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Men, we’re about to fight the battle of our lives!  Many consider us to be the underdog but as long as we fight bravely and stick together then there is no way we can fail… Victory is… Together we will… Legends are born to…

Ok, I’m going to break the charade here and get candid with you guys.  Fellas, look, we are all fully aware that the North wins—just like they did in 1863 and like they do in each year we do this god damn reenactment.  So allow me to drop the same tired, pointless motivational speech I give each fall in lieu of another one.

The way I see it, we all need this much more than they do.  As many of you know, after I got laid off at Boeing last spring I have been relegated to selling decorative cell-phone covers at a small kiosk over at the Chesterfield Mall.  I’m not gonna lie—it’s a crappy job. My pay is heavily based on commission, nobody wants to buy decorative cell phone covers in a recession, and to add salt in the wound, there’s a gang of teenagers that have given me the popular nickname Dr. Faggot, Medicine Queerbait. The point is I don’t have a lot to look forward to out there and I know a lot of you are in similar positions, whether it’s due to losing your job or having your marriage fall apart.  And if you’re like Ted then you have simultaneously lost both just a couple of weeks ago.  Again, our sympathies, Ted. Woof. That’s rough.

Now it’s one thing for life to shit on us out there in our everyday lives but it’s another thing when life is pre-programmed to shit on you in an alternate realm.  What exactly are we escaping to here!? We all initially signed up to do this for fun, for the camaraderie, but it’s become yet another harsh reminder that we are losers, and I for one am sick and tired of being reminded of that. And I’m sure Ted is as well.

So what I’m proposing is to do a little re-write of history and come out of this son-of-a-bitch victorious.  The plan is fundamentally sound and simple: don’t fall down.  That’s it.  No matter how many times those Union pricks shoot at you, do NOT collapse and “die.”   This will no doubt elicit confusion to both the spectators and opposition which will quickly transform into anger, so be prepared to hear harsh screams such as “Cheaters!” or ”Just die already!” or “Impale those assholes with your bayonets and see if they can survive that!” But pay no mind, soldiers.  Except, of course, the bayonet idea comes to fruition, in which case, ABORT the mission.  Nobody is dying on my watch—fake or otherwise.  That includes you, Ted, so no matter how much you want to die, and I’m sure you do, I’m not going to let you.

In order to pull this off we’ll have to rely on our greatest strength: our comparative youth.  The median age over there is somewhere between 47-51, and this scripted battle has never lasted more than 28 minutes so I predict that after a couple of hours of holding them off they’ll be forced to succumb to their exhaustion and lay down.  If so, we declare our ever elusive and oh-so-sweet, symbolic victory!

But if that doesn’t work then we’ll move to plan B: steal all of their stew, throw a party and get royally hammered.  Ted, don’t worry, we’ll make sure you get trashed regardless of the outcome. Lord knows you need it.

Now who is with me?!  Huzzah!!

—-

Spencer Ham is a writer for You Don’t Know Jack. His Twitter handle is @spencerham

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