Author: Stuart K Watson

As I wake, I think: Today would be a great day to start the next world war.
I look outside. The lawn is still there, with the neighbor’s scooter lying on its side in the middle of it. Unwarranted incursion. The trees are still standing. Birds still fly. Nests still hide behind the leaves.
There is entirely too much tranquility, peace and harmony, I think. No smoke. No carnage. No lines of refugees. Where is all the destruction?
I emerge from an entire night of sleep and find no bloodshed and ruin across the landscape of my yard. It’s a good yard. Boring, but good. It could be famous, as a battlefield, decorated with white headstones by the thousands, or crosses, if you prefer. I’m partial to headstones.
If this is going to happen, it’s going to take work. First, I need to stew up a good mess of hate. Stop talking with my neighbors. Demonize them, like on Halloween. Watch their every move suspiciously, from behind closed drapes. Take offense when loose documentation from the garbage collection blows across my border without the appropriate people.
That would justify an offensive. We could start small. I could attack my neighbors, just to generate interest. A nuclear strike? I look in the fridge. There’s a container of month-old spaghetti. That would kill.
Our homes sit on lots as small as European countries. Close. Frictious. I could fire a few salvos, to introduce the concept. Or fusillades. I’ll need to find out what a salvo is, of course, and then where to get some. I need lightbulbs, so I’ll ask my hardware guy if they have any salvos.
And howitzers. None of my neighbors has a howitzer, as far as I know. I’m sure their kids would love to help set one up, roll it out, shove the shells in and pull the cord that trips the firing pin. Or whatever makes it go. Then wait to hear where the salvo lands.
Their parents might not like it, if the howitzer was aimed at their house. “Hey, you kids! Quit shelling our house and get on over here. Dinner’s ready!”
Before I go to the store, I call the community college to see if they have any classes on artillery or armed warfare.
“Entry level stuff,” I clarify. “Like Bazooka 101 or … well, you understand.”
The person on the line says nothing — for a minute or so. Then I hear a click and a buzz. Bad connection. A good war would help us get the phone connections we deserve, sure as shootin’.
I sit in my easy chair with a cup of decaf to continue planning.
This war thing, it’s complicated, I think, and take a sip. I should think about it a little more before I go off all half-cocked. Yep. Think about it. After my nap.
Outside, it’s as if the war never happened. Peace and quiet. Trees leafing out. Kids on bikes with plastic weapons learning to shoot each other. I close my eyes. My wife removes my glasses, but by then, I’m dreaming of the next great war.