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Morgan Welch

The checker ringing up my butterfly pork chops says, “Did you know one in every twenty people is related to Genghis Khan? That guy got around, know what I mean?” I squint. Name tag says Jeffrey. He wears a star for top producer of the month.
“I like history,” offers the female sacker. “I’m going to be Sir Francis Drake next Halloween.” I tell her to be sure to find a big plume for her hat.
“What gave you that idea?” I ask.  
“Oh, because on ancestry.com I found out I am related to him.”
Jeffrey grins. “Genghis Khan is better. Everybody knows who that is.”
“One in twenty, really?” I ponder this as dinner purchases ding by, thin-sliced beef, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, Asian noodles, chicken tenders, mushrooms, a bulb of garlic, green onions. A chocolate torte waits at home, laced with something memorable. My weaponry tonight: a mighty, irresistible gourmet menu. 

* * *

I used to laugh at Kevin Bacon’s assertion that if the six degrees of separation concept held true, then he had worked with every actor in Hollywood. Back in the seventies, a research study concluded that only three degrees actually were necessary in order to connect everyone in the country, maybe all of North America. With computer modules now in place, who knows—Washington leaks could reach every household, secrets rippling down washroom drains and across the planet. There would be no need for spies or war. With no one responsible, the buck couldn’t stop anywhere at all. Everybody would be related—a human World Wide Web, a family that would not be a cliché.
Jeffrey scans coupons. “Genghis Khan was a rascal and progenitor of thousands, including Dostoevsky.” He rolls his eyes and R’s simultaneously as he counts out my change.
“That explains Raskolnikov’s weapon of choice,” I banter. 
“An ax.”
“Warlords rule.” Jeffrey winks. “Two for dinner?”
“Yeah. Mongolian Grill, actually.”
“Good luck!”
Jeffrey waves me out. Exit,