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Art of War

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     Mike likes to think that bad things never happen. He doesn't watch the news and never ever talks about politics or religion. Occasionally, he has a drink, but he usually stays away from alcohol or alcoholics. He enjoys talking to women, dating, and yoga. While Mike has frequently been mistaken for gay and consistently ridiculed by bullying types from the Marines, Navy, or Mixed Martial Artists he tries to make the best of his 9 to 5 job as a vacuum salesman. He's a nice guy.

     Mike was getting out of his car Thursday afternoon and caught a glimpse of the Daily Bugle Newspaper laying on his driveway. He noticed the headline that stood out, in bold, reading: "The terrorists have invaded! They are taking over! The white house has suffered critical damage beyond repair and the pentagon has been seized. Further news will be released upon notice. National Alert!"

     Mike motioned a feeling of worry. "Terrorists," he thought puzzled. "I thought the Gulf War was over."

     Mike kicked off his slippers and sat down on his reclining chair, or recliner if you're an asshole, and took a glance at his black book. "Who should I call today?" He thought. "Sarah?...naw, she said something about my eyebrows the other day. Fucking bitch. Tammy's too loose. Cindy never calls back. Mary has black hair. Joanna is one of those smart cunts. Julie's weird. I think I remember Katie saying she sucked off her stepdad and that she liked it. That's just fucked up. What the hell is wrong with women these days?"

     Bang! Mike's door busted in and he was greeted by his neighbor stepping in unannounced. "Did you hear there's a war going on right now?"

     "Ever hear of knocking?"

     "No time for that. Times of war: no rules apply."

     "Whatever. I heard about it man. Terrorist crap. It'll probably go away."

     "We can't risk that. I'm going to blitz them before they get control. And you're coming with me."

     "I don't think so buddy; I'm fine right where I am."

     Mike's neighbor, Brian, pulled a gun out of his leg holder and pointed it at Mike. Mike froze. Brian took the safety off.

     "On second thought..."

1600 Brian's house.

     Brian began to show Mike different sections of his basement: ammunition departments, shotguns, pistols, semi-automatic weapons, grenades, Kevlar vests, rows of books on war, self-defense, declassified military training guides, survival guides, Tom Clancy novels, the bible, and one book on the righteousness of heterosexuality.

     "So this is what you've been up to the past few years of your life you weirdo. I thought you were just afraid of the sun."

     Brian glared at him. "I'm just protecting myself, prick."

     "You got a bomb shelter around?"

     "No, I think if someone was going to drop a bomb within close radius I would probably die. No point in wasting the effort."

     "Whatever, dude. No nuclear blast can get through my balls of steel you know what I mean?"

     Brian loaded a clip. "Yes. You're a pervert. I'll try and remember that if we pass any pretty women on the way. I'll buy you a hoooker if we have the funds and if you eventually learn how to be nice to me."

     "Hey. That sounds cool man."

     Brian began filling up large duffle bags full of grenades, clips, smoke bombs, and empty weapons.

     "You know dude, even though I'm starting to like you're creepy ass you've been cockblocking me for the last couple of years."

     "How's that?"

     "Well, man it's hard enough to try and convince them to stay the night after only a couple of dates. They're so paranoid about sleeping over and having some wacky neighbor who never talks and keeps to himself in his dungeon is enough to scare them off."

     "O. I didn't know. Sorry. I guess."

     Mike raised his chin. "Fair enough. I forgive you. Just don't let it happen again."

"     Right."


     Brian sighed. "Idiot."

     In Brian's van they began heading east towards the ruins of the white house. Mike began playing drums on the van.

"Bop. Bop. Dun Dun Dun. Rock and roll baby. Black dog. Yea. Black is a bad color except for African Americans. Can't be racist, but I can be a rock n' roll artist who is badass and gets lots of chicks. Yea. Rock out."

     Brian began to get irritated. "Please stop doing that."


     "It's annoying."

     "But it's music, man. It's cool."

     "That's not music."

     "Then what is it smarty?"

     "That? I would call that noise."

     "Freaking party pooper."

     "Don't you have a slinky to play with or something?"

     "O. I'm the smart guy. I get to make all the rules and be a total dick. I'm not that stupid you know. I did get a college degree you know. You military buffs act tough and crap, but when it comes down to reading books and studying who's smart then? Then your tough guy act doesn't help does it? You-"

     "Alright, I got it. I'm sorry."

     Brian stopped as they pulled at the traffic light. When it turned green he pulled into the gas station to get lunch. "You know it's kind of funny. All Hell breaks loose and it doesn't really affect liquor stores."

Mike agreed. They both held that thought. "You know you shouldn't say I'm sorry." Mike said. "You should say I apologize. It doesn't sound as fag."

     "Okay, let's agree to not talk the rest of the trip."

     Pause. Silence.

     "Don't you mean something more proper than fag, college boy?"

     "I thought we agreed not to talk."

     Two hundred miles, six more mercenaries, three college boys, two hookers, and six thousand dollars later they were within twenty-five miles of Washington D.C. and the white house.

     Mike spoke first. "What now, Brian?" He said with one part anger and two parts honey lemon.

     "Do I sense a bit of jealousy, Mike?" One of the mercenaries spoke up. "You want me to kill him, Brian? I'll tear off his limbs and eat his ass and put his limbs up his sphincter like he ate himself backwards like his ass was his mouth cuz ya know the old saying 'talking out of your ass?'"

     "No," Brian said.

     "Yea, I agree that was pretty random. You must have thought that out, twisted it up, jerked off, then spit it out to us."

     Mike jumped in. "Brian, I know you're into this war stuff, but I think I can run this."

     Brian started laughing. "You? You're scared of pregnant women who drive minivans and read romance novels."

     "Dude. Those help me get laid."

     "This is war, faggot. I'm not spending anymore time arguing with your pansy ass. Stay back and make us P & J sandwiches for lunch."

     Brian and platoon's main objective was to ransack the terrorist units that overthrew the white house and kill all enemies guarding that post. The 3 college boys stayed back.

     "So Mike...nice neighbor."

     "Yea, he's weird."

     Mike started talking, "I can't have sex with every woman I meet you know. When I started being a player in the game I thought, at first you know, they were all the same except for a select few 9 or 10's, but a lot of them had huge differences that defined them. You can't fucking just be an asshole and rely on your good looks to get you laid. It's more than that." Mike bowed his head in thought.

     A widow-peaked student took an oppurtunity to add his thoughts to the conversation. "Wow, a kodak moment. It's these kinds of shaninigans that have Brian and the guys think we're fucking pussies. We need to show 'em we can fight too."

     "Let's start a bureaucracy."

     "Fuck you, Dan. I would kill you and call it friendly fire."

     Brian radio'd back debriefing their ransack upon the ruins and the towelhead terrorist extremist Muslims. "Victory!"

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