12 December 2005

A Mighty Hero Falls

The word processing has fallen silent here at Fort Donelson in recent weeks. The rush of Thanksgiving, a birthday, and trying to play the shell game of keeping everyone happy had kept my random thoughts stifled. Not to mention the depression. Oh my droogies, I'm not talking about the post turkey day Tryptophan induced malaise that sets in waiting for Christmas. I’m talking about the kind of things fallen hero stories are made of. Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale of a fateful quest…

On 24 Nov 05 at 11:45 CST it happened while I was at work. I was doing all the things a man must do when he leads others into the war on the battlefield known as the retail sales floor. Inspiring the loyal troops, kicking the duffs of those less loyal to the cause, and praying all the while I would lose none under my command. In my morning briefing, I had ordered that no prisoners be taken that day. The daily mission dictated that we travel light, and we had no room for excess baggage. 

I made one fatal mistake that cool November morning. An overview of the battle and a few minutes of respite was all I wanted when I went into the Command Post. That’s all. My doctrine dictates that I should stay in the trenches with the troops. Shoulder to shoulder with those dog faced retail warriors I should have stood. But I needed time to regroup, time to establish a plan for the afternoon push. I should never have left the men.

That’s when it happened. The lure of copping a squat in a warm office felled me. My bottom had no sooner touched naugahyde than wafting over the PA system was my mortal enemy. Yes it was Burl Ives. Curse his eyes and his Holly Jolly Christmas. I had paused in the action enough that my conscious mind was able to latch on to Burl’s one “contribution” to Western Civilization.

Now some call this getting hit with the Golden BB. You know the one that has your name on it. The old timers say you never see it coming. I sure didn’t. Struck down in the prime of the Holiday Season, I could do no more. He had beaten me for another year.
Since then, the sky has turned a little grayer. There is no spring in my step. What little hair I have seems to be thinning more. I have to listen very hard to hear birds chirping. Needless to say, I’ve taken it hard. 

Oh I have had my moment of clarity. I’ve slowly crawled out of the tub of Egg Nog Ice Cream. It hit me when I tried to keep a pint in my pants pocket. You know for the tough times throughout the day. In my sugar induced madness I had forgotten that I had no way to keep it frozen. By the time I had come to my senses, I looked like I had lost control of all my bodily functions. That will wake any man up.

So here I sit try to get better. They said at my meetings that doing something you use to do would help get me through the tough times. So I sit and write and dream. Next year you’re all mine old man. You’re all mine.

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