Barrels of Kentucky Fried Chicken were all over the trailer. Red and white containers lined up on the coffee table, the kitchen counters, and on the floor in the bedroom. Some filled with extra crispy and others original recipe. Some just had a mix of both.
The old man sat on the couch eating a drumstick and watching TV. It was the local news reporting that a seventy-two year old man had just won the lottery. The old man took a swig of beer and cursed the television set. They call that news, he said. Who cares? Most of it’s gonna be taken away in taxes anyway, he scoffed.
In all there were ten buckets of chicken around the house. The old man got his social security check that day and wanted enough chicken to last him throughout the month. All he did was watch television, drink beer, and eat Kentucky Fried. He didn’t get mac and cheese or mashed potatoes, just chicken. A commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken came on while he was watching the news. He sang along. Get a bucket of chicken…finger lickin’ good…have a barrel of fun…goodbye ho hum…get a bucket of chicken come on everyone…get Kentucky Fried Chicken…have a barrel of fun, he conducted the music with his drumstick. Boy came in and grabbed a thigh.
Where’s momma? the boy asked. The old man kept eating his grub. I said, where’s momma? The old man looked up at him. Do you know where momma is? Dad took a slurp of Old Style.
It’s not my day to watch her, the old man said. She could be anywhere. Could be across town. Could have left the country. She might be on Mars, he grinned. Boy took another piece of chicken. The old man shook his head. We gotta preserve some of this. We have to hold onto it. Can’t be eatin’ all the food the first night. We gotta save some for the end of the world. The four horsemen will be here and the devil will be let loose and I’m not gonna starve.
Every month on the first you say the same thing dad, the boy said. You make a case for the end of times. What’re you going to offer Jesus a breast when he comes back? You got some crazy ideas old man.
Another news story came on about a hold-up at the liquor store out on Highway 41. They’re always robbin’ somebody ain’t they? People are poor. We’ve become another Mexico. I don’t know why they bother to come over here. America’s gettin’ as bad as their country. Whites are no longer in charge. That’s the problem. Blacks got a hold of everything. Used to get my chicken from a smilin’ white girl. Now it’s some nigger with his hat cocked to the side. Can’t understand a word he’s sayin’ through the speaker. Just a bunch of mumbo jumbo, the old man opened another can of beer.
Outside the sky grew dark. Clouds had become black. The old man felt the wind shake his trailer. This is it, he said. This is it.