Taliban Rock: A Short Story

Even with the bar door closed you could hear the bass pounding from the car idling at the stop sign.

Mikey Hoyle slammed down his beer glass and snapped his head toward the noise.

“You hear that?”

Timmy Kelly looked away from the Yankees game on TV.


“That music.”

“Oh, yeah, that.”

“Taliban music.”

“Sounds Indian to me.”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“Talibans live in Afghanistan, Mikey.”

“They’re all over the place.”

“In Scranton?”


“C’mon, Mikey, there’s no Talibans in Scranton.”

“That’s why they call it terrorism. You never know when they’re going to strike.”

“In Scranton?”

“I got one word for you: nine eleven.”

“That’s two words.”

“The 20th anniversary’s right around the corner.”

“Those weren’t Talibans, Mikey. They were Saudi Arabians,” Timmy Kelly said.

“Like Osama bin Laden?”


“Al Qaeda, Taliban, what’s the difference?”

“Saudi Arabians are on our side, Mikey.”

“Then why did they chop up that Washington Post newspaper reporter?”

“He was a media spy,” Timmy Kelly said.

“Maybe we should start doing that to our local media.”

“Chop them up?”

“Off with their heads.”

“On Courthouse Square.”

“The cops can set up one of them guillotines in the middle of Biden Street.”

“I’d go,” Timmy Kelly said.

“Me, too.”

Mikey again snapped his face toward the door.

“You hear that?”


“More Taliban music.”

“That sounds Puerto Rican.”

“Same thing.”

“Better than that Black rap shit.”

“A dog getting run over by a beer truck sounds better than that.”

Timmy Kelly looked confused.

“I thought Talibans hated music.”

“They’re big hard rock fans,” Mikey Hoyle said.


“Yeah, they’re always stoning their wives to death for committing adultery.”