All the Peace and Fraternity of the Free World by Kelly Grotke

It’s a true story, I read it in Life magazine soon after the war, in between the ads. One of the ads was for some new packaging that would keep Mr. Lobster moist and happy all the way from Maine to your table.

I suppose I remember that because of the contrast, y’know? All that post-war confidence fizzling up like champagne, champagne and lobsters, that’s what the world was going to be and we were going to lead the charge into some bright new future of peace and prosperity.

The story was about a fellow who liked lobster, he liked all the good things money can buy, and he wasn’t middle-class American respectable about it either. Kept a few mistresses, sure. So far so good. Our countries were friends. I dunno. Seems like somebody was getting fucked. I mean, they had laws down there but this guy’s laws were so crazy that you could be put in prison for saying the summer there was awful hot. Defamation, right?

So yeah, he’s heard that someone said a few words against him here or there, so he has the guy picked up. Tells his men to have some fun with the poor bastard for a couple of days. And afterwards he has the body dropped off to the family, all wrapped up like some bloody entrails in butcher’s paper. And then he goes to the house. To comfort them.


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7 responses to “All the Peace and Fraternity of the Free World by Kelly Grotke

  1. Ewww! But it’s no worse than man has done to man since the beginning of time. Well done.

  2. guy

    This is a different voice for you. It reads like the vernacular of those bubbly & confident Americans who enlisted gangsters as bulwarks against communism. All on the same page.

    • Kelly

      yes, it is a bit different. The result of spending a day wading through whatever I could find on Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. So, based on real and by-and-large forgotten events – just wanted to take a look at the past, given recent developments, and get at it all somehow, the simultaneity of naivete and brutality.

  3. An interesting contrast, the way the prosperous American families are shown against the tyrant. Nicely done.

  4. Pingback: Week #42 – Under wraps | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  5. Kelly

    I appreciate your reading & your comments (even when I am rather late in acknowledging them) – thanks

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