Monday, July 09, 2007

Jello Wars 2007!

At 17:00 EDT on 07 JUL 2007, a gelatinous battle was fought on a private battlefield in Oldham County, Kentucky. The armies comprised mostly peaceful people brought together in battle by their curiosity and the need for a good challenge: The challenge? Why, to build and field effective weaponry for flinging jello, of course!

[Note: I use the word jello throughout this post because, in my humble opinion, it's like kleenex. No one ever really says "gelatin" just as no one ever really says "facial tissue." The ammunition for Jello Wars was made up from both the Jell-O brand gelatin and a generic bulk gelatin with food coloring added.]

As far as I know, this was the first war of its kind. Online research indicates that the only event ever labeled a "Jello War" was a jello-eating competition. The Jello War on 7-7-07 in Oldham County did not involve any intentional consumption of jello; however, I personally got a mouthful of the stuff courtesy of the Green army. (Evil bastards!) Speaking as a Red Jello Warrior, I think our jello tasted MUCH better than the green stuff. Actually, I do believe one of our Red warriors ate about half of our practice rounds during firing practice.

From each of their four 100' x 100' quadrants, the Red, Green, Purple, and Orange Jello armies conducted long-range jello barrages using homegrown catapults, slingshots, and clay pigeon throwers; close-in jello combat was conducted using hands, scoops, spatulas, and fire extinguishers in an effort to effectively splatter the white t-shirts of the opposing armies. The victorious jello army was determined by the judges at the end of the hour-long war.

The Green army did the best job of keeping the war interesting while splattering opposing armies. By interesting, I mean they stole the other teams' weapons and flags. Evil bastards! (Did I mention they plastered me right in the face with their evil soylent green goo?!

"Jello Wars" (the game, the sport, the surreality) is the collective brain child of a group of fun loving, creative, engineering-type friends who gather on a monthly basis for hours of boardgames, dinner, and drinks. We rarely venture into politics; the debates at our get-togethers tend to be more rhetorical and silly. The debate that spawned Jello Wars was a disagreement over whether a human being would be supported or would drown in a swimming pool full of jello. Since an actual test of whose theory held water would be difficult at best, the only way to settle the solidity of a theory would, of course, be on the field of battle. A date was set and "Jello Wars" was born.

In return for promotional use of the battlefield video (keep your eyes peeled on YouTube), the event was sponsored by The Alexander Group, a business technology firm specializing in advanced phone systems and multi-site office networks whose corporate headquarters is in Louisville. Kevin Butler, Executive Vice-President of The Alexander Group (and a member of this particular group of friends) explained why his company got involved with the gelatin competition:
"...While this specific challenge (attacking your friends with gelatin weaponry) is a bit silly, the problem-solving and imagination brought to bear are right in line with the kinds of efforts The Alexander Group makes helping its clients in a serious business environment."

You might be asking yourself: "Is it a coincidence that Jello Wars broke out on the same day as the 'Live Earth' concerts?" Not really; although, I feel compelled to point out that we did not, at any time, increase our individual carbon footprints in the making of the weaponry or the totally organic and biodegradable ammunition. Actually, I feel pretty sure that the 80 gallons of jello in play during the war on Saturday sucked up some of my own badly-needed personal allowance of carbon. Where do I register a complaint about that?

We made a full party out of the day on Saturday. I mean, hey, what's a war without beer and chow? Many of the Jello Warriors brought -- oddly enough -- Jello shots refrigerated and ready for consumption throughout the day. And, what's a gelatinous party without a little jello wrestling (pictures of which will NEVER be made available!). It was a tiring, sticky, surreal, and FUN day! After which, it became apparent to many of us that most of the population has been missing out on the true fun to be had with gelatin.

This new and extreme gelatin-based sport will likely continue to evolve so stay tuned. We intend to do it again next year. The rules are developing as we find out what works and what doesn't. At present, serious consideration is being given to downsizing the battlefield. Even the warriors in their 20s had a little trouble with all that running and sliding. I guess boot camp would have been a good idea because we're all pretty much wimps in the athletic department.

Enjoy a few pictures from this year's war courtesy of Combat Photographer, Ed. (Thanks a ton for putting yourself in harm's way for these, Ed!)

The Red Army's two longest range weapons, Slingshot 3000 and the Catapult 3000.

The Green Army's defensive posture, almost phalanx-like, isn't it?

The Orange Army had a little "shock and awe" in store for us!

Red Army utilizing it's long range capabilities.

A little Red-Green skirmish up close and personal!

The Red Army loading for slingshot sorties.

The Orange Army assesses it's ammunition stockpiles.

The fire extinguisher made NO friends in the Purple Army!

Purple Army surges into the Red quadrant determined to take no prisoners!

The Red Army is overrun by Purple pestilence!

The Green Army reloads a spilled bucket of ammo dumped prematurely thanks to a new gopher hole on the battlefield; war recommenced after the bombardier was checked for injuries.

It's a Green-Red brawl!

The Purple Army was feeling good about their battlefield performance!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Belated Independence Day

I've been greatly distracted lately by other endeavors -- one of which I'll write about in the next post -- and let my favorite holiday slip by without wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable day in remembrance of our Independence.

Even though I didn't post my thoughts about it on ConservaChick, the nuances of the day did not slip past me. As I lobbed a serve over the volleyball net at my relatives, a question crossed my mind: When did Americans begin to villify the wealthy in this country? After all, the founding fathers were all quite wealthy and risked everything to break with Mother England. Had they not been brave and willing to finance our break from the monarchy, we would certainly not be celebrating our independence every year. The wealthy in this country often do great things for others and it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It would be nice if more Americans would recognize that and be more appreciative of the blessings we are given.

My heartfelt thanks go out every year at this time to all of those brave men in our past who brought us our freedom and to those brave men and women who guard our freedom today. I pray our troops currently overseas today will be celebrating Independence Day with their families this time next year.

God bless this great country and our courageous heroes both past and present! We are all richer for them.

Vote for Springfield, Kentucky!

If you're a fan of "The Simpsons" television show, you will want to bring the hometown premiere of the movie version of the show to Springfield, Kentucky. Let's get those votes in pronto as the contest ends at midnight (PDT) on Monday!

Good luck, Springfield, Kentucky!