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Saturday, January 22, 2011

(Part 3) Snowballs...

...began flying, the blur of ice in combination with speed heavy in the air.  I saw my little brother collapse under the impact of a bullet thrown by the boy-giant across the yard.  Scotty's teeth made a clicking noise as his stocking covered head was forced one way by the impact of the flying snowball, his lips the other way- suspended for a moment where they had once been in perfect alignment with his red face.  My tiny comrade was down for the count.

I had three choices at that point.  Stand my position and fight it out (impossible as I was running out of "ammo" and far short on defensive positioning); fall back to the safety of grandma's couch (I liked this thought more and more but it would come with a lifelong stigma); or charge the oppositions bunker.  Now I'm not a war strategist, but I thought the third option could at least buy me some time for Scott to pull himself together and help a brother out.

In warfare, charging is generally a last resort. It is most likely necessitated by a critical shortage of resources in combination with a lack of a fall-back option.  It is the equivalent of football's 4th quarter, final seconds "Hale Mary" where you will either take the field in victory as a gutsy s.o.b., or you leave the stadium in shame- in war, dead.   There are songs about heroes who, in desperation, beyond all reason or possibility muster the courage to chance it all.  Grabbing handfuls of snow as I went I began to run toward to onslaught.  For a moment the ploy worked.  Timmy and his goon, stopped to look at each other briefly before throwing snowballs with more fury than before.

I knew the charge had been a mistake from the beginning.  For one thing, I'm not very fast.  For another, I was the ideal target- stunned and enlarged by a super puffy red coat, waddling toward (not away) from the enemy.  Timmy and goon were delighted, licking their chapped lips as I approached.

If you enjoy war movies at all, Platoon was one of the all time best.  There is a classic scene where Willem Dafoe, thought dead, emerges from the jungles of Vietnam.  His men helplessly watch from the helicopter above as his body is riddled with enemy bullets, shaking and lurching violently (though dramatically in slow motion) with each point of contact.  This was me that day.  Broken and defeated, but perhaps with one last opportunity for glory and revenge.

To be continued and concluded...

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