Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Saturday Night Special: The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave


Diver spotted in Sea Island, Georgia

“Nothing good happens after midnight,” we’ve told our daughters over the years.

They’re old enough to know that’s not quite the truth.

Sometimes the best things happen after midnight!

And sometimes, the best things happen in America…

Three a.m.

By Jill McDonough

Our cabdriver tells us how Somalia is better
than here because in Islam we execute murderers.
So, fewer murders. But isn’t there civil war
there now? Aren’t there a lot of murders?

Yes, but in general it’s better. Not
now, but most of the time. He tells us about how
smart the system is, how it’s hard to bear
false witness. We nod. We’re learning a lot.
I say – once we are close to the house – I say, What
about us?
Two women, married to each other.
Don’t be offended, he says, gravely. But a man
with a man, a woman with a woman: it would be
a public execution.
We nod. A little silence along
the Southeast Corridor. Then I say, Yeah,
I love my country.
This makes him laugh; we all laugh.
We aren’t offended, says Josey. We love you. Sometimes
I feel like we’re proselytizing, spreading the Word of Gay.
The cab is shaking with laughter, the poor man
relieved we’re not mad he sort of wants us dead.
The two of us soothing him, wanting him comfortable,
wanting him to laugh. We love our country,
we tell him. And Josey tips him. She tips him well.


From this collection:



Tomorrow morning the “Fourth of July” series begins at Bacon, considering life in America in the time of corona – please join the conversation! Xoxo


  1. I like how this post celebrates a uniquely American sense of humor. And I might be overexcited about your new series because I never leave my house, but who cares, please bring us some patriotism and optimism STAT!!!

  2. Wow! How interesting I so look forward to this!

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