Monday, October 28, 2013


Napoleon once said that "It is with baubles that men are led."  He should probably know he led a lot of men, smart men, men who were headstrong enough not to be easily led.  Making someone the Count of somewhere, or the Duke of something, is probably a good way to get some fence sitting jackass to come around to your way of thinking. Handing out baubles like they are xmas candy is a good way to get men to suddenly think you might be worth making a whole horde of infidels die for their country.

I recently acquired/backed into/ obtained a bauble. A bauble of outstanding beauty, and one that I probably have no right to possess. One look at this bauble, and you would wonder how an idiot like myself was able to find himself possessing it. Well, that is a story that I can't quite explain. It was mostly an accident, or maybe the fates are just playing a cruel joke on me. Fates like to do that from time to time, play cruel jokes on unsuspecting, idiot mortals, and in spite of my best efforts, I am all three. Unsuspecting, an idiot, and all too mortal.  None of these things, except maybe the idiot part can I really do anything about. Perhaps someday I will get around to attempt to fix the idiot problem that I posses, but today's task is to just simply to enjoy the bauble that I possess. After all that is what pretty baubles are for, and I've been told by several people that my bauble is quite pretty.

I didn't realize the possession (if that is really the right word) of the bauble would led to such happy consequences. One of these consequences has been that suddenly I am a much better person. At least to the people that see me and my bauble together. I don't know why these people seem to think that I have suddenly unlocked the key to non-idiocy, but they do. All of a sudden, with no real change to my base personality, or looks, I have become some sort of genius. Like some cosmonaut that has successfully returned alive from space despite long odds, and a dysfunctional space capsule.

Truth be told, I am still the same asshole I was pre-bauble, that I am post bauble. I have not changed one whit. I am not any smarter, skinner, or better looking than I was the day before I found/acquired this bauble, and I will be the same asshole after I manage to lose this bauble. Because, sadly, I know that I will. Lose the bauble that is. One day, probably not in the none too distant future, I will awake and be suddenly sans bauble. Then, I will come crashing back to earth like that aforementioned cosmonaut. Disgraced, and fallen back to earth, I will look around, and all the glory, and accolades that I have been basking in while in possession of this bauble will be gone. Poof! like the smoke dissipating after a musket being fired.

I could write pages and pages of fiction describing this bauble, line upon line explaining the happy effects that this bauble is having upon my usually dreary life. All of these pages, and all of these lines will not rid me of two very important things. One the, all too brief, happiness, that having this bauble in my life is providing me, and two the (eventual) crushing sadness that will come when this bauble slips out of my control. All of those lines that I could pollute the blog sphere with, will not rid my bones of that sadness that is as sure to come as the sun rising tomorrow in the right direction.

In fact, the possession of this bauble is a terrifying experience. It scares the ever loving hell out of me that some damn fool like me, and I am a damn fool, has fallen ass backwards onto this high terrain. It is an unusual position for the likes of me, and I am not exactly sure if I am quite ready to fall from such high terrain. The days are about to start to turn cold, and this bauble does not exactly provide warmth in the convention sense, it does, at times, give me a bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling. Or, that could just be the booze, I am not sure which, and am not really going to investigate too closely.  I don't want to let this bauble down, it is very pretty, very shiny, and quite bright. A bauble that is quite beyond my ordinary skill to obtain.

Though, possession of this bauble has effected a subtle change upon me, other than the fact that other people now think I am some sort of bloody genius, that effect is something I can do nothing about, even if I wanted to. Which I am pretty sure I don't. The subtle change wrought by this newly acquired bauble is simply this. I can see, off in the middle distance, the clouds that non-possession will bring. I know they are there. It is similar to seeing the dust cloud of the desert nomads that are going to overrun the fort you and your fellow 'legionaries' control. Overwhelming numbers, and large clouds are coming your way. But, quite simply put, I don't care. I  will have this bauble for all too brief of a time, and losing it will be heart breaking, but at least after all that dust settles, and the heart mends itself (because that is what hearts do, they mend eventually), I will have possessed this bauble, and all the king's horses, and all the king's men will never be able to change that fact. It is, for me at least, one of life's little victories, and I didn't have to kill one infidel to achieve it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


"The men are too concentrated, sir" Wilson muttered with a sniff, he is the sickly type, and always has some complaint be it a cold or Bright's Disease, Wilson was always suffering from something. Me, I was mostly suffering from an overdose of Wilson. "Gods damn it, Wilson. Not more than a few moments ago, you were telling me they were too scattered." "How in the blue fuck did I get to be in charge of this rabble." Wilson smirked and replied "You umm were elected sir. The vote was unanimous, I might add.' That caused me to pause and ponder the day of the 'election'. "And, where was I during this election that acclaimed me the fearless leader of this rabble?" Wilson looked out over the parapet, and replied "I believe you were" cough cough "recovering from a bout of the Solomon flu sir." That was Wilson's way of saying that I had been a a three day drunk, and was snoring away the better part of a gloomy November afternoon during the time I was 'elected' to led this group of reprobates. Funny how a many can get nominated, seconded, and elected all in the course of sleeping away the day.

The sad part was, once again, the bastard was right. Looking out into the courtyard I came to the conclusion that one well placed bomb, would kill us all, and since all included me, I had a vested interest in his opinion whether or not I had solicited it or not.  Of course, being right and being Wilson, were to Wilson at least, synonymous.  "Perhaps we should created a reserve sir, some percentage of the men to hold back in another location in case of disaster."  Once again sound advice, and advice that I would, eventually, follow. In spite of my election to the leadership of this group, I realized I am not, in fact, a leader of men.  I realized this, Wilson realized this, but sadly the men themselves, clearly not that bright, had yet to figure it out. New elections should be called, and I would be damn sure to be there to reject any attempt to re-elect me to a position for which I was clearly unsuited.

However, until that glorious day when I would be voted out of the position of power that I currently unhappily occupied, it was time to issued the orders to get this mob sorted out with as little trouble as possible, which of course would still be three time more trouble that was necessary. Did I mention they were a mob of reprobates? The group of malcontents that had elected me their leader, were not the top of the line, front rank type of troops that you would cheer yourself hoarse for as they marched (using the term very loosely) down the main street of whatever village they happened to be liberating at the time. No, these fellows inspired a more "lock up the family jewels, bury the money in the back yard, and sent the daughters to another village quickly" type of troops. Not a group that would inspire confidence, unless you were confident of disaster striking. 

There lies the problem with the whole leadership thing. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and if this rabble were to be exterminated like so many cockroaches, and I was lucky enough to survive alive, my life would probably not be worth living when the letter came from the Captain-General asking me to explain myself. Never been the best at explaining myself, it's a character flaw common with all the males members of my family.  "It's always best to have an extra reserve, just in case things break bad sir. You know like an extra 8 of anchors in a game of Issam."  "Well yes Wilson, if all the world's problems could be boiled down to a soldier's game of cards, then we'd all just have a merry fucking christmas wouldn't we?" The rebuke to the reply was standard with us, Wilson fancied himself a great card player, and I was beginning to suspect that he was getting ideas above his station. Which is why, in the only stroke of genius I've managed to have in command. I immediately told him the lovely news. "You are right Wilson, we are too concentrated, and guess what I've decided to do about it?"  Waving away his attempt to protest I said "you get the pleasure of taking a third of this lot, and be thankful its only a third, and wandering off on your own for a bit, that way if disaster overtakes either of us, the other one will still be around to claim it was all someone other than their fault." The joys of command, perhaps that election wasn't as rigged as I had thought.