War Games

A generation ago

My grandson, 7, is the age when boys enjoy arranging toy army men and artillery in vast imaginary military encounters on the floor, coffee table, and window sills.  (Girls arrange dolls in tea parties and schoolrooms.)  My son did the same thing at that age, and the figures my grandson uses came from a large box of those my son once used.  That the men and equipment are all WWII or before makes no difference.

The armies are a hodge-podge of Allied and Axis WWII soldiers with a number of anachronistic knights in armor and half-naked Native Americans mixed in.  What ever happened to bazookas and flame throwers?  Are they no longer used?  No matter.  Whether armed with rifle, bow-and-arrow, or sword, they all fight cooperatively together.

Some of the men are missing important body parts, like a head.  Some are half painted; most are the original brown plastic. None of the mechanized equipment are whole, or in scale, but that, too, does not matter.  A tank turret with no tank underneath moves and shoots as well as any.  It stands beside a tiny battleship that shoots and moves with it.  A knight on horseback towers over them both.  Many objects show signs of being melted with sunlight and a magnifying lens a generation ago.  A few isolated marbles, pieces of Tinker Toy and Lincoln Logs are used to represent a variety of landscape features.

I can hear my grandson playing in the kitchen while my wife prepares dinner.  He is happily providing the sound effects and spirited background music.  “Ta da dum dum—Kreshhh!  Boom!—da da tat da da!

Sometimes, I, too, hear faint background music dramatizing my daily activities.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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