The simpler days.
Playing with my buddy Mike in the alley over near his house.
Or in the sandbox over at my house. (After we picked out all the cat turd landmines from the tractor tire sandbox.)
Simpler times, simpler days.
Probably because we were in deep and wrapped around the axle with the events of the day and times. We didn't know enough about the real world, or knew just enough to not grind us down.
But we'd take our little, green plastic soldiers, and tanks, and some 2 1/2-ton plastic trucks, and have our battles in the alley.
Maybe noises that we thought might sound like a tank--BROOM BROOM CLANK CLANK--we drove up sheer vertical walls, parking on concrete slab ledges, overlooking the gravel-filled valley. Our troops would climb up behind us, falling us, keeping behind cover, though we were all easy targets out in the open, climbing up a vertical wall above a gravel-strewn floor (the alley way surface).
BROOM BROOM CLANK CLANK.
We'd make it to the very top slab of the broken concrete slab cliff, where we'd meet the neighbors lawn---an expansive field that went go on and on for scale miles. Our vehicles had a hard time making through the tall grasses, so we'd drive along the broken and bumpy slabs of concrete, rolling along, high above the gravel-filled valley.
The enemy? I don't know. Maybe we had plastic blue soldiers who would parallel our movement down below, falling us through the alley along the alley floor. If our men would look down there, those other guys would hunker under a slab of broken concrete, hug the broken rock wall, hide from our eagle eye gaze.
Maybe someone would get shot at. A guy would fall from our battalion, fall right over the edge of the cliff. If he didn't fall to the gravel floor far below, and maybe get hung up on one of the ledges we recently ascended, we'd rescue him. I don't think anyone really died. And I know we left no one behind.
Sometimes there would be no enemy. We'd just drive along, fighting more the elements, the big puddles or a worm crossing our path. A shiny trail from a slug? "Careful, men, could be poison that rubs off on you, sinks right through your boots."
My personal favorite guy to play was the green plastic flamethrower guy. I am pretty sure that was his official name in my young book--FLAMETHROWER GUY.
I am having a grand day today, and for some reason (or maybe it is more obvious than I think) I am thinking back to younger days, when I played ARMY with my buddy, outside, in the fresh air, in the dirt, making BROOM BROOM CLANK CLANK noises as we moved our tanks and trucks and green army men out along the alley way floor.
Or maybe we just knew how to not get so wrapped around the axle with events of the day and times.