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April 09, 2005

war games

A Monkey Story in the tradition of the tales I used to tell when I was a boy...

ORKO WAS PATCHING UP the last corner of his specialized tank armor. He had proven wrong his more erudite siblings and cousins by pulverizing 8 shanks of high-grade "indestructible" rock liver, and he had done it with hammer and nails no less. He-Man was evidently annoyed, as this wasteful demand of their supplies could mean they would be left more vulnerable later in the weekend, as the exercise went into the final stages, but, as Orko had correctly pointed out, they couldn't leave a hole there, it would look dumb.

Orko raised his graphite hammer high over his boldly {and primitively} sculpted face, and began his downward swing just as Perrier slapped at a mosquito on Clarinette's face, who kicked the left pedal of their heavily modified APV. Orko's aim was spoiled by the lurching vehicle, and he chipped a large chunk from yet another panel of rock liver before tumbling overboard into the dry grass. The APV lurched to a stop as quickly as it had started, and everyone fell silent, looking around. He-Man squinted into the distance at nothing in particular.

"He-Man, look." Orko jabbed at the dirt at his feet there in front of the APV. "Landmine."

There was an earthshattering roar as a column of dirt and dust shot up and out from the locus of Orko's gesticulations. The bulky chimp was thrown backwards into the front of the APV where he impacted with a grunt. Everyone was silent again, amid the clatter and hissing of falling dirt and debris.

Orko slowly slid down the grill and sat on the ground, fiddling with the paper casing of the landmine's detonated "fuzzy" charge. Two hundred yards behind their APV, Orko's hammer landed on a rock-liver tank armor panel on APV number 2, instantly pulverizing it. He-Man's radio handset squawked.

"He-Man, this is Houston, come in, over"

"Houston this He-Man, out."

"No, He-Man, say over. Over."

"I said out, because I'm already done talking. Out."

"But I called you, over."

"Over where? Out."

"Nevermind. Over. Did you get hit?"

"Hit? What do you mean? Out."

"Team blue says they planted a mine near your position, and it's GPS locator no longer indicates the same position. Say again, did you get hit? Over."

"Ahhhhh. Hmmmmm." He-Man peered over the front of the front of the APV at Orko, who was looking around in the grass for his hammer. "Negative. Out."

"So you did not get hit, but the land mine did go off? Over."

"We dispatched a, ah...a specialist, and he, ah, he defused it. Out."

"Ok, roger that, thanks. Out."

"Sure thing, out."

"Over and out."

"Out and out."

Orko rose and grinned sheepishly up at his commanding officer as He-Man clambered down from the APV. Orko wobbled for a second, then fell heavily on his seat again as He-Man walked around to the front of the vehicle. It bore a surreal image of Orko at this moment, whose hair was plastered outward in a fan shaped corona around his head. There was a clean, distinct silhouette of his hulking figure, framed on the front grill by dust and grime."

Clarinette, Trombone, Frogger, get up here and help me clean up this mess."

The three piled out of the APV and came over to survey the damage. They immediately burst into laughter. Undeterred by the lack of any cleaning supplies, they simply scooped up dirt and ground it into the clean space where Orko had blocked the blast, and soon the front of the APV was again uniform, albeit with a different mien than before.

Meanwhile, Grace Kelly had trotted over from APV number 2 with Orko's hammer, and He-Man had intervened in the matter of further repairs, and scored a semantic victory by proposing that the panels be attached with liquid nails. Perrier had done the honors, but had to revisit the task twice, since Orko insisted on "setting" the panels with his hammer.

Back behind the wheel, Perrier again turned to his primary function of DJ, and complied with He-Man's orders to play "Flight of the Valkeries" at twice the usual volume, speed and pitch. His hands were now fouled by the gooey remnants of the liquid nails he had just administered, however, and he consequently ruined the CD. He-Man was only momentarily flummoxed, before he regrouped and ordered up a similarly inspiring number: the theme to the Hannah Barbara cartoon, The Jetsons. However, the liquid nails proved to have ubiquitously infected Perrier's personal effects, including the CD player itself, and eventually an irritated silence settled on the crew. The haunting strains of "Edlewiese" came floating up to them from APV number 2, until He-Man tersely informed them via radio that they were to run silent.

None of them could have imagined that this turn of circumstances had conspired to hand them an early victory that sunny mid-afternoon. They sat side by side, just behind a ridge, while they stopped for rations for the 10th time since lunch. Clarinette had finished her rations with characteristic efficiency, and was idly chewing a blade of grass, when her talented ears picked out the sound of her favorite song from the soundtrack of James Cameron's Titanic. She swiftly aligned the turrets toward the sound of the music.

Team blue's lead APV surged over the ridge, catching air briefly before slamming to the ground, as Celene Dion's voice rang out "I know that my heart will go on." Clarinette never missed a beat, but launched a fuzzy salvo squarely into the middle of the vehicle, causing it to shudder, and slow to half its speed. She followed that up with another shot, this one from no more than 20 feet away, as the blue team's APV slowly rolled abreast of them. This second shot tripped the klaxxons in the blue APV, and it's siren lights began to spin, indicating that it was officially out of commission.

The noise of this cannonade did nothing to alert the crew of blue team APV number 2, as they burst over the crest of the hill amid the blaring Beatles tune "How can you laugh when you know I'm down." This APV caught team Red by total suprise, as it hurtled toward their number two APV, and rammed it head on. There was a dusty coughing interlude of relative silence, during which blue two's engine died. Then somebody fired the gun on red number 2, which happened to be pointing forward, and blue two's sirens immediately went off.

Posted by joel at April 9, 2005 08:47 PM

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This takes me back. I wonder how many illustrations would be necessary to publish these things...

Posted by: Honest + Popular at April 12, 2005 05:03 PM

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