“Get in here and help me wash the dishes.” Martha’s voice was a dagger, but Fred’s remote control was an even more powerful weapon.
He bumped up the volume a few notches and settled into his recliner, dinner plate resting on his belly.
On the screen, a black-and-white sheriff was harassing a black-and-white hustler passing through a black-and-white old west town.
“You left quite a mess back there at the saloon, Mister,” the sheriff said. “I reckon you ought to clean it up.” He wrapped his fists around the grips of his six-shooters.
Fred had watched this movie dozens of times since he retired, but he never got tired of it. Why, if it weren’t for Martha and her nagging, he might be able to do something big — scrape together some money, head out west, live the life a man was supposed to live.
And, by golly, if he ever ran into a sniveling lawman like the one on his screen … why, he’d put him in his place once and for all.
“Fred! At least bring me your plate before you fall asleep. And turn that TV down. Do we always have to have a western blaring?”
Fred growled and ratcheted the volume.
Yessir, he’d make something of himself yet if he could just break away from Martha for awhile.
Heavy footsteps crashing on the floor behind him broke his reverie, and that was the final straw.
Fred jumped up from his chair, dumping his leftovers. He wheeled to confront Martha.
Only, it wasn’t his wife who stood in the doorway. It was the black-and-white sheriff, both guns drawn and pointed at Fred’s chest.
“I hear you got a bone to pick with me, Mister.”
Martha called from the kitchen again: “Who are you talking to, Fred?”.