Cafe Loco


Cafe Loco

 Billy Ray Chitwood – 1/25/14

 Hunger had erupted quickly for Jan and me on our road trip to the wine country and we decided to stop at this charming chalet-style place with a quaint name and a lovely stream snaking along the backside. There were rolling hills and clusters of live oaks to enhance the romantic spot. We glanced at each other, nodded in the affirmative, and pulled our SUV into the parking area.

Inside the cafe there were charming Tiffany ceiling lights of lovely stained glass. All booths lining the three walls were green faux-leather with gold edging. The tables and chairs that filled in the rest of the good-sized room were green with gold seating and table cloths. The roadside cafe had few patrons at 2:15 PM. That was understandable – lunch hour over!

Having chosen a booth toward the middle of the room, we were looking over the menus when a lone man took a table next to our booth, some four feet away. Jan and I said, “Hi,” smiled politely as he sat. He raised his brows, cocked his head, and looked away. Jan and I smiled, dipped our heads, and tacitly agreed that the man could have at least responded with a “Hi” of his own.

The waitress, Lily, according to her ID pin, brought water for the man at the table and for us. The tiny young lady with freckles took our order for club sandwiches and cokes. We looked across at each, road weary but happy, chatting, eagerly anticipating our first night in the wine country at a beautiful resort.

“I’ve got a gun! Do you have a gun?” the man sitting next to us was speaking.

With squinted eyes, I responded, “Beg your pardon!”

“Did I stutter? I’ve got a gun! Do you have a gun?” The strange man was virtually shouting.

His words brought anger. “You’re a rude jerk! If you have a gun, jam it up your ying-yang! We’re about to have our lunch.”

A wide grin came to his face. “Hey, who doesn’t like a man with ‘balls’? I know I do. Guess what? I’m going to save you for last. Maybe I’ll off your pretty lady first.”

Jan was grabbing at my arm, trying to hold me back, but I was up and at the jerk’s table just as he was moving his chair and reaching toward the back of his pants.

He whacked me with just enough power to stun me, making me reel backward into our booth.

Jan screamed, stood, and grabbed at her heavy purse on the seat next to her. More screams came from the few customers in the cafe.

The man’s eyes were doing a loony ‘no vacancy’ look as he made a move toward Jan. As I tried for balance I grabbed at the tall glass of water and threw it at him. I missed. The wide grin still in place he pushed me hard into my seating area of the booth. “Now, sit, or I change my mind about the order of events here today.” At the same time he shoved Jan back to her place in the booth.

“What are you on, man?” I asked incredulously. “Put the gun away. We can talk it all out. You don’t have to do this!” My voice seemed far away, not as loud as I wanted.

I looked at Jan and she appeared to be in shock. She was trembling and her eyes were glazed with terror.

“Why didn’t you stop? Why did you take all the money?” The man was looking at me with a viper stare and eyes now red with his madness. I knew not what to say to him.

So I pled, “Listen, man, I’m not who you think I am. I didn’t take all the money, and I don’t know what it was I should have stopped.”

Then, he laughed maniacally. His body quaked as he stared steadily into my eyes. He moved his gun, aiming it at Jan.

Suddenly the madman crumbled lifeless to the floor.

It took some long seconds of adjustment for me to what happened. Jan remained in a catatonic state.

Standing above and behind the mad man was the cute little freckled waitress named Lily, crying, trembling, her eyes as big as the table coasters, holding a large iron frying pan.

Jan came out of it in time to see me kicking the gun away from the madman. I held for a short time a very emotional waitress.

The madman was taken away by the police on a stretcher.

The rest of our drive to the wine country, I drove with one hand on the steering wheel. Jan occupied the other.

Life sometimes chooses the events that come our way.

The End

The above is a short, short story I put on ReadWave, and it trended for awhile. It’s a writing exercise that forces an author to stay within time constraints (800 words or less/3-4 minutes). Personally I think it is a good ‘discipline’ technique, much like haiku in poetry. It’s my hope that you like it – and, maybe, try it.

If you liked Cafe Loco perhaps you will like some of my longer writing, my books. There are eleven altogether in the genres of mystery, romance, memoir, and politics… Hope you will preview them at the following sites: and (my main website and blog) (short bio sketch)

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An Uneasy Mind

An Uneasy Mind

Here on the Cumberland Plateau the mind is uneasy. I see some hint of sunshine through the windows as the gray cumulus clouds gather and move along toward the northeast. I hear the wind and see the sway of the lifeless and leafless limbs of trees, and I sit yearning for so much still yet in this life that is left to me.

I think of all the science and technology of which I know little or nothing…of my relatively short ride on this spinning orb and all that I’ve read about in the passage of time – the wars, the ability to hate and to love, the remarkable inability of good minds to absorb the lessons of history.

I ask myself, “What do I know that could make our country, our world, a safe and secure place in which to live and survive our past follies?” There comes the answer, sure and swift: “You know only what you are capable of knowing, from those first womb-free moments of existence to this precarious perch in twilight.”

Yet I write my books of fiction, make my characters heroes and villains, and play with words the make believe games of my youth. And, because my observation dictates, I write about a government which appears to be adrift, moving away from the convictions and faith of the past, moving away from the fundamental beliefs that have held strong for a few hundred years and created a great generation of men and women who were willing to sacrifice their lives so that freedom, liberty, and individual rights might be sacrosanct.

Now I turn to non-fiction, rant and rave about what I perceive as wrong with our current government in my new book, Joe Public’s Political Perspective. It is of course my freedom of speech that allows me to make my simple pronouncements, and I know that I’m not alone in the assertions I make.

Then I think, how can my political voice matter to anyone? Each of us believe what it is we have been programmed to believe, through a delicately engineered wiring system that makes our mind-motors run, through our environmental experiences, through inscrutable mazes I cannot imagine.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

Of course, I believe those of conservative leanings are right. That does not mean to me conservatives are all rich and think little of the poor and handicapped… I’m not wealthy and I know about poverty – been there, done that! Conversely, I believe conservatives care more for the weak, weary, and down-trodden than the franchises that have made it so easy over the years for people of color, unwed mothers, illegal immigrants, drifting idlers who care not to work but to live off of others’ labors, to eat at the public trough. If truth could be dispensed without prejudice and political design, it would show that conservatives are far more connected to the pulse of all Americans. Conservatives are not uncaring. The government must help those who truly need assistance. There are programs in place now that help so many. If more is needed, simple legislation is in order, not a huge government bureaucracy.

Those of heavy liberal minds have a vision for the country far different from the conservative minds. Many liberals wish to make entitlement and welfare the arguments for their agendas. It does not seem to matter to them the billions of dollars in wasteful spending that go from the taxpayers of our country. It is my belief that many liberals would be happier and more at home in the conservative camp.

Okay, so I’m uneasy. Politics sometimes seems to me a ‘whore’s game’ where ideologues vie for seats of power, where greed lives, where anger and division lives, where pork-barrel spending is business as usual. I do not like politics so much but it is the tree from which everything branches.

Now the clouds have united into a solid gray sky. There is now snow flurries on the plateau. Perhaps my uneasiness is caused by the conflicting clouds, sun, and snow, making slow to abate this little mind skittering… But wait, as I write the snow is gone, the sky is clear, and there is sunshine again. So quickly, these changes in the weather are occurring. Glad I’m not a weatherman!

Oh, well, make no mistake about it! I believe 2014 is a pivotal year for the United States and the world, certainly for those of us who want to preserve democracy, make government less intrusive and all-knowing.

Now, for sure, I’m going to promote my little book entitled, Joe Public’s Political Perspective. The brain power may not be its strongest point, but the words are the simple thoughts of a simple man. Feel free to buy it and see what Joe Public has to say. It is not broad in scope and it does not come from the pen of a political analyst or pundit.


It’s just me, taking a little mind excursion.

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Joe Public’s Political Perspective

Joe Public's Political Perspective

2014 – A Critical Year – BUY THIS BOOK!

JUST PUBLISHED! Buy it at Amazon US and Amazon UK

Simple message from a simple man! I want no government that chips away at my freedom and liberty, that denies me free access to my aspirations and dreams, that would dare make personal decisions for me, that deceives me with its rhetoric! It is, indeed, a critical 2014 that ‘We The People’ must face. My plea, my prayer, is that we do not let our democracy slip away.

You can follow me at Twitter (@brchitwood)

Other links: (My main website and blog) (My books) (My blog)

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Joe Public’s Political Perspective



In a matter of weeks my eleventh book, Joe Public’s Political Perspective, will be for sale on and Joe Public’s Political Perspective is non-fiction and provides me the space to lament over our current government’s ineptitude – as I see it!

The book, of course, will have a conservative flavor to it, a taste that will not set too well on the palates of some. So, why did I write a ‘rant and rave’ 32,000 word piece of political perceptions? There are several reasons… It is a right granted to me by my country’s sacred document, The Constitution of the United States – my freedom of speech. It is, I suppose, an attempt on my part as a citizen of the United States to voice opinions on the direction I see our country going. I write it as well for my children, my grandchildren, and those who follow. I want them to know how I felt at this time in our country’s history. Will Joe Public’s Political Perspective be read and have any meaning for anyone other than my family and friends? Obviously, I hope so, and I do know that Politics awakens sleeping giants, people who will hate me, maybe even love me. Since so little civility has been shown by certain members of our power elite in government, I decided, to leave a good part of mine off the table as well.

The thing is, I happen to love this great country of ours and felt it a duty to voice my concerns. Other than modestly and subtly I’ve never ventured so far as does Joe Public’s Political Perspective. Now, I brave the elements and venture into the forest of political minds, ready to have my simple words of common sense possibly jeered or praised by the political analysts and pundits that crowd our television channels…should my words reach such lofty heights. I’m at an age where it shouldn’t matter so much what anyone thinks of me or my writing, but it does. It matters that we don’t seem to learn from History, one of our greatest learning tools. It matters that we citizens are being deceived and our hard-earned monies spent in risky explorations.

Joe Public’s Political Perspective is a book that covers some current issues that are important to us all, not in a broad and complex way, rather in simple concise language that I believe speaks for the majority of people in the United States – and perhaps beyond. The book will cover the current health care law, the economy, education, the war on terrorism, religions and religious fanatics, secular progressives, the president, the congress, among other things.

It is my hope that you buy the book, read it, agree, disagree, hate me or love me. 🙂

Joe Public’s Political Perspective will also have expanded distribution to: Bookstores and Online Retailers – CreateSpace Direct – Libraries and Academic Institutions as well as standard distribution to – Amazon Europe – CreateSpace eStore

Follow me on Twitter (@brchitwood) and see my books at and Amazon US/UK

A short bio at: 

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