Gut Rumbles

December 07, 2009

The post below

Originally published August 24, 2004

I once worked with a shift mechanic named Red Miller. He was a big, tobacco-chewing, grumpy old bastard who had a mouth damn near as big as the one Catfish has. He bitched all the time, but he could fix anything that was broken if you could get him off his ass and start him on a job.

He had three GORGEOUS daughters and a lot of us speculated about that fact at work. We looked at Red, looked at his daughters.... and said "NO FUCKING WAY!!!" We decided that the mailman was delivering more than bills to Red's wife while Red was at work.

A lot of people didn't like Red, but I did. He was an asshole a lot of the time, but he was genuine, 24-7. If he didn't like YOU, he said so. If he thought you were full of shit, he said so. He didn't worry much about hurting anybody's "feelings."

Red worked at the Hercules plant before he came to work for me. He got off a 3-to-11 shift one night and saw a car wreck on his way home. It was a bad one, too. Red stopped his truck and ran up to see if he could find any survivors in that tangled wreckage. He didn't.

What he found was his 17 year-old son. Dead.

I don't know what that must be like and I hope I never know. Kids are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. But Red lost his only son that night and he's the one who found the boy. That had to be rough.

I suppose that you can find a way to chalk up a car wreck as random fate, shit happens or a bad ticket in life's lottery. Maybe the grief is easier to bear when you don't have anyone to blame for the loss of a child. It still can't be easy, but at least you don't have to look at some grinning sumbitch in prison garb who KILLED your child.

I'm afraid that if anybody ever raped and killed my daughter, I'd go hillbilly on 'em. I would kill that bastard as sure as the sun rises in the east. I probably would be the one in jail after that, but I'd go with the satisfaction of knowing that I put an end to his antics. HE wouldn't ever get $1,200 for "hurt feelings." He wouldn't rape and kill again, either.

I see it as a very simple equation: He took something from me that can never be replaced. So, I took something from HIM that can never be replaced. His life.

I may be a red-neck, but I call that justice.

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