THE WRONG EARTH, written by Mustang and published by El Duque, is out now!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Somewhere in the Dakota Territory

Dispatch from the Black Hills, for the New-York Tribune.

Your correspondent attended the tea for the gentlemen of the press, where we spoke to Priv. Aaron Boone, lately arrived from the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, and newly appointed press secretary for the 7th Cavalry. Here is the transcript of that discussion.

Boone enters, still covered in dust and looking shaken. He nods to a reporter.

REPORTER: Private Boone, is that an arrow in your hat?

BOONE: What? Where?

Boone raises a visibly trembling hand to his cavalry hat, and takes it off. His hair is completely white. He pulls out the arrow that has pierced the entire crown of his hat, his face blanching.

B: Um, yeah, could be.

R: Private, was the 7th Cavalry humiliated at the Greasy Grass?

B: Humiliated?! No, of course not!

R: Was Col. Custer's entire battalion wiped out?

B: Well, yes.

R: Were most of his men scalped?

B: Umm, I think those are the preliminary reports we've had. No one wanted to get too close—

R: Were most of the bodies stripped of their clothing and mutilated?

B: Look, I can see where you're headed here, and if you want to call it a humiliation, call it a humiliation. But these things happen over the course of a long campaign.

R: What went wrong? Is it true that your carbines were faulty?

B: I don't want to cast blame here. You go to the Indian Wars with the carbines you have.

R: Is it true that Col. Custer divided his forces in three? Was that really a wise decision in attacking a force of Indians three-to-four times that of his own?

B: Hey, anybody can Monday-morning quarterback. But at the start of the battle the colonel had no idea the odds were that lopsided.

R: So are we to understand then that no reconnaissance was done?

B: As you know, it is the philosophy of this army and General Cashman back in Washington that we don't want to discourage any field commander from practicing our "Dare to Charge Right the Fuck In" strategy. Or, as it's called elsewhere, the "Dare to Take a Tomahawk in the Face" or "Dare to Take an Arrow in the Liver" strategy.

The algorithms back at the War Department have proven over and over again that this is the way to win battles. Every respectable army in the Western world swears by them.

R: Did Sitting Bull swear by them?

B: Well, Indians. You know what I mean? I know I'm going to get into a lot of trouble on the telegraph for saying this, but those guys just don't know how to fight wars like civilized people.

R: Does this mark the end of the campaign to subdue the Sioux and Cheyenne?

B: What year is it, everybody? 1876, right? So chill out. Imperialist expansion is not a short-term project. There's still a whole lot of slaughtering to be done. In the past, we've done some of the slaughtering. Yesterday, it was their turn. Tomorrow, we'll be doing the slaughtering again. I'm very pleased with the outfit we've put together, and I think soon we'll be right back in it.

We just have to do a better job of executing. And I do mean executing.

R: What is the reason for this optimism?

B: Oh, lots of things, lots of things. This past winter we recruited one of the most promising batches of waterfront toughs, cutthroats, and street brawlers I've ever seen, the numbers are looking very good on the number of buffalo we've killed, and we're actually ahead of schedule in turning the fragile grasslands of the High Plains into a lifeless Dust Bowl. So it's all good.

Big picture: I've been in this war game long enough to remember how upset people were about the slaughter at Fredericksburg. And the slaughter at First Bull Run. And at Chancellorsville. And Chickamauga. And Second Bull Run. And Spotsylvania, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and the Battle of the Crater. But who won the Civil War, huh?

R: Private Boone, have you heard any of the news from back East? Are you aware that a new professional baseball league has been formed?

Boon (looks baffled) Baseball? What the hell do I know about baseball?


Jimmie said...

among the casualties at the little big horn:
privates cashan, walker, gardiner and voyt

TheWinWarblist said...

Oh my gad, their gonna send those poor kids out there again tonight. And then the next night! And the next! They're all gonna get it! There will be no survivors!!!!

13bit said...

We need the delusions and mind games to stop now. Whether YOU believe it or not, Brian, Randy, Hal and Ma Boone, just say "we're rebuilding. do we want to win the series? sure. anything is possible, but we value our future too much to destroy this team now for the sake of a meaningless playoff game. we're looking to the future. please be patient with us."

They can then step into a private room to take their cyanide capsules.

TheWinWarblist said...

I'll hold their mouths closed if that'll help move things along.

I'm Bill White said...

This is probably one of the best posts in history.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Bill White. I always did like your dulcet tones and rock-steady game calling in the booth, and respected your consistent excellence as a player.

TheWinWarblist said...

Bill, I especially liked how you'd estimate how many rows deep a foul ball would go. You were always way off, but it was cool anyway.

Joe F said...

Welp Yanks offense seems to be doing their own Houdini act tonight...I had to do a double take I thought they were facing Pedro..

I'm Bill White said...

I would trade Mustang's liver and a hand job from Alvaro Espinoza to listen to just one more night of Yankee baseball called by the Scooter and Bill White.

13bit said...

I'm still mulling which would be the bigger sacrifice in that deal, Bill White. My head may not be spinning, but I do feel a little acid rising in my throat at the thought of those terms.

13bit said...

Oh shit, I just saw that Yoan Moncada is playing second for Chicago. I hope the Juju gods are doubled over at what they may be planning for us tonight.

13bit said...

meant to say NOT doubled over. I hope I didn't just mess things up. oh man. I'm a mess. this is a bad week to stop sniffing glue...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

our "Dare to Charge Right the Fuck In" strategy. Or, as it's called elsewhere, the "Dare to Take a Tomahawk in the Face" or "Dare to Take an Arrow in the Liver" strategy.


I heard that Mustang's liver was worth less than mine, so I wouldn't take that deal.

I will be at Comiskey tomorrow night. Look for me along the left field line in the upper boxes. I'll be wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

And I'll take Amber Lynn over Sasha Gray any day.

I'm more of a retro porn guy anyway.

Except not the hairy beasts.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

I would trade Mustang's liver and a hand job from Alvaro Espinoza

I have developed an Excel spreadsheet with 34,002 cells in an attempt to quantify the exact value of the trading chip referenced above. Every time I press "recalculate", however, the little "Circular Reference" warning comes on.

I must be doing something wrong.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


Doesn't matter. Game with Bill White and Scooter (with Bill announcing the shot of the GW in the seventh, saying "that's Scooter's car heading home") is worth more than Mustang's liver (just speculating in comparison to my own) in any case.

And I'd say the Alvaro 'bonus' would be a negative.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

They're up 7-0 in the ninth.

Do you think there's anyway they can hang on and win?

HoraceClarke66 said...

I dunno...

A.J. Cole is in, but there was a leadoff double.

Next up in the pen? Sonny Gray!

And if he gets in, that means Chappie for sure...

Anything can still happen!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Loved the "Airplane!" reference, 13bit! And thanks, Rufus—we will definitely look for you. Provided we get out of the game, of course.

Cole got two long flyouts. But when you have a closer who can't challenge Sandy Leon, no lead is safe!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Well, they pulled it out. Didi and the Gleyber did a little dance afterwards.

They did a dance in Fenway, too, but it consisted mostly of lying on their backs, with their legs and arms wiggling defensively in the air.

Magic 13.

13bit said...

We still suck.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Brilliant planning, too, to have Lynn give us four-plus innings of shutout relief work—in a game against the Orioles we already trailed by 6 runs—and then to throw him against this tough, tough ChiSox team (Moncada, incidentally, is hitting .130 since the All-Star break.).

Nope, didn't need this guy against Boston...

Joe F said...

A win!??? Still hate Boone

Jimmie said...

Phil Rizzuto and Bill White Broadcast a Rain Delay (1986)

TheWinWarblist said...

Ah. Aaahh. Hrrmm ... Ah.