Thursday, November 3, 2011


“I didn’t want to disturb you two.” Reginald said to Kathy as he came into the house.

She kissed him. “I appreciate that.”

“So does he, I would think.” Reginald said, sitting.

Then their daughter came into the kitchen. “Why is Uncle Ken exercising with his shirt off?”

The three of them went to a window overlooking the backyard, and there Ken was—shirtless—practicing his martial arts.

“Honey,” Reginald said, “your uncle does a lot of things, and one of them is fighting with his bare hands and feet.”

“Like Jackie Chan?” she said.

“No.” Kathy said, “More like Bruce Lee.”

Just then, both Reginald and Kathy remembered that Bruce Lee had been dead for generations and that even his son had been dead for nearly 20 years, and thus the reverence they held for him was as alien to their daughter as life before Jar-Jar Binks and Young Anakin Skywalker. Reginald, thinking fast, pulled up the Bruce Lee entry at Wikipedia and showed it to her. That helped, somewhat.

Ken, for his part, noticed that they watched him. While he couldn’t hear them, or make out their faces in detail, he got a sense from Kathy and Reginald’s body language that they could use a hand. So, he toweled off and came inside just as Reginald showed his daughter the Bruce Lee article.

“Teaching ancient history so soon?” he said.

The little one turned to him. “Do you know Jackie Chan?”

Ken laughed. “I met him once. I needed some quick cash, and he needed a stuntman that could pass for English, so I got the part. I worked with him for a few weeks, played a minor role as a bad guy, and had a good time doing it.”

Her eyes lit up. “Really?!”

Ken nodded. “Best time I ever had in Hong Kong. Ended up helping one of his relatives with a Triad problem, but that’s another story.”

Reginald then clapped Ken on the shoulder and pulled him aside.

“I saw that the sheriff came by last night. I can assume then that you’ve been told what’s going on?”

Ken nodded.

“I apologize for that. I wanted to tell you today, after you had some time to relax.”

“You know that you don’t need to ask. I’ll help you put these guys down, but-“

“You need gear. I’ve taken care of that. After lunch, you and I will head down to the shop. I had my man set some things aside for your consideration.”

“That’s a very polite way of saying ‘I told one of my guys to pull some guns out for you to pick from.’” Ken said, wryly.

“I remember your preferences. I think that you’ll be pleased with the selection.”

“And the girls?”

“The little one and I shot some video at the gun club this morning. She and Kathy will spend the afternoon editing it into something good enough to upload to the YouTube channel later tonight.”

“Why is it that when you and I get together, I always feel like I’m Bond and you’re Q?”

“No, Ken, not Q- M. Because I am the general and you are the operative.”

“At least you’re honest. I can respect that.”

“It’s mutual, in both respects.”

“Not quite. You always come up just ahead.”

“Only from a certain point of view, Ken.”

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