Tuesday, 11 November 2008

goodbye grenade guy


A strangely apt entry today. Normally I do not notice special days -- barely notice what day of the week it is. My job does not involve time off so I am not looking forward to any arbitrary date (except of course No More Parkas Day -- you know the one, usually in April, when it is actually Warm For the First Time In a Long Time, and I leave my computer and go for a long walk in a light jacket. Anyway, it's a moveable feast). But today I was going to talk about the headless army man, and then realized that it is November 11th.
Coincidence?
Yes.
So anyway, there I was reaching into the fridge for milk this morning, when I noticed that my army man looked different. I found him in the corner of a closet when I moved into my apartment a year or two ago. I don't know if he was in there by accident, or if the previous occupant of the bedroom had had the closet set up as a POW camp. I dusted the little green guy off and put him on the kitchen windowsill as a watchman. (Yeah, that's him in the picture -- or his pose. I figured anyone trying to climb in, he'd lob his grenade and I'd wake up.)
And now he was missing his head. Poor Grenade Guy, I thought, dropping him in the garbage. Victim of a brutal and absolute act. When Transformers lose body parts you can always snap them back together, but army men are more integrated.
I didn't wonder how it happened. I knew at once. No Holmsean insight required. I keep a pair of scissors on the window sill to snip the ends off the milk bags. My son Ed and his friend Frederico drop by from time to time, to hang out, drink chocolate milk and eat chewy bars. I figured one of them had seen the scissors and Grenade Guy and put two and two together to make, well, nothing.
I'll ask this afternoon. I don't think they'll lie. Denial is a huge part of boyhood, but this isn't worth denying. I wonder if they'll be able to accurately describe their motive. I suspect it's a kind of smorgasboard. Boredom, love of destruction, a side of naughtiness, a spoonful of cruel humour. Boys will be boys.
Ain't that the truth.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Poor grenade guy. I bet he was nervous standing
beside those scissors. You could tell the boys that
headless grenade guys sometimes come back to life and search out people while they sleep.