Since this isn't really a hockey blog because hockey doesn't exist anymore, I decided to write about the history of The Battle of California. I asked the men in charge if I could post this last week and Earl blindly approved it but then it took me over a week to write the last sentence and then I just gave up and wrote some shit about crying.
There was a California before the Americans. Before the Spanish. Before the Russians and the dark-skinned Natives. There was a California before, and there was a battle for its soul.
The man came by land, across the long-fallen bridge. The fish came by sea, pulled by the North Pacific current. The bird came by air, a long and dangerous flight. Each was drawn to the place by the same desire: the freedom to walk, the freedom to swim, the freedom to fly. The mountains were high and the valleys were fertile. The skies were always blue and the water was clean and fresh. The enemies of the old world were left behind and a new life could begin.
Each wanted this place for their own. To plant seeds so that future generations could grow and prosper. But they found something else in California as well. Each other.
The man, royalty in his homeland, would easily dominate this new world. What beast could stand up to his sword? What creature could match the elegance of his purple cape? The glint from his crown would blind the mightiest foe. And he had the power of the mind: rational thought, self awareness, math. No one would stop him.
The fish, finned and fanged and deadly, would easily dominate this new world. Who else could swim so fast? Who else had three rows of razor sharp fangs? His sense of smell could find a foe at over one hundred miles. Who else could breathe liquid and move in their sleep? No one would stop him.
The bird, who had survived the most grueling trip of all, would easily dominate this new world. Could anyone match his sight, the ability to spot a target from 10 miles away? He controlled the sky, and he who controlled the sky controlled the battle. His camouflage was unmatched, green feathers, and black, and brown, nature would hide him. A demonic, corkscrewed penis, designed by Satan himself would allow him to outbreed by force any foe in the new world. No one would stop him.
The bird, flying high above the earth, was the first to notice that he was not alone here. Without thinking and without remorse he dove towards the man and attacked. Flapping and kicking and biting wherever he could find purchase. The surprised man could not believe what was happening, there were no enemies here. He recovered enough to run for cover and compute this new data, which the bird mistook for retreat.
The victorious bird decided to go for a victory swim. As he had thought, none could stand before him. The fish attacked swiftly, from beneath, and the bird did as the man had before him. The fish smiled at the fleeing bird, tail feathers protruding from his many rows of teeth.
The man would not be surprised again. He sharpened his weapons and his senses. This land was not his land. Yet. When he came upon the lounging fish he launched his spear and dove into the water to fight. The fish bolted, unprepared for this furious assault. He had done nothing to this man, but next time, next time he would do something.
The Battle Raged
None could easily claim victory. The man had been there the longest and had come closest to domination, but this meant nothing to the other two. The two younger Californians quickly learned the ways of the land and caught up to the man. They would raid each other's homes several times per year, sometimes being chased away, sometimes taking a spoil or two, but never fully crushing their opponent. Each of the three sides hated the other two equally and there was no chance of alliance against a common foe. And that is how they fought, one against one, and one against one, and one against one, over and over and over again.
After years upon years of battle, a temporary truce was initiated. No one was sure who proposed it but the fighting was halted for an entire year. While the fish and the man recovered and rested, the bird trained and built weapons and developed new tactics. For it was the bird who proposed the truce, to lull the others into complacency. The fighting resumed as normal, but the bird saved his surprises for the right time. In the second year after the truce, the bird unleashed his furious attack and thought he had achieved absolute victory.
But the fighting resumed as normal the next year. Nothing had changed. The fish would continue to have the most success throughout the year, but every year he would tire and fade as the season changed to Spring. None could take advantage of the other two. And the fighting would go on.
Some say the man finally cracked. That he went crazy from the continual battle and went on a rampage. Some say he made a revolutionary leap in tactics. Others say he initiated total war, willing to do what the others were not. Whatever the cause, the result was the man’s victory over the bird and the fish.
The man would not repeat the mistake of the bird. He scorched the land and sea and the sky. He salted the earth. He destroyed every speck of food and beauty. There would be no more fighting as there was nothing to fight for. Victory was his and no one would ever take it from him. The man sat alone atop the pile of dust he had created and cradled his victory, whispering sweet nothings to it and making promises that no one would ever hurt it. Tears flowed at the beauty he beheld.