We’ve all seen General Brooks in his early morning conferences from CenCom in Qatar answering all the difficult questions of the world media during each day of the war with Iraq. General Brooks is possibly one of the most even tempered hardest to rattle fellows that I’ve ever personally seen.
On one particular morning early in the war, a reporter from Hong Kong got up and asked the question “How many women and children will you kill today?” Without blinking General Brooks went into a detailed explanation of the lengths the coalition forces have gone to avoid civilian casualties and then casually pointed to another reporter and went on to the next question.
We’ve also seen his counterpart our now famous friend Mohammed Saeed Al-sahhaf or “Bagdad Bob” as he is better known.
This got me to wondering. If General Brooks and Bagdad Bob (here-to-for know as BB) were modelers and they were answering questions from their wives about their shelves of doom, how would they handle the questions? Here’s kind of how I see it playing out.
Mrs. Brooks/Mrs. BB – “So, I see you bought something at the hobby store today.”
General – “Yes, there was a target of opportunity that became available when an enemy operative put it down. As you know targets of opportunity are something that must be taken advantage of when then arise. Next question please.”
BB – “We were not within a hundred miles of a hobby store.”
Mrs. Brooks/ Mrs. BB – “Well don’t you have several tanks already?”
General – “I don’t really like to talk about specifics of things like kit numerical strengths or specific numbers. I will however say that this particular kit will fit a current need. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying, this kit will get built at an undisclosed time and will not be left behind on the shelf of doom.”
BB – “Of course I have tanks. I have thousands of tanks, tens of thousands of tanks. None of those tanks are on my self of doom however. The ones that are there are not mine they have been borrowed from my donkey Spike. This line of questioning is ridiculous.”
Mrs. Brooks/BB – “But you have so many kits, why this one?”
General – “Again, I’m not able to answer that question at this time. Suffice to say that when more information about this kit comes available, I will share it with you.”
BB – “Where do you get the idea that I have many kits? Lies, just more lies.”
Mrs. Brooks/Mrs. BB – “So how does this kit fit into your collection?”
General – “It’s really too early to speculate on that. Without cutting sprue and reading various reviews, I really can’t predict that and I will not speculate on the outcome of the build.”
BB (holding a kit) – “What kit? I do not know what you are talking about. You are mad, mad I say!”
Mrs. Brooks/Mrs. BB - “Interesting. We received our credit card bill today. What is this charge for $87 to Roll Models for?”
General – “I have no information on that charge at this time. When reports become available on that I will include it in my morning briefing.”
BB – “This is an American conspiracy of lies and misinformation. I do not know what this Roll Models person is. However I’m sure that they are some type of imperialist dog, whoever they are.”
Mrs. Brooks/Mrs. BB – “There was a book in the bathroom this morning that I hadn’t seen before, where did it come from?”
General – “I believe you are referring to Genda’s Blade?”
Mrs. Brooks – “That is correct.”
General – “After an initial survey of the book, I decided that it is not mine. It belongs to General Thompson and you will need to ask him about at tomorrows briefing.”
BB – “Again, what book. There is no book. I know of no such book or any such place as a bathroom.”
Mrs. Brooks/ Mrs. BB – “So when will you actually finish a kit that you start?”
General – “I’m really at the beginning of the build and there is much work to do. There will be some additional assembly and then painting. It is too early to tell when things may be finished. I mentioned yesterday that it's very much like putting together pieces of a puzzle. In this case you also have to find the pieces of the puzzle and then put them into proper relationship with other pieces that are there. That’s all I have time for today.”
BB – “Finish? I have finished all my kits. I finished one
just now when you weren’t looking. I finishing everything I start.
Your accusations will be crushed by my modeling greatness and your soul
eaten by ravenous dogs while your mother watches.”
I also think that there is a bit of Bagdad Bob in all of us. Our plans are grandiose, but are spirits are sometime too weak to get by the problems that we have in building our kits or exploring our references. Maybe it’s time to exorcise the demons of Bagdad Bob that each of us have and face our “shelves of doom” with the proper degree of reality.
Now go build something!