Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Napoleon's Melon Campaign

"Come on, come on, quick as you can." The little man hobbled toward a wall of maps using a broom for a crutch. A small platoon of confused grocers gathered in front of the candles to see what he was about.

The small general gained his footing, stapled his hands behind him, and looked over his troops. "Your efforts have been courageous, but confused and futile. It is now time to prepare a rigorous plan of action."

The gathering melon sellers looked at each other with confusion. The General continued undeterred.

"One: The time factor. The current heat wave does not, on the face of it, favor our campaigns, as it makes the melons ripen quickly. In reality it also contains an element which could benefit us, which we should exploit to the full." He stood before the candles, his shadow painted across the city maps behind him. "The thirst in the townspeople."

"And us," laughed one of his subordinates. The General gave him a moment's glance, then continued.

"If we act swiftly, we can turn these weather conditions to our advantage. Two: The Terrain factor. Paris covers a wide area, and we have only minimal forces in the field."

The grocers, gaining enthusiasm to match the General's, sat up in peaked attention.

"Haphazard effort will fail. We must determine where the lie of the land works against us. Long quiet streets, too much time lost. The markets, too much competition. We shall therefore concentrate on the zones of maximum concentration of population, and the minimum supply of fruit."

He picked up a piece of chalk and began tracing avenues of Paris, like a gourmet slicing up a favorite cut of beef.

"Regarding the First. We can mark the most frequently used access routes. In regards to the second, children can be sent out at dawn to scout the terrain."

Comprehension, like a flame swallowing crumpled paper, grew on the faces of his audience. They sat in the presence of true leadership.

As the General continued, he paced away from the source of the light. His shadow stretched two, three times larger than himself, until it filled the hall itself. The effect was not wasted.

"Remember. We conquer; or perish."


Best scene from a fantastic, wonderful movie. The Emperor's New Clothes. Love it. Love it.


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