Today's Featured Video
Where in the World is
For the moment, believe it or not, I have returned. The one, the only, the MoDS.
Music to Wear Aviators To...
Emerging from the Jungle in 1972
Saturday. 8.2.08 2:51 pm
The air hangs heavy around South Street Seaport. This place was once a popular tourist attraction in New York City, a good place to grab some overpriced dinner along the waterfront. Yet the piers that once smelled of fresh fish and visiting foreigners now smell of combat … a faint musk of human sweat and blood mixed with the scent of burning cordite. I stand guard outside the entrance of a parking lot, smoking a cigarette and cradling my rifle, keeping an eye out for any Charlies who might have the gumption to stray into our home territory in the night. Suddenly… footsteps! I throw down my cigarette and snub it out with a combat boot. My hand tightens around the trigger of my rifle as the unknown figure approaches…
Night has fallen in South Street Seaport, and I’m patrolling a parking lot with my friend David. We’re keeping an eye out for anyone with a piece of yellow CAUTION tape tied around their head who might be trying to sneak into our red territory. We are participating in an elaborately massive game of capture the flag, in which the “field” spans ten crowded city blocks and the flags are cleverly hidden among them. The red “DANGER” tape tied around our heads indicates our allegiance to the red team. Suddenly, someone approaches… I crouch down ready to give chase at the first sign of yellow caution tape. But no, this is a friendly, and he’s brought a message.
“We found their flag!” He announces. “It’s at the intersection of Water St. and Dover St. Spread the word.”
I sigh and turn to my friend. “Too bad we’re on defense.”
“Come on, it’s not like anyone is coming back here, our flag is further forward. Let’s just go for it.” He says.
“Nah, it would take too long and the chances of getting captured are too high.” I respond. “It’s not like we can just take a cab there.”
Suddenly me and my friend stop walking, and turn to each other. “David,” I tell him, “I’ve just had the most wonderful idea.”
The taxi pulls up to Water and Dover street. We peer out at the enemy flag, undetected behind the safety of the cab windows and the cover of the night. There are four of us in the cab, and ten men guarding the flag.
“What the hell!” says one of my brothers in arms. “We’ve only got two guys on our flag, this is bullshit! No way we can capture it with that many people around.”
“We’ll just have to make camp here then.” I respond.
We pay the cab driver, who appears bewildered by the fact that four strange men wearing red DANGER tape bandannas have just wasted four dollars on a 3-block cab ride and are now walking/crouching/giggling their way out of his taxi to hide behind some nearby parked cars.
As we leave the cab, we split up. My friend and the 2 other guys go to the left side of the street, while I go alone to the right… or so I thought. As I plunk down behind a car, I’m greeted by a whispered demand of “Where the hell did you come from!?” I whirl around to find that I am now sharing my foxhole with three of my red teammates… three teammates who got here the hard way. “Long story,” I tell him. “What’s going on?”
“We’re stuck here, there’s too many of them.” He says, pointing to the well-guarded enemy flag just ahead. It is easily visible from our position. In the eerie glow of the Seaport streetlights, they appear as some sort of yellowish breed of zombies, standing lifeless yet vigilant against the fiery passion of our redness. “We’ve been trying to call our team captain, but he’s not picking up his cell. We don’t know what to do.”
“I brought three other guys with me, between the seven of us, we might have enough to take them down,” I tell him.
Another teammate, crouching behind the next car, fancying himself some sort of sacrificial James Bond, pipes in. “All right, I’ll be a distraction, I’ll run past and draw them out… then you guys rush the flag.”
“That might be just crazy enough to work!” I declare, and pick up my cell phone to call my friend on the opposite side of the street. We spend the next few minutes bickering over whether to go for the flag now or wait for word from our team captain. Finally, after five minutes of heatedly whispered controversy, we decide to go forward with the plan.
I turn to Private Pyle (the name I have chosen for the sacrificial James-Bond-type who has volunteered to be our distraction) and tell him that we’re ready. He nods gravely, and begins to frog-walk from car to car, slowly advancing on the flag. I watch him with apprehension, as I map out the fastest route from my position to the flag… Private Pyle has almost reached the flag now… I glance over to the yellow team’s position to check that he hasn’t been spotted… all clear… Private Pyle reaches the last car and darts out… Suddenly the kid behind me receives a call, “It’s the captain!”… Too late now, Private Pyle is already barreling down on the enemy… I begin to stand up… the guy behind me hurriedly answers the captain’s call… And then suddenly…
…nothing. The yellow team just stands there, looking at Pyle with utter indifference. The guy behind me puts down his phone and looks up at me with a look that says it all…
“The game is over,” he says. “They called it a draw.”
Now I know what Shoichi Yokoi must have felt like back in 1972.
Thank you, that is all.
Rate this entry!
Dang. You guys must have some serious cooperation if you can pull off a game that huge. I wish we could do that...
» randomjunk on 2008-08-02 03:35:25
Dang. I've never been involved in a giant game. The last Cops and Robbers our town had I was sick. I'm very jealous of you.
» bananaface on 2008-08-02 07:21:43
» le_battement on 2008-08-06 08:49:52
dang! And SO close, too!
wow, that sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't played capture the flag in forever, and that sounds like a fun and challenging setting. I might bring this up with some friends sometime...
» invisible on 2008-08-06 11:05:31
woooooow, your captain should have answered the calls from his troops! And yet, he was probably right in the middle of negotiations! You must have felt like Andrew Jackson winning the Battle of New Orleans after the peace treaty had already been signed. ps I commented on your last entry, too. The totally awesomely sweet one.
» Zanzibar on 2008-08-07 12:25:42
The sudden affinity for the word 'dang'?
You paid $4 for a cab ride?? It costs just as much here just for the privelege of besmirching the cab seat cushion with my bum!
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