I don’t think I’ve ever started a war in my dreams before… but there’s always a first. See, me and my friends, while we were just ten or eleven or maybe thirteen, our parents all knew each other from working with Oliver North during the ’80s, so you know that they were experts in all things clandestine; with pops like that, imagine what our backyard cap gun fights were like?
I mean, I’m sure the me in this dream never had to put up with those crappy rolls of paper caps. All red plastic strips of caps here, baby!
Anyway, so we were all on vacation in Cuba. Now, the Spanish Army was still holding on to the little island, it being the ’90s and all (I see what you did with time there, brain!), so we did take a little time out from our playing on the beautiful beaches to do a little amateur spying on the forces of that old empire.
It was easy to track down those darned Spaniards, because they only had the one ship in their navy around Cuba, and it had actually wrecked on a beach. We just walked on down and checked it out! They were using the ship as a supply base for their army, and we decided to see what was going on in there. So we entered through a hole in the back of the hull that had been opened in the wreck, picked our way around bags of rice, and finally got towards where a bunch of women in traditional dress — by that, I mean the dress of Lunch Lady Doris — were preparing meals for the soldiers.
What were they eating? We decided to figure out. Hiding ourselves in some burlap sacks that we found torn open in the hold, we crept forwards until we could see into the kitchen. Now, it was tough to make things out, because we couldn’t lift up the sacks but instead had to look through the loose weave — the last time I’d played this game, I lifted up the sack I was hiding under to get a better view but the cooks had seen us and the Guardia Civil had stormed through the hole in the hull, crazy patent-leather tricorn hats all glinting in the sun, to shoot us all. And I wasn’t going to make that same mistake twice, not with all the work it took to get us here!
So we crept up slow, and I was sure that at one point a cook looked me straight in the eye, but I guess she didn’t see me, because we finally got close and could see the scandalous truth: the Spanish Army was bankrupt and was feeding its soldiers hamburger patties made out of horsemeat! Oh, what moral bankruptcy they had, to match their fiduciary kind!
So we snuck out, patted ourselves on the back, and thought about how we were just like our moms and dads (they used to sit all together in the backyard on Saturdays, drink beer, and reminisce about the last few times they overthrew the Guatemalan government). Then we went home, told everyone about the horse burgers, and the fury of the American people brought our Navy to Cuban shores and our soldiers up San Juan Hill and our country to the brink of Empire.
And that’s how I started the Spanish-American War. Last night, at least.