Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the day that destroyed everything I knew about myself, my home, and my place therein.
War Journal – Entry #1: Dungeon of Frivolity – 11/04/2015 13:45 hrs
I now know the anxiety that comes when a two year old decides that the time has come to scoff at the laws of gravity and throw himself to the test of reaching the top of the mountain, or at least the top of every piece of furniture in the house. This was never an issue with Master Footloose, as he was always quite content with staying planted firmly on the ground, with the exception of those moments when I was instructed to provide him with “jumpy/bouncy” time (point of fact; I was usually the trampoline).
Lord Roundbottom, however, seems to feel that gravity is just one more cage that must be escaped. It started with just getting on the couch. A minor feat, but one that served to bolster his confidence. Slowly and steadily, he rose to greater heights, his most magnificent triumph being when I checked on him at naptime to find him on the top of his brother’s bunk bed, throwing the innocent, furry creatures there to their doom. I gasped. He smiled. His reply? “HI!” (Translation: I have conquered the mountain. There is room for only one!).
Unfortunately, I knew that there would come a day where his incessant training to become America’s fluffiest Ninja Warrior Champion would lead to tragedy. He decided his next conquest would be the bookcases located in the Dungeon of Frivolity. They’re not really book cases, more like platforms temporarily housing DVD’s that need to be thrown onto the floor. The exception being the top two shelves, which house an assortment of graphic novels and a few of my action figures, aka “Roundbottom Bait”.
I saw him moving to the table next to the book case out of the corner of my eye. I tried to get to him, but Footloose had chosen that precise moment to hurl his full body-weight on top of my head. As I struggled to remove myself from the toddler shaped trap, I saw Roundbottom reach for Iron Man (“I-urn Man!”) and Captain America (“‘Merica!”), standing on the very edge of the table, his tippy-toes coming closer and closer to the precipice….
…..and then he claimed his prizes, bellowing his triumph for all to hear: “Yay!” (Translation: “The heroes have fallen before me! The world is mine”). The heroes were now firmly in his grasp….
….and he still won’t give them BACK.
The Figure Wars have begun.
War Journal – Entry #2: 11/16/2015 08:24 hrs
Enacted Operation: Cheap Substitute last night. Presented enemy with cheap old 90’s version of Iron Man action figure with limited articulation in effort to divert him from expensive adult collector’s figure. Enemy was initially unimpressed, but did note that the figure was indeed a version of “I-urn Man”.
Enemy then tried to enter no-fly zone. Employed enhanced tactics, demonstrating decoy’s ability to fly. No initial reaction.… Quickly switched approach. Once again deployed decoy, showing flying ability. Then deployed “zoom!” and “boom, boom, pitew-pitew” flight/laser sounds from mouth. Enemy halted progress, running to take the suddenly far more interesting “I-urn Man!”, mimicking flying/laser sounds with HIS mouth.
Operation successful. Enemy has shown no further interest in very macho, manly adult collectible. Off the record, I believe I have proven once and for all that mine is the superior intellect.
War Journal concluded.
Time to light up that victory dance I’ve been saving…..
War Journal – Entry #3: 11/29/2015 17:26 hrs
I was a fool. I don’t……there’s no way to explain how WRONG I was……it happened so fast….
The Enemy was never placated. He was NEVER BEATEN. He knew who he was dealing with, knew how to use my own ARROGANCE as a weapon to lull me into a false sense of security, and when the moment was right, to STRIKE.
Iron Man is gone. Last visual confirmation had him in the ball-pit of the Fortress of Mattitude. There’s been no communication since. Only visual confirmation was of a lone, detachable shoulder pad that was never actually meant to be detached.
Captain America is gone as well. He refused……….he refused to leave a man behind. Last sight of him had him in the most…..HORRIBLE of positions. His arms and legs…..they WEREN’T MEANT TO DO THAT. He wouldn’t surrender, though. He wouldn’t surrender…
“Mine is the superior intellect”. No. No. HIS is the superior…….all hope of diplomatic negotiations have failed. Only hope now is to regroup… move Spider-Man and Wolverine to protected location……
Game over, man. Game over.
War Journal – Final Entry: 12/04/2015 12:32 hrs
Final surrender to the enemy was ratified today. Iron Man is MIA. Captain America has been posed dancing “The Carlton”. Celebrations by The Enemy are in full swing.
I’ve never felt so completely defeated in all my life.
It’s been two years, now.
Iron Man was eventually recovered from the P.O.W camp located between the mattress and sideboard on the top bunk of the boy’s bed. The shoulder pad was successfully re-attached, but doesn’t quite hug the shoulder joint as well as it did.
Captain America was evacced to the nearest M.A.S.H. unit, where his arms and legs were restored back to their correct positions. Unfortunately, the joints were loosened in such a way that make full recovery unlikely. The Old Soldier still carries on however, standing proudly on the shelf, supported by a stand that came packaged with one of his fellow Avengers. His shield will never yield.
As for myself, I’ve learned the follies of war. I am humbled, but wiser. The most expensive figures have been carefully placed back into their original packaging, transported into protective plastic tubs, and placed in the DMZ (garage). Maybe someday they’ll be able to return to their homeland on the shelves. For right now, though, this is the safest option for them pending resettlement.
With the mass exodus, Roundbottom has lost focus on the remaining collectibles, refocusing on his Imaginext Super Friends figures and playsets. These age appropriate toys have been a godsend, placating the beast and quieting his expansionist tendencies.
Christmas is coming, though.
Best to keep my head on a swivel……