Monday, May 31, 2010

Rocky Mountain Rebound

May 30th, 2010. On Sunday, The Darger infantry managed to out-flank the Rocky Mountain militia in a daring, late afternoon, all-or-nothing, deployment that secured another battlefield win for Gen. Glory and his road-weary warriors. Number 22 held the Mountaineers in check for most of the fracas, before his replacements arrived to barricade the escape routes out of the militarized zone. The Dargers will now return to Traffic Town for another showdown with the Reptillian Shapeshifters from the deserts of Arizona.
W is for Mile High Fructose Corn Syrup

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Rocky Mountain Low

May 29th, 2010. The Dargers were demolished in the Rocky Mountaintop fighting on Saturday night. No. 18 was pounded by the opposition, and the troops look to regroup and mount another charge on Sunday.
L is for el Hangover.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

May  28th, 2010. Number 99 led a late charge to give the Darger army a rallying victory in the mountaintop municipality on Friday night in the first of three battles scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend.
W is for Beer Night


Friday, May 28, 2010

All is Quiet on the Mid-Western Front

May 27th, 2010. The Dargers were turned away from the Chicagoland slums on Thursday in a gritty street fight, where they were led by the upstart Number 48, in his first return to his hometown since enlisting in the Traffic Town war machine. The young rifler performed magnificently throughout much of the afternoon before being caught in a crossfire that eventually did in the Darger forces. The offensive was stalled for the second time in three days without the support of it's legendary artillery might.
L is for You can't go home again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lights Out!

May 26th, 2010. No.58 led a rejuvenated, mobilized armor division into the historic killing fields of Chicagoland, for another nighttime Darger assault on Wednesday. A quick, preemptive strike allowed the Darger ground troops to advance unabetted, and fortify a forward position within artillery range of the ivy covered walls of the Bastille.
    One of six Dargers to score direct hits on the enemy fortress, No.7 fired 1 round short of a full magazine on the M107 .50 Caliber(LRSR), in a manly display of marksmanship. Oddly, the Defense Communications and Surveillance Network was again compromised, resulting in a mysterious 18 minute power outage. Both armies have been seen massing on the south-side, preparing for a final skirmish slated for Thursday afternoon.
W is for "Where were you when the lights went out?"

Nothing to see here...

May 25th, 2010. Due to a technological security breach, the battle transmissions from the Darger's inaugural, 2010 invasion of Chicagoland were jammed, and nothing but the final, futile gunshots were witnessed by the time a secure line of communication had been reestablished. According to wire reports, however, nothing was missed. In a classic duel, the gunfighters of each army were brilliant, holding their respective opponents in check without much bloodshed. In the end, No.22 and the Darger security forces were reportedly undermined by the multiple mishaps of their own field legionary, No.15, who was back in duty for the first time since recovering from his wounding in action two weeks ago. His mishandling of strategic information laid the groundwork for the Darger  defeat. Poor reconnaissance work also played a part.
L is for Line down.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The Tigers Broke Free.

May 23rd, 2010. By the time I had comfortably reasoned with Karen that the mysterious weirdo she was riding with was actually a very well-known celebrity from a local TV show that she didn't watch, we had left the salon, and seamlessly merged back onto the Freeway.
    "He looks like a Hobo. Is he on that police chase show you watch?" Karen said, finally taking the bait. Then she added, "Can you roll up the window? There's too much wind blowing on my new hairdo!"
    "What?" I asked. I looked into the rear-view mirror and watched Karen's cheeks puff up. Her hair was blowing wildly across the rest of her face. "Don't make faces like that." I quipped. "You look like one of those troll dolls."
    She didn't hear me. Her window was down. The warm, outside air was rushing over her like she was in a NASA wind test tunnel. I had  lowered it to accommodate Darger's unfortunate intolerance for car travel. He can't ride in a moving car without freaking-out if a rear window isn't rolled down. He bangs his head from side to side, and screams an incessant, high-pitched, yelp if he can't hear the air movement. Or something. I don't know. The only problem is that I can't roll his window down because he likes to spit out of it. 
    Karen began to kick the back of my seat in unison with her monosyllabic commands.
     "You-are-ru-in-ing-my-bea-u-ti-ful-new-hair-do!" she pounded. "Will-you-ple-ease-roll-up-the-win-dow!"
    I glowered into the rear-view mirror. Her face was covered with wisps of her yellow-golden hair, and her hair was covered with glitter, but I'm sure she was under there, glaring back at me in retort. I shrugged. "It's broken, honey. I can't. Now, knock it off!" I pleaded.
    She pounded, "Puh-lease! Roll-up-the-win-dow!"
    I was thinking about her haircut. She smelled like a freshly-baked sugar cookie. "Next time, you should get your bangs cut. It would keep the hair out of your eyes." I suggested.
    Again, she pounded, "I-am-go-ing-to-tell-mom-my!"
    "What?" I withdrew.
    Meanwhile, Darger had been doing just as I had instructed. He hadn't said a word throughout the entire "ride and a haircut" episode. His promise to keep quiet, however, had just been broken. For at that moment, Darger broke wind; a machine-gun-rattling reverberance so loud and booming that I actually felt the vibrations through the front car seat. Karen screamed.
Then she pounded into the back of my seat, "ROLL-DOWN-THE-WIN-DOWS! ROLL-DOWN-THE-WIN-DOWS! Eeeeeeww! HE-SMELLS-LIKE-A-HO-BO, TOO!!"
L is for "The one who smelt it - deals it."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Caged Tiger

May 22nd, 2010. We were less than a mile departed from the stadium. "We're going to be late, dog-brain!" I yelled. Darger and I were racing down the exit ramp and onto the Freeway, trying to beat the early breach of traffic swarming from the Ravine. Over the cresting, AM waves of my car radio, Traffic Town was hammering down the final outs in another finely constructed home-sweet-home victory. It was 4PM.
    "Everybody leaves early with a lead like this!" I yelled. "Dammit! Karen has a hair appointment in twenty minutes! Do you know what this means?!" I yelled again. I wasn't yelling over the radio. I was yelling over the horribly loud hum resulting from the vibrating, rear window that was rolled down to counterbalance  Darger's idiocentric carsickness. Speeding along the Freeway with a rear window lowered at half-mast can be a deafening, slaphappy, killjoy. I glanced in the rear-view mirror. Darger had his eyes rolled upward, and both hands were covering his mouth.
    "There's no time for me to drop you off! You're going to have to come with us!" I bemoaned out loud, and sped past the slower moving traffic. I was close to home, so I phoned ahead, and told the babysitter to have Karen ready and waiting in the driveway. Kooky Cutters, the kid-friendly, parent-pricey, hair salon was on the other side of town. I was going to have to take the Freeway if I was going to make the appointment; Darger was going to be sick, and Karen was going to have a hissy-fit.
    "You don't say a word, numbskull!" I instructed Darger. "I'm going to pretend I don't know you. We can't trust Karen. She'll rat us out. I'll tell her you fell off a bike or something. I'll say that I found you in the road, and I'm giving you a ride home. I'll make something up. You keep your mouth shut. You ate too many peanuts, you idiot!"
    I eased into the driveway, and immediately fell prey to Karen's maliciously suspicious inquisition.
    "Where have you been?!" she poked. "Are we going to miss my haircut? Mommy said I could get my hair cut today!" she prodded. Then she saw Darger.
    "Who's that weirdo?!" she screamed.
W is for Window seat.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wild Tiger!

May 21st, 2010. With the Michigan Militia's motorcade of late-model tanks rolling westward into Traffic Town along the 10 Freeway, General Glory curiously stacked his first-line of defense behind the resurgent sergeant-at-arms, No.58, with a group of second-line peacekeepers, Nos.5, 17, 21, and No.3. The saber-rattling started just before sundown, against a dirty, war-ravaged, city skyline.
    The garrison of cagey yeomanry struck fast, but No.58 fought a solid battle, holding the beastly, foreign, invaders at a stiff arms length. He was relieved late in the fracas, with mop-up duty performed efficiently by No.54 and No.51
    It was a wild, wild, western welcome for the Motor City's militant maquisard on Friday night. Chavez Ravine braces for another scrappy, showroom, showdown on Saturday afternoon. The war drags on; racing at a caged tiger's pace.
W is for Cruise control.


Friday, May 21, 2010

A saint abroad and a devil at home

May 20th, 2010. The resurgent missionaries from San Diego de Alcala had stormed up the California coastline on the previous night, accompanied by a flotilla of Franciscan muckrackers, on a revengeful crusade against all things Darger, and caught the home reserves by surprise, resulting in an abrupt defeat. Tonight, the Darger Special Operations Command dispatched the resilient No.22 to torpedo the fleet of evangelistic enlisted men.
    The fortified sharp-shooter, delivered a steady stampede of firepower upon the whistle-stop campaigners, allowing but a single enemy canon to breach the hold at Chavez Ravine. The home defenses held their ground, and aggressively purged the pontif pulpiteers from the tollgates of Traffic Town. Brave battle planning by the front-line ground forces, and coordinated hit-and-run tactics by No.14 accounted for the majority of damage to the fanatical, smarmy army.
W is for esprit fort.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Forgive me, Father...

May 19th, 2010. Little Karen squealed with delight. She was soundly secure in her backseat-driver's car seat, spilling brand new, brand name, breakfast cereal all over the interior of my brand new, brand name car, going on and on about the free "popular movie character" water-squirter that she had just un-boxed. I was thrilled. I really was. Karen wouldn't buy her cereal like this. Nothing but the naturally-sweetened cereals for her taste-making.   But, I wasn't out to discredit Karen; I wanted to please Little Karen. I chose that box of cereal, and it was the right choice, because the free water-squirter inside of the box was the exact, "one-of-four possible popular movie characters" that she had been begging me for. JACKPOT!
    "I prayed for this to happen, Daddy, and Baby Jesus gave it to me." said Little Karen very pragmatically from her perch.
    I hadn't even asked. This was coming at me out of nowhere.
    "What!?" I reacted. "Why are you thinking about Baby Jesus at a time like this? You should be thankful to ME for your free toy. And the syrupy, preteen cereal."
    "I am thankful. And I'm happy because I've been praying to Baby Jesus to get this, and it finally happened. I pray every night." she reported.
    I was aware of her pet dogma; her faith-based, nightly broadcasts. To my demise, the babysitter, and her sister, had been secretly, nocturnally, indoctrinating Little Karen into the ways and means of Christianity for years. Every night, she prays to the Baby Jesus; she systematically thanks him for the good day that she just had, asks him to provide her with good dreams, and then she asks him for whatever shiny, new, TV-placed product she's picked up on her radar that particular day. Her prayers are like wish lists; God's gift registry.
    "Praying to Baby Jesus didn't get you that box of cereal, Karen. I got you that box of cereal. And guess what? That particular box was on the top shelf. Do you think the Baby Jesus can even reach that high? No. He can't. He's a Baby. I picked it just for you. I could have picked a box on the baby shelf, but they don't put awesome free prizes inside the boxes on the baby shelf." I reminded her.
    "They'd choke." she said. "But I told you. I prayed for it." she went on, surely accusing me of something.
    "Sorry. I didn't get your prayers. I just thought I might try to do something really nice for you, like give you all the forbidden, artificial fruit-flavor, and pop-culture you could ever want, but are never allowed to have. I paid for it." I explained. "I guess the little, Baby Jesus's breakfast miracle must be on back order, huh?" I offered.
    "If you went to church with Mommy you might get my prayers." she said.
    I wasn't about to attack Karen's God. Little Karen's god, however, was fair game; Little Karen's god was my new, sworn, paternal enemy. 
    "If I went to church with Mommy, I wouldn't be out getting your precious, breakfast candy." I said.
L is for Fruitless.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Astro, Not!

May 18th, 2010. Not surprisingly, on Tuesday, a second wave of retaliatory, inter-continental ballistic missiles was launched by the rouge, Big Oil conglomerates operating inside the Lone Star state's engulfed shores. The Darger Air Defenses once again took the initiative, and readily dissolved the oncoming threat.
    However triumphant, the night honoring the heroic, wartime bravery of the Darger bombardier, No.16, had a tarnish to it; the war hero was removed from active duty for a systems upgrade and maintenance overhaul after sustaining a trigger-finger injury resulting from friendly fire. 
W is for "A funny thing happened on the way to the Moon."


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moonwalk in the Park

May 17th, 2010. The armored divisions had just returned home from a hard fought road campaign when news of an incoming, unidentified airborne attack began to propagate over the communication networks. The galvanized Darger forces had no time for formalities, fact checking , or Florence Nightingale, and hastily set up a make-shift, anti-ballistic shield- for an  astronomical number of super-sonic, stratospheric, surface-to-surface missiles were heading directly towards Traffic Town! General Glory sent the happy-go-lucky, young buck, No.48to stave off any enemy ground intrusion, and directed the big guns to ward off the outer-space invasion.
    The new recruit was cool under fire while he continued to keep his galactic opponents off balance and unable to mount a significant charge. He is quietly rising in the ranks of the Darger rifler corps as he came away with another victory. On the offensive side of the attack, No.23 and No.33 shot down the enemy rocketry with direct hits. Any other information regarding the operational status of the Space weapons program is classified. The Dargers are proving to be a competitive group, fighting in an arena routinely exposed to the evolving complexities of an industrious military operation.
W is for Man in the Moonpie.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Burned Down the Mission

May 16th, 2010. As the Black Sabbath sun began to cede into the late afternoon skyline, it was becoming evident that the home standing, holy missioners could no longer keep the secularist invaders from overrunning their pastoral sanctuary. Reminiscent of the previous two battles, thousands of vocal, local laymen and laywomen of the Darger faith were out in full force to witness the consecration.
    The Darger battalion was short-handed because of critical injuries, and aging equipment, so a group of irregular peacekeepers were sent in to take down the temple. Led by No.58, the reserve militia kept the action contained to a minimum, but were able to finally breakthrough the last remaining Holy ground's guard forces, and torch the fort for their second city sweep.
W is for RIP RJD.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Penance Race!

May 15th, 2010. During the second stage of the siege on the mission at San Diego de Alcala, the Darger sharpshooter, No.22, led a spirited charge with clenched fists directly into the enemy TabernacleThe young bomb hurler suffered a lone gunshot wound at the outset of fighting, but managed to mount a masterful performance of ballistic brilliance. It was his second consecutive, successful campaign since drawing criticism from his superiors at Central Command.
    The bombing raid by No.7 allowed the Darger artillery an opportunity to a gain strategic foothold against a stubborn, heavily indoctrinated, combat team. The battle was locked in a stalemate until a brave foray by No.14 broke open a hole in the line of defense. The classy veteran of many wars, No.9, also made a key enfilade, ensuring another Darger victory.
W is for Transubstantiation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MISSION: Accomplished!

May 14th, 2010. The Darger forces took a day off to reload, refuel, and recover from their 3-day sweep through the disillusioned, desert defenses of Arizona. The Traffic Town regulars made a quick pit stop home, then turned their sights due south, crawling 125 miles along the congested, free-market birth canal that connects the commercialized breeding grounds of cultural homogenization to the perpetual mass-markets of world-wide consumerism - Interstate 5. El Camino Real. The King's Highway.
    The mission at San Diego de Alcala is the southern-most command outpost of the Holy Rollin' Roman Catholic Empire's linked chain along the southwestern coastline of the continental United States. It has been a 2-century safe haven for saints, sinners, and Holy warriors defending themselves from the indigenous godlessness. 
    The Dargers were once again doing battle in a border town; this town bordering the upper enchalant of the western fighting armies, the former town bordering the bottom. Coming into the battle, the Dargers have traveled the middle road, winning 4 consecutive battles; they've reached a happy medium.
    The armies battled late into the warm night in an intensely  contested jihad. The cannonade of Darger artillery was led by Nos.7, 16, and 99, in a back and forth struggle, with the decisive blow coming from No.27 late in the attack. The Big Howitzer, No.51, came to shut down any hopes for divine intervention.
W is for Winquisition.

Thursday, May 13, 2010



May 12th, 2010. There was flour everywhere. I held a broom in one hand, and a bag of flour in the other. Darger was bleeding from both of his shins. "Captain's choice." I said, and handed him the broom. "I outrank you, dummy." 
    Earlier, while I was on my breakfast walkabout, I found Darger trapped under an upturned shopping cart behind the Liquor Basket. He told me that he had tried using the cart to climb onto the wall behind the row of dumpsters that divided the Liquor Basket and the Food-4-All; he had slipped. I pushed the shopping cart off him. He didn't thank me or offer a reason why he was trying to climb the wall; he just screamed, and violently pointed to the top of it, as a barrage of boxes came hurtling over, landing in a haphazard heap, directly next to the cart. The boxes were full of day-old poultry and produce from the Food-4-All. Then, a lone bag of flour flew over the wall, and exploded in a white cloud on the cart. I said, "Put that meat in the cart, private! C'mon! I know where we can get some more flour."
    When we got to my house, Darger dutifully jumped out of the cart, and ran around to the backyard, out of sight. I parked the cart, sans Darger, under the kitchen window, and ran inside. I had hoped the simple pantry raid would go smoothly, but I forgot about one minor detail. Tidbit!
    Tidbit must have heard the shopping cart as we were coming down the street. And smelled the meat. As soon as I cracked open the door, the crazed, little pup wiggled past my feet and out through the front door. "Stupid dog!" I yelled. I wanted to go after him, but, I was on a mission. I strolled into the pantry and grabbed two bags of flour from the shelf. I heard Darger screaming. I grabbed a broom and ran outside.
    The bag of flour exploded about six inches from the kitchen window. A huge cloud of powdery, white, dust was slowly floating down to reveal Darger in his underwear, frantically trying to climb into the shopping cart. Tidbit had Darger's pants in his mouth, desperately chewing at the day-old meat smell, I suppose. Anyway, there was flour everywhere. But, I was hungry.
    "Sweep." I commanded. "I'll fry enough chicken for an army!"
W is for Self-Rising.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Puppy Love

May 11th, 2010. It was dusk. Karen was sitting on the floor, with her back to the refrigerator, patiently waiting it out with the new puppy, Tidbit, who was refusing to eat the antibiotics my wife had been desperately trying to administer into his mouth. Suddenly, Little Karen bounded into the room, startling me and the puppy. Tidbit peed. I rolled my eyes.
    "Mommy, can I see your keys?" she asked.
    I handed Karen the roll of paper towels. We keep a roll at the ready; the peeing happens so frequently.
    "I know where this is going." I said casually. "The answer is not on your six year old life." 
    "I need to go to the store. I'm planning something secret." said Little Karen. She kept talking. "If you don't be quiet, You're not going to get to see it. Or eat any of it."
    "You're not even of legal age to ride in the front passenger seat of a car, let alone, drive one. The police would drive you off a cliff if they saw you driving a car around here." I reasoned. Then added, "Who gave you permission to cook again, anyway?"
    She changed the subject. She knew me. 
    "Who's winning?" she asked.
    "Traffic Town. 2-0. That new kid, No.48, has been amazing. He's young, though. He's a pup. Like Tidbit." I said.
    Seemingly on cue, Tidbit yelped loudly, and jumped from Karen's clenches, peeing wildly.
    "Karen!" I yelled. 
    Tidbit ran out of the room; spraying, of course, more pee as he went. Now it was Little Karen's turn to roll her eyes at me. Then she ran after him.
    Apparently, Karen had tried to use the paper towel tube like a blow-gun, shooting the pill into Tidbit's mouth. I looked at Karen. She was looking at me through an empty paper towel tube; she was an aimless ship's captain, looking through a hapless, cardboard telescope, drifting slowly out to sea. "We're out of paper towels." she said.
    I paused. "Can I see your keys?" I asked her.
    Little Karen yelled from somewhere distant in the house, "I'm coming with you!"
    Karen softly tossed me the car keys. Little Karen pranced back into the kitchen cradling Tidbit in her arms. Tidbit spit the pill out of his mouth.
    "But you're still not eating my surprise!" she announced.
    Little Karen and I listened to the rest of the game on the car radio while we made the ride across town to the paper towel outlet. The Dargers exploded with a barrage of antipersonnel bombs in the waning hour of the desert skirmish to give the raw, young rifler his first taste of battle glory! We got home too late for Little Karen to make her secret surprise; fortunately, she fell asleep a mile from the house. I pulled into the garage and carefully handed her off to Karen, who whisked her to bed. I unloaded our bounty of paper towel rolls, and popped a pill into my mouth. Nobody had to trick me into swallowing it.
W is for House Break

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Circle the Wagons!

May 10th, 2010. Armed resistance in the United States ended 145 years ago today. On this day, way back in 1865, newly appointed president, Andrew Johnson, declared that all major fighting east of the Mississippi River had ended, and with the capture of the southern secessionist, Jefferson Davis, the American Civil War was officially over. The last time I checked, the Arizona desert was west of the Mississippi. 
    Crossing the cautionary, cordoned ropes of the Arizona border, a division of Darger tanks launched a 3-day offensive upon the arid deterrence of the heartless, reptilian heartland. The slithering, protectionist, border defenses were no match for the migratory Darger foot soldiers swarming across the battlefield. 
    No.7 started the charge with a cannon shot over the central air defenses of Fort Apache, while No.16 continued his bludgeoning run of terror with multiple raids. And No.99 led his first successful campaign since his return to action two days ago. The Calvary charge of No.58 and his cohorts put down the few outbreaks of general uprising by the rattled, rebel forces. W is for Ira B. Hayes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother Knows West

May 9th, 2010. "There's too much traffic. We're not going to get back for another twenty-five minutes."  I moaned. I wished, now, that I had taken a different route. But, I had wanted to stay within range of the weakened, FM broadcast, so I bypassed the stereotypical, metro-business route for a more centralized, less discriminating commute.
    "At least we won." said Karen. Karen always tried to say nice, positive things when she rode with me in the car. I don't know what she  said in the car when I wasn't there. Maybe she said nice, positive things whether I was there or wasn't. She was , after all, a nice and positive person. And if she wasn't saying anything nice, maybe she wasn't saying anything at all? 
    Then she said, "They're heading west."
    "They're heading south." I corrected her.
    "Really? I thought they fought hard today. You were listening. The radio doesn't lie." she said.
    "Yes it does." I responded. "But, I'm talking about the traffic. It's spilling out towards the landfill. I should have taken the freeway."
         "Oh." she said. "Is the landfill full?"
    She was lost. "Yes. They're headed west." I tried to tell her.
    But Karen was confused. "But you just said the landfill was south. Is there another landfill?" she asked. 
    "They're heading out to the desert." I continued.
    "This all used to be a desert. Do you think any of these hills are old landfills? Filled with trash?" she wondered.
    "God makes the mountains, Karen. God doesn't make trash. People make trash." I reminded her.
    Suddenly, Little Karen's big mouth interrupted from the back seat. "God made the people and his people made the trash." she said.
    Ignoring the outburst from the third party passenger, I concluded, "God doesn't make trash, Karen. Cleanliness is godliness. Trash is forbidden in Heaven. It's in the Bible."
    I turned up the radio. The tiny voice of the famed broadcaster had just reported that mobilized artillery units from Traffic Town were massing in the dry, desert battlegrounds near the Arizona border.
    Then Big Karen dropped an incendiary bomb. "God makes trashy people. I hope General Glory pulverizes those dirty snakes!" she hissed.
W is for Mom.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blanked Check

May 8th, 2010. The first time I met Darger, he was buried up to his stomach, digging a deep hole in my backyard. He said he was burying a lawnmower with the motor still running; feeding it gasoline through a hose with the intent of breaking some recordI told him that there was no such record and called him a liar. He yelled, "There ain't no lawnmower, neither!" and threw a rock at me. 
    That was more than four years ago. Nobody knows exactly how old Darger is. He might be fifteen. He might not be fifteen. I've asked him. He doesn't know. Darger doesn't know how old I am, and I've told him at least a hundred times how old I am. I'm forty-three. My wife, Karen, is forty-five. And she tells me at least that many times a day not to talk to Darger.
    Darger looked at me, grabbed at his front pockets, and spoke. "I need to go to the..." He stopped himself in mid-sentence, then quickly put his hands in his pockets.
    "Stop holding your yourself! What are you? Five years old? Go to the bathroom, Darger." I told him. Darger looked at me. He put his hands in his back pockets. He blinked. I blinked.
    "Blank." he said.
    "Go!" I said.
Darger stuffed his hands into his front pockets again. Then he winked, and said, "Will you take me?"
I was not in the mood for his slow motion charade. He was old enough to go to the bathroom by himself and I told him so. "No." I answered.
    Darger was getting frustrated. He looked at me again and pleaded, "Please, take me. I'll give you some money." He emptied his pockets. Nothing. I took a deep breath. 
    "Listen up, dumbass." I started. "I don't know what in the hell you think you're thinking about doing, but if you think I'm going to be some kind of pee-for-hire..." Darger cut me off.
    "Yesss!" he said. He reached into his front shirt pocket and pulled out a slip of paper. "I need to clash this check." he spoke slowly. "Can you give me a ride to the blank?"
L is for Glass Knuckles


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunnyside Prevention

May 7th, 2010. The sun looked like a bright red, skinned knee. But, it was quiet and cool outside. I've never seen the sky look so vulnerablelike it had just been shot. Karen flipped a breakfast patty and broke my early morning complacency.
    "That was a fantastic battle last night. But it left my stomach in knots. Don't overcook that sausage. I won't eat it." I finished.
    Karen shot me a look and said, "You were out too late. I had a meeting with Pete. You didn't go to work yesterday."
    She was digging for something. Anything I said right now would just hurt her, so I took it out on Pete instead. 
    "Pete? Pete's an idiot. Pete doesn't even know how to drive." I shot back.
    Karen didn't have anything to say. She spit on my breakfast, grabbed her grubby, teddy bear, Pete, from the table and ran out through the kitchen door screaming, "Mommmmmmmmmmmyyy!!!"
    When I finished my sausage, Big Karen finally crept downstairs. I was already fluent with a believable alibi. "She threatened to kill herself again." I cried. "She says she wants a baby brother. She said she wants you to teach her how to be a good mother. I told her NO, and she spit on my breakfast! I think she might have wet the bed again, Karen."
    She didn't seem to hear anything I said. Karen has ears like a safe-cracker. She hears everything. She was dressed for work, but it was Saturday. I knew it was Saturday. Even the paper said it was Saturday. She picked up the paper. 
    "It's Saturday." she said.
    "She's suicidal, Karen!" I tried.
    "Dammit!" she said. "I'm going back to bed.
Who won last night?" I won, I was thinking.
    "Traffic Town. 6-5." I said. 
W is for Counterbalanced Attack.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Anobium Punctatum

May 6th, 2010. Wood-boring beetles spend most of their life cycle in the larval stage. The egg is laid by the female beetle in a small opening in the wood, where it feeds on the starch and moisture within the wood as it tunnels its way randomly beneath the surface for years until it is ready to pupate. The damage done to the wood goes mostly unnoticed until the beetle emerges.
    Coming into my view was Ulysses Elmore. Except, Ulysses Elmore wasn't his real name. He lived behind the Daddy Rabbit Liquor Basket. And everybody called him Darger.
   "Where's my mitten, Mightyman?" said Darger. I think. He had tinfoil wrapped around his arms and hands and he was talking like a machine. 
   "They won't let you in the stadium dressed like that, you stupid idiot. You aren't going like that!" I said.
   The boy's eyes grew wide, and rather creepy. He lifted his arms slowly, like a robot, and then said something again with the machine voice, "My buddies and I prefer a more explorative method of transportation. Travel with me, Starman?" But, because Darger is mentally retarded, I don't have a clue as to what he really said.  
   "Stop talking like that! And take off that good tinfoil, stupid!" I blasted. If Karen knew he had come anywhere near anything in the kitchen she would really let me have it. And here he was wrapped-up like a big space mummy in her good tinfoil! I prodded on, "I'm hungry! Let's go. We'll eat on the way. Roll that foil back on the roll, dummy! Roll, Dummy! Roll! Ha-Ha!" 
    We spent nearly four hours on the hillside, listening to the gun blasts and rockets. At last! We witnessed the grand heroics of No.16 when he launched a last-minute, pedestrian raid to repel the stubborn militiamen from Milwaukee. There will be a funeral tomorrow, for sure. Then Darger told me that his teeth hurt. When I looked into his mouth, I found that he had been chewing on a piece of the tinfoil and his gums were all bloodied. "Dammit!" I muttered, and we went home. W is for Walk off.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Papers, please!"

May 5th, 2010. "You're just like that stupid neighbor lady who used to live next door to me when I was still in school." I said.
   Darger looked at me puzzled, and scribbled some words on his "pad". His "pad" was nothing more than an old magazine with another magazine taped to it, with a blank piece of paper taped on top of that. When the paper was filled with whatever it was that he had written, he would tape a new piece of paper on top of that. I didn't even bother to read what he wrote.
   "It's because you're S-T-U-P-I-D! That's why!"  I concluded.
      "Why don't you write THAT down in your stupid book."  I said it, but immediately wished I hadn't. The poor bastard had his homemade ticket in his front shirt pocket. Without really thinking, I grabbed it and began tearing it to pieces. Darger started to cry.
        "C'mon!" I said. "Get out of the street. You're going to get picked up by some murderers or killer birds or something. Don't be a baby, Darger."
        Meanwhile...Down at the Ravine, the troubles continued for Gen. Glory and his underwhelming fighting forces. The tension is building amongst the enlisted ranks, and morale is steadily sinking below the waves of apathy.  L is for Cinco de MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


May 4th, 2010. I remember the big smiles on the faces of the girls who were handing out the blankets. Karen and I were both starving. I was mad at myself for not eating the hard candy that I had taken from my daughter earlier. Little Karen had stuck a piece of the candy on the back of the puppy's neck, and it was driving the poor pooch into a spinning, maniacal hissy-fit. Finally, when the dog jumped onto the bed and dribbled the sticky candy all over it , I had had enough. "Dammit-all! Get the dirty dog off the filthy bed!" I screamed. Before I could yell another word, the frightened dog lept off the bed and onto my back, sending me into even more of a screaming rage. Somehow, I was able to grab the candy from the pup's clenched teeth and simultaneously send him peeing across the bedroom floor. I wanted to eat the candy, but I threw it at the puppy, and stormed off to the garage for a pill instead. I knew traffic was going to be hellish because we had taken such a late departure; Karen and I rode to the Ravine in silence. The smiles were comforting, alright. And the blankets were free. I felt warmth inside and outside of my clothes.
    But, by the time we had managed to muster-up some dried beef, fresh dish water, set up our bunker, and settle in for the battle, the Darger's baby-faced, boy commander was being eviscerated by the blitzkrieg attack of Milwaukee's best and bravest. The enemy guns absolutely bombarded No.22 with a multifaceted attack, knocking him from the battle, and off his little pony. The Darger hardliners fought hard to battle back from such a resounding pounding, but in the end, all sights should be readjusted on No.22's caliber.
L is for "There's NO such thing as a FREE Blanket.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Slaughterhouse Four

May 2nd, 2010. For the third straight day, the Darger artillery pounded away at the columns of gun-totting barbarians gathered in Chavez Ravine. And for the third straight day, the siege engine, Number 16, led the charge- firing off his 3rd and 4th cruise missiles of the three day escalade. Contributing to the Sunday saturation bombing were Nos. 7, 27, and 33.
    In complete control of the Darger's afternoon air defenses, a finely fortified Number 18 delivered an array of cutthroat surgical strikes to thwart off any mutinous mischief from the Steel City Seabees. W is for Gunboat Diplomacy.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Trigger Happy

May 1st, 2010. The Darger's call to arms was heard loud and clear on another clean and sober Saturday night in Traffic Town.  Answering a lightning-fast, first-strike charge, the menacing, long range cannons of Number 16 sent a spectacular broadside of muscle-flexing scorn into the clenched fists of the enemy bersagliereThe Darger guns subsequently erupted in full effect, taking the battlefield by storm.
      The beleaguered air defenses managed to avert any serious advance by the Steel City soldiers under the command of another of the Darger new recruits, No.37. He was backed up sufficiently by his supplementary reservists, Numbers 35 and 38, respectively. W is for Sound Effect.

Shot's Fired!

April 30th, 2010. BANG! BANG! At last! The Darger guns broke a five day detente on Friday night in a timely turnabout from their recent run of nothingarianism. After immediately allowing a lone enemy combatant to breach the hold, No.16 let them have it with both barrels!
It was a huge lift to the Darger morale. Sharpshooter No.58 returned to his fighting form to stave off the buccaneers with solid support from the platoon of piecemeal groundpounders.
When No.7 launched a mediating warhead into the enemy lines, it secured a firm foothold on the return path to glory. The guns weren't firing at full capacity, but the sound and the fury was reassuring.  W is for Winds of Change.