The Battle of Procrastination Creek
By Todd Zurawik
3rd period American History
Antietam. Gettysburg. These were all decisive battles in the American Civil War, but none were as decisive at the battle for Procrastination Creek in 1869. Union forces, rallying after their defeat at Waterford, started marching south. They were tired and hungry, mostly because they hadn't eaten since dinner and it was now 9:30 and Mom just came downstairs and said, "If you're going to type that report on a manual typewriter, take it into the kitchen because some of us need to go to work the next morning." General Grant sneered and said nothing but scooped up his papers and hoisted a 20 pound typewriter built sometime before Comet Kohoutek, all because someone decided buying a computer was the same as supplying her teenage son with all the porn he wanted.
The Confederate troops, getting wind of the Union's plans thanks to the intervention of well-placed spies, wondered why the Union had waited so long to move. Maybe it was because of the Hadley-Smoot tariff, hamstringing their ability to supply weapons, or the fact that Donna didn't call him, even though he said she would call, and then the Union troops find out that she had never intended to call him, so the night the Union army stayed up until 3 watching music videos they didn't even like was totally squandered, and they could have gotten started on making some notes on little white notecards or something, which they totally intended to do before decamping and planning their strategy across the Langeford Bridge.
It was a difficult battle, mostly because, after a long and difficult conflict, troops on both sides failed to see the point of their sacrifice. This bitterness was reflected in the popular song of the period "Who Gives a Fuck about the Civil War (When I'm Going Into Finance?)". Soldiers on both sides started drinking, carousing, and realizing their DVDs needed to be organized before they could start the battle. Even Lee, the Union's pillar of strength, was feeling the strain. "It's not like I don't know what the Civil War is about," he addressed the troops at dawn on May 12, 1899. "We already watched that Ken Burns thing, and if anyone asked I could tell them enough about Dred Scott and John Brown to let them know I'm not an idiot." Grant's reply was circumspect. "I am fucking hungry," he said. "I don’t care if this is due tomorrow, I'm ordering a pizza."
The day of the battle of Procrastination Creek was a long and bloody struggle. The fighting began at midnight, with a surprise attack that bombarded the Union army. As cannonballs flew and doorbells rang, the Confederate troops put up a fight. Their battle cries of "Who is at the door?" roused the Union troops to rally in defense. The Union fought hard but the Confederates were being a total bitch about not paying the pizza guy because the Union was supposed to be typing a paper that was due tomorrow, not having a one-man party, mister, and when you go away to college next year I am not paying for you to have one big spring break, we expect you to WORK, to show a little responsibility for once. But after a phone call to the pizza place, the Confederates relented and the Union rallied, paying the guy and giving him a big tip just to piss the Confederates off who never believed in more than 15 percent. The Confederates stomped off to the bedroom in her ratty bathrobe and the Union knew victory was assured.
The house was quiet after she stomped off. The Union forces felt her seething. They felt the same scowl that inflamed them, in events leading up to the civil war. The way the corner of the Confederate army's mouth turned down for 18 years, for wetted pants and muddy floors and too much horseplay at the dinner table. Midnight made the victory truer. Up past your bedtime. Fuck you. This time next year I'm in college. Miles away from you. Dirtying floors you can't even dream about, you pithed sack of shit. A battle is not a war but even so the Union army could taste a new nation so close its intoxicating scent rose rich and tangy like the steam rising from the molten surface of hot pizza.
However, in their overconfidence, Lee announced his men could take a break for sustenance, not realizing that the pizza would taste so good the Union army would eat the whole thing without meaning to, and then decide they needed to digest before starting work again. Next thing you know, the Union forces, groggy in the armchair, knew they were beaten. They typed pages quickly and ran for the bus, but soon they realized all had been lost. The Battle of Procrastination Creek was one of the most humiliating defeats for the Union cause, except for the fact that like, nobody, is going to ask what I know about the Civil War before I set up their hedge fund, nobody.
Violet LeVoit is a film critic, arts and culture journalist, and bizarro/erotica/horror fiction writer whose work has appeared in many publications in the US and UK. She is the author of the erotic novel Hotel Butterfly (Loose Id) and the bizarro short story collection I Am Genghis Cum (Fungasm Press).
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