Excerpt from Scott G's book in progress "FERMENTED"
Here is an excerpt from Scott G's book in progress "FERMENTED" :
This Means War 11-1-15
In the endless summer of youth you can feel the infinity of time. The color of it is blue like the sky where infinity is. Sad to say even children engage in war and Buz was a willing and ready soldier. He joined the army - he didn't need to be drafted. Military stuff was what he craved. A trip to the old army / navy surplus store was a special thrill. Those places were a wonderland of treasures to him. Helmets, badges, insignias, medals, canteens, belts, back packs, boots, inert grenades......the variety of items was intoxicating. He would spend his last buck and go back for more when more money could be had. As a child of somewhere between 7 and 10 years old the horror of war was far from his mind. He was diggin' on accumulating that military gear and wearing it around the neighborhood as often as possible. He also was nuts about toy soldiers of all kinds and their tanks, trucks, machine guns, bazookas and so forth. For a long time there were a limited number of types of military figures available in the stores but he made sure he had a good supply of them. He was stunned to find an "army set" on a family vacation to California that had figures for the army (colored dark green), navy (light blue), marines (grey) and air force (dark metallic blue). These instantly became the favorites. Later some forward thinking outfit put a big collection of military figures on the store shelves that was a revolution in the toy soldier world. These were many different types of specialized military personnel from militaries of countries all over the world and from many eras such as World Wars 1 and 2 and other times. Buz nearly pissed himself when he found these. They were small, different colors, had a variety of poses and came in neat little cardboard boxes. Occasionaly, older toy soldiers could be found in the dirt in back yards. These were highly valued as they were different from any others and were no longer available. But nothing could match the thrill of actual "war" and Buz of course was outfitted and ready. His main piece of gear was a helmet which was actually the liner for the outer steel helmet and was shaped the same. It was fairly solid but nothing like steel. Buz's neighborhood buddies had organized themselves into an army. The neighborhood was a 50's era suburban lay out of "blocks". Houses were on either side of the streets sitting side by side about 15 or twenty feet from each other. The lot each house sat on measured about 60 feet wide by 120 feet deep. The blocks ran parallel to each other with an alley running between the back to back back yards. Almost every house had either a chain link or picket fence. Going down the alleys was like moving through a jungle as pretty much every house had shrubbery and other greenery along the back fence to provide privacy. This also provided great cover for neighborhood soldiers conducting operations in the alleys and the alleys were a kind of "no man's land". The enemy of Buz's block army was a block army located on the next street over. This meant that the back yards of the opposing armies were separated only by an alley. The most memorable battle between the armies was a legendary "tile war" which went like this : Buz's army (army A) had a plan to provoke the other street's army (army B) into a battle which would take place on army A's turf. Army B would be lured to the fight there because army A had a secret weapon stored in the garage of the house where one of it's officer's family lived. This officer's father had in his garage several pallet loads of ceramic bathroom tiles some a 1 inch square and others 2 or 3 inch squares. These tiles became a secret weapon when it was discovered that when thrown and landing on the concrete street they "exploded" on impact yielding a neat little cloud of dust and shrapnel. The soldiers of army A gave little thought to the fact that these tiles could do some pretty serious tissue damage if one were to actually hit an enemy combatant especially in the eye. But as kids often did at their age they focused on the thrills without thinking through to the possible consequences of their actions. That tile explosion was just too cool. The battle plan worked to perfection with army B chasing army A right into their garage bunker. To the complete surprise of army B they found themselves suddenly on the receiving end of a shitstorm of tile hail. To the delight of army A, army B ran like terrified rabbits all the way back home. A post battle analysis of damage inflicted could not be made as army B stayed well hidden for quite a while. The field of battle (the street) was covered in tile shrapnel for some distance and responsible adults did what they did : they called the police. Just Buz's crappy luck the squad car pulled right up beside him and stopped with the driver's window down. The cop asked Buz what was going on here ? Buz being the youngest soldier in the outfit and never having experinced police interrogation as he was definitely not the criminal type was scared witless. So a sort of default terror mode took hold of him and self preservation instincts gripped him -- just tell the truth and hope that will minimize the punishment. All he could spout was "we had a war". The soldiers were already in the street with brooms and dust pans cleaning up and the cop seemed to have little concern about the situation and went on his way to more important things which was a great relief. But that was not the end of the war. Buz was walking down the alley one day wearing his helmet liner not giving much thought to anything. BLAM ! ! ! ! ............the sound of a large rock hitting his helmet was aurally explosive in his ears deafening him temporarily and addling him considerably not to mention knocking the helmet off his head. A hidden enemy soldier who must have been plenty strong had thrown the large rock with tremendous speed and velocity behind it scoring a solid direct hit. There is no question that had Buz not been wearing that helmet he would have suffered some degree of brain damage. Apparent divine intervention. War truly is hell and if Buz had not loved wearing army gear so much the script of his movie would have been altered big time and not in a good way.