Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa went the old forklift.
… and one more thing, Blitzen!
Yes Sir, Mr Snood?
When you’re finished stacking those shelves …
I’m on it, Mr Snood. I’m stackin’ those shelves.
Will you listen to me, boy? I said, when you get done with stacking those shelves, you make sure to put away the box.
Sure will, Mr Snood. I sure will. I’ll put away the box, Mr Snood, Sir.
You see that you do, said Mr Snood, as he pulled the warehouse door shut behind him.
Oh I will, Blitzen assured him. I’ll make sure to put away the box. Sure I will, Mr Snood. Leave it to me.
As the door swung shut, and darkness fell, Colonel Buck Blitzen of the 7th Airborne IT Cavalry narrowed his eyes and strode into the command bunker.
I’ll put away those goddam Bocks, General. Me and my men will take ’em out before the cocksuckers know what hit ’em. Just give the order.
Old General Snood cowered in the corner of the sandbagged dug-out. No, Blitzen. They’re all around us. It’s no good. Sound the retreat.
Blitzen could hardly believe his ears. General? Surely you mean “Advance”.
No, Blitzen. I mean retreat. Flee.
You mean Advance.
Blitzen’s lip curled in contempt as he rounded on his cowardly commanding officer.
You, Sir, are an arsehole. Those boys out there are waiting for your orders. Those boys would die for you, and I’m not going to let them down.
As you were, Blitzen, shouted the General. I gave you an order.
Blitzen pulled himself up to his full eight foot seven inches. Maybe you did, Sir, and maybe when this is all over you can have me court-martialled, and maybe you can even have me shot, but I’m gonna stand four-square with my boys against those Bock bastards, and if we die, at least we die like MEN!
Blitzen paused. Like men … Sir, he added, not bothering to disguise the contempt in his voice.
Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa came the beat of the rotors as his squadron of Apaches thrummed overhead. The boys were ready. Off in the distance, rockets pounded the Bocks’ positions, forcing them to retreat. Blitzen chewed on the end of his cigar as he scowled at the horizon.
We’ll put away the Bocks.
Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa went the rotors.
We’ll put those bastards away.
It was Mr Snood. Did you put away the box?
Oh, sure Mr Snood. I’m just doing it now. Sorry for the delay, Sir. Sorry.
With gratitude and apologies to James Thurber
Elsewhere: You, Sir, are an arsehole