Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old School GI Joe

This is a shameless plug for an OLD SCHOOL GI JOE bit at

A while back, I was planting a bush in my mother's backyard. It was a nice schrubbery, not too large, maybe a yew. The first foot, or so, there was nothing special, dirt, stones, roots, the usual things you find while digging. Then, to my surprise, I unearthed an aluminum can pull top.

It was old, real old. The kind that popped off the can. The kind that littered our highways and cut our feet open at Jones Beach. Finally, I owned something that I could bring to the Antiques Roadshow. I slipped it in my pocket while my mom was busy weeding the azaleas and kept on digging.

The next artifact was plastic. No analysis of the teeth marks was necessary. My old man went through a longer than normal tiparillos phase. He was a White Owl man, though despite the claims in the television ads, this never resulted in him getting groped by Joey Heatherton. There was nothing he didn't smoke, sequentially, cigarettes, cigars, a ridiculous Hugh Hefner pipe, skinny cigars with plastic mouthpieces, *INSIDE JOKE WARNING* he even snuck a fag now and then, we figured this out when we saw Pete slipping out his bathroom window*INSIDE JOKE OVER* The tiparillo tip did not go in my pocket because that would be gross but it was a certain indicator of great things to come.

I had reached what we amateur archeologists call a landscape within my dig. A landscape, or horizon if you will, that most probably carbon dated back to the 1970's. I asked my mother to fetch a brush so that I could more carefully reveal my next find. She ignored me. I asked for a lemonade. She just continued weeding. My hole was now big enough for the ball of the yew. Stop snickering. The ball of the yew was the burlap wrapped roots of the bush not it's external genitalia. The yew, being a vascular plant, used pistols and stamens for sexual reproduction not balls and stems.

The sweat on my brow felt good and so I pushed on. A few inches deeper and I found this.

An abandoned bayonet from a little plastic M1. GI Joe. A 12 inch GI Joe. Sweet merciful crap! The Olduvai Man of action figures. My dream of owning a Wii was within my grasp. I dug quicker.

A Russian anti-tank grenade! How did I know this was a Russian anti-tank grenade? Well, it wasn't an American "pineapple" grenade and me and my brother were sort of Jewish, so playing with dolls dressed up like Nazis was considered verboten back in the day. But a nice, Cold War Ruskie caught sneaking across the Czechoslovakian border was considered the perfect enemy.

Now I was excited. Screw the accessories! I knew that there had to be dozens of GI Joes scattered throughout the rolling hills of Dix. My shovel flew -- and than I saw the pale flesh of a Joe rising up out of the soil. A trigger hand! An articulated arm with outrageously complicated metal hinges -- clearly first generation action figure design.

And nothing else. No torso. No legs. No head. No left arm. What horrors had befallen this Joe? The Viet Cong, the dog, the girl next door, me? I dug holes like Sigourney Weaver and nothing. The End.

Come on, if I had cashed in a 12 inch GI Joe for a Wii would I be wasting my time blogging? If you got the Sigourney Weaver reference, I'm buying. If you want more GI Joe humor with MUCH LESS REQUIRED READING, go to CafterD.

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