I think I’ve put together some nice little blog posts here at Wild Rye. Just nothing as FREAKIN’ AWESOME as it could be (at least in my head.)
Why would that be?
It reminds me of my GI Joe. I was seven years old when Hasbro’s action figure first hit the market. The Unique Selling Proposition for GI Joe was authenticity. I had a gas playing with the gear. I persuaded my mother to cash in some Blue Chip stamps for the authentic machine gun nest and bivouac tent. I made camouflage, sand bags, the whole nine yards.
But I was stymied by the actual action figure. I named him William McKinnley and promoted him to Staff Sergeant, the highest rank in my kit. Frankly I felt like he deserved to be a Major, but those weren’t the cards that Hasbro dealt. I wanted to be authentic, so it never crossed my mind to fabricate my own clusters to pin on his collar.
The big problem with William McKinnley, however, wasn’t his rank. It was his personality–boring as a lump of oatmeal. He was bland, detached, a “do-your-duty” kind of guy absolutely without any fire in the belly. I don’t recall every imagining him in a combat situation. He seemed to be permanently assigned to a desk job. This was not what I wanted from an action figure, but that’s who he turned out to be.
After two years in active duty service William McKinnley’s rotator joint split and he lost his right arm. There was no Purple Heart in the kit either. Frustrated by his inability to advance, feeling useless on account of his arm, Sergeant McKinnley became severely depressed. He rarely left his bed inside his monstrously oversized footlocker. He might have even become an alcoholic, though I never caught him at it.
It seems a little crazy to me that at the age of seven or eight I could not imagine a decent battlefield narrative for my soldier–I spent every waking weekend hour watching Combat and B-movie war flicks. I could have named him Sergeant Slaughter and trained him into a Nazi killing machine. But that’s not the way it worked out.
So fast forward to today, I’m sitting in front of a glowing LCD screen trying to think of something really killer to write about…and I can’t. It dawns on me that it’s really not me sitting here at all. William McKinnley is here, pecking away at the keys slowly with his left hand. And that, my friends, is why I can’t post the truly amazing things that are simply swarming around inside my head.