but if you’re reloading at that point, you’re screwed anyway. I just want Gabby to have the shotgun at home in case something happens. I’d rather she shot with that than fire a pistol and miss.

“Yeah, It’s hard to miss with a shotgun up close. Accurate aim isn’t that important.”

Hans replied, “Yep.”

Hans continued, “The .357 is going into my truck. I can pull that out if somebody tries to jack the truck. A well-placed .357 round can do a lot. If somebody gets hit, well, they don’t get up again. You know what I mean?”


Hans said, “I don’t want to go anywhere without a gun any more. You know what I mean?”


“I can’t believe they were fighting in Walmart over TOILET PAPER. I mean I could understand if they were fighting over the last loaf of bread. You know what I mean?”


Hans sighed. “Well, I just called to let you know what was going on.”

“I’m glad that you did.”

“Bye Dad. Love you.”

“Bye Hans. Love you too.”









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