“Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?" I ask."Oh, not now. Now we're in a sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated," he says. "But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it...”
So as I sit here in my corner of the Laundry Room Barracks looking at the glorious mountain of sprues and metal that will expand my troop levels ten-fold, I feel like you my dear readers are much like Katniss asking if I am also preparing for another war. If you are unfamiliar with the character, Katniss is the female protagonist in the book Mockingjay from The Hunger Games series. I must be the unidentified character Plutarch speaks of...the fickle, stupid being with a great gift for self-destruction.
Now one could rightly assume that because my men are little miniature soldiers that the war I am preparing for is to be battled on the traditional 8x6 tabletop. No dear reader, this will be a war with the Supreme Commander of All My Men, aka General ze Wife. A battle that will take every bit of courage I can muster and then some. If I could buy courage in a can, I'd order a case. They say a man's life flashes in front of him right before the end comes. I say it's a lie. Nothing is flashing. It's a slow motion roller coaster ride through hell. This time it was a few to many unauthorized purchases for my ever growing garrison of toy soldiers.
You see I am sometimes led astray - not that kind of astray either. Drug or alcohol induced misguiding of judgement isn't even a factor. Although it would at least give me an excuse. My maniacal frenzy and walk down the dark ally started with just a couple boxes, four actually, of Vikings and Saxons.
I intended to only buy one box of 50 figs for each. But the sculpts were just to beautiful to pass up. I know just when and where I turned down the wrong path. That path we all journey down once or twice, or maybe four or five..six? I don't know, I've lost count. The turn came after I didn't stop with the Vikings and Saxons. I needed more. I needed Chechen Rebels and some cold war Americans. I needed two SWAT vehicles, a couple of Challenger 2 tanks and four Land Rover 110's for my UN Force. I needed more though, much more like cold war helicopters-a Russian Mi-24 attack helicopter and an Apache for it to battle with. I needed an American Browning machine gun team and Russian Utes MG team (two each just because I could), and two Russian Ural trucks and Saxon and Dragon anti-tank teams. I needed more modern Americans and some Vietnam era GI's I could convert into Croatian fighters. Yes, I knew after a week on assignment and visiting shops and online retailers I was in trouble. I couldn't stop. Ok, I did stop on my way home at a Wal-Mart. I only intended to take a quick look at their Matchbox and Hotwheels. My men are now armed with 12 additional Humvees.
|My first test Viking from the 1/72 Emhar box.|
|They will look good once they get a new paint job.|
With Adrenaline now screaming through my body after my latest acquisitions, I was on an Epinephrine mountain top. When you reach the top do you just jump down? No. You plant your flag. You stake your claim. You bask in the glow of your accomplishment. You then buy two more boxes of hard plastic later mid to late war WWII U.S. Infantry and Fallschirmjager. My heart was beating faster than a school boy in a back seat with a girl after dance. I didn't want this feeling to ever go away. What would be next I thought to myself??? The answer came soon enough when the General was pouring over the receipts of my last road trip while balancing the books. "I really hope you were eating white metal and plastic for lunch and dinner while you were gone."
At first fear paralyzed me, then I pulled on my big boy pants, took a deep breathe and went to let the General know who really ran this fort. I looked the Commander direct in the eye and said, "I'm sorry, what did you ask? Does there seem to be some confusion with my credit card? I hope I'm not the victim of identity theft."