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Showing posts with label Zulus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zulus. Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2013


"Roll to your rifle...blow out yer brains/And go to yer God like a soldier"

Last night, on the dinner table, there occurred one of those incidents that will surely be listed among the most glorious episodes in the annals of British entire regiment of the Queen's finest were utterly destroyed by a Zulu impi.

I don't care what anybody tells you...parenting is a grind. Sometimes you have to take half a day off work just to watch a 30 minute school program (which may include a hip hop version of Happy Birthday...Jesus). You have to stand by and just watch as he gets old enough to take over your household chores....and, sometimes, grown man though you may be, you have to play with your son's toy soldiers. So with a six inch ruler and a random dice generator pulled up on the phone, I grudgingly set about doing my duty as a Daddy.

As is normally the case, things started out well for the British. A screen of Natal Native Cavalry got in several licks before being overrun and annihilated. The one artillery battery played hell on the Zulu center...knocking 'em down in clumps.

Soon the Zulus were in range of the British rifles. Between the steady marksmanship of the infantry and the crude carnage of the gun the Zulus were taking an awful beating. Still, they came. They're Zulu's after all.


It was a badly mauled, but determined and angry, bunch of Zulus that finally got their hands on the British infantry. Normally this is where things would go horribly wrong for anybody who wasn't a Zulu but, as we've seen, their numbers had been considerably reduced. The infantry were holding their own in hand to hand combat. There was an untouched British unit in the center as one group of Zulus had peeled off to attack the artillery.

The whole thing was in danger of being a British victory and therefore forgotten to history. It was at this point that umBlake, commander of the Zulu impi, decided that all of his forces had not yet been committed to battle. It was time for the second wave of Zulus. So we recycled some of the dead warriors to form a new unit. The question was...where would they appear? Would it be the loin or one of the horns. We turned to the dice...

Bloody &%*$!!!!

It was the Right Horn! All over but the shoutin', Col. Blake, commander of the British forces, did what he could. It wasn't much. He turned the uncommitted unit of infantry and the artillery to face the onslaught. They were slaughtered. The regiment disintegrated into small groups of soldiers gallantly resisting the inevitable...tiny red islands being swallowed by a relentless brown tide.

The Glorious End

Surprisingly, given the erzatz nature of the rules, we got a fairly historical result. 

Of course, the Boy wants to do it again. My work is never done. I'm gonna have to buy more soldiers for him...proper cavalry and naval ratings...and "23 hundred and 45 boxes of Zulus."

It's a hard row to hoe...being a Daddy.

*Ignore the large group of stetsoned tan fellas in the back...Native Contingent. Depending on who you ask, they hoofed it because they were cowards or, they figured being slaughtered for the white interlopers wasn't they way they wanted to end their day.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Zulus and Vampires

It's been a perilous week at the Bartlam household. We've been under attack by Zulu Impis...goin' on nine days now.

By attacked I mean those that have been designated as Zulus...Martha and Mary-Cathcart (our cat)...have laid on the couch or under a chair while Pvt. Bartlam has been shot and felled, in very dramatic fashion, at least 100 times. Of course, he's givin' better than he's got...poor Mary-Cathcart has no more lives left and Martha, in much less than dramatic fashion...seein' how she's mostly been layin' on the couch...has been downed several hundred times. It's a ratio The Boy will need to keep up if he intends to survive.

This all started when his cousins came over last weekend...a situation, by the way, that is akin to being attacked by Zulu. I couldn't take any more demands to watch Toy Story 3...much less another second of actually watching it...

"We're doin' somethin' different tonight."

"NO. Inna watch Toy Story 3...Toy Story 3."

"Nope. We're watchin' something else."

"NO NO Toy Story 3."

"No. Just watch you'll like it."

Trying to get Netflix pulled up...trying to find the movie...trying to fast forward, while he was still willing to argue about it and before he decided to move on.


Silence...that's real movie magic.

Then they started taking sides...R. was for his side. He just wanted everybody to get out of his way.

I was on the side of oxygen...they were all laying on top of me trying to watch the little Ipad screen.

J. immediately identified with the Zulu...
"You can do a lot of stuff when you're wild like can be crazy. How many of these British are there?...they don't stand a chance. They're all gonna die."

B...maybe it's Thomas and Chuggington, Pepe the Pig...or Adamparsons but, he immediately placed himself, and his little rage face, behind the sandbags with the "BritISSSH!"

I certainly remember the first time I saw it...and I've been living with it every since. My Daddy "made" me watch it's one of his favorites.

I was maybe 10 and it floored me...literally, I got some pillows and laid on the floor so I could get closer to the tv. After the initial flush of stayed with me. What happened there at the beginning? How did the British end up in Africa fighting these grand people...Zulus! Just the sound of it was intoxicating to me...what in the world were the British doing there in the first place, Afridis, Pathans...

When find yourself wounded on the Afghan Plain.
And the women come out to cut up what remains.
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains.
And go to your God like a soldier.

What boy could possibly resist that?

Ansar, Ashanti, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Dervish, etc., etc., and big degrees, bigger debt, a bad book habit, awards and offer letters...a Yale bumper sticker and monthly emails from Millsaps begging for money, and baaahhhhh.

The Boy's immediate response was to pull apart a plastic and foam putter...using the shaft as a rifle and handing me the head..."that's your officer gun Daddy." We've been in the Laager ever since.

He's started asking questions though...mainly he wants to know what happened to the Zulu. Of course, I'm happy to indulge in such conversations, especially with my Son...just try and stop me, but....I think we need to throw in a few conversations about individual rights and the centrality of property to those...maybe some law and tax talk..."M"orality and governments, etc. We need a tax lawyer in this family.

Martha did the taxes yesterday...I wish Zulu were all we had to deal with. Evidently having every dime of two months salary is not enough to fend off the yankee governments vampires. We owe 2,000 bucks in income tax..that's not counting scams like social security, the state income tax, sales tax, etc....doesn't include the property tax we pay so we can provide other people with the "right" of a public education...while we fork out thousands to educate our own child...or paying for the mess of a break-in that the cops, the cops we pay for, are too busy writing us tickets to bother with...etc.

Of course, we'll write the check. What else would middle class people do but, continue to take it...we're all to comfortable and settled and civilized to ever make a ruckus. Right? Just keep piling it on...surely we won't balk. Besides, it's all for the U.S.A of Ameeerika...and none of can resist the hypnotic power of the striped rag.


On second thought, maybe The Boy should just stick with the rifle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Y'all Vote! Testify!


Martha bought a chair at an estate sale yesterday...that's it, sitting in it's future home in my office.

She wants to put it in a reading nook in the dining room...please. That chair has a home and it's right here behind my desk. Look at it. Normally I don't get too worked up about a chair...if I could type from a gaudy reclining la-z-boy I'd do it....but that's real cow hide y'all.

It would be like sitting on a ZULU shield...I must have it.

I need y'all to vote...I need a witness. Y'all let Martha know why this chair can't be placed anywhere else but right here in front of the computer.