Saturday, April 10, 2010


My brother-in-law, Danny, and I were building sand castles on the beach today. We started out building sand castles for the kids, but then we got really into it. We started building turrets, moats, roads to connect the multiple fortresses....

It soon became the game Civilization.

[Picture: Anne spies on Danny's castle]

Danny's civilization was a culture that built large, cylindrical structures in close proximity to each other. Surrounding each cylinder were outposts that were shaped like the carriage in Cinderella. They looked rather fairy-tailish, but believe me, their sand cannons were ferocious.

[Picture: Danny's culture builds large cylindrical structures]

While Danny's civilization was all into big, windowless cylinders, my culture mass produced smaller, more modular structures. My city, called "Danny's Town Stinksville," was mostly comprised of peasants who worshiped the sun and played soccer.

[Picture: My city grows right across from Danny's]

My city was building up rather well, until all of a sudden, there was a massive sandquake that resulted in a large, fiery volcano to be formed - right by our two cities! Oh no!

[Picture: The volcano rises!]

Danny and I were just about to go to war over whose civilization was going to be able to worship within the mouth of the volcano by enslaving and sacrificing the other city's population to the gods of the volcano, but just then, out of the blue, a new player appeared on the scene.

Witness: the "other city."

[Picture: The other city]

Danny and I quickly signed a truce and formed an alliance, and combined our military might in order to defeat our new foe. We thought of creating a government-sponsored grant to encourage our sand scientists to raise and train Sand Sharks, then unleash them onto our foe, but instead we focused on molding tens of tiny sand tanks. We figured the Sand Sharks would be too unpredictable.

But then we had to take drastic action after another, mightier fortress appeared right down the beach. Just look at this magnificent castle, which we dubbed the "Dark Fortress":

[Picture: The dark fortress!]

With almost all hope lost, Danny's civilization and mine met at the mouth of the active volcano and prayed to the lava gods to attack both of our new enemies. And our prayers were answered in the form of...

Turtle Girl!

[Picture: Turtle Girl attacks!]

Turtle Girl curb stomped the Dark Fortress, then destroyed the other civilization. Once Turtle Girl was safely back in Mommy's arms, Danny and I once again sent spies and assassins into each other's cities, resulting in a slow decline of our standard of living. Finally, all of our sand people moved to the suburbs, where the schools are better and our kids don't have to worry about being eaten by Sand Sharks on the way to school.

It was a great day on the beach. I have no idea what the kids did, but Danny and I had a lot of fun.

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