A Gun in the Throat

I left the United States in late 1973. I was sick of Nixon, the on-going war in Vietnam and disappointment of my drugged generation. I hoped I would find a better life in Europe. What I found was a wife, a baby and the idea that if I stayed long enough I would forget the land I left behind.


I stayed five years before my wife convinced me we should visit my homeland and my family. My wife was excited to show our baby girl to her new American relations.


I was a little nervous  to see my red-neck brothers again, especially Tommy who was very proud of being a genuine Nevada buckaroo. The last time I saw him we argued over God, politics and hippies with long hair. He was convinced I was a communist. I was beginning to think he was as right-wing as Nixon.


None of that mattered. My wife wanted to see the great wild west. Within a month we were driving into the ranch gates where I had spent my youth.


All went well for the first day. My brother now had two children and the things we once argued over no longer mattered. Hippies had become yuppies and America had abandoned Vietnam.


Everything was fine until a business partner of my brothers was invited to dinner. As my brother, the colleague had once been a Marine, and after a few beers, the themes of an old argument showed its ugly head again. According both of them, the Beatles were homosexual, all hippies were traitors and everyone who had opposed the Vietnam war was a coward.


I kept my mouth shut for once and tried to change the topics by talking about my experiences in Europe. That was when the business partner began ranting about how the British aristocracy  was being persecuted by faggot welfare communists.


Suddenly I could not take the stupidity of the man, and asked him how he knew so much about the European social hierarchies.


He said he once had spent a whole day in London.


I looked him straight in the eye and said, "You must be a genuine genius." 


It was at this point suddenly I was thrown back into the wild west and my wife got a glimpse of how crazy red necks are.


The "genius" threw back his chair and jumped up, but before anything else could happen my brother leapt across the table and grabbed the guy by the throat.


Tommy yelled, "You get out of my house you son-of-a-bitch!"


The "genius" ran out of the house and my wife sat there with her mouth wide open. Tommy's wife started crying, "My God we are going to be killed!"


I was completely shocked and said, "Please calm down everybody, we were just having a friendly discussion."  I thought my brother had drank too much beer, and his friend and him would be okay in the morning, but that was not the end of the evening.


In five minutes I heard a vehicle come into the ranch driveway. Tommy jumped up again and went to his gun cabinet and pulled out a 30-30 Winchester and ran out of the house.


I knew my brother had gone crazy and chased him out the door screaming, "Stop this madness Tommy and put that gun away."


He ignored me and ran up to the truck that had slid to a stop in front of the house. I could see Tommy's weird friend. He was reaching for something next to him in the seat, but before he could get it, my brother poked the Winchester through the open window and stuck the barrel in the guys throat.


"I told you to leave and I meant it. You get out of here you piece of shit or I will blow your head off!"


The genius put the truck in gear and threw gravel all over the yard and then roared out the ranch gates.


When we got back in the house Tommy's wife told us the full story. Apparently the "genius" had a habit of starting fights and cutting people with knifes. My brother had actually saved me.


The next day my wife, baby and I left for the airport and return to nice safe sane Europe. Tommy and I shook and hands and much to my surprise, I saw tears in in his eyes as he said goodbye.