Wars Far Away

He didn’t know much, but he knew he was a good guy. He knew there was a war going on, too. Far away. He didn’t know much about it, but he knew the enemy was evil. That’s what his government said, so that was the way it was. He didn’t care much, really. It wasn’t his problem.

Years went by. He liked watching TV. Sometimes the news came on, and sometimes he watched them. He liked the short ones, the ones between the shows. The longer ones on the boring channels seemed to disagree with him anyway, so he used to avoid them. The entertainment channel had better news anyway, short and direct. They showed things as they really were, as he wanted to see them, but they said the war had grown bigger.

He didn’t like that.

There were elections again, and he voted for the same party he always had. Only an idiot would change now, in the middle of a war and everything. His government wasn’t to blame for it, the invasion had been for the greater good. The enemy was evil.

The news kept talking about unpleasant things in other parts of the world. He didn’t want to watch them any more, he was happier not knowing what was happening. He usually changed the channel when the news came on.

They said the war was coming closer.

One day there was no TV. He didn’t know why. He didn’t like it. Soon he saw dark smoke in a distance. It came from town, where his children had moved when they moved out. Where his friends lived. Something was moving on the other side of the big fields by his house. Cars. They were coming.

He went out with his hands above his head. There was nothing he could do but surrender. A big gun was attached to the roof of one of the cars. He could see a man behind it. The man pointed the gun straight at him and fired.

The war wasn’t far away any more.



The Old Man who Knew