Spool? How many words do we know by this name — spool? There can be only one and this tale is about a mighty spool. The below image depicts a representative spool whose image we are going to need to get us through this next chapter of SF Antics. Though pallid of title, the plunge of the mighty spool is a legend among the Special Forces boredom-antics chapter.
For t’was in Utah, t’was… in the far down-range testbeds of the test complex, in a sector reserved for testing the dissipation of gases in a controlled environment. One of the features of the complex was a six-story tower with a platform on top. Scampering up the tower and looking down revealed four industrial cable spools devoid of the cable they once carried.
A quick caucus and vote decided the best thing to do under the circumstances was to try to drag a spool to the top of the tower and push it off to experience the thrill of destruction. We set to work using tow ropes, iron bar supports, and our wits to manage one of the spools up to the platform… Finally, we got one up there.
In all anticipation, we pushed the spool free from the platform. It hit the ground with a glorious visual explosion and accompanied crash sound for the eager ear. It was well worth the toil it took to get the spool up to the tower; we celebrated by dragging two more up there and letting them plunge.
The fourth and final spool went up the tower with great difficulty, as the men’s strength was spent… though their hearts’ spirit still soared. The spool finally rested on its perch of glory at the top of the tower. Soon it too would join its three brothers in the far-off distant Hyperopia; the mighty spool too would take its plunge.
We, the men, gathered around the mighty spool six stories up on the postage-stamp-sized platform, struggling for some last worlds befitting the doom of the mighty spool that we hardly even knew; how do you laud such a thing?
“Well… it carried cable, and I reckon it did a good-enough job at that otherwise it wouldn’t be here with these other honorable spools.”
“What makes you think those others were honorable?”
“I’m jus sayin’ iffen they was honorable is all. You go something better to add?”
Each man took the moments to reflect on the peril of the spool in his own way, then off the platform dove the spool. One man blamed the spool for the misery in his life; another man credited the spool with all the joy he experienced in his days as a young man. I looked at the spool falling and marveled at how it looked like it was getting smaller and smaller the farther it fell, knowing full well it was just an illusion.
Then from below the frame of view entered a horrifying sight; an M-880 military utility truck, the one that came to pick us up and take us from this Dante Ring. We yelled but who was to hear? It was the desert so the driver of the truck no-doubt had his worthless truck AC cranked up to high noise.
And the twain met.
A huge cloud of dust brought a thunderous boom and wood shards flew willy-nilly far below. The hood of the truck was destroyed and the windshield smashed. There was that and a plethora of secondary afflictions from the impact. The dumb-founded driver watched us climb down from the tower; he expected an explanation and would get one too, by golly.
Commanders everywhere, I urge you to remember the equation: “free time plus bored soldiers equal mayhem (FT + BS = M)”; it may save you time, money, and grief one day.
By Almighty God and with honor,