"This is Soldier Sam, Cupid. I've been working on a Valentines Day Activity with Sarina and we are hoping you can approve it today so we can get everything all lined up.”
This would give Soldier Sam a head start on the plan with his chief collaborator, Sarina.
"Is it an emergency?” asked Cupid.
"I'll say it is. For Sure." insisted Sarina.
Soldier Sam continued to improve the script till Cupid arrived. He wanted to put in his Bronx Zoo Trip Ice Cream Eating Match idea but time was short--still, he had finally let Sarina in on the plan, but they weren’t sure how to plan it all out. Even where the match would take place.
Soldier Sam wrote laboriously in his notebook.
“Soldier Sam, you look exhausted by this effort and you could probably use a drink!” observed Sarina.
So Sarina opened the Bourbon drawer and poured Soldier quite a drink. Soldier Sam gulped it down quickly and requested another. Sarina granted his request and even sampled the Bourbon herself.
With the Bourbon Glow, Soldier Sam got his second wind. He had done almost what he had been hired to do—but he usually did more with the dialogue of the Valentines Activity scripts than he did the structure.
Cupid arrived and addressed Soldier Sam: “How can I be sure that the idea is an original one?” You do have lots of ideas for Valentines Day Activities but how could you come up with all of them just spending the day staring at a wall?”
Soldier Sam’s response was immediate. “Because of Sarina. She makes watching Paint Dry the most exciting event on Earth. She inspires me to do things that would be unimaginable if I tried to do it myself.”
Soldier Sam had another drink, and told Sarina to amuse herself at the nickel slots machine in the in the back of Cupids Office so he and Cupid could discuss the substance of the thing. You know how it would all play out.
“So you’re interested in an Ice Cream Eating Valentines Activity at the Bronx Zoo, but on a much bigger scale that is usually offered at most Zoos?” Cupid asked Soldier Sam.
"Yeah, I figured the Zoo would be packed on a Holiday like Valentines Day, such as things are these days, and no one would notice if we had Ice Cream all over our faces" responded Soldier Sam.
Sarina had won big at the nickel slots machine and decided to stop there with that game and return to the conversation.
“So we are still trying to figure out where to go for our Valenines Day Activity? asked Sarina.
“What about the Bronx Zoo?” Cupid Suggested. That king of Valentines Day Activity idea is for the most diehard couples. Sarina might even mistake Soldier Sam for a Resident at the Monkey Tent.
“Yes, what a great idea, Cupid!” exclaimed Sarina. “We could even get some exercise, Soldier Sam. Why, with all the different Exhibits thoughout the Bronx Zoo, we could walk around all day!”
Soldier Sam agreed. Yes, Sarina, the Bronx Zoo does seem tailor-made for an Ice Cream Eating Contest. “But just don’t let go of my hand when we are at the Monkey Exhibit. You don’t want to lose your Date.”
Cupid approved the idea immediately. This is for sure an original idea. Even so, this one might be a bit intense if you’ve never been to the Bronx Zoo before. If you have never tried it, go for it. It’s a blast.
“Soldier Sam, Sarina is going out with you on Valentines Day at least, and it'll remind the world you're alive. And I'll dig you up some tickets”
“But keep an eye out. Sarina. It isn't good for you to get socked if you want my honest opinion.
The proposal had buzzed Cupid, he switched the order of his arrows
'You two are going to have to wait for Valentine’s Day.' He turned to Soldier Sam: 'That's enough. Your Valentine’s Day Activity has been approved. Better go out the side door, Soldier Sam and Sarina.
'How about the tickets, asked Sarina?'
I haven’t got them yet” responded Cupid. Drop by again when Valentine’s Day finally gets here.
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
Rams Mascot and Soldier Sam both learned something else during the training sessions. They learned they would both carry the resolve their training relationship had brought them, as well as the, bond they developed forever. Soldier Sam would always carry the drumbeat of Rams Mascots instructions and Rams Mascot could carry Soldier Sams performance indicators into training sessions with future prospects.
It would prove to serve as a relief to the chairman that the officers ended up keeping their opinions in check and that he still considered the next little while to be quiet as far as these things usually go based on the new reconnaissance that he had received just a short time ago. It was reassuring to the officers to head out on a course along these lines for the time being. They decided that they would try to finish off the remaining Mainland forces for sure the next time they would present themselves in another encounter, but the chairman was still a little bit unsure just how he would draw up the next plans on paper since he had not slept well for a good while now. Maybe it was a good thing that our journey might be a smooth one for the time being.
While powered, the helmsman may roll the helm dice and set aside those maneuvers that fulfill the captain’s orders at each decision point. The other stations also have custom dice tailor-made for their particular functions. The captain keeps schedules moving by directing the movement of energy from engineering to all of the other divisions. All the while, the enemy team is doing the same thing. Commands are issued and countermanded. The departments can indicate they need more power.
The chairman was surrounded by the officers and concerns were raised as to whether they were becoming a conspicuous target for the forces on the mainland. It turns out the chairman had convened the meeting to berate the officers and to issue another directive. The problem was that not all officers had been briefed on the topic and this contributed to the lack of cohesion in the ranks. A new cover operation had been designed in the perimeter established by the unit. There was a fleet stationed to our flank which would serve as our position. We formed up in an all-around defence, and prepared the fleet for a quick getaway.
LAST DAY ON EARTH
“Solider Sam, I wish you'd fix up this Kitchen every once in a while. This one isn‘t working," Sarina was frustrated.
"What's wrong with it?" Solider Sam asked.
"I don't know."
"I just want you to look at it, is all, or call a maintenance guy in to look at it."
“What would he find?” Solider Sam didn’t like where this conversation was going.
"You know very well what he'd find." Sarina paused in the middle of the kitchen and watched the stove busy humming to itself, making supper.
"It's just that the Kitchen is different now than it was." Sarina continued.
"All right, let's have a look, Soldier Sam agreed.
He walked over and opened the Freezer.
Solider Sam’s approach threw off a switch somewhere and the Kitchen light flicked.
The light kept going on and off like it was on autopilot.
"Well, there is something wrong with the Kitchen you found, Solider Sam. Nice Work.”
“The Freezer is completely empty. That’s a Problem.” Soldier Sam observed.
"But nothing's ever good enough for you, Solider Sam" Sarina said. You could at least make yourself useful during the day.
The Freezer was empty as the Staples Center when the Lakers were getting blown out in the 4th Quarter.
“The autopilot must have forgotten to go grocery shopping,” Sarina was getting sarcastic.
Now, as Sarina and Solider Sam stood in the center of the Kitchen, Solider Sam had an bright idea.
"Let's order a Pizza and get it delivered," he said. "This freezer is pretty empty and it’s your fault you didn’t stop by the Market on your way home from Rams Practice.”
“But you haven’t been doing anything all day except playing on your phone, Sarina shot back.
Solider Sam didn’t say anything.
"You‘re so Lazy,” Sarina complained.
Solider Sam put his hand up to shield off the criticism.
“If you only knew the shit I have to deal with on my phone” Solider Sam replied.
"Are you serious?" Sarina sounded peculiarly tense.
"Yeah, I’m always late for meetings because I am constantly scrambling to figure out what they are going to be talking about. Always Late. It’s not fun.”
“I bet there’s nothing on your phone anyways. No one is paying attention to your Reports.“ Sarina started to throw punches.
The only thing I ever see that you write down is material for your Comic Books.“ Sarina continued.
“Let’s get back to talking about the Kitchen, Sarina. I’m hungry.” Solider Sam tried to redirect the conversation.
Soldier Sam was filled with admiration for whoever invented Dinner Delivery. A miracle for a reasonable price. They should figure out how to cook every kind of food that we just get delivered by calling one number, like 1-800-FOOD-4-ME
Every home should have that on Speed Dial so we wouldn’t always have to eat Pasteles“, Suggested Solider Sam.
Oh, really Solider Sam? Are we going to walk down that road tonight? Sarina was upset.
I want Dinner to taste like a quick jaunt to any place in the world as a change of scenery. Instead of flying to the Bronx Caribbean every night, said Solider Sam.
Well, there it was! Sarina and Solider Sam were fighting their way through an argument again.
And here came the Lions now, tempers flaring and so startlingly real you felt like you were being punished by a Roman Ruler in the Coliseum.
The Lions stood looking at Sarina and Solider Sam like they were hungry too.
"Watch out, Solider Sam!" screamed Sarina.
The lions came running at them. Sarina bolted and ran for the Patio. Instinctively, Soldier Sam followed after her.
Outside on the Patio, with the door slammed they both looked at the other's reaction.
"Solider Sam!", Sarina exclaimed. “Let’s stop fighting right now!”
“Sarina! I just got bitched out by the entire Pentagon today. I’m pretty stressed.
"They almost got us, Solider Sam!" Sarina was relieved it was that simple of a problem to fix.
“Here Soldier Sam. Now that we’re standing out on the Patio I got you a pack of cigarettes on my way home. But I didn’t have time to stop at the Grocery Store. So we still have that problem we were arguing about in the house.“
Sarina didn’t like fighting at all. Neither did Soldier Sam.
Here's your pack of Cigarettes. I bet running the business was rough today if you say it was.” Sarina was being the bigger person.
Solider Sam checked the patio door.
"It's got to be locked with all this smoke.” Sarina reminded him “That's all there is to it."
"All right." Reluctantly Soldier Sam locked the Patio door.
"You've been working too hard, Solider Sam. You need a rest." Sarina just wanted the argument to end.
"Actually, maybe I don't have enough to do. Maybe I have time to think too much.” Soldier Sam offered. “Why don't we shut the whole house off for a few days and take a vacation?"
"You mean you want to go somewhere? Are You Serious?” Sarina asked.
“I guess“, offered Solider Sam.
"But I thought that's why we got this house, so we wouldn't have to go anywhere.” Sarina said.
"I suppose I have been smoking too much. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself in this house when you are gone. I smoke a little more every morning and drink a little more every afternoon. I need something else to do.”
"Oh, Solider Sam!" She looked beyond him, though the door. "Those lions can't get out of there, can they?"
He looked at the door. "Of course not," he said. You have your phone in your pocket don’t you? Let’s just have dinner delivered to the Patio.”
“But I forgot the number.” Soldier Sam admitted.
As the Captain of this Starship, you tire of the seemingly endless journey through the void of space. This mission has been the only hope for Rams Fans to hold on to their dreams of once again, Filling Rams Stadium like they had done so many times before on Earth before it was destroyed by explosion of the Sun.
You convene a summit where you ask your lead engineers if there is any way to get to your destination faster. All nearby planets withing the range and speed of the Starship have been scouted and found to be unsuitable for Rams Games.
A new strategy is required to increase the power of your Starship to find a new home for Rams Football. After years of research and experimentation, the engineers report that they have found a way to increase engine efficiency, and you order your engineering team to immediately begin implementing this new design.
Soldier Sam is a Starship mechanic in charge of implementing the discovery of your engineers. Everyone else on the ship lacks the knowhow Soldier Sam has developed in a lifetime of Space Adventures, missions that he had experienced even while Rams Fans were still on Earth. Your Starship has maintained adequate resource production for a long time new but something is breaking down and production is slowing drastically.
Soldier Sam may be involved with a plot to render your Starship unable to reach more planets with the potential to host Rams Football Games. To avoid panic, you've told this information only to those Rams Fans who govern the ship as crew members and you are now tasked with fixing what's broken in time to save the Starship and determine if Soldier Sam is plotting against you.
The Starship hull shuddered hard enough that Sarina thought it would drive her brain crazy. Sarina grabbed the rail. “Open 12,” she said. “Give them a fighting chance to make the pods. There’s no more time.”
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.
“Fifty percent evacuated,” Soldier Sam reported.
“Oh, no,” Sarina thought, transfixed in her space.
Soldier Sam shouted. “Second wave of pods—”
All the lights went out with a tremendous rush of wind.
There was darkness and silence, but it wasn’t the silence of the void. Around Sarina, she could hear all the noise.
And then the lights snapped back on—ordinary, pleasant full-spectrum light, and not the yellowish emergency lights.
Sarina blinked, half-blinded, and shaded her eyes until they adjusted. When she lifted her head, Soldier Sam was standing by the sealed door, his hand on a panel housing a perfectly ordinary light switch. The air was sweet and clean, no hint of smoke.
“Congratulations,” Sarina said. “You passed.”
Sarina sat across the console table from Soldier Sam, who smiled smartly. Sarina tried not to be furious with Soldier Sam. She was only doing her job.
. Despite that, Soldier Sam pulled it together and did what had to be done in the end. In no small part due to example.
Saina was pretty upset, but showing that wouldn’t be professional. Sarina had Bourbon, at least, and drank some. “I’m so damned sorry that I let everyone down.” Sarina admitted.
Soldier Sam looked up surprised at Sarina over his own Bourbon bottle. “What makes you say that?”
“Maybe I could have done better.” responded Sarina.
“The crew is real,” Soldier Sam reminded her. “It’s just the disaster that was imaginary. And—imagine—you saved all the Rams Fans”
“You know there’s no such thing as perfection” Sarina said. “ It’s within parameters for the situation, however.”
“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 PERSEI! Check it out, Sarina!”
Planet’s Gravity field suggests it never got warm enough to differentiate into a rocky core and icy mantle, remaining instead a primitive mixture of ice and rock all the way down.
“Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
'Hey Sarina' Rams Mascot voice was excited too. 'I think it’s Great too,” agreed Rams Mascot?'
Actually to have interfered with the shooting of Rams Mascot’s position on Planet X was somehow a big deal, compared to which expensive exploits of Soldier Sam on the part of Rams Fans going comparatively unpunished.
Soldier Sam brought Rams Mascot with difficulty into focus, turning the camera first on one side then on the other, letting it sink, snap up and then lash forward to capture the best image taking a candid snapshot. Evidently it recorded what Rams Mascot had said.
On the other hand, zero hour for the Starship was coming soon, and Rams Mascot seemed positively the last resource and a stretch of one at that.
'Rams Mascot! Sit down and what will you have to drink? Soldier Sam, this is Rams Mascot--best Mascot in the NFL.. Are you hearing this Soldier Sam?'
Rams Mascot sat down, amid suspicious looks from Soldier Sam’s eyes. Was Rams Mascot an old friend sent to get Rams Football a home?
Rams Mascot saw this and waited for a moment until he found Sarina at the monitor.
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.
The air pressure increases, and Soldier Sam was complaining about the lower pressure his has adjusted to. Now, the extra pressure pushes his eardrums inward.
PLANET X ADVENTURE
Sarina was excited to finally see the Thanksgiving Day House she was so curious about. And Soldier Sam fumbled in his pocket for the key.
Sarina drew up close behind him, prepared to lose no chance of entrance, and saw in the little circle of light shed by the lantern that the door was heavily studded with iron nails, like the door of a prison.
In another minute Solder Sam had turned the key and Sarina had pushed past him into the house.
"That's for you," said Soldier Sam, with a grin. "Rams Mascot’s room is right over there."
Soldier Sam pointed to a door painted in the same Rams colors as the outside of the house. Soldier Sam set Sarina in motion.
Sarina crossed over, rapped somewhat loudly on the door, and went in, without waiting for an invitation. Rams Mascot rose from a table covered with Rams football memorabilia and Game Tapes, along with notebooks full of plays.
Rams Mascot confronted Sarina sternly.
"Who are you?" said Rams Mascot "How came you here? What do you want?"
"Sarina, Rams Team Reporter. On foot across the island. Just a chance to rest for a moment and drink a little Bourbon. That is all’ Sarina answered.
“We have to get out and continue on our journey to the Ship Dock and find some Thanksgiving Food Supply. All we have found so far on the way here were some Nuts’” Sarina explained.
Rams Mascot bent his eyebrows into an intimidating frown.
"Mine is not a house of entertainment," Rams Mascot said, squarely. "Soldier Sam, how dared you admit this stranger?"
"I didn't admit her," grumbled Soldier Sam. "She followed me on my walk over from the Repair Shop , and shouldered her way in before me.
“I'm no match for a beautiful woman like Sarina” Soldier Sam continued..”It’s a weakness of mine. I pour My Heart out to her, and she does with it what she pleases!"
"And tell me, by what right have you forced an entrance into my house, Sarina?" Rams Mascot demanded.
"The same by which I should have clung to a boat, if I were drowning. The right of self-preservation." Replied Sarina. “This Bottle of Bourbon is almost empty, See?”
"Your own self interest? In a Bourbon Bottle?" asked Rams Mascot.
"All we have found in our quest for Thanksgiving Dinner on the ground so far is Nuts," Sarina replied, briefly; "hardy sufficient for a Holiday Meal Celebration"
Rams Mascot strode to the window, pulled aside a heavy curtain, again the Teams’ Colors and looked out.
"Well, I guess you can take a break here," Rams Mascot said. "You can stay, if you choose, for a few hours before you two head on your way for Thanksgiving Dinner. Soldier Sam, serve the Bourbon Drinks."
With this Rams Mascot waved Sarina to a seat, resumed his football activities, and became at once again absorbed in the Rams Football Studies from which Sarina had disturbed him.
Sarina placed her coat and hat in a corner, drew a chair to the hearth, and examined her quarters at leisure.
Sarina stared about with an amazement increased by every fresh object upon which her eyes chanced to rest. So strange a room Sarina had never seen; yet seemed it stranger still, to find such a room on Magic Island.
Over and over again, Sarina looked from her host to his surroundings, all football related, and from his surroundings back to her host, asking herself who and what he could be?
While Sarina was yet observing Rams Mascot the door opened, and Soldier Sam brought in the drinks. Rams Mascot then closed his book, rose, and with more courtesy of manner than he had yet shown, invited Sarina to the table.
Soldier Sam opened up the Bag of Nuts he and Sarina had collected and placed them in little Party Dishes On the Table.
“We might as well snack on these Nuts to make the Bourbon settle a bit. We might have to wait a bit for our Thanksgiving Dinner; that is, if we are lucky enough to find it today.” Soldier Sam said.
"I have but the basic run-of-the-mill Bourbon to offer you, Sarina," said her entertainer. "Your appetite, I trust, will make up for the deficiencies,
Sarina had already made herself at home, at the Rams Mascot House and thanked Rams Mascot, saying that she had never tasted anything so delicious, except at your Local Los Angeles Burger King Restaurant.
Rams Mascot bowed in courtesy, and sat down to share those Nuts, which along with the Bourbon were the only supplies to be found there.
Sarina carried on her Thanksgiving Day business in silence, and, when everyone had finished snacking, Soldier Sam removed the tray. Sarina then drew her chair back to the fireside.
Rams Mascot, somewhat to Sarina’s surprise, did the same, and turning abruptly towards her, started to brief her on his Life so far.
"Sarina, I have lived here on Magic Island in the Rams offseason for almost two decades. During that time, I have not seen as many strange faces, and I have not read a single newspaper” Rams Mascot began to explain.
“You are the first stranger who has crossed my threshold for several years. Will you favour me with a few words of information respecting that outer world outside of Rams Stadium that I have parted company with so long?" Rams Mascot asked.
"Go Ahead and Fire," Sarina replied. "I am at your service."
Rams Mascot caught Sarina’s eyes in acknowledgment; leaned forward, with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin supported in the palms of his hands; stared fixedly into the fire; and proceeded to question Sarina.
Rams Mascot spoke with bitterness, and, having said this, relapsed for some minutes into silence. Presently he raised his head from his hands, and added, with a different voice and manner,
"I, Sarina, paused, investigated, believed, and was not afraid to state my convictions to the world. I, too, was branded as a visionary, held up to ridicule by my contemporaries, and hooted from that 5 sided Pentagon in which I had laboured with honour during all the best years of my life.
“These things happened a long time ago,” continued Rams Mascot. Since then, I have lived as you see me living now, and the world has forgotten me, as I have forgotten the world. You have my history."
"It is a very interesting one," Sarina murmured, scarcely knowing what to answer.
"It is a very common one," Rams Mascot replied. "I have only suffered for the truth, as many a better and wiser man has suffered before me."
Rams Mascot rose, as if desirous of ending the conversation, and went into the kitchen.
“I don’t have much to offer, but I do have this Frozen Turkey in the freezer I can put in a paper bag, so then it will be a bit easier on you two cause you will just have to come up with the fixins.”
“Oh, Look!” Rams Mascot was surprised. “I had forgotten, There is a Pumpkin Pie too. So you can have that as well if you want.”
“Oh, Thank You, Rams Mascot. That is such a generous and kind action!” Sarina was delighted.
"Look, Soldier Sam!" Sarina exclaimed, starting eagerly to her feet. "Oh, will you look at what Rams Mascot made possible for us tonight. What A Treat!”
“Even if we don’t find anything else when we make out way across to the Dock, We will not be hungry tonight. What a relief” Sarina gave thanks.
"At the Ship Dock," Rams Mascot echoed, thoughtfully. "Yes, the distance, it is true, but--are you so very motivated to spend the next hours to get there?"
"Yes, so very, very motivated, that I would just give away Rams Tickets for next season, lets hope there is one, to anyone at this moment for a chance to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Dock."
"Your wish can be gratified with a surprise too,," said Rams Mascot, smiling.
“I have inside information that a Special Ship will be docking there soon, a Ship full of Mystery.
If Soldier Sam were to go with you to meet the ship, and put you aboard, why, you could find your way to maybe the most exciting Thanksgiving you have ever expected,” Rams Mascot suggested
"A unique experience, to be sure." Rams Mascot added.
Rams Mascot smiled again, rang his Bell again with another drink of Bourbon, gave Soldier Sam directions, and, taking yet another bottle of Bourbon from the shelf offered it to the pair as a gift for their company that Holiday.
"The trip over to the Dock could be difficult walking, will this do for the rest of Turkey Day? I have noticed you are stumbling a bit so that probably means you have had plenty already.” Rams Mascot observed.
Sarina would have declined the extra liquor, for Rams Mascot was right, she was already feeling a bit toasty, but Rams Mascot pressed it on her so she agreed.
Just for good measure, Sarina took one last stab at the bottle on the table and it seemed like a liquid flame, and almost took her breath away.
"It is strong," Sarina said; "but it will help to keep our spirits up on the Journey. Good night, Rams Mascot!! You’re the Best!"
Sarina thanked Rams Mascot for his hospitality, and would have given him a salute but that he had turned away before Sarina could finish her sentence.
In another minute Sarina was out the door. Soldier Sam had locked it behind her, so Sarina and Soldier Sam were out on their way to discover what would be in front of them at the Dock.
Soldier Sam, less prepared than he should have been for his mission, given the sheer mass of Bourbon he and Sarina had consumed that day, shambled on before in silence, his lantern in his hand, and his shadow at his feet.
Sarina followed, she was glad for the peace and quiet after The Great Thanksgiving Pre-Party she had with so much fun experienced with Soldier Sam.
Sarina’s thoughts were full of the wonderful host Rams Mascot was that day. His voice yet rang in her ears like a Bell. Musing thus over what she had heard, and striving to recall a lost link here and there, Sarina strode on at the heels of Soldier Sam, making good progress on the Trail.
Presently--at the end, as it seemed to Sarina, of not so much time walking as she had expected—Soldier Sam came to a sudden halt, and said:
"Here’s the road to the Dock. Keep the stone fence to your left hand, and you can't fail of the way."
"The road's a fair road enough," Soldier Sam explained, "for foot passengers; but 'twas over steep and narrow for vehicular traffic. You'll mind where the parapet's broken away, close again the sign-post. It's never been fixed in years.
"Near the sign-post, you say? I will bear it in mind. Let’s Do It!" Sarina was feeling Brave.
"This ship is probably docked already” Soldier Sam was thinking about their inability to find any more Supplies for Thanksgiving Day Dinner, and was happy he was carrying the Turkey and Pumpkin Pie Rams Mascot had gifted them, and of course, the enormous sack of nuts.
Sarina and Soldier Sam walked faster. Sarina hummed a fragment of a tune, casting up enormous excitement in her head, having nothing to do with the Ship or the Upcoming Thanksgiving Day Feast
Sarina did her best to dismiss the wild speculations about the docking of the Ship and, to some extent, she succeeded.
There could be no doubt, however, of the fact, for the lights grew larger and brighter every moment, and Sarina even fancied she could already see the dark outline of the Ship ahead It was coming up very fast, and quite noiselessly, as Sarina and Soldier Sam picked up their pace.
Now the Ship was upon them and Sarina, in which might have been the boldest action of her Life, bounded up on to the Ship and motioned to Soldier Sam to bring the Thanksgiving Day Supplies on board.
Sarina attempted to open a conversation.
"How amazing this ship is tonight," Sarina said, addressing the Captain.
The Captain, looked at Sarina, but made no reply.
"The Siege of the Island," Sarina added, "seems to have begun in earnest."
"This ship," Sarina continued, "is clearly in a post-battle condition., I suppose you have brought to this Island to under repair?"
“Yes.” said the Captain. We plan to disembark and get this thing to the Shop, but not before we all eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Our Chefs have been working non-stop to prepare a great Thanksgiving Day Feast.”
We have all been looking forward to this. Would you and your Friend like to join us on the Ship?” asked the Captain.
“Of course!!” exclaimed Sarina. “That sounds wonderful!”
So Sarina and Soldier Sam sat down at the Thanksgiving Table and gave thanks for each other’s company.
The table was shared by many of the ship’s company, and not knowing what else to say..
“You’re awesome & tasty” said Sarina to the nuts. It had been a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner so far. Sarina's sweet face beamed down the length of the great table. Both Sarina and Solider Sam felt very thankful.
"I wish all the children this side of the Seven Seas had some Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes with Gravy, Cranberries, Pumpkin Pie, and things," Sarina said quietly. Sarina was always thinking of beautiful things like that.
"And some nuts," Sarina said, setting her beautiful white teeth into the meat of a big fat nut. "It wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving without nuts."
"I know somebody who would be thankful with just nuts," smiled Sarina.
"Indeed, I think I would rather have them for all the courses of my Thanksgiving Day Dinner Today, Sarina said"
"Just nuts! No Turkey, No Fixins, or anything!" Sarina's head bobbed up from her plate and nut pickers in amazement. “Just nuts!”
"Sarina!" laughed Solider Sam. "Why, of course! Sarina! She would rather have just nuts for her Thanksgiving Dinner this time."
"I wish Sarina had more of my nuts today," Soldier Sam said to no one in particular, but they all laughed heartily, as heartily as they were eating the delicious food the chefs had worked so hard at preparing for everyone. It sure was tasty!!
What a Wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner Sarina and Soldier Sam had that Evening!
"I stuffed plenty in my Face, thank you." It was the satisfied voice of Sarina at her Best. Some nut juice had spilled onto her attire.
Soldier Sam looked at Sarina in surprise, for how did he ever believe this morning that Sarina would have plenty of nuts?
Then Sarina realized something and wanted to tell the world. Everyone at the Table could hear her as clear as a Bell.
"I’m where Solider Sam’s nuts went to!" Sarina yelled so everyone on the entire Ship could hear her. "He gave them to Me!“
Everyone at their Thanksgiving Tables throughout the entire Ship imagined correctly what she had done with all of it."
"Yes, that's where," said Sarina, leaning over her plate. And sure enough, it was. They all went into Sarina’s nut-hungry mouth!
And Sarina had found the very best ones she was sure, for not one was left when she came back to the table after grabbing some more Bourbon for everyone on that Lucky Ship, now graced with Sarina’s presence.
"Why, maybe, this very minute - right now – I’ve figured out the Ultimate Thanksgiving Day Dinner," Sarina laughed.
"Just as I dreamed about! Maybe I’ve come to the ultimate nut course - but every time I open my eyes it’s just a Load of all nut courses.
And maybe all the rest of the Folks that have been waiting for Solider Sam to join up on the ship—are giving thanks to me for all my hard work," Sarina exclaimed.
Soldier Sam Certainly Was. He knew Sarina was the one and only in the World he would ever want to share Thanksgiving Dinner with. What a Gift Sarina is always, but especially on that Thanksgiving Night!!
tAKE OFF FROM PLANET X
Soldier Sam caught Sarina’s hand to get some courage. Sarina was so experienced at space journeys, she was sitting conformably and told Soldier Sam to be normal. Soldier Sam tried his best to be normal and within a few minutes got his confidence back.
Sarina and Soldier Sam are on Boat Destined to Arrive at Magic Island in Time for Sarina’s Birthday Party!! But the Trip does have it’s Difficulties.
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.
Sometimes the boom of the surf rang in Sarina’s ears, and he turned the craft seaward then and rowed harder.
Soldier Sam reported the radar had built a watch-fire on the beach, still so far away. It was too low and too far to be seen, but it made a shimmering, roseate reflection upon the bluff back of it, and this could be discerned from the boat.
The wind came stronger, and sometimes a wave suddenly raged out like a Bucking Bronx Bronco, and there was to be seen the sheen and sparkle of a broken crest.
Soldier Sam, in the bow, moved on what was left of the Scotch and sat up.
Save some for me! Suggested Sarina. "Pretty long night, wasn‘t" she was sympathetic about all the hard work Solider Sam had accomplished.
.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."
Later in the day, Soldier Sam took the boat farther out to sea and wait for the perfect time to make their advance and secure their plans for Sarina‘s Big Birthday Bash on the Beach, or maybe somewhere else on the island. But who could imagine anything forward when reaching shore seemed too impossible a feat.
Sarina directed Soldier Sam to take one oar at the stern and keep the boat facing the seas. He was to call out if he should hear the thunder of the surf.
“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.
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
"Soldier Sam," Sarina intoned with a note of urgency. “We’ve lost our course a bit as far I can tell in my condition.” I guess you had better start playing more attention.
Then Sarina and Soldier Sam both heard the crash of the toppled crests.
Sarina passed Soldier Sam some Scotch in a plastic cup. Not to trust him with the whole bottle. That was her job.
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.
Sarina and Soldier Sam dashed inside the base and snuck through the halls. Suddenly, a group of adversaries were coming towards them from all directions!
“In here!” shouted Sarina, and Soldier Sam followed into an office looking room and locked the door.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were frantic trying to think of a plan when Sarina noticed a big orange button that said Code Emergency!
“Should we press it? What do you think it does?” asked Soldier Sam in a Panic. “
I guess we’ll find out!” shouted Sarina as she slammed down the button. Suddenly the space ships intercom began to countdown.
MOON DAY ADVENTURE
As we started our Special Safari, the waterfall was as blue as the bluest sky, and it fell into a lake that disappeared into the horizon. The sun blazed in a relentless burning flame, cracking the earth into a giant puzzle. Sarina Sat in the Jeep in awe, her heart bursting with the beauty before her.
Sarina is a New York Girl so of course she grew up next to the Ocean, but nothing could compare to this kind of beauty. There was an untamed wildness to the African jungle that inspired wonder, and Sarina felt lucky just to witness it.
Safari Sam revved the motor, and we bumped along in the golden grasslands to where a mother Rhino was standing with her child who was the size of a motorcycle. We stopped twenty feet away from them, and Sarina’s breath stopped in her chest as they approached us. The Rhino towered above us, staring at us, and then charged. But when the Beautiful Beast came within five feet, quickly abruptly turned and sauntered away.
“Whoa!” Safari Sam exclaimed as we sat frozen in our seats. “Hah! She was just playing around,” the Safari Sam laughed.
Suddenly, she charged again. It was not a heartwarming sign that Safari Sam looked scared. When she was a couple feet away from hitting us, Safari Sam slapped the side of the truck hard with the palm of his hand. The Rhino screeched to a stop, heaving, and then turned away.
Sarina picked her heart off the ground and continued on her way.
We rumbled along to a huge baobab tree where a leopard was dragging an antelope carcass up into the branches for his treetop feast. The silence was broken by the crunching of teeth against bone, and Sarina sat there in jaw-dropped amazement. She had never witnessed, so close-up, the concept of survival of the fittest, and felt vulnerable without razor sharp claws and teeth of her own.
We returned to our hotel, a beautifully carved wooden structure that melted into the landscape. Under the stars, a chef was preparing a South African feast, tossing a yogurt-soaked antelope-like kudu on the grill until it sizzled. After rubbing the meat with salt and pepper, the chef gently lay bacon strips on top so that the flavor of the bacon melted into the tender meat. For a side for this succulent meat, a sous chef scooped melon balls into a large bowl, in which he sprinkled salt, pepper, muscatel wine, lemon juice, ground ginger, and mint.
The diner table shook under the weight of curried minced beef pies and baked custard, brandy pudding and roasted ostrich. We staggered back to our room, only to find the baboons pounding on our windows.
Sarina just laughed, because what else could you expect on a Magical Safari Adventure? We crawled into our cots to the chirping of crickets, safe from stampeding elephants and the crocodiles in the swamp.
TAKE OFF FROM MOON
Sarina and Soldier Sam were above the stars and it felt as if they were weightless, moving freely in the direction of the current. Before taking off, Soldier Sam had butterflies in his stomach.
However, there was a problem. Some of the forces on the islands would not be part of the action, and the chairman knew that, if they were left out, they would not likely react positively to their exclusion. As with any raid, if it were to achieve any level of success, detailed planning must be carried out with consideration given to any possible eventualities. Each column had their own responsibilities and targets.
Our unit would hang out at the closest position to the islands, and lay in wait for the convoy and serve as a navigational beacon for the flank. Reconnaissance task forces were to rush back to the points and give the officers a chance to review the photographs and maps of gathering Mainland forces that would serve to be crucial for the unit to pull off the objectives set forth by the chairman. All the tactical information was quickly reviewed so there was an up to date view of the targets.
True to form, the chairman arrived late at the rendezvous were the officers were gathered, and, since there were to be no alterations to the plan that required his immediate attention, the chairman went about his own business for the time being. Everything was gravy as long as the battery was notified at the correct time and position. A Mainland patrol spotted us moving around and opened fire immediately. Even though the origin of the barrage was out of range for our unit, we fired anyway and it was enough to make the Mainland forces scurry away across the horizon.
Even though this latest action was considered to be a cake walk for the unit, the next couple of days figured to be quite different. A couple of the fleets to our flank charged inshore towards Mainland forces and were met with a rude reception. It was clear to the chairman that the unit would have to totally wipe out the resistance for our flank to be able to press forward with the mission. The officers were not to be deterred this day, and they met the opposition with a barrage of their own.
After some time passed, the unit was instructed by the chairman to take time to reload and every officer that could be spared for this action was summoned. Some codes were intercepted over the wireless, and they would yield quite a bit of actionable intelligence, including radio call signs, as well as some of the challenges, countersigns and emergency signals employed by the Mainland. Being unaware of this catch, the Mainland did not change their codes in time.
When we moved up on them and engaged, the Mainland forces tried to make a dash for it, running around without a real direct trajectory, so they were hard to pin down. The chairman knew that the unit would have to prevent reinforcements from sweeping down on their new position. Half of the flanking fleet was sent to flush them out, and then the wireless communications trailed off for a significant amount of time.
Some more reconnaissance intelligence was passed on the chairman that a new Mainland position had been established on one of the other islands, so we started rushing towards it to get a better look at things before the officers would put together a plan to compromise their position or potentially rout it out, with would be a key victory for us in the battle for the chain of islands. First, the chairman had to make certain that a good defensive position could be established if the situation started to head south.
Owing to a slight miscalculation, we were late in getting down the route, and it was dark as we headed down the path. Thankfully, the entrance went smoothly and no Mainland check posts were encountered. Once the success signal was floated, we went on alone and as fast as the unit could move to the position on the other side of the island were the observation post was reported to have been established. A quick battery of fire took out their position and we went off into the night to get some rest after a long day.
Rams Mascot directed Sarina and Soldier Sam them to an old spaceship, punched in the destination and they headed on their way to Rams Planet.
A few hours had passed when the spaceship basically dropped down into disaster.
Even the engine fell off in the process, “Rams Mascot wasn’t kidding when he said an “Old spaceship” said Soldier Sam looking at all of the broken pieces on the ground.
It was FINALLY 2021. The Construction Work on the Rams Brand New Stadium was complete, and Los Angeles was Buzzing with Excitement. Fireworks were shooting up into the California Sky.
“This is going to be a great Lunch before the Ram‘s Inaugural Game at the Brand New LA Stadium!“ said Sarina as the Train turned the corner.
Seated next to her was Soldier Sam. “What a commute across LA.“ he remarked.
“You‘re the Best, Sarina,” he added, “and we are going to lunch together soon and then the Rams Game after that!“
The Train slowed down to its landing.
“Will we go to Burger King or McDonalds? asked Sarina, “I want Fresh Lettuce, Tomatoes and Mayonnaise in Fiascos on my sandwich and a side of Onion Rings with Orange Soda!”
“Then Let’s go to Burger King , of course,” replied Solider Sam. “McDonalds doesn’t serve Onion Rings”
“But first I must phone my work.” Sarina Reminded Solider Sam. Sarina whipped out her Smart Phone and dialled automatically.
Sarina talked for a couple minutes about the big upcoming event.
As they walked down the Street approaching Burger King, they were both getting super excited about a Flame Broiled Whopper.
“And when we get to Burger King, I’ll order first from the Menu. Then you” declared Sarina.
“Good morning, my friends,” said the Manager, coming forward with a Delicious Fiasco in each hand. Sarina and Solider Sam were regulars at the restaurant.
“Can we sit at that table““ asked Soldier Sam as they filled up their sodas?” his eagle eye noting that there was one empty table in the corner.
“That’s the table we usually get, isn’t it?” asked Sarina.
“Yes. Then we don‘t have to deal with the traffic from other patrons when they are moving about,” said Solider Sam, smiling since he was finally getting to eat that day.
“We are having fun, aren’t we?” Sarina asked.
“Yes, Sarina,” Solider Sam answered.
“Do you think we should get some desert?” Sarina asked. “Like some Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or will we not think of anything for a while?”
“We will not think of anything for a while.” said Soldier Sam. “It is still early in the day.”
“Sarina, do you remember that time when we disposed of all the Ketchup on the condiment station in the Trash and no one in the restaurant could dip their Fries until the staff took notice?”
“Yes, of course I remember, Soldier Sam,” said Sarina. It was a little joke they had.
“Sarina, please keep telling me about how fantastic it was to watch the Rams Stadium come together piece by piece, but not the rough parts.” suggested Soldier Sam.
Sarina touched his hand even though it was a little greasy from eating so many Onion Rings.
“Burger King is a Great Place and we’re having Fun and I Love You,” Soldier Sam said. He washed down what was left of his Whopper with Orange Soda.
“The Construction Workers were very brave,” Sarina said. “They were put in pretty precarious positions where it is extremely difficult to work. They dispatched many production orders, many of them approved by me, the Chief Architect in charge of building Rams Stadium. But I will not at this time discuss all the details.
“Sarina, we are unquestionably being listened to by that waitress over there. You are talking quite loudly.” Solider Sam noted.
“I am going to give you my Cardboard Burger King Crown,” Sarina said, “so that when you look at it in the mirror you can think of me. It will be something between us.”
Sarina tipped their waitress, and when they went out the door the air was as fresh as the Lettuce, Tomato and Mayo they had just had the pleasure of experiencing. The wind was light, and the Sun was bright.
Neither of them spoke as they crossed the street.
Once they had advanced a couple of blocks Sarina was starting to get excited “I’m ready for anything at the first ever Rams Game at the New Stadium! Anything at all. Yeah, what are you looking forward to at the Game?”
“Well” Soldier Sam replied “I am considering ordering a Margarita, since you want to share” but Sarina wouldn’t hear of it.
“Oh, Soldier Sam, what the kind of drink is that for such a momentous time? What’s wrong with you?” Sarina smiled and winked. We gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey...”
Solider Sam shrugged. “Okay, Whiskey it is.” Sarina nodded her approval.
“Look!” Sarina tapped Solider Sam on the arm to make sure he was listening. “If know this Rams crowd, I have been at many games at the old stadium and let me tell you one thing I’ve learned—this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of lightweight drinker. Not during the Inaugural Game, anyway. Shit, they’ll roll you in a minute, knock you in the head and take every cent you have.”
Soldier Sam asked if he could sneak a cigarette. “I guess,” said Sarina. “But you know I don’t like it.”
He laughed. “Well, Sarina, are you gonna take pictures at the game? I guess you’ll be workin’ pretty hard on Instagram the next couple days” Solider Sam knew the answer to that question.
Sarina shook her head and said nothing; just stared at him for a moment, trying to look grim. “There’s going to be trouble,” Sarina said. “My assignment is to take pictures of the Riot.”
“What Riot?” Solider Sam was surprised.
Sarina hesitated. “At the Rams Stadium. It‘s going to get pretty rowdy at the first game. The Arizona Cardinals Fans. Don’t you read the newspapers?”
The grin on Soldier Sam’s face had collapsed. “What on God’s Green Earth are you talking about?”
“Well... maybe I shouldn’t be telling you...” Sarina replied. “But everybody else seems to know. The California National Guard has been getting ready for this game all year. They have thousands of troops on alert.”
Sarina continued, “They’ve warned us—all the press and photographers—to wear helmets and special vests like flak jackets. We were told to expect the worst....”
Solider Sam couldn‘t believe it; his hands flew up into the air as if to guard against the words he was hearing. “Those sons of bitches! God Almighty! At the first Rams Game at the New Stadium!” He kept shaking his head. “No! That’s almost too bad to believe!”
“Why? Why here? Solider Sam was incredulous. “Don’t they respect anything?”
Sarina shrugged again. “It’s not just the Arizona Cardinals. The latest intelligence says busloads of crazies are coming in from all over the country for every game this year—to mix with the crowd and cause trouble all at once, from every direction. They’ll be dressed like Rams Fans. You know—Royal Blue and Gold and all that. But when the trouble starts... well, that’s why the National Guard is so worried.”
Soldier Sam took a seat on a Park Bench for a moment, looking confused and not quite able to digest all this terrible news. Then he cried out: “Oh... Man! What is happening in this country? Where can you get away from it?”
“Not here,” Sarina said, taking a seat next to Solider Sam on the park bench. “C’mon.“ She grabbed his arm, urging him to get moving. Sarina was overdue at the Press Club and needed to hustle off to get her act together for what was sure to be quite a spectacle.
Solider Sam picked up his phone and scanned the front page headlines.
“Sure enough, Sarina AP is reporting there are to be thousands of Troops deployed to counter the Cardinals Fans”
Soldier Sam wanted to do something about this. “Where is the Arizona crowd staying? asked Solider Sam.
Sarina sighed. “My friend, you’re in trouble. This town is full. Always is, for sporting events.
Sarina told Soldier Sam that she has never missed a Rams Game and wasn‘t about to start now.
“Shit is going to get heavy, Solider Sam. With only hours until game time I have to get my press credentials in order.”
Sarina needed two sets; one for herself and another for Soldier Sam. How would he bear up under the culture shock of being plunged into a drunken mob scene at the Rams Game? There was no way of knowing.
Hopefully, they would arrive soon, and give Solider Sam time to get acclimated. Then Sarina could whisk him off to more agreeable conditions after the game.
The only other kink was the task of convincing the moguls at Rams Stadium that Solider Sam was such a prestigious sports fan that common sense compelled them to get two sets of the best Press Tickets.
This was not easily done. Sarina’s first call to the publicity office resulted in total failure. The press handler was shocked at the idea that Solider Sam could apply for press credentials at such a late point in time.
“You can’t be serious.” Sarina’s Boss said “The deadline was quite some time ago. The press box is full; there’s no more room... and who the hell is Soldier Sam?”
The rest of the press corps was interested, and even sympathetic, but there was nothing they could do. But finally Sarina was offered a compromise: she could get us two passes to the press box but a field pass was out of the question.
“That sounds Ridiculous,” Sarina said. “It’s unacceptable. We must have access to everything. All of it. The pre-game spectacles, the pageantry and certainly the game. You don’t think we came all this way to watch the damn thing on television, do you?“
One way or another we’ll get inside,” Soldier Sam. Maybe we’ll have to bribe a guard—or even beat up somebody.”
So they hatched a plan to play rough with the ushers at the narrow gates to the field’s inner sanctum, then slipping quickly inside, but not before beating up some Cardinals Fans on the way there, for their own good...
Then Sarina got a call on her phone “Yes, indeed.” said the voice on the other end of the call. “ Soldier Sam is being considered at the last minute. Is he your man or something?”
Sarina chuckled. “You won’t have any trouble finding him. You could pick that man out of any crowd.”
“Why?” the press gatekeeper asked. “What is it with him? What does he look like?”
“Well...” Sarina said, “Soldier Sam is the funniest looking thing I’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact it’s written all over him that he is a big fan. He will be dressed in full Rams Regalia. You’ll know him when you see him; don’t worry about that.”
Sarina and Solider Sam were already in the press box soon after they got access to the Rams Stadium. Sarina told the representatives all about Soldier Sam’s description and they seemed puzzled.
“Don’t let it concern you,” Sarina said. “Just keep in mind for the next decade we’re going to be close to all the Gridiron Action.”
Soon Solider Sam was putting on a charade typing diligently into his phone in the Associated Press section. Solider Sam and Sarina were standing at the bar, downing the management’s Scotch and congratulating each other on our sudden, unexplained luck in picking up two sets of fine press credentials. The other reporters at the desk were being very friendly to him.
“I just told then your name, Solider Sam and they gave us the whole works.” Sarina was so thrilled.
A few hours before game time, Sarina and Solider Sam had everything under control. They had seats looking down on the 50 Yard Line, color TV and a free bar in the press room, and a selection of passes that would take them anywhere in the stadium.
“Solider Sam, we have “Walkaround” press passes!!” Sarina was pleased.
The passes presumably to allow the newspaper types to rush in and out for photos or quick interviews, but to prevent drifters from spending all day running around, hustling the gentry and rifling a handbag or two while cruising around the boxes.
Clearly the Walkaround Passes were at a premium for the first ever event at Rams Stadium. And since it took considerable time to get from the press box to the field, and even longer to get back, that didn’t leave much time for defending the stadium from Arizona fans who were becoming more obnoxious by the minute.
“Solider Sam, let’s go out on the balcony of the press box to get a better view” Sarina suggested.. “This is the first time you have been to a Rams Game, so I want you to have a Blast.
Soldier Sam agreed. “It’s such a fantastic scene!!” —thousands of people shouting, exchanging fisticuffs, trampling each other and fighting with broken whiskey bottles. “We’ll have to spend some time out there, but it’s hard to move around, too many people.”
Solider Sam was curious. “Is it safe out there? Will we ever come back?”
“Sure,” Sarina said. “We’ll just have to be careful not to step on anybody’s toes and start a fight. Just look at this seating section scene right below us. It will only get worse as we start to move down onto the field.“
Thousands of raving, stumbling drunk Arizona Fans were getting angrier and angrier as game time grew closer. The whole place was jammed with bodies, shoulder to shoulder.
“It’s so hard to move around, complained Solder Sam. “The aisles are packed with people falling down and grabbing at you.
Soldier Sam looked so nervous that Sarina laughed. “Don’t worry. At the first hint of trouble I’ll start fighting the crowd myself!!”
“You should keep in mind, Soldier Sam, that almost everybody you talk to from now on will be drunk. People who seem very pleasant at first might suddenly swing at you for no reason at all.”
Soldier Sam nodded, staring straight ahead. He seemed to be getting a little scared.
From that point on, the scene started to become became a vicious, drunken nightmare. Sarina and Solider Sam were glad the National Guard had deployed.
“It’s sort of a joke,” Soldier Sam kept saying. “Why, in Wisconsin it’s quite normal. People don’t take offense. They understand that it’s just a game.”
“Fuck Wisconsin, Sarina said. “This is LA!!” These people regard supporting the Rams as a brutal insult. Just look what’s happening.”
“But all these drinks flying about are going to get all over us,” Solider Sam observed. “The stands are just brimming with drinks being thrown around.”
“Yeah... well, okay, Sarina said. “Let’s just figure we fucked up about equally on that one. But from now on let’s try to be careful when we’re around all these Cardinal Fans. I know. You won’t get down to their level an neither will I.”
But almost from the very moment Solider Sam and Sarina started out on their journey to the field they lost all control of events and spent the next couple of hours making their way around in a sea of drunken horrors. Their notes and recollections from the first ever Rams Game at the new stadium will be somewhat scrambled.
But now, looking at the big Royal Blue and Gold Notebook Sarina carried all through that scene, that is quite the evidence more or less of what happened. The book itself is somewhat mangled and bent; some of the pages are torn, others are stained by what appears to be whiskey, but taken as a whole, with sporadic memory flashes, the notes seem to tell the story.
Soldier Sam was very concerned some sections would catch on fire, since all Cardinals fans were showing ruthless disregard for the No Smoking Signs all over the stadium.
“Could it happen, Sarina? Solider Sam was getting even more concerned. Trapped in the stands with the masses. Thousands of people fighting. Drunks screaming in the flames and the mud. Why everything was just running wild. Blind in the smoke. Grandstand collapsing into the flames with us on the roof. Soldier Sam is about to crack. Drinking heavily now, but not getting dragged down into the fray, Soldier Sam and Sarina continued their journey down onto the field.
The mob was thick as far as they eye could see around the entire seating areas; very slow going in the crowd, very hot. On the way, Soldier Sam and Sarina came on a row of soldiers all carrying Riot Sticks. Many Platoons, with Helmets. A solider walking next to us said they were waiting for the governor and his party.
Solider Sam eyed them carefully. “Why do they have those clubs?”
“All the Cardinals Fans.” Sarina wondered what was going through Solider Sam’s head at that moment. Probably very shocked; the place was teeming with soldiers in full Riot Gear.
Solider Sam pressed on through the crowd, through many gates down many steps. Would they ever get onto the field?
Soldier Sam and Sarina shoved through the crowd and finally onto the field, quickly stationing themselves at the Free Whiskey Bar at the 50 yard line. Why not? Get it on.
Soldier Sam looked back on the crowd, not that they were safely down on the field “Look at that madness, the fear, the anger! I can‘t believe we made it though alive.” Sarina looked back and agreed wholeheartedly.
The Rams-Cardinals Game, the actual Game, was scheduled to kickoff soon, and as the Magic Hour approached Soldier Sam suggested to Sarina they should probably spend some time on the field itself, where they would get the perspective of fully viewing what was still going down, no stop to it. Unabated. Riots, Firestorms or savage drunken attacks.
Sarina agreed. “Right, let’s do it.”
If the bedlam spilled over onto the field, Solider Sam and Sarina could make an escape through the tunnels, provided of course if they weren’t jammed packed with the football players.
The scene in the stands was only getting worse. As it escalated, Soldier Sam and Sarina were in such shock that it took them a while to adjust.
“God almighty!” said Sarina. “Will you take a look at what is happening at the far end of the field, beyond the Goal Posts. “This is a... Wow!!!” Sarina turned on her camera, getting video of the Fans getting worse by the minute, trying to take notes.
Total chaos, no way to see the Press Box... “We certainly not going to make it back up there before the game. We will just have to bunker down on the sidelines.“ Sarina had make her decision. They were just not going to make it back up there until long after the game, when the Fans would be ushered out by the National Guard.
So Sarina just resigned herself to that fact. “Soldier Sam, stand back to watch those public safety alerts flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.
It was finally time to watch the Cardinals visit the Rams in the first NFC West Matchup of the Year. When the crowd stood to face the flag and Respect“The Star Spangled Banner,” Sarina considered just how fortunate they were to be Americans, the Last Bastion of Hope in the Entire World.
The game itself was about to start, and even from their Super Status Seats there was no way to see what was really happening. Later, watching a TV rerun in the press box, we saw what happened. The Rams pulled out a Nail Biter, 28 to 24. The Rams started off the Season on the right note, but the Season was going to be quite a Marathon. What a Game!!
After the game was over, the crowd surged wildly for the exits, rushing for cabs and buses and cars they had no business driving in their condition.. The next day’s Los Angeles Times told countless stories of violence in the parking lot; people were punched and trampled, pockets were picked, children lost, bottles hurled. But Soldier Sam and Sarina missed all this, having retired to the press box for a bit of post-game drinking.
By this time both Solider Sam and Sarina were both half-crazy from too much whiskey, sun fatigue, culture shock, lack of sleep and general dissolution.
But Sarina was Upbeat.
“Let’s stay here all night, Solider Sam!! The Rams really played some Special Football Today!!“
“I’m so very happy I got to experience it with you, Sarina.” Soldier Sam was so thankful he got to spend such Precious Time with Sarina.