"Hey, Cupid. This is Soldier Sam” Cupid had answered his phone quickly.
“I've been working on a Valentines Day Activity with Sarina, Soldier Sam continued. And Sarina thinks it’s a great idea.”
“Yeah” Sarina jumped in. “If you approve of our idea, Cupid, maybe you could point us in the right direction to find a suitable location for our Art Project.”
This would give Soldier and Sarina a head start on Valentines Day, as this was an activity probably best done in the morning.
"That sounds intriguing” responded Cupid. “Is it urgent that I find a location today?"
"You can for sure take a few days to figure it out, Cupid" answered Sarina.
"So what is this activity? Inquired Cupid. Is this something that each of you will have to do.. you know, creating the Art?”
Soldier Sam continued to improve the activity script before Cupid arrived. He wanted to put in his Tree Art Concept idea but time was short--still, when Cupid came thorough the door, Sarina told him to sit down, while Soldier Sam made a sketch on the pad.
“It’s an idea to carve our names into a Tree, Cupid” We thought that sounded like a special Valentines Day Activity.” Sarina said as she had Cupid’s attention.
“This is a thing to do with a great history”, Cupid responded. “ And as long as there is no rule against damaging one of the trees or maybe you own the tree then you’re good to go.”
“We want to make sure our carving will be there for many years to come so Sarina and I can revisit it as long as the tree still stands, let those memories keep coming back again.” Explained Soldier Sam.
Cupid was exhausted by his efforts at the Arrow Store and announce that he needed a drink to think this proposition over, so he left the lot for a moment and and slipped cautiously into the bar across from the studio where he ordered a glass of Bourbon.
Cupid had another drink and amused himself at Foosball Table at the side of the bar. The bartender asked if Cupid would have another, if that is he had time for a third.
"Not today,” answered Cupid. “I have business to take care of with Sarina and Soldier Sam back at the Valentines Studio.
I considered your Tree Carving proposal, Sarina. “It not such a bad idea." Cupid had decided to give the go-ahead to the operation.
"Oh, we are for sure going to be coming back, to this tree year after year. It will be such a Work of Art." Soldier Sam predicted. "Sarina and I are going to get great training—wih Samurai Swords.
“Yeah, this tree won’t stand a chance when Soldier Sam and I find it” Sarina added, shooting off the cuff and sealing the deal with Cupid as they left the Studio.
“Excellent” responded Cupid. "You two have an important angle to work on this Valentines Day, but you are on your own for finding the right tree!. And your names are just one of many things you can carve into trees.
'What did you two plan to write?' Cupid asked.
A Great Tree loomed on the horizon. Sarina and Soldier Sam’s eyes were glued to it. The names of the Movies they had translated would all fit on the same Tree!
'Those were all so much fun to make in different languages, right Sarina?' Soldier Sam asked
“Yes” replied Sarina. For me the best two films were “Just Another Ordinary Day” and “Million Ways to Say.” Let’s carve those into the Magic Tree first, Soldier Sam!”
“Yeah, lets go to work on this thing. What they called it finally--' He saw that Sarina was excited too.. Soldier Sam’s Love was starting to work quickly.
“You know what ones I am going to carve, Sarina?' First, I am going to inscribe “If Given Enough Time! My second one is probably the best.. “Brighter than the Sun.” Translating those films with you was an experience I will never forget!”
“And which one Takes the Cake, Soldier Sam?” asked Sarina. “What one is the best, taking the Award of us both carving the title into the Magic Tree together at the same time? Which one is the Best of all the ones we did?”
“Let’s say it together, Sarina” Soldier Sam suggested.
'Well if you asked me to,' Sarina said, 'we will never be too busy to perform that one again. In any language the World has to offer.”
Sarina and Soldier Sam both felt a sense of Excitement and Unity at that moment. Authoritative and active, the ability to Love and be Loved. Then they both remembered something.
'Our Valentines Day Activity is going to be broadcast to the entire world. So everyone can do it too!'
“OK, Sarina let’s call out the Best Valentines Day activity so everyone can hear it. Ready? One… Two…Three..
“ORANGE VANILLA TWIST DANCE!!!!!!!” Sarina and Soldier Sam announced so everyone in the world could participate.. “ORANGE VANILLA TWIST DANCE!!”
Sarina and Soldier sure came up with a Blockbuster Hit on that one script. Sarina and Soldier Sam could now punch their ticket to the Best Valentine’s Day Activity Ever!!
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
Soldier Sam and Rams Mascot would always have a clear respect for each other, not just for the fight, or for Rams Nation, but for the lesson of Service and commitment to the mission they shared together. No longer did Soldier Sam revert to his old tricks and wanted to put a stop to such practices and save Rams Nation. Rams Mascot made clear he had decided they needed to travel to space to help Rams Nation and realized getting Soldier Sam trained was showing what they needed to arrive at that end state. Rams Mascot would leave a few parting Shots at Soldier Sam’s performance but they both knew the mission was the most important part of the training.
You will be challenged during this time with middle-of-the-night wake-up calls. You will be asked to go through challenges with little food and sleep. Sorry if your eight-hour sleep schedule and food type intake ratio is disrupted. You will be asked to act as a team, to pull together or fall apart, to win as one or all will fail.
Establishing strategic communications between agents must be used to direct power requirements trade-off design characteristics of ship components in the simulation under fluid and constant operating conditions. Except when combat begins or the tractor beam is activated, both teams continuously roll dice, ready systems, and maneuver. Being able to think and make decisions on the fly about immediate needs while looking forward to the next requirement-- and the one after that is definitely a valuable skill to develop before it is needed in the real world.
Training on advanced weapons, such as machine guns, live grenades.
The range features separate enemy trench lines that are set up in a typical 360-degree defensive posture. It allows a scenario of having a platoon patrol in a wooded area away from the objective before squad-rushing towards the trenches and firing at pop-up targets. At the same time, machine gunners can move through the hills around the target area to get in position and rain down automatic weapons fire as the riflemen advance.
The machine gunner is responsible for the tactical employment of the 7.62mm medium machine gun, the 50 cal., and 40mm heavy machine-gun, and their support vehicle. Machine gunners provide direct fire in support of the rifle and the squads/platoons/companies and the infantry and battalions. They are located in the weapons platoons of the rifle and recon companies and the weapons company of the infantry battalion. Noncommissioned officers are assigned as mortar gunners, forward observers, fire direction plotters, and squad and section leaders.
Tell me a little bit about your Training experience, Soldier Sam.
Another one of our most difficult tasks was to request a Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen escort through a nearby body of water on a distant planet.
Rams Mascot always said a little extra defense can’t hurt.
Once we got to the space station we were greeted by our next commander! Rams Mascot had told them that his satellites had recorded the mischief that our adversaries were up to and he could see them fleeing from their planet in search for help.
So just like the last time, our visit was no surprise to them. Rams Mascot gave us some extra power tokens so we would be sure to fly our space crafts into orbit successfully.
Just before this mission, Rams Mascot summoned me to his office.
He was eating lunch when I went in. I was silent and he was silent too, for a long time. I don't think he remembered me or why he had sent for me, but he didn't want to admit it.
He was picking up his pace on the meal, I thought he was going to be finished soon and I prepared myself to be disciplined more than I had at any other point in the training. Rams Mascot really had it in for my that Day.
"Straighten Up and Fly Right, Rams Masco snapped.
Looking back on it now I can see that he meant me to drop and beat my face into the ground one last time before our training was complete, but I just stood there.
Rams Mascot lifted the last of the sandwich cautiously. I moved restlessly in anticipation of the punishment.
"You ruined my Lunch!" barked Rams Mascot, looking at me severely. I said I was sorry.
"That won't help the situation!" snapped Rams Mascot, with cold military logic.
I didn't see what I could do except offer to offer him desert and moved toward his desk, but I didn't say anything.
Rams Mascot stared out the window at the faraway figures of the group of recruits that would follow us. Thy were crossing the training grounds toward the barracks.
Finally, Rams Mascot told me I could go. So I went. He either didn't know which cadet I was or else he forgot what he wanted to see me about.
It may have been that Rams Mascot wanted to bury the hatchet about having called me the main trouble with our group; or maybe he had decided to pump up my balance of self-worth.
Rams Mascot told me I would be in charge of the mission, leading our whole group since I was the most dedicated, he finally concluded.
I don't know. I don't think about it much anymore.
Anything else you want to tell me, Soldier Sam ?’
Yes, Sarina. It goes a little something like this.
"This was a very good rundown. You are clearly aligned with the intent of my heart. I am grateful for what you do every day. Thanks for doing it!”
TOUR SITE SCENES
“Taking a Break from Work”
Sarina and Soldier Sam had arrived at the North Pole!!
Check out Santa’s mail box to send in your list, or write a sweet thank you note for the gifts you received this past year. Just outside Santa’s front door, feel the icy North Pole and watch it glow with the power of the Northern lights. This pole marks Santa’s Village at Sky Park as part of the magical North Pole.
Wow! We are going to get a Tour of Santa’s office, where all the important Christmas decisions are made!
If you want to come on this adventure with me, say “yes” or “no.” I see that you are sending mixed signals so come with me, and let’s go to Santa’s office. His office looks very messy. He has papers all over. The naughty and nice list is pinned on the wall. His desk is shoved in the corner. He has all his pens and pencils on the floor. Wow! He is very messy! When I looked at the naughty and nice list, I saw that I was on the naughty list!
After seeing Santa’s office, let’s check out another part of the North Pole—Where all the Work gets done. This is where the magic happens!
Are you craving for hot chocolate? I am. Come with me, and we will search for the hot chocolate shop! We entered a. Orange door with smiley faces all over. When I opened the door, I saw thousands of hot chocolate cups. I saw all kinds of flavors like chocolate caramel, candy cane chocolate, peppermint chocolate and mint chocolate. They also had the syrups in a pitcher and the hot chocolate in a pitcher too. That day, I drank ad dozen cups of hot chocolate. Now I don’t have a craving for hot chocolate. Do you?
It was the biggest moment of the year at the North Pole. All the reindeer were hitched up, Sarina was finishing up her work for the year and Santa’s sleigh was flying across the Christmas Eve sky.
It was almost time to get clocked out for Christmas, and the elves had finished for the day making toys for all the good boys and girls.
They put away their tools and took one last look around. “We made lots of toys today,” said Sarina.. “Now it’s time for us to get some rest.”
Most of the elves waved good-bye, cheering for Santa and the reindeer as they began their trip to deliver toys.
But Soldier Sam was taking a break from making toys and watching TV. Suddenly, a big snowstorm blew in and the electricity went out.
“Oh, no!” cried all the elves.
“The snowstorm knocked out all the power. Now we can’t watch TV. There’s nothing to do without a TV!” complained Soldier Sam”
Detective Sarina had planned on kidnapping Soldier Sam for eating all the cookies. Soldier Sam was also accused of stealing Onion Ring Coupons for Burger King.. Santa thought Soldier Sam should be brought to Justice.
“Sarina and Soldier Sam. I have a Holiday Mystery for You to solve? Announced Santa.
“Oh, Santa. I’m great at Solving Mysteries! Maybe Soldier Sam could help too. What’s your problem, Santa?” Sarina asked.
Santa sure did have a mystery that no one at the North Pole could solve.
The North Pole’s most connected resident is locked up for an offense they did not commit and offers his fortune to any group or organization that can free him. Two public housing residents team up to win the contest.
This year, Soldier Sam was pitching an adventure of an Exciting Day of Hunting for Spare Change to finance his Bourbon Escapes.
“Hey Santa, take us to the North Pole Computer Center HQs. I bet Soldier Sam and I will find a clue there to Solve your mystery.
“Yeah, Sarina..” Soldier Sam was gauging her interest. We could set up a Christmas hunting expedition!We can get decent entry-level Detective Gear for just about as much as you would calculate the cost of dinner at an upscale restaurant and a movie ticket plus snack for two, it’s not that far off. And at the end of the date, you’ll have a present!”Santa was interested in this concept enough to mark the proposal in his stack of approvals.“You should think it over, Sarina.” suggested Santa. An activity looking for things that haven’t seen the light of day in years could be rewarding. Anyways, it can be a fun excuse to walk around and chat and maybe find some cool stuff. Just make sure to take turns.”
Ok, Sarina and Soldier Sam. I’ll take you to the North Pole Computer Center HQs
. Maybe you will find a clue to solve this mystery. Just be on your best behavior.
You are a Guest at the North Pole. You will learn many useful things about our Operation that will be sure to help you on any mission you might find yourselves on in the Future.
North Pole Computer Center HQs
The North Pole Computer Center is an important part of Santa's Workshop!
This dramatic play pack includes printable open/closed and yes/no signs, North Pole Mail Center sign, and the Toy Request Letters and Forms. Add a clipboard, pens and perhaps a mailbox to complete this center! You can find Santa's computers at many different Toy Construction Facilities. For a fun DIY, pick up an inexpensive computer and decorate to create your Santa's Mailbox! The computer center creates many opportunities for elves to acquire advanced computer skills development! Little elves will need to read the letters to Santa in order to complete Toy Request Forms and fulfill Christmas Requests for Delivery!
“Hey, Santa!” Look Soldier Sam! Look at that Orange Box sitting under the Christmas Tree. What could possibly be in the Orange Box?”
“Why don’t you open the Orange Box up, Sarina. Maybe it has something you are looking for!”
“Ok, Santa. Come over here and check out this Orange Box with me, Soldier Sam!” Sarina was so excited. They opened the Orange Box together.
Look Soldier Sam!” Sarina exclaimed. “It’s the Clue we have been looking for. I just knew we would find something at this Stop on the North Pole Tour!”
Computer Project Management Tools
With such a huge volume of production, it’s no surprise that Santa needs to stay on top of the latest technology in order the manage the workflow at the workshop. Thankfully, Santa was one of the earliest adopters of network-based project management systems, so he’s got his time tracking, job tracking, purchase orders and reporting all in North Pole Work Flow Max Tools. All the elves have their tablets handy, ready to whip out to sign off their time against a job and invoice suppliers instantly. And what’s more, when the arctic storms blow out the power Santa can work offline, and he knows none of his important information has been lost.
What a Great North Pole Tour you took me and Soldier Sam on, Santa. Now we have the clue to solve your mystery!” Sarina was so happy.
“Yes Sarina” Santa appreciated Sarina’s Smart Detective Work. Merry Christmas to you and Soldier Sam from all of us at the North Pole!”
The North Pole’s most connected resident is locked up for an offense they did not commit and offers his fortune to any group or organization that can free him. Two public housing residents team up to win the contest.“Santa!!!” Sarina shouted out.
There was a sound behind Soldier Sam. He turned to see Mr. Reindeer standing in the door.
“Santa, Mr. Reindeer is an employee of yours.. Soldier Sam lent him to me for the afternoon.' Sarina informed.
Santa looked at the staring image of guilt upon the couch.
'Get fresh?' Santa inquired.
'I don't want to prefer charges’ Sarina decided. “I called the desk to be on the safe side. Mr. Reindeer was supposed to be in the action scene and now he refuses.'
She walked casually to her position shooting the scene' Mr Reindeer, why don't you stop this mock charade. You'll find some bells in the waiting room.'
Soldier Sam reached stupidly for his bottle of Bourbon. Somehow it flashed into his mind that he was in a drinking competition with himself.
'Shake it up, you,' said Santa. 'You heard what Sarina said.'
Soldier Sam stood up and fixed a long look on Sarina..
'You told me--' Soldier Sam, 'you wanted to shoot this scene right away'
'You said it meant something else. Hurry please. And Soldier Sam, there's a drink in the pantry.'
A few minutes later as the reindeer sat square in the centre of the room his memory went back to those shows he had done with the other reindeer, Cupid, Comet, Dasher, Prancer all the rest of them--though at the moment he could see little resemblance.
Mr. Reindeer wore the exact expression that had caught Sarina’s attention in the interview, the expression of a North Pole regular, and Sarina worked fast while there was still light enough to shoot the scene by.
'I suppose you don't remember Rudolph,' he said sarcastically. 'or Blitzen, Comet or Vixen.”
Mr. Reindeer took a candy cane out of his pocket with the sort of timing in which the motion pictures have never been surpassed, and offered one to Sarina.
'Couldn't I come in tomorrow?' the reindeer asked. 'I have a Rams Game to watch right now--'
'I'm sorry, Mr Reindeer,' said Sarina--sincerely for the reindeer was an old favourite of hers. 'Santa is due here any minute. After that we won't be holding you.'
'It's just a formality,' said Soldier Sam, from the position of his directors chair.
'Yeah, it's just a--' Sarina glared at Soldier Sam. 'It may not be any formality for you. Did you ever hear of the sobriety test?'
Mr. Reindeer finished his Candy Cane and grabbed another.
'Suppose I come back in a couple of hours,' the reindeer suggested.
'No,' regretted Sarina. 'And since I have to detain you, Mr. Reindeer I want to take the opportunity to tell you what you meant to me once.
It was that picture you made, “Dashing with the Stars on Christmas Eve” meant a lot to every one who is interested in the North Pole.
'Oh, yes,' said Mr. Reindeer, smiling.
Sarina continued, 'I used to try to tell Soldier Sam about the North Pole--how it was, with Santa’s Office, the Elves Workshop and all the rest-- I was there a lot for Christmas --but he never understood.
Soldier Sam would always finish his bottle of Bourbon and point his finger at me and say "Boom! It’s Christmas time for you," and so I'd laugh and stop trying to make him understand.'
'Hey, can I get out of here? I’m out of Bourbon and have to go to the North Pole diamond store?' demanded Soldier Sam.
'You shut up!' said Sarina fiercely. 'You didn’t know a thing about the North Pole until I brought you here'
'I was always preoccupied with preparing my plan for New Year’s Eve' said Soldier Sam. 'I do love ringing in the New Year with an Epic Bourbon Bar Crawl.'
'Listen to him,' said Sarina. 'That's what all them slackers say. Well, the North Pole was something. And after Soldier Sam saw that picture of yours I never had to explain to him. He knew”.
Soldier Sam always spoke different about the North Pole after that--never just pointed her finger at me and said "Boom, It’s Christmas time for you!"
Soldier Sam will never forget the part where the reindeer were in that training session and the Polar Magnets started messing with the radar systems. That made it so real to Soldier Sam he would always start to dance with Christmas Joy.'
'Thanks,' said Mr. Reindeer graciously. He grabbed another Candy Cane, 'You see, I was just starting out my North Pole Duty at that point and I knew how it was. I knew how it felt.'
'Yes Sir,' said Sarina appreciatively. 'Well; I'm glad of the opportunity to tell you what you did for me. You--you explained the North Pole to Soldier Sam and brightened his whole view of the Christmas Season.'
'What are you talking about?' demanded Soldier Sam suddenly. 'That North Pole picture Mr. Reindeer made when there were still Blockbuster Video Rental Stores?”
'There he goes again,' said Sarina 'Sure—that was the show. Now you pipe down till Santa comes back'
'Mr. Reindeer knew me then all right,' said Soldier Sam, 'I even watched him work on it one day during that Christmas Special made only for TV.
'I just don't happen to remember you, Soldier Sam,' said Rudolph politely, 'I can't help that.'
'You remember the day I shot that Santa’s Office sequence don't you? Your first day on the picture?'
There was a moment's silence.
'When will Santa be here?' Mr. Reindeer wanted to know.
'Any minute now,' Mr. Reindeer..' Sarina was sure of that., “Santa will straighten up this mystery just as soon as he gets here.”
Inside the Building the Reindeer went into the canteen. Then he remembered: by some grant from above, all the vending machines had been removed from the Building recently.
Across the hall he saw Blitzen’s door ajar, and discerned him by their code..
'Blitzen , can you make a call out for me from here?' he asked.
Blitzen looked at him suspiciously, then frowned and dug it out of his Pocket.
'You on the lot for long?' Blitzen inquired.
'Will be out next week,' the Reindeer predicted
'Why won't they put the vending machines back in the canteen? Do they think all of us would eat burritos all day?'
'Remember when they took out that meal?' said Blitzen. 'That was years ago—I’m still here.”
'I worked at home then,' said the Reindeer. Now am I going to be able to make that call or not, Blitzen?” he asked.
Blitzen made the call for him. if Rudolph and the others who were still on the lot were good for a loan--enough to buy stuff like a hat, something to eat or freedom..
Blitzen must have seen the look in his eyes when he was talking to Santa.
'Rudolph’s got all your money,' Santa said, 'and I'm concerned about my job.”
'What's he say?' Sarina asked Santa, after Soldier Sam had walked smartly into a North Pole Fifth Avenue diamond shop to pawn something off for another bottle of Bourbon.
But Soldier Sam was only to find nothing but reindeer rubble inside working at the front desk.
LAST DAY ON EARTH ACTIVITIES
Sarina and Soldier Sam saved football at Rams Stadium. The Computer System controlling the massive scoreboard. Crashed. At the Meeting to find a Solution, much was to be discussed.
Rams Stadium is becoming more and more modernized with computers. What makes these magical computers special is that all the fans volunteer to build these machines all by themselves with a collection of logo-pained spare parts.
Soldier Sam was very inventive in the uses of their computers and he is always looking for ways to use them at Rams Stadium.
Sarina, who was new to computer uses decided she should have a computer to keep track of her scoreboard highlights. She has so much material that she believed she could benefit from this new technology.
When the fans brought Sarina a computer, she decided her computer needed proper Rams Football decorations. She set out the specifications for a nice, colorful Scoreboard Display with Blue/Sol trim to cover this computer and keep it functioning as long ask possible given the extreme elements LA is subjected to in the winter.
She also made for her machine a huge, red stocking cap! The elves think this is the only computer in the world that has it's own hat and blanket!
The elves keep telling Santa that the North Pole computers are powered by candy canes, so Mrs. Claus has to make sure there is always a good supply.
Reindeer Vixen, a collector of candy canes, informed the elves that they could borrow some of his candy canes just in case they started running low.
Vixen is always sharing his stuff with others. He, like the other North Pole Villagers know the importance of cooperating with each other and sharing.
Once the elves made a special connection of a big computer to one of Mrs. Claus's big blue-colored cookie-baking oven. The elves then typed in a special cookie baking software program.
By simply typing in the name of your favorite cookie and holding down the letter 'C' - then pressing the ENTER key rapidly three times, the magical stove will rumble and shake and then a loud bell starts ringing. Then there is a loud "Ka-FLOOMPH" sound! The oven door pops open and your favorite cookie comes flying out! You have to be quick to catch it!
Elf MooMoo, our elfin cookie specialist, uses a baseball-like glove padded with magic snow-powder to catch these cookies! This allows him to catch the cookies without crumbling them.
Mrs. Clause decided to have a naming contest for her new computer. Santa voted for The N-Polar-Treater, Frosty wanted to name it, Comp-U-Yum, Reindeer Prancer voted for MMMMmmmm-MMMMmmmm. Several of the the elves are calling it The Compu-Lippo-Ratta-Tatta-Baker. Of all the names, Mrs. Claus chose to name her computer "Super Sweetest"
If you ever eat a wonderfully tasting cookie and it has the letter, "S" baked on it - it just might have come from Mrs. Claus's computerized Big-Blue Oven baker - The Sweet Super Star Sensation!
Santa receives a lot of letters that ask questions of what goes on during the days leading up to Christmas Eve. The North Pole Villagers are just as excited about Christmas as are millions of girls and boys.
There are always last minute tasks that need to be completed and everyone at the North-Pole has to be flexible willing to work together.
The elves, the snowmen, and the reindeer all work in harmony to get Santa on his way Christmas eve. One task the elves complete is the finishing touches on the magical sleigh. They polish the runners, and are often seen tightening the bolts just enough, and also replacing belts and bells where it is needed.
The elves are also busy making all kinds of exciting toys! In the busy toy shops, it is helpful that the elves wear little silver bells that are attached to their green stockings. Santa and the snowmen would run into the elves if it wasn't for these little bells.
These bells make a smooth, ringing sound. The melodies from the bells makes everyone realize that Christmas is getting closer and closer.
The weather during this time of the year is quite cold. On some days when it warms up to up to 25 degrees below zero, the elves take advantage of this heat wave and spend time sledding and skating around the North Pole village.
Mrs. Claus also keeps very busy as she bakes a lot of cookies for everyone.
One of Santa's favorite cookies are the Star-Shaped Sugar cookies.
The reindeers also get restless the week before Christmas! They have daily flying practice where they use the North Pole training sleighs. They like to land on top of the North Pole Cookie Bakery and stock up on a variety of cookies.
Mrs. Claus makes sure the reindeer cookie jar is always full. She also has a huge jar full of candy canes and carrots for energy!
What is most important to everyone at the North Pole is keeping the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the whole year.
Suddenly the Magical Cookie Computer blitzed out and not even Reindeer Blitzen could fix it. Everyone on the North Pole got sent into a panic. How could North Pole Life survive without Cookies? Would Santa’s Global Operations be at risk? What to do?
That’s when Sarina and Soldier Sam were put into action.
Santa panicked and called the first number he could find in the Services section of the North Pole Daily Gazette Registry.
The business collaboration between Sarina and Soldier Sam could profitably extended from the domestic sphere, where the couple might brighten their contribution to, say, the give-and-take of dinner-table conversation by preparing a few exchanges in advance.
“It’s simply the principle of teamwork,” Sarina told Soldier Sam in partially describing the idea to him that evening as we were on their way to the Reindeer Dinner Extravaganza to discuss just what had happened to the Computer Network Crash that had disabled the entire North Pole.
“For instance, Soldier Sam” Sarina started instructions on the way to the Reindeer Dinner, “With Blitzen being as hipped as he is on Cookie Machines, we’re bound to talk about the candy cane supply as a contributing factor at some point.
Sarina continued, “Well, Soldier Sam, I’m going to tell all the Reindeer about Rams Mascot who’s so wonderful. In the middle of it, I’ll pause and take up my napkin.”
“I’d appreciate it if you’d ask me, ‘Is he really the Star of Rams Stadium? They must have a computer network similar to what the North Pole’”
Sarina was planning to answer,
“Yes, except in matters related to Computers. In this work, he is totally lost.”
This wasn’t much, but Sarina was feeling her way around in the form, trying to get the hang of it before going on to something more nearly certifiable.
Dinner ran along the lines Sarina had foreseen. Rudolph got off on Tech Innovation, and Sarina launched into her account of this wonderful Rams Mascot.
Sarina paused at the appointed moment and, glancing at Soldier Sam, reached for her napkin.
“I keep forgetting,” Solider Sam came in brightly. “Is Rams Mascot on one of the Shows you do, in the capacity of being Rams Team Reporter?”
“Yes,” replied Sarina. “He’s the only guest on my main show about Rams Football and the show is all about Computers, computers far advanced than the one at the North Pole and he usually right on time.”
A circle of Reindeers gave blank looks at Sarina and met her gaze. The Reindeer were confused as to if Rams Mascot knew anything that would help in the North Pole Computer Predicament
Sarina put her napkin to her face, and Rudolph picked up the thread of the discussion while Sarina reviewed in her mind a couple of other gambits she had worked out with Soldier Sam, on the way over.
One of these concerned Rams Mascot, not present that evening, where Sarina always cut corners. Rams Mascot has worked on some Computers with success, but not any experience of the sort that would save Christmas this year with the North Pole workers..
This shocked all the Reindeer as a match that took the entire North Pole Community by surprise. That made things even more confusing.
“Now, if the thing comes up, as it probably will,” Sarina had coached Solider Sam, “say something about how you’ve only met Rams Mascot a few times but he seems a mascot of considerable talents of the sort that might Fix the North Pole Computer.
Sarina intended then to adroitly add, “Rams Mascot may solve your Computer Problems in short order.”
Sarina expected that to go over big, Rams Mascot being a notorious fixture all around the Los Angeles Metro Area.
The Reindeer Conversation did get around to Rams Mascot soon after it left the subject of immediate fixing of the North Pole Computer, and Soldier Sam came in on cue punctually enough, but his exact words were “He’s the Best in the Business. Any Business. Rams Mascot’s Talents are Legendary.”
This time, Sarina had the presence of mind to realize Soldier Sam’s quip was useless, and she checked herself.
.Another misfire followed almost immediately. In preparation for possible discussion of the Rams Season, where, Sarina had primed Soldier Sam to tell about his own visit to Rams Stadium, where there was a Big Game coming up on Christmas.
“In a way, you know, Rams Mascot is Lucky, to have such job security” Sarina had planned to comment. “Most Football Players are washed up pretty quick.”
It was clear Sarina would have to explain the football system to Soldier Sam in detail if she was ever to get the bugs out of it.
Sarina decided, in, fact, that she had better reveal in each case what the capper was to be, so Soldier Sam would realize the importance of delivering his line exactly as prearranged.
Sarina did this while she and Soldier Sam took leave of their table to hit the Liquor Bar Santa had set up, since the elves really needed some positive reinforcement after their daily labor making all the Toys, and other Stuff.
Sarina tried to duck Soldier Sam’s questions about the failures at the Reindeer Table’, preferring to wait till she had some new material worked up to hammer her point home with before she laid the whole thing on the line.
“At the Elf Table’ tonight,” Sarina said, “there’s certain to be the usual talk about all the Industrial Bells and Whistles required to keep the North Pole productive, not the least of which to mention that nothing worked without Mrs Claus’ Computer.
Sarina was trying to make a point to Soldier Sam, “Here’s a chance for you to get in those licks of yours about integrity of the Master Data Plan on the Computer—isn’t it critical to generating decisions on who of Earth’s Children are Naughty or Nice, and so on. The sort of thing you are interested in.”
“You might cite a few of the more traditional Listings of Toys for Present Recipients, like Monster Trucks and Robot Transformers Then turn to me and ask—now, get this, it’s important—ASK‘
Why can’t we have Production lines back online for those kind of Toys.like that any more?. We have been producing stuff like that for decades, long before the North Pole was dependent on Computer Networks”
“Then what will you say?” Soldier Sam asked.
Sarina paused to make an attempt at finishing the Bottle of Bourbon, after glancing to see if Santa had noticed just how much she was drinking that night.
“It’s no time for Smart Talk, Soldier Sam.” Sarina replied.
Soldier Sam reached over for his Lighter, then sat waiting for it to pop, took up a cigarette in his hand.
“Of course I’ll throw it away,” Soldier Sam said. “Just sort of deal with it.”
Soldier Sam lit the cigarette and put the lighter back in its pocket. “Isn’t this Elf Conversation going to go bad too?” Soldier Sam asked.
“Why? What’s going to be so bad about it? Isn’t it better than the conversation you have to put up with normally—doesn’t it make for something at least a cut above that?” Sarina responded.
“What’s wrong with trying to brighten life up? We can turn it around if you like. You can take the cappers while I feed you the straight lines—” Sarina was trying to spin it.
“Lord, no, leave it as it is.” insisted Soldier Sam.
“Can I count on you, then?” Sarina demanded.
“I suppose,” Soldier Sam said, taking one last stab at that cigarette. “But step on it. We’re supposed to get this Computer Fixing Gig over and done with. We have to get back to Rams Stadium for the Big Football Game on Christmas!”
Sarina and Soldier Sam began enter the vicinity of the Elves Table and sat down nearby the North Pole Chief, the Legend and the Source of all Christmas Joy and Surprise, Santa of course.
Santa was holding court with a dozen or so elves lucky enough to be chosen to sit at the same table as Santa.
Santa was an imposing figure, yet approachable and quite Jolly overall. The elves around him laughed heartily at everything he said.
It was well known at the North Pole that Santa’s elves who were responsible for making all the Christmas Toys, formed a ready audience who followed Santa to every party, but it didn’t seem to Sarina that all the elves were present that night.
Sarina knocked back a few quick Bourbon Bottles and soon felt herself a nice part of the group. Sarina looked up and saw Soldier Sam beginning to chat up Santa, not intimidated by such fame.
Matters weren’t helped, when Sarina returned to the Table with two more bottles of Bourbon, carried one to Santa and sat down and began to attack the other.
Midway through dinner, there was one of those moments when all conversation suddenly stops at once. Soldier Sam threw in a comment about how possibly could Santa read his Naughty or Nice List or find Los Angeles with a broken Computer.
Sarina saw Soldier Sam put down his bottle of Bourbon and clearly signal his intent to make an announcement.. “Well, if there is anyone to cause any debate over Naughty or Nice, it is Sarina,” he said.
Soldier Sam looked squarely at Sarina. “Why is it we no longer have Status on the Naughty or Nice Lists give you a real run-down of the year. Let me tell you one thing, Sarina certainly had an interesting year.”
“Like all your exploits with Rams Mascot, for example!!” Soldier Sam wanted the debate of Sarina’s year. “Like take Halloween with that costume, or your behavior making the Pumpkin Pies on Thanksgiving, or even what you made of the first part of the year, Such a Target you made of me on Valentines Day. Why is that?”
Everybody turned to regard Sarina, as the one to whom the query had obviously been put. “That’s a hard question for me to answer,” Sarina said frowning into the table.
Sarina took another drink out of her Bourbon Bottle. “Your basic point is, of course, well taken—that my Status on the Naughty or Nice Debate is a good round of fun for the North Pole.”
Sarina continued, “Looks like Soldier Sam has a point, if he is even a good judge for something like that, when you take account of his year, his status on the Naughty or Nice List is also a matter for serious debate.
Sarina became lost in the ensuing free-for-all. Not so Soldier Sam, to who an expert summary invariably centers around how he fixes computer problems, to him invaluable to brush aside any other matters. Soldier Sam more than held his own in the argument, which was cut short when Santa knocked over his bottle of Bourbon.
Santa let aside the question of the Naughty or Nice List and began to assure Sarina and Soldier Sam that the computer was not necessary to find Los Angeles.
“I know right exactly where it is in California, Santa assured them, “and I will be sure to make Rams Stadium my first stop of the night in such a cheery way to smooth over the incident.
“And Sarina’s Status on the List will be for all to discuss.” Santa added.
The remark wasn’t funny, nor was it intended to be funny, but to each one of the elves, they threw back their heads and laughed.
Meaning to be nice, Sarina laughed, too, and said, “Well, it goes to show you. Santa certainly has his wits tonight.”
“I’m just going to get you a new computer, Santa” remarked Soldier Sam.
“There’s no sense in fixing what is broken in this case, but it does have some new tech features that you will have to learn on your way there.
Santa heard Soldier Sam clear as a bell, and the elves began repeating it until it achieved wide circulation, with a resulting increase in popularity of Sarina and Soldier Sam.
With all these matters addressed, the Naughty or Nice problem and the means to find Los Angeles were solved, to the great relief of everyone at the North Pole.
Soldier Sam and Sarina had met their challenge and the mission to the North Pole was a resounding success, and everyone at all the tables cheered Sarina’s initiative.
Sarina and Soldier Sam had to bolt and Rush their way to Rams Stadium. There were lots of preparations to be made for the Big Game on Christmas.
Sarina didn’t get a chance to speak to Soldier Sam alone until after the dinner. Then she let him have it.
“That was a completely out of line remark about my Status on the Naughty or Nice List,” Sarina said. “And do you know why you made it? Just to deflect any debate of your Status, as well.. A feeling of being out of the swim lane. It’s because you’re not good at repartee that you say things like that.
“Things like what?” Soldier Sam asked.
Sarina explained what, and repeated her charge.
In the fight, quite heated, that followed Soldier Sam’s denial of it, he gave Sarina nothing but proof of its truth.
Sarina submitted that the idea that the Computer Problems had given rise to this hassle, and had been just evidence of their partnership, the idea that Sarina and Soldier Sam could operate as a team at the North Pole..
“What could be more Lovely?” asked Sarina
“Our Teamwork found a great location at the North Pole,” Soldier Sam returned.
On that point, Sarina and Soldier Sam certainly agreed.
Soldier Sam had been trying to remember how to fix a Football Scoreboard.
Sarina brings home an experimental computer game. Soldier Sam is somehow pulled into the game, and has to avoid the games monster in order to survive. Sarina tries to save him.
I remember the cover had these blocky-looking black game monsters.
Is the story you're looking for maybe "Fix the Scoreboard"?
It seems to hit the correct time period, includes getting sucked into the game, having to save people, and avoiding the game's monsters to survive
Soldier Sam was so happy that finally Sarina would buy a him computer All of his friends had one on their homes, and they talked all the time about their computers and the games they played.
Soldier Sam didn’t have much stuff to do, besides the park, but it was too boring for everyone else.. When Sarina finally comes back from work, she picks the computer out of the car trunk, and brings it home. Soldier Sam was so happy! When he finally installed it, Sarina decided to play first, then it was me, then her... It was so much fun... For the first week.
A week after, Sarina told Soldier Sam she had to work overtime at Rams Stadium so she wasn't going to use the computer much.
Soldier Sam was quick to capitalize on that opportunity:”When I finally had the full week to play, I noticed something strange. Every-time I was on the computer, I'd get so focused on the game.”
The worst thing happened. Out of the possibly bad stuff that could happen to Soldier Sam, well, it happened. One day, Soldier Sam went to this website with a flash game, and decided to play it. Time passed by like it was nothing. When he finally got out of the computer, there was nothing. Soldier Sam was on the middle of a green field, surrounded by some trees.
Soldier Sam decided to walk towards the forest. Finally, after a lot of time walking, he found someone who looked like someone from the future. Soldier Sam looked at Sarina and said:
"Sairna! Where did you go? You were supposed to stay on your house for my birthday. Everyone was worried about you!"
Slightly confused, Soldier Sam asked: "Wait, how old am I again?"
Sarina laughed and answered:
"You’re not too old to play Video Games. Don't you remember?"
“Maybe I’ve just totally imagined this, but I swear I once read a book or a short story about this group of NFL Executives who had computer chips implanted in their brains” Soldier Sam was trying to figure out how this was possible.
Soldier Sam kept on thinking about it and trying to find it. He was thinking it might the story he remembered. It was similar, but not the same story.
Here’s what Soldier Sam remembered: The computer chips essentially catalogued the entire online Pro Football Database. People were able to relate to and communicate to each other by referencing the material.
“I think it was something along the lines of “it’s like that one Scoreboard, the one at Rams Stadium! Soldier Sam explained “And because they all had the switch it would immediately pull up in their heads and be understandable.
“I remember that these players were like heroes or something among the general population, and they were kept together - lived together - by…… who? A corporation? The government? I don’t know if it ever said.” Soldier Sam continued.
In the end, one of the characters decided to have her chip removed, and it totally scrambled his brain or something. Without being able to reference the same material as everyone else, the entire NFL essentially just got super confused.
“I get It, Soldier Sam, Sarina jumped in. It’s all this crazy make-believe world, and We are part of it!!”
The new Scoreboard replaced old one just so much back ago! How thrilled Sarina was to be able to transfer all of her data from her old Scoreboard to the new one with the brilliant operating system!
And it all worked on the new Scoreboard just like the old one and the bat-tery seemed quite healthy on the new One.
Sarina began to wonder if she would have to buy new controls if her battery started to flicker? She'll have to ask the Team Executives.
Oh, but there was one little gotcha. Soldier Sam did not know the password for the account. No worries! The website to recover the account just wanted her to fill in the last four digits of her associated phone number, which she did. Then it sent a text to her landline. This text went no-where.
So, Sarina used the other approaches to recover the account. But they all needed the passwords, in fact several of the passwords she previously used, even though she only had the one, the one that she forgot.
Sarina was stuck. So she contacted Scoreboard Tech Support They explained that they did not trust her or her new controls with the password for her account, so they just stored it in a form that could not be used by her. Only her Scoreboard and only the old one could use it.
So, Sarina wondered: if she called NFL Blink, could she get text-to-landline to work on her phone? Unfortunately, the robot told her to look on the website and there was no such feature. So Sarina’s text messages to her landline ended up in a landfill somewhere in Arizona!
But then she found the answer. For just a small monthly fee, a company can get your landline to receive text messages and convert them to voicemails!
Then the code from old Scoreboard could restore the new one and her account can be obtained and she can reset and actually KNOW her password!
And Sarina would not need to raise a finger, which she would not do anyway of course.
But Sarina decided to burn all of her big tech gadgets and move to New York. Because all the jokers work at high tech corporations, she figured that will be an improvement.
“Have you tried unplugging, then re-plugging it?” asked Soldier Sam.
Much the same advice is proffered today by computer technicians: Have you tried unplugging it, then plugging it back in again?
The low-tech version works a treat with devices such as cable modems, routers, streaming television boxes, and “smart” devices from cell phones. all of which have tiny computers inside. Unplugging and re-plugging devices like these reboots their computers, forcing them to flush any temporary malfunctions.
Although plug-out-plug-in often leaves the customer satisfied, it doesn’t fix the problem that caused the problem to begin with; but that’s its brilliance. It puts off for a while having to do anything about the device…or even thinking about it.
Often unplugging then re-plugging will buy the Scoreboard operators months of time at the cost of a reboot now and again.
Sarina and Soldier Sam had been putting off getting a new control box for the better part of a year now using this technique.
Sadly, however, as Soldier Sam has warned us, “Everything turns to shit eventually.”
“You will eventually be rebooting so often that you’ll realize the damn device is unplugging and re-plugging you. Then, to add injury to insult, one day the thing just won’t work at all. There are loads of people - you can find them on the web, (where else?) - who write to help sites, complaining that their Scoreboards will no longer work unless they’re unplugged and then re-plugged first.
And that, my friend is worse than a chronic case of fallout; but, at least, when you finally call tech support about the problem and you are asked if you tried unplugging it, then re-plugging it, you can proudly answer. YES!!
Soldier Sam could, in no way, be described as a technological genius, has re-vealed how a computer at his workplace made him so angry that he decided throw it out a window, shattering the glass.
Soldier Sam had been working at his job in the office for months, but had yet to master the temperamental computer he subsequently named 'The Battle Boss', that sat on his desk.
Soldier Sam said: "I'm not the most gifted computer operator, it has to be said, but even turning the machine on presented its problems. I learned very early on what a screen-freeze was, as it happened to me almost every day."
Soldier Sam went on to chronicle to Sarina the various struggles he had with “The Battle Boss.”
"The computer would encounter some problem where it would take an eternity for the screen to turn over to the next page, or would lose its internet connection, and have to be restarted, meaning that I'd lost all of the data I'd input” complained Soldier Sam.
“Or the back-up system wouldn't work, or there would be a break in the connection with the printer, or the printer would run out of ink at a critical point. If the printer printed, there would be a problem with the paper, or the loading of the paper, or the paper stuck to other sheets of paper. It was just a long line of disasters related to the computer." Soldier Sam complained.
Sarina started to lose patience with Soldier Sam’s incompetence with the machine. How in the world could the Rams Scoreboard be expected to function if Soldier Sam’s computer was broken?
"There were all kinds of confusing messages Solider Sam didn't understand: 'http 404 file not found', 'virus detected', and so on.
Sarina just got fed up with the whole situation. She waited until everyone had gone home, and then went to the top of the building and slung the damn thing off the roof. It made such a crash when it hit the ground. A weight was lifted from my shoulders!" exclaimed Sarina.
Now Soldier Sam is currently looking for an no experience necessary alternative, non-technical employment where he could just work on Comic Books the whole day.
Your Starship is spinning through space after launching from Earth just before it was destroyed when the Sun exploded. Conflict is brewing aboard your Starship and if Rams Fans don’t get to a Planet capably of hosting Rams Football, there is more likely than not they will mass in mutiny against your command.
While you periodically receive faint radio signals from other planets, you have little hope of ever locking onto a signal and fear your Starship may be spinning in space forever. You decide to investigate what is the source of these signals and determine if your Engineers can build a Super Amplifier to project the radio signals to you Starship. This is likely your only avenue to make Rams Fans aboard the Starship hold on to their small grip on reality.
But Soldier Sam has convened a group of crew officers to execute a radical order from commanders to plan for landing on any planet possible with or without the capacity to host Rams Football. Soldier Sam’s plan is to design, build, and launch a new Starship a massive enough to make life in space more agreeable with no intention of building a new Rams Stadium anywhere in the cosmos.
Over time, many Rams Fans have wanted to seize control of the ship and Soldier Sam has tapped into their frustrations. It’s up to you to squash this rebellion and lead a triumphant return to the Majesty of Rams Football in any way your Power enables you to carry on the Mission.
Soldier Sam put his Bourbon bottle down and leaned forward. Sarina was in line for debrief. Sarina knew there was more Bourbon in the mess room. Now, suddenly, all she wanted to do was show that Bourbon bottle who was Boss.
The Radio Crackled. Sarina and Soldier Sam both heard the noise.
“Rams Mascot is that YOU?!!” Sarina was shocked.
“Wait, Rams Mascot, I can’t hear you. Speak up!” Sarina shouted.
“Rams Mascot we have a bad connection. Hold on while Soldier Sam and I fix the ship so we can hear you. Sit Tight! Don’t Go anywhere, We will reestablish the connection,” Sarina Promised.
“Sarina, are you listening to this?” Soldier Sam asked.
“Yes, of course I am” Sarina responded.
“I know this was a tremendously stressful test. The pop quiz to end all pop quizzes.” Soldier Sam was sure of this.
“Pop quiz,” Saina said. She had a reaction but it wasn’t a laugh. “A brutal surprise. But now you know what you’ll do when all the Rams Fans depend on you.”
“It’s a tough road, Sarina.” Soldier Sam reminded her.
“Definitely,” Sarina admitted. “But we did fine despite that.”
“You’re saying that I couldn’t have prevented the disaster?” Soldier Sam asked.
“Not in the real world, and not in the simulation.” Sarina said.
Sarina continued, “Not if there actually were a flaw in the Starship’s design that would cause it to oscillate like that. The disaster could have been prevented. But not by you.”
“Huh,” Soldier Sam said. “So this Starship is engineered to basically come apart on command?”
“Oh, no,” Sarina said. “We just shake the Ops center around and pipe in training footage. It’s all make-believe.”
Soldier Sam half-smiled. “Take the success. Go get a bottle of Bourbon. Let the crew thank you. They love this stuff. It’s a wonderful distraction from all the loss of Rams Football.”
Sarina stood up. “Is there anything else I can do?”
“Yeah. Don’t waste yourself on some exile on Saturn. Remember that when the chips were down, you stood your ground. And you just stood up to me now.”
Sarina finished her bottle of Bourbon.
“Where are You, Rams Mascot?” Sarina shouted into the radio receiver.
Rams Mascots voice came through loud and clear.
“WHERE ARE YOU, RAMS MASCOT?” Sarina wanted to know as soon as possible. “Can the Planet’s Terrain and Atmosphere support Rams Football””
“I’m on Planet TITANIA! Check it out, Sarina!”
Planets surface breathes over the course of its day, exhaling sulfur dioxide as it warms in sunlight, and pulling it back down to the surface as it cools at night with volcanoes heating local areas, making patches of denser atmosphere and out-flowing winds.
Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
"Must have you here to see it for yourself Sarina," Rams Mascot said. "All the Rams Fans are grateful to you. Had a quarrel with Soldier Sam just before he came on the set but today you have brought us together.
“Besides I want to write a movie about him” Rams Mascot continued. So give his attention to me—Rams Fans don't want to see him anymore today now that he has finished his Report"
Sarina enabled the video console and picked up Rams Signal louder so it would be more clear to her.
"Go after Soldier Sam. He's probably in the Bourbon Bar next to the Engine Room.. We're putting him on that drinking stipend again but we'll be sorry."
Rams Mascots communication device switched off for a moment, switched on again. "Oh! Take him those Nachos. He forgot his Nachos. Can’t very well drink Bourbon on an empty stomach, right?"
We are coming to Rams Planet, Rams Mascot! But we have to make 2 Stops.
First we are going to Planet X for some Upgrades to our Starship since we expect to Drift for Long Time to land on Rams Moon.
Then New Starship Upgrades for Big Fight to get from the Moon to Rams Stadium.
We are going to make a day of it on Planet X while our ship gets fixed. It will be an Adventure!! Then we will go on a Day Trip on Your Rams Moon too.
“Look, Solder Sam!” Planet X is fast approaching “ said Sarina. Prepare for landing!!”
in a spin of seconds we were back to the ground. Soldier Sam was filled with satisfaction from a job well done
PLANET X ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
As soon as the Pirates were out of sight, Sarina set herself to tuning the Radio and ordered Soldier Sam to keep watch And from that time Sarina and Soldier Sam were searching for any sign of Rams Radio Broadcasts they could pick up, approaching the shore but, not knowing when another strange pirate ship might come upon them.
Now onshore Sarina and Soldier Sam set about their daily adventures but would drop anything they were doing, no matter what it was—stealing wire, having a fistfight, siphoning gas—no matter what, and tear like a blue streak through the alleys, over fences, under porches, through secret short-cuts, to get back not a second too late for the magic time. Whenever there is anything to do with the Rams on radio.
That night could hardly wait until Sarina and Soldier Sam’s adventures were over over. They both wanted to get to the real thing, the Tailgate Party scheduled for the first ever sign of Football in the Brand New Rams Stadium, a Team Scrimmage.
That’s what counts. Soldier Sam had spent the entire day preparing for the Rams Mascot Radio Broadcast, sharpening pencils, practicing twirling the knob on Sarina’s plastic simulated gold Decoder pin.
Solider Sam had lined up plenty of paper to transcribe the instructions that everyone at Rams Stadium was to follow on that Big Football Night. Sarina and Solider Sam were both already at the radio sitting impatiently through the drone of the Soap Operas and Newscasts, waiting for their direct contact with the Rams Mascot, their first night as Full Members of the most special club, Rams Fans who, together, comprised a Team of the Pair’s own making.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were not to be disappointed by the news the Rams Mascot was about to relay.. At soon as the clock hit the hour, just as dusk was gathering over the picturesque LA scene, Sarina and Soldier Sam both started the beginning of hope against the gloom, the magic notes of an unforgettable theme song came rasping out of Sarina and Soldier Sam’s Radio.
Ah, they don’t write tunes like that any more. There was one particularly brilliant line that dealt with the announcement of Soldier Sam, finally solidified as Sarina’s sidekick. Who can forget it?
It was probably Sarina that drew Soldier Sam to make the call into the Ram’s Mascots Broadcast, during which he would announce his Love for Sarina.
The Rams Stadium rose high above the LA landscape, even as it was not really at such a great height since, as was now the custom of new stadiums, the playing field was set deep underground and the street level entrance was some ways above the playing surface.
On the Great Opening Night for the Scrimmage, there were to be no brawls or fistfights. Or drunks sleeping in doorways. No opposing team was in the building and there were only the diehard Rams faithful to take in the Big Scrimmage.
The parking lot was to have no sign of hubcap thiefs or even the guy who had hotwired a truck at the old Stadium that past year. And no Pirates, to Sarina and Solider Sam’s great relief.
And then Sarina and Soldier Sam heard the Rams Mascot for the first time, the definitive broadcaster in NFL History.
“Soldier Sam and Sarina!! Get set for an extravaganza like no other. A historical event that will mark the interest of the entire planet. Get Ready for a Pre-Season Team Scrimmage!!”
The Ram’s Mascot’s voice boomed out of the Radio like some monster, maniacal pipe organ played by the Devil himself. Vibrant, urgent, dynamic, commanding but friendly all at the same time.
“Get Ready for a Secret Message from the Los Angeles Rams. Prepare Yourselves!!!”
All right, Set your Marks…Action!!”
Then—Silence to the rest of the Rams Nation, and also the entire world listening that night. But as Clear as a Bell to Sarina and Solider Sam.
All the Rams Fans out there in the darkness all over the country, there were millions of kids and adults alike, where all they could do was to walk into the kitchen for some more Bourbon, hoping against hope they would hear the Ram Mascot’s voice again that evening.
But as the old truism goes, every man has his chance, and when yours comes you had better grab it. They do not make appointments for the next day. One day Soldier Sam is foraging on his way back from work, lost in a confusing dreamworld, there occurred an incident which forever changed his outlook on Existence itself, although of course at the time Soldier Sam was not even conscious of his own words, only finding out later her had struck the Jackpot and was at last on his way into the Big Time—A World with Sarina!!
There was a standard game played solo by almost everyone Soldier Sam had ever heard of, at least in his neighborhood. It was simple, yet highly satisfying. There were no rules except those which the player improvised as he went along. The game had no name and is probably as old as creation itself.
The contest consisted of kicking a tin can or tin cans all the way to work. This game is not to be confused with a more formal athletic contest called Kick The Can, which did have rules and even teams. This kicking game was a pure dogged contest of Man against Can.
Anyway, Soldier Sam had spent a lifetime kicking all sorts of discarded cans along the alley, occasionally changing cans at full gallop, when he suddenly found himself kicking a can of a totally unknown nature. Soldier Sam kicked it twice; good, solid, running belts, before he discovered that what he was kicking contained a Magic Ring, the first Soldier Sam had ever seen.
Soon, Soldier Sam sent his newfound Treasure to Sarina in the mail and he started to wait. Every day Soldier Sam would rush to work and ask:
“Is there any mail for me?”
Day after day, week after week, month after Month. Waiting years for something to come in the mail is like being asked to build the Pyramids singlehanded, using a Legos Set without the Motor. Soldier Sam never did get much mail, anyway. Usually it was bad news when it did come. Once in a while a letter marked occupant arrived, offering One Million Dollars on his signature only, no questions asked, “Even your employer will not be notified.” They began with:
“Friend, would you like to always have money to spend? What if you had a country estate with more square yards than 100 Football Fields? Would you like to invest in a Cabinet that would automatically stock itself with Bourbon, making use of all the new technology in the world?”
Soldier Sam could never figure out how they knew, especially since they only called him OCCUPANT. Day after day he watched his mailbox. On Saturdays when Solider Sam took a break from his maintenance work, having no hobbies or interests he would sit on the front porch waiting for the mailman and the sound of friendly dogs that chased him on his appointed rounds through our neighborhood, his muffled curses and thumping kicks mingling nicely with the steady uproar of puppy chatter.
One thing everyone knew. Soldier Sam never chased a mailman. And if he had, he would have caught him.
Everything comes to he who waits, as the saying goes.. At last, after at years of constant vigil, there was delivered to Solider Sam a big, fat, lumpy letter. There are few things more thrilling in Life than lumpy letters. That rattle.
Even to this day, Soldier Sam feels a wild surge of exultation when he touches an envelope that is thick, fat, filled with mystery, and addressed to him!!
Soldier Sam ripped it open. And there it was! His Invitation to be a Rams Season Ticket Holder!! And also a membership card to stock up as he saw fit at the Team Merchandise Shop.
Of course Soldier Sam wanted some New Gear!! He wanted to show off to Sarina.
It was an important moment. Here was a real milestone, and Soldier Sam knew it. Solider Sam was taking his first step up that great ladder of becoming a real American.
Nothing is as important to an American as a membership card with a seal inscribed by the Woman of His Dreams. In Soldier Sam’s Case that will forever be in All Things Sarina!!
Soldier Sam had heard of guys who have long strings of them, plastic-enclosed: bankcards cards, membership cards, identification cards, driver’s licenses, all strung together in a chain. The longer the chain, the better off were they.
But here was Soldier Sam’s first card. He was on his way!
Solider Sam had finally Hit the Jackpot!!
And in the best of all possible ways in the Universe of Galaxies—Soldier Sam was making it as the Exclusive Member of “Team Sarina!!”
Before taking off, it made a noise. The noise was earsplitting. The propellers began to whirl. There was a sudden roar. At first it ran on the ground like a motor-car for a short distance.
The time in between the red signal to stand by and the green light to move forward seemed to last an indeterminate time for the chairman. The officers waited to catch their breath, and we were now faced with the first change in plans is quite some time. Even if the plan developed by the chairman was planned down to the last tiny detail and however successful dress rehearsals had gone, there was always the chance that the operation would not go quite as planned. It was proving difficult to gain traction on what was becoming a slippery slope.
Often the Seagulls came very close and stared at Sarina and Soldier Sam with black bead-like eyes. At these times their scrutiny seemed almost sinister, and Soldier Sam hooted angrily at them, telling them to be gone.
One came, and evidently decided to alight on the top of Sarina’s head!
"You son of a bitch," said Soldier Sam to the bird. "You look as if you were made with a jack-knife." He swore darkly at the creature.
Sarina tried to knocked it away with the end of her Yankees Bat she always brought with her for just such occasions.
But Sarina’s emphatic gesture nearly capsized this freighted boat, so with his open hand, Solder Sam knocked it off Sarina’s head.
The seagull flew away after it had been discouraged from the pursuit so Sarina breathed easier on account of her hair.
After this little incident, Sarina and Solider Sam rowed And rowed. And also they rowed the boat.
It appeared to the chairman that the reconnaissance intelligent reports were valid and that this particular portion of the route was left unguarded by the Mainland even while it was in heavy use. The entire exercise had taken quite less time than the officers had anticipated and now everything appeared still, almost too quiet. Still we waited for some activity and time dragged on, and the chairman began to suspect that something had gone wrong even though it could not be readily determined at this juncture. In an instant the officers were all on their feet having heard an explosion in the distance, but we kept pressing forward and it would pass without incident.
“We'll just finished off this Scotch and give us a change to chance to get into shape again” Sarina wanted another drink to courage up to the circumstances.
‘Well, Sarina, I have an early Birthday Surprise for you. I stashed another bottle where you wouldn’t notice it.” Soldier Sam was relishing the moment that Sarina would be truly proud of him
“No Fucking Shit!!? responded Sarina. “Really? Such foresight, Soldier Sam. I’m impressed.”
As the boat cruised on the waves, spray occasionally bumped over the side and gave them a fresh soaking, but this had no power to break Sarina’s enthusiasm for the newly discovered Scotch.
The first duty of the chairman that night was to radio the stateside authorities to notify them as to our whereabouts so the officers set up the wireless. After checking in, it came over the communications network that the officers were to stand by for a message. We switched the set to receive for ten minutes for every half hour and the chairman huddled with the officers in the hope that they could anticipate the content of the message so an adequate response could be quickly dispatched. The high-pitched code was coming through slowly and we started to record. We were informed that a key portion of our flank was being re-tasked so needless to say the unit was extremely disheartened but the chairman was exhausted and almost too tired to really care.
The Shark following the boat had waited to follow the partners new course Sarina set,. The Shark had evidently grown bored of circling the boat over and over again.
There was no longer to be heard the slash of the cut-water, and there was no longer the flame of the long trail.
The light of the sun still glimmered, but the Shark was apparently no nearer to the boat.
.Soldier Sam looked at the shore. "Those life-saving people sure to take their time."
"Did you see that shark playing around?" asked Sarina.
"Yes, I saw him“ replied Soldier. He was a big guy, all right."
We had to change our outlook drastically, since there was no longer the inevitability of marching straight to our target island, to be met by our reinforcements. Now we were reduced to taking the of our alternative route scenarios which was far preferable to choosing instead to breach the Mainland line of defence. The officers gathered around the maps to chart out the route and discussed how to ration the supplies, since no replenishment actions had been undertaken stateside in quite some time. The chairman thought that we might have to prolong our stay around the nearby island for the time being while the calculations were being made.
Sarina and Soldier Sam buckled their seatbelts and in the blink of an eye, the space fighter jet burst through the ground and into the sky.
Sarina remembered exactly where the transport ship was, not far off from the moon where they were trying to land and that is exactly where they were headed.
“Hang in there Soldier Sam, we’ll be there soon” Sarina shouted..
Solider Sam stopped paddling the canoe. "It should be somewhere here, Sarina" he said.
Sarina had been in the front part of the canoe, closely scrutinising the land. She had a sheet of yellow paper on her knee.
"Come and look at this, Solider Sam," she said.
The canoe was now approaching the land.
The bay opened out, and a gap in the white surf of the reef marked where the little river ran out to the sea
The deeper green of the forest showed its course down the distant hill slope.
The forest came close to the beach. Far beyond, dim and almost cloudlike, rose the mountains, like suddenly frozen waves. The sea was still. The sky blazed.
Soldier Sam moved over from his spot on the canoe until he could look over Sarina’s shoulder.
The paper had the appearance of a rough map. By much folding it was creased and worn to the pitch of separation.
Sarina tried to hold fragments together where they had parted. On it Solider Sam could dimly make out, written in pencil, the outline of the bay.
"Here," said Solider Sam, "is the reef, and here is the gap." He ran his thumb-nail over the chart.
The river curved and twisted.
I would really use a drink right now” complained Solider Sam.
"You see this dotted line," said Sarina; "it is a straight line, and runs from the opening of the reef to a clump of palm-trees. The star comes just where it cuts the river. We must mark the place as we go into the lagoon."
“What are these little marks down here are for? Solider Sam asked..
Sarina replied, “It looks like the plan of a house or something; but what are all these little dashes, pointing this way and that, can’t I get a notion?”
They both sat for some minutes staring at the land, while the canoe drifted slowly. Then Solider Sam looked towards the paddle.
"Your turn with the paddle now, Sarina,"
Sarina quietly folded up her map, put it in her pocket and began to paddle.
Soldier Sam sat with his eyes half closed, exhausted, watching the breakwater of the coral creep nearer and nearer.
The sky was like a furnace, for the sun was at its hottest point.
Though they were so near the Treasure Solider Sam did not feel the exaltation he had anticipated.
The intense excitement of the struggle for the plan, and the long night voyage from the mainland in the unprovisioned canoe had made Soldier Sam, to use his own expression, "Exhausted beyond comprehension.”
Soldier Sam tried to motivate himself by directing his emotions to the treasure, but the exhaustion would not rest there; it came back headlong to wanting a stiff drink.
The rhythmic wash of the sea upon the reef was becoming audible now, and it had a pleasant sound to Sarina; the water washed along the side of the canoe, and the paddle dripped between each stroke.
Presently Solider Sam started to doze off.
The worn out map fluttered. A fine story for a pair like Sarina and Soldier Sam to hear!
Solider Sam’s dream shifted to the treasure with the entire world intervening to hold him back from it.
His adversaries were shouting his name: "Solider Sam, Solider Sam, you sleepy bum!"--or was it Sarina?
Solider Sam woke up. Sarina had paddled to the mouth of the lagoon.
"There are the three palm-trees. It must be in a line with that clump of bushes," said Sarina. "Mark that. If we go to those bushes and then strike into the bush in a straight line from here, we shall come to it when we come to the stream."
Sarina and Soldier Sam could see now where the mouth of the stream opened out.
At the sight of it Solider Sam revived. "Hurry up, Sarina," he said, "or by damn I’ll have to drink sea water!"
Soldier Sam stared at the gleam of silver among the rocks and green tangle.
"Give me the paddle, Sarina" he said.
So they reached the river mouth. A little way up Sarina took some water in her hand, and began drinking eagerly.
Solider Sam, ran the canoe into a little creek and was about to land among the thick growth that overhung the water.
"We will have to scramble through this to the beach to find our bushes and get the line to the place," said Solider Sam.
"We had better paddle round," said Sairna. ”I’ll help. I had forgotten we had two oars.
So Sarina and Solider Sam pushed out again into the river and paddled back down it to the sea, and along the shore to the place where the clump of bushes grew.
Here the boat landed, pulled up the beach, and then went up towards the edge of the jungle until they could see the opening of the reef and the bushes in a straight line.
Sarina carried the paddles. "It is straight now in this direction," she said; "we must push through this till we strike the stream. Then we must prospect."
Solider Sam pushed through a close tangle of reeds and trees, and at first it was toilsome going, but very speedily the trees became larger and the ground beneath them opened out.
The blaze of the sunlight was replaced by insensible degrees of cool shadow. The trees became at last vast pillars that rose up to a canopy of greenery far overhead.
Dim white flowers hung from their stems and swung from tree to tree. The shadow deepened.
Solider Sam was cold. "It seems almost Arctic here after the blaze outside."
"I hope we are keeping to the straight," said Sarina.
Presently Sarina saw, far ahead, a gap in the sombre darkness where white shafts of hot sunlight smote into the forest. There also was brilliant green undergrowth and coloured flowers.
The vegetation was thick by the river bank. Great plants grew among the roots of the big trees, and spread rosettes of huge green fans towards the strip of sky.
Many flowers with shiny foliage clung to the exposed stems.
On the water of the broad, quiet pool which the treasure-seekers now overlooked there floated big oval leaves and a, pinkish-white flower not unlike a water-lily.
Further, as the river bent away from them, the water suddenly frothed and became noisy in a rapid.
"Well?" said Soldier Sam.
"We have swerved a little from the straight," said Sarina. "That was to be expected."
Sarina turned and looked into the dim cool shadows of the silent forest behind. "If we beat a little way up and down the stream we should come to something."
Sarina and Solider Sam looked at each other for a moment.
"Let us try a little down-stream first," said Sarina.
Sarina and Solider Sam advanced slowly, looking curiously about them. Suddenly Sarina stopped at a scattered heap of stones,
"Soldier Sam! It's all right. It's here still." There next to Sarina was a number of dull yellow bars.
Soldier Sam bent down in the hole, and, clearing off the soil with his bare hands, hastily pulled one of the heavy masses out.
"Only gold or lead could weigh like this," Soldier Sam observed.
How will we get it to the canoe?" Sarina asked.
Soldier Sam took one end of the bag and Sarina the other, and together they lifted the mass.
"Which way to the canoe, Solider Sam?"
"My arms are still tired from all that paddling" complained Soldier Sam after advancing a few steps.
"What is the good of waiting here all the day? Sarina asked. Pull your own weight, Soldier Sam!”
Soldier Sam could barely move.
"What's the matter with you?" asked Sarina.
"Hopefully, I’ll be better in a minute."
RAMS PLANET LANDING
This was surely a quiet evening with the bottle of Scotch stashed safely in the boat's bottom.
Sarina’s eyes were just capable of noting the tall black waves that swept forward in a most sinister silence, save for an occasional subdued growl of a crest
Soldier Sam looked without interest at the water enveloping the boat He was deep in other scenes. He was just imagining how wonderful Sarina’s Birthday Party Celebration would be, if they ever got on that fucking island.
Finally he spoke. "Sarina," he asked, dreamfully, "what kind of Burger do you like best?"
"Whopper with Cheese from Burger King, of course. Same as you!“ Sarina Replied.
“But let’s not talk of such beautiful things right now. Now I’m picturing us sharing Onion Rings and an Orange soda, all warm and dry inside a restaurant. said Soldier Sam. “ If they are ever going to open again, anyways.” he added.
"Don't talk about such things, blast you!" said Sarina, who was now picturing Onion Rings for both of them
"Well," said Soldier Sam, "I was just thinking about Burger King, and--"
The Mainland was likely to set up checkpoints on our most likely line of withdrawal from our current position which would entail establishing the system along the most direct line in between the islands. They would likely not only alert their reserve forces, but also set up a security perimeter in the hopes that we would stumble into it. What was left of the flanking fleet formed a defensive circle and we waited for a shelling that never came, with not a single break in the silence. If the flank were to encounter a surprise or ran into any trouble spots they were instructed to fire a couple of shots to alert the officers.
Such being so, you might imagine that after a few hours, the ominous slash of the wind and the water had practically no effect on Sarina. Well, at least from Soldier Sam’s perspective
Solider Sam took a few quick drinks and finished what was in the plastic cup and this steadied the chills out of him.
"If we ever get ashore and anybody wants us to share this with them… Well, Fuck them!”
Sarina agreed. “Yes, you are right Soldier Sam.”
The bond of comradeship between Sarina and Soldier Sam just kept growing stronger and stronger with time, at least as far as their Love for Scotch goes.
Under the new plan, the flank would beat a path down to the rendezvous point, although not along the same route they had anticipated. They were to make sure that no Mainland patrols were to follow them, and were told that we could not possibly wait for them if they didn’t make it back in enough time, since we had other matters to address. The flanks immediately appreciated the content of the instructions and were well aware that there would be significant risks present in the operation.
Sarina regained her strength first and dragged Soldier Sam further away from the water.
Soldier Sam saw but a Halo about her head, and she shone like a saint. Sarina gave a strong pull at Solder Sam’s hand.
"Thanks, Sarina!!" Sarina was a Superhero to Soldier Sam at the moment, indeed also at every point in time since they had started their voyage. Why did they even get in the boat in the first place, anyway? For some reason or another.
Suddenly Sarina whirled around: "What's that?" she pointed a swift finger.
It seems that instantly the beach was populated with Picnic Benches with Birthday Cakes and bottles of Scotch, the remedies sacred to their dreams on the voyage. Even more so during the toughest moments.
Solider Sam and Sarina would be sure to remember for their entire lives together the beautiful welcome of the Shore.
When it came night, the white waves paced in the moonlight, and the wind brought the sounds of the Sea to Sarina and Solider Sam.
Sarina’s Grand Birthday Party Celebration was just getting started!!
We did it!” shouted Sarina and Soldier Sam, overflowing with excitement.
They high-fived and cheered as they stepped out of the Starship, thankful to have made it out in one piece.
Everyone on Rams Planet celebrated as they watched the adversary ships crumble in defeat.
Sarina and Soldier Sam learned a valuable lesson that day. That with hard work and a good team, absolutely anything can be accomplished.
ORANGE VALENTINES #10
“Get Crazy at New York State Fair”
The Flight through Space was finally complete. The Starship bolted down from the sky and landed in New York.
Cupid was there on the Tarmac to greet Sarina and Soldier Sam.
“Sarina and Soldier Sam!” Cupid called out. “Welcome to Syracuse!”
“Thanks Cupid” Sarina replied.
“Isn’t there a Big Orange Basketball Game Tonight?” asked Soldier Sam.
“There for sure is an Orange Game tonight. But first I have a Place to show you guys?” said Cupid.
Cupid was a Legend at Syracuse. It was in Fact one of his favorite places to be. To work his Magic.
Cupid is always highly aware of his environment. This allows him to use the surroundings to his advantage during fights and helps him to spot opportunities that others miss. Even when Cupid is visibly stressed he is always still able to pull it together and respond as needed to challenges and roadblocks.
Cupid had spent a lot of time on his Matchmaking activities and one day suddenly many desperate couples flooded into his office. Everyone wanted to get their Valentine’s Day activities on the books. All the people started lining up at the office door waiting for when Cupid had time on his schedule.
Let’s get on our way to our Pre-Game Event, Sarina and Soldier Sam” Cupid instructed.
“This is quite a place. Cupid added.
“Let’s do a little Preview before we get to the site, Cupid” Sarina suggested.
“Hop in my Ride, you two. I have a couple of questions about your Flight before we get to the Tour Site” Cupid responded.
Soldier Sam was by the side of the Starship, holding the wing down. He had looked at me with concern and thought that he might be too heavy for the plane to fly correctly. The catapult had released and the Starship had shot off into the air.
Soldier Sam started running away on seeing this, but the other crew members caught him. Soldier Sam began to say, “Forgive me, I didn’t know what to do!”
Sarina continued, “I then asked him, “How did you fix that computing error, you didn’t know the password?”
“One day, Soldier Sam sneaked into the control room and hid under the console. While I was doing my thing with the password, Soldier Sam saw the password.
Cupid’s Ride was zigging and zagging though Syracuse Traffic.
Here we are at the Mystery Spot for our Tour, Sarina and Soldier Sam” announced Cupid. “I’m sure the two of you are going to have a lot of Questions.
“We’re ready, Cupid” shouted Sarina. “Let’s Check it out!”
Soldier Sam agreed. “Let’s get this party started, Cupid!!”
“What is this place?” asked Sarina.
“This is the greatest site to be seen in the entire world! Cupid exclaimed. “People from across New York State come together for the State Fair every year to experience an affordable, two week celebration.
“Why have we been brought to the State Fair?” Sarina asked.
“To learn all about New York and the great Orange Fans who make this their home,” replied Cupid.
“There are scores of exciting fantasy rides, and dozens of big-name entertainers... all bringing us together!” Cupid announced.
Just scratch the surface of the New added.
“My absolute favorite event of the summer is always the State Fair for all New Yorkers. Cupid continued. ”Everyone loves the great Orange Fans, the rides, the atmosphere, and, of course, the food! There’s just something about a fair that captures the spirit of New York in a way no other event can.”
“What are all the tents here?” Soldier Sam asked.
The Fair Grounds has delicious food, eye-opening exhibits, captivating entertainment, and great fun.
“Is it some sort of Party?” Sarina asked.
“Yes,” replied Cupid “It’s a total spectacle, complete with the latest technology
“I am going to ride with Soldier Sam on his first roller coaster.” declared Sarina
“Oh, you are going to ride with Soldier Sam?” asked Cupid. I didn’t know they would let him on the ride! Well, you got the ticket! I’m sure you two will Love the excitement!!”
The ride operator, not hearing the exchange, was concerned at this point and demanded Soldier Sam fasten his seatbelt platform so he could get going. Cupid was forced to wait at the exit gate while the ride went into action.
“This is a great example of how Syracuse is so far ahead in technology that this kind of problem has an easy solution.” Cupid explained.
“Go ahead and show us what is the latest technology Syracuse has developed.” Sarina said excitedly.
Video calls: Even New Yorkers who aren’t in Syracuse for the State Fair can still join in the excitement! With the use of Zoom for Syracuse meetings and other video-chat apps for business and personal calls — video callers globally spend millions of minutes daily on the Syracuse app alone — it’s difficult to imagine how futuristic and impossible this technology seemed not too long ago.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were stunned by what Cupid had just said.
Life lessons were to be learned by Sarina and Soldier Sam from all the contests and pride over the wins.
Sarina and Soldier Sam had snuck into the fair with Cupid, and still to this day recall the fresh loaves from a bread truck, or the impromptu spotlight dance on an empty stage.
And there would be stories of love and partnership that played out amid the Ferris wheels rides and contest exhibits.
Cupid led Sarina and Soldier Sam near the circus tent behind the cotton candy concessions.
Cupid placed his hand on the entrance to the tent and a large entrance appeared – allowing everyone to enter.
“Amazing,” said Sarina.
Sarina and Soldier Sam suspected that they were at the entrance to the dome.
“Are we in the dome?” Soldier Sam asked.
“Yes we are,” replied Cupid said.
“I am the Gatekeeper to the Main Event,” a Security Guard said.
“Greetings Sir,” Sarina and Soldier Sam said together.
“I see that you have brought along Sarina and Soldier Sam here to witness the Amazing Technology we have here” the Tent Guard said.
“Yes, we have,” said Cupid..
The well dressed attendant turned to Sarina and Soldier Sam. “Come on inside guys and have fun, but be careful!.”
“Where are you showing us next, Cupid?” Soldier Sam asked.
“You will see,” replied Cupid. “It’s an amazing hologram that contains a Special Valentines Clue for Sarina.
What’s this Cupid? Sarina asked as she and Soldier Sam walked over to the Hologram.
Read it and see Sarina. It is a special clue about Valentines Day” Directed Cupid.
“Ok, Cupid. Lets See what it says” Sarina started reading the Hologram.
“You’re one Hot Tamale!”
Your special fun is an epic thing;
There's so much happiness it can bring
I’m really glad that you’re my friend
It helps me so with Valentines mail I am trying to send
“I just can’t believe it!” Sarina exclaimed. On Valentine’s Day. A special message just for me!”
The day continued with more fun – Sarina and Soldier Sam even took a ride on the sky glider lift. “All was well, however, and the day would end sooner than they would have liked.
Cupid was invaluable to their experience at the fair... looking at every detail among the exhibits and have a splendid time on the rides, relishing in what depicts New York in the most real way.
Cupid took Sarina and Soldier Sam to an outdoor concert. When the concert ended, Cupid asked Sarina ‘do you like the New York State Fair?’
Sarina replied with an enthusiastic ‘Yes, I Love the fair.’
Sarina and Soldier Sam agreed to return to the fair again and discovered how much they have in common.
“Wow, Cupid, that was quite a Tour!” Sarina exclaimed.
“It sure was” Soldier Sam had a great time too.
“We have some time to burn before the Game. Let’s stop by this Bar” suggested Cupid.
“By the way, Sarina and Soldier Sam,” Cupid remembered something. “You told me about your flight. But I forget to ask, did you two go on any adventures during your Pit Stops?”
“You don’t realize how unprepared you are until you have participated in a night scavenger hunt with the Starship club.” Sarina explained. The crew talked Soldier Sam and I into it, so off we went, equipped with a flashlight aka “torch,” and a a crew member who could navigate.
As I pulled on the controls around the planet, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d gotten myself into. We walked across mountain tops with nothing but rams fighting and waded through muck and mire.
Night wreck diving in outer space is scary. Light Years away, the highways is shrouded by clouds.
Soldier Sam hit a layer of reflective silt, blinding us. Together we looked our way through the ship, breaking through the uninterrupted, silent darkness of space. As we rose to the surface, I ripped off my mask to breathe the tropical air.
At the destination, a roaring bonfire greeted us, and everyone toasted a job well-done, even with the difficulties that had challenged us.
“Hey, Sarina, you want to see the Valentine I got you? You’ve probably wondered what could be in it, right? asked Cupid.
“Did you ever see one this immaculate?” Soldier Sam added.
“It’s beautiful.” Responded Sarina.. “ And look, it’s tickets for the Game tonight. Front Row tickets to be exact. Wow!”
Sarina looked out of the window at the bar and saw nothing but Cuse fans. They wanted Tickets like that for the Game. Tip Off was coming not too far in the future.
This was going to be the first time in Soldier Sam’s Life he had ever gotten close to these good tickets, for any game. But he was going to a Cuse Game so it was all the more special.
“I thought you’d like it, because I know you and Soldier Sam hav never seen everything like this together before,” Cupid said to Sarina. “It’s such an important game tonight. Really one of the best match ups there has been in recent memory”
“It’s gorgeous. Sarina responded “ In fact, if anyone ever says to me, ‘What is the best kind of Valentine? I’ll say Cuse tickets for sure.
“We won’t have to go that far to the Stadium, but we’d better be on our way’ Soldier Sam suggested.
“ I’ll say!’ said Cupid. Let’s get to our seats in time for Tip off, right Sarina?”
Let’s get out that door and walk from the Bar to Orange Stadium!” Cupid was already headed for the door.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were right behind him and on their way to the Cuse Game!”
CUPID’S FIRST SYRACUSE ORANGE GAME EXPERIENCE
Entering the actual basketball court on Valentines Day was an entirely new experience as Cupid felt minuscule compared to the thousands of seats that filled up the arena from the floor to the ceiling. As someone who regularly only sees the games on television or through highlights on media apps, the in-person game experience was totally different even though Cupid was watching the same thing.
The first thing Cupid noticed when entering the stadium were the fans. There were so many of them, most of them were wearing Orange Gear.. It was so beautiful how they all looked the same.
Cupid had found out where the place was, the entrance to the stadium.
Sarina was getting excited and asked Soldier Sam, “Why on Earth would you look anything but jubilant if you have located the place?”
Soldier Sam least desired to answer this question. “Where is this place, Cupid? How will we find our seats once we are inside?
Sarina asked Soldier Sam to follow her. Grasping onto her ticket, Sarina showed it to Soldier Sam.
This ticket could be easily distinguished from tickets for other games because of the Valentines Logo on it. It was the ticket Cupid had issued Sarina earlier that day.
“You mean -" Soldier Sam started to realise how exciting the game inside the stadium was going to be
“Yes Soldier Sam. We are going to a magical game tonight. If you can ever get your act together, that is.” Cupid added.
Are there really courtside tickets to the game for us tonight?” Soldier Sam asked of Cupid. “Have you made all the necessary arrangements? You had better double check.”
“I am Cupid. The call was being made to the stadium front office If you could please put me on to Orange Mascot.
“Please inform Soldier Sam his tickets are legit answered Orange Mascot. “ You all had better get inside fast or you will miss the beginning of the game!”
“I’ve got a great idea!” Sarina exclaimed. “Soldier Sam and I should get a photo with Orange Mascot. Then we could prove we were here and have a lasting memory.
“Hey, Cupid,” Soldier Sam wanted to get his attention. “Could you snap a pic of Me and Sarina with Orange Mascot? That would be awesome!”
“Of course, Soldier Sam” Cupid replied. Just find Orange Mascot and I will be over to take the shot of you and Sarina.”
Cupid was reflecting on how all the camera shoots went down. The best part about knowing how to take professional photos? It leads to new opportunities.
The more professional-looking photos you’ll be able to produce, the better your online photography portfolio will look. And the better your online photography portfolio looks, the more photography jobs you will land.
“Hey Sarina, we got that picture with Orange Mascot! All the lighting was great and we were posed perfectly. Isn’t it great we were able to find Orange Mascot and he was so accommodating?”
“Yes, Soldier Sam” Sarina answered. I thought for a moment Cupid was going to lose his mind trying to operation the photo function on my phone. He had never operated anything like that before.”
“The game is about to start Sarina!” Soldier Sam exclaimed. Why don’t you give me a quick rundown of the season so far?
“I know you have been following it closely and I really don’t have a clue about what the Orange have faced so far this year, Soldier Sam continued. “How are they doing?”
“Sure Soldier Sam,” Sarina was glad to show off her knowledge of Cuse Hoops. “There have been a lot of developments so far this year.
The win against Duke came at a critical juncture in the season, meaning that even if they lose their remaining three regular season games and their ACC Tournament opener, the Orange could still be postseason eligible.
Syracuse continues to struggle to guard the inside against teams with big talent. Duke banged the ball in there, either on lobs or on dribble penetration and dump-offs.
Duke also got on the offensive glass. And SU is not equipped to cover the inside against skilled big guys.
“It’s just a matter of moving the ball and moving yourself and just trying to find open spots. Syracuse could not guard the Blue Devils. It was as simple as that.
Sarina smiled. She would tell her friends this story--it would sort of go with the game, if the game was any good.
'You ought to revise your methods out on the street. That’s what got you to this Orange Game,' Sarina said. 'Do you have much success with this approach?'
Solider Sam lit a cigarette and walked into the Stadium.
“If you were really a Cuse Fan I'd give you that line about being nuts about you.'
'But why any line at all?' asked Soldier Sam.
“Solider Sam…” Sarina started.
'Oh, really?' Solider Sam advised Sarina. 'You wanted to just take me to an Orange Game and make me like it, didn't you?'
CUSE GAME ACTION
The lights in the Dome are brilliantly bright. When asked, it is just a flood of emotions to describe the greatness of Orange Hoops. I am a big Orange fan and I jumped at the opportunity go to the Dome to watch them play and cheer them along.
Syracuse always brings their A Game when they host ACC rivals at the Dome. It is true I am fortunate to have a season ticket for the home games and I sit in the stands with my Girlfriend.
My Girlfriend is probably the most magical and enthusiastic supporter of the Orange that has ever attended a game, at least from my perspective. It is just amazing to consider all of the Capacity crowds the Dome has seen over decades and all that history that is almost unimaginably incredible is eclipsed by her presence at the concession stands.
Yes it was a once in a lifetime experience for me, but the memories of the fans and the atmosphere that were implanted in my very being will never be forgotten. Every time I need some confidence to do something, I will travel to that part of my brain and imagine myself present at every Orange Game with all the fans are chanting “Go Cuse!”
A trip to the Dome that was meant to be an exciting experience turned out to be so much more than that. It was truly life-changing. Syracuse was the place that shaped me into what I am today and what I aspire to be as I take every step in my life.
This Orange Dome was the place where I found unmatched joy and because I was with My Girlfriend I will never be the same again. It was pure Magic.
The Big Sunday had finally arrived. The Rams were set to open the 2020 NFL season at their majestic home, the brand new Rams Stadium.
Sarina was so excited. As the Rams Team Reporter she would be in charge of all Rams Media throughout the big game.
But there was one thing neither Sarina or anyone else in Rams Nation could have expected on that big night. Soldiers Sam had snuck into the Stadium and assumed control of the Giant New State of the Art Scoreboard above the playing field!!
On the way to Rams Stadium, Sarina had stopped off at a bar for some bourbon and cigarettes. If anyone in the Rams Organisation was aware of such behavior they would have been astonished, for it was generally known that Sarina did not drink or smoke and never had. But no one saw her.
It was just a few weeks from when Soldier Sam had called in to Sarina’s Rams Radio Show.
Sarina had spent each night of the past week working out her plan and examining it. As she approached Rams Stadium she went over it again.
There we so many elements of potential imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the phone call.. The project as Sarina had worked it out was casual and bold, the risks were considerable. Something might go wrong anywhere along the line. And therein lay the brilliance of her scheme.
After arriving at Rams Stadium, Sarina made her way to the 50 yard line to take her post next to the Rams Mascot. The Game was just about to start!
The game started and the Scoreboard started to Light Up Majestically.
“Don’t we all Love Sarina?” The Scoreboard was flashing. Lets give a Big Shout Out to the Best Reporter in Sports History!”
As Sarina recalled that moment, she knew right away Soldier Sam was at the Controls of the Scoreboard. She had to keep focused on her plan. This was to be sure going to throw a wrench in how she thought the phone call would go.
“We are so Lucky to have Sarina here!” the next message flashed on the screen for the whole crowd to see.
Then Beautiful Pictures of Sarina in her Rams Gear Lit up the Scoreboard. The Big Game was well underway at this point in time but the Giant Screen made no mention of it at all.
It was the Ram’s Mascot who explained to Sarina what the Announcements meant.
It clearly means Solider Sam Loves You, Sarina. There is no other explanation.” The Rams Mascot was making this perfectly clear to Sarina.
"Why, I even believe you like Soldier Sam," Rams Mascot said to Sarina. Sarina simply smiled.
But Sarina knew there had to be something done about it. The Love was real, but in her position as the Rams Reporter, somehow this must stop. The Fans needed to be informed about the details of the Game, such as it was.
Sarina considered the facts. Soldier Sam was putting on a willful blatant, and persistent attempt to destroy the Rams System of Communication with Rams Nation.
The Rams Mascot agreed. He knew Soldier Sam well, and realized there was no limit to the depth of insubordination he would now dive into.
Both Sarina and Rams Mascot knew the game was "a little disrupted" and they should swiftly resume the planned operational goals of the Media system there?
“Call up Soldier Sam immediately, Sarina!” Rams Mascot decided.
Sarina dialed up her phone quickly and Soldier Sam answered the call immediately.
“Hey Sarina! What’s up? Are you enjoying the game so far? The Rams are playing pretty good, don’t you think?”
Sarina’s heart jumped. "Soldier Sam, this Scoreboard Madness must stop!! The Fans at the Stadium are supposed to be surrounded by” Let’s Go Rams! or Touchdown Rams!! Not prolific announcements about your Love for Me!”
Sarina could no longer doubt that Soldier Sam’s hands were all over the Scoreboard Controls, with a clear mission to undermine the reputation of the Rams, professionally and rationally.
Soldier Sam’s plans were on the upswing, poised for the next blow. It had not come yet; but as soon as it did, Sarina knew she would have to run up to the Press Box and put a stop to this herself.
But there was no doubt in Sarina’s Mind that she must act quickly. The integrity of the Rams, and indeed of the entire NFL was at stake.
Sarina took off on a beeline up the stairs, blasting by all the Fans as she raced up to stop Soldier Sam.
Solider Sam’s announcements of Love were increasing at a frenetic pace with Gems like “Isn’t Sarina the Hottest thing we have ever seen? Hotter than Fuego!!” and “Sarina is the Biggest Superstar in Football History!!”
Sarina had never run up a set of stairs so quickly in her life. Not even when she was training for her World Championship Triathlon, before setting a Universal Record that will never be broken.
“Look at Sarina go!!” exclaimed Rams Mascot. “It’s a good thing our most efficient worker neither drinks nor smokes. The results speak for themselves!”
Sarina was a frequent visitor to the Press Box, so she had a clear enough picture of what she was getting herself into. It would be smokier that a five alarm fire and the floor likely to be littered with empty bottles of Bourbon.
There would be no doorman or other attendants; just Soldier Sam. There was a great risk at any hour, but especially at Halftime, during which he would crank up the Scoreboard volume of the Love Content even more.
Sarina jumped forward through the Press Box Door. She got inside fast, closing the door swiftly behind her. . Soldier Sam was sitting causally at the digital controls of the Scoreboard, leaning back in his chair with, as Sarina had surmised, an almost empty bottle of bourbon.
"Well, for the sake of all that is Great look who's here!" His smile rang out like the report of a shotgun.
Sarina took her first glance at the bright lights of the field below. The second half was now underway. The score was knotted at 14 points apiece. Each team had just as good a chance at winning the contest as the other.
"What's after you?" Soldier Sam said. "You look excited."
Sarina was almost too shocked to speak. He heart was pounding in her chest "I—Yes!! ," she finally brought out.
“Yes, Soldier Sam you have to get the Scoreboard back to it’s planned content schedule.” Sarina was clear.
Soldier Sam got up from his chair and started toward a cabinet across the room. "Scotch-and-soda be all right? But say, you don't drink, do you?" Soldier Sam turned and gave Sarina amused look.
Sarina pulled herself together. "Scotch-and-soda will be all right," she heard herself say. Soldier Sam was rustling around at the bar now and came walking towards her with a drink.
Sarina accepted the Drink. “Soldier Sam, why is the Scoreboard still flashing?”
Of course, Sarina,” replied Soldier Sam. The Scoreboard Material is on Locked AutoPilot. I have been working all week to implement my plan.”
“Isn’t it Lovely? Soldier Sam continued” It wouldn’t be that exciting if it was just showing player Stats and Replays of exactly what the Fans had just seen happen on the field, right?”
By this time, Sarina had already had a few drinks, saw the Scoreboard Situation could not be changed, so settled down with Solider Sam for the Rest of the Game. The Rams Won!!
It wasn't until the game ended that Rams Mascot sent for Sarina.
"Sarina," Rams Mascot said, "You have been with us for several seasons now, Right?”.”
“That’s right. replied Sarina. And I’ve Loved every minute of it!”
“Yes. In this time with the Rams your work and your--uh--manner have been exemplary, to be sure. Everyone Loves You!!” Continued Rams Mascot
"I trust so, Sir," said Sarina.
"I have understood, Sarina," said Rams Mascot "that you have never taken a drink or smoked."
"That is correct, Sir," said Sarina. "Ah, yes."
Ram’s Mascot scratched his head. "You may describe what you did after leaving the field and running up to the Press Box, Sarina.”
Sarina allowed less than a second for her pause. "Certainly, Sir," Sarina said. "I ran up to the Press Box and demanded Soldier Sam to stop playing with the Scoreboard.
“And then the Game was getting so exciting I decided to just watch the rest of the Game from the Cheap Seats because I didn’t want to run back down on the field through the crowd. They were gettin pretty crazy during the second half. “ explained Sarina.
“Then right when the game ended I got your call, and Here I Am, talking to you!” Sarina sold her story perfectly to Rams Mascot.
Later that night, on the way to Burger King, Sarina and Soldier Sam recounted the fun they had during the First Ever Rams Game at the Brand New Stadium!”