You sunk my battleship!

The boys capped off Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a spirited game of Battleship. Adam and Oliver Fern can only play the game in bastardized British accents (a streak of jolly Gargamel mixed in). No doubt, the Reverend King wouldn’t have exactly approved of this popular, classic board game. As a matter of fact, I harbor distinct reservations about this blatant glorification of naval warfare and yet the boys’ interest in Battleship was only further piqued last weekend by the enormous, mothballed aircraft carriers in Bremerton.

Earlier in the day, Oliver Fern, Adam and I participated in the march which honors Dr. King and does provide an ideal platform for peaceful yet boisterous consciousness-raising about any number of issues that reflect how fucked-up certain things are. The 48 bus had got us down ripped-up 23rd Avenue to Garfield High School, the starting point of the march, in surprisingly no time and while we were waiting for more and more people to assemble for the march we used the restroom inside the high school and I shivered at the hugeness of the place and it was hard to imagine Adam going to school there some day (my podunk high school graduating class barely consisted of a hundred students) and I couldn’t get the idea of Hogwarts and Draco Malfoy out of my head. At any rate, soon enough the band played and the march proceeded spiritedly toward downtown.  Oliver Fern strolled with his cardboard sign which had been fashioned with random marks, scribbles and letters of the alphabet and that in his herky-swirly handwriting (and at certain angles) distinctly resembled Arabic script and it drew widespread attention throughout the march no doubt from those who wondered if the sign was somehow preciously ironic in the spirit of the day’s diverse umbrella.

Over the span of a couple hours we gradually were overtaken by faster marchers and imperceptibly faded from the front of this wondrously-long line of concerned citizens to the literal, very back of the procession where police motorcycles were waiting to gobble up stragglers, pushing them to the sidewalk because life just has to go on. Adam’s legs and hips were getting stiff from walking and he wondered if we could rest a moment and my hummingbird-sized bladder was filling up with what felt like the combined flow of Victoria and Niagra Falls but I told him he should be glad we weren’t being blasted by a fire hose or bullied by German shepherds and therefore he needed to put his beliefs into action and did he ever look at me like I was comparing his knowledge of Pokemon with his and he began walking too fast for Oliver Fern and I to keep up. I thought I was going to pee from the exertion of catching up with him and soon we again found ourselves with the Filipinos for Black Lives Matter chanting for no new youth jails and the drums were beating so loud I thought the Bonneville Dam was going to burst and I channeled my rage and felt the urge to walk up to the snarkiest-looking motorcycle police guy I think I’ve ever seen, he must have stood a steroidal six foot five and was puffing on a stogie like some kind of goon in an episode of CHIPS where a rogue cop double-crosses Ponch and Jon, and I’ll admit I harbored a violent fantasy about ripping the cigar out of his mouth and screaming Black Lives Matter! but Oliver Fern is only four years old and he still thinks all police officers with motorcycles are archangels-next-door (and maybe this officer was a good guy and simply in desperate need of some public relations work although I highly doubt it) and this was a peaceful demonstration named for the Reverend King and we don’t need any more white guys showboating but in particular I envisioned the indignity of wetting myself while being handcuffed on the ground.

2 thoughts on “You sunk my battleship!

  1. I’ve been tempted at times to symbolically rip out stogies, but so far I’ve been able to resist the urge by reminding myself of the lessons of Dr. King and Gandhi: Only love can drive out hate, and we must be the change we wish to see in the world. I’m glad you avoided the handcuffs, and set a wonderful example for your sons.

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