The 1,000,000th War
Author: Will Berry


     In the year 2525, we were all still alive, and humankind (ed. note, if it's going to be a bad thing, I shall refer to humankind as 'mankind;' however, if the ladies are involved, I shall refer to it as 'humankind') had learned that war was not only gross, but it was not even cost effective.

     So, the the year 2524, it was resolved by the Bismarck-Mandan Treaty that total war between anyone would be all over in exactly 3.5 seconds and would cost the entire GNP of the Western Hemisphere and would leave the entire planet looking like the day after Mardi Gras. It was further resolved that all weapons of mass destruction would be placed in a weapons landfill that would occupy the entire state of North Dakota, rental to be paid to North Dakota therein by all signing nations, which was everybody.

     However, the signers of the treaty knew that war was still in the genetic code of all mankind and that perhaps it would be wrong to deny said mankind its fighting spirit. The nations were, after all, realists. So, it was further resolved that wars could be fought only if mankind started all over again, at the beginning, throwing rocks at each other as specified in Article 6 of the treaty.

     At the time of the treaty signing, The War Channel, SPQR, not wanting to lose its market share, revealed to the world that since the dawn of recorded time, mankind had fought exactly 999,999 certified wars leaving civilization only one war short of one million. And you know how obsessed mankind is with records. So, two countries had to be found who did not like each other very much, and they were The Republic of Fredonia and The Grand Duchy of Clausewitz. The bone of contention was that some nimrod from Fredonia was sneaking into The Grand Duchy of Clausewitz to have liaisons with the Grand Duchess. It wasn't much but it was enough. The year 2525 was designated as New War Year, formal war was declared between the two countries, SPQR lined up their sponsors and assigned Amanda Bottoms to the battlefield. Come in, Amanda, you sexy thing:

          "Yes, this is Amanda Bottoms speaking to you from the strategic plain of East Fredonia where I've got Field Marshall and Lord Grand Admiral Wilmer A. Redoubt of the National Fredonian Volunteer Army. So Field Marshall and Lord Grand Admiral Redoubt, how did things go today between you and the Army of Clausewitz?"

          "You can forget the 'Lord Grand Admiral' title, Amanda. The only body of water in both countries is Dunkle's Creek, which serves as a boundary between us and them, and Dunkle's Creek couldn't displace a rowboat."

          "Field Marshall, I understand that a terrific battle was waged today between the two countries, but due to a sandstorm, we couldn't tape a thing. Any chance of a retake on another battle tomorrow?"

          "Yes, it is the dry season. Well, to answer your question, it all depends on the lads, of course, Amanda. The Clausewitzian Army has been trying to cut our supply lines of rocks with a new tactic they call a 'flanking action.' If the supplies of rocks arrive in time, I'll order the lads over the top."

          "Field Marshall, I understand that clubs have also been employed by the Clausewitzian Army. Has this been legalized by the Bismarck-Mandan Treaty?"

          "Yes, but according to Article 7, these clubs cannot be sharpened."

          "And if they are sharpened?"

          "Then the war could escalate, Amanda. The same old story. Weapons research never stops."

          "Then this war could drag on into 2526, Field Marshall."

          "Yes. I would advise you to extend your reservations at the Hotel Fredonia."

          "Field Marshall, a final question. The winter campaign. Are you going to encamp or are you going to press the offensive even though the rocks will be under 6 feet of snow?"

          "Well, don't let this get around, but we have a few tricks up our parkas. We won't use rocks. No, we plan to use frozen oranges in attack on a cold and snowy night. Is that clever or what?"

          "Brilliant, Field Marshall."

          "Now, Amanda, if your cameras are ready, I'll order the lads over the top in a surprise attack. CHARGE, LADS! NO LADS, THE OTHER WAY! THE OTHER WAY! CHARGE, DAMMIT! You know, Amanda, sometimes I think that the lads don't have the heart for this sort of thing anymore."

          "This is Amanda Bottoms, on the scene, in harms way, reporting to you from East Fredonia and returning you to John Smiles in the studio."

     It should be noted that the 1,000,000th war was terminated in late Autumn of 2525 before first frost and before Field Marshall Redoubt, who was considered not to have all his sandwiches in the picnic basket, could put his frozen oranges attack into effect. A formal declaration ending all hostilities was announced and the winner was decided by a flip of the coin, best 2 out of 3, contingent on the fact that the guy who was fooling around with the Grand Duchess cut it out. Too late, inasmuch as the Grand Duchess and her lover, one Nathan Putz by name, sought and received political asylum in New Jersey.

     Field Marshall Redoubt retired and opened up a fruit and vegetable store, mostly fruit. It seems that he had bought into orange futures rather heavily and at wars end, had 18 carloads of them to move.

     Amanda Bottoms, her ass busted in the ratings game, can now be seen on ESPN16 covering soccer games between, you guessed it, The Republic of Fredonia and The Grand Duchy of Clausewitz.


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