“Whatcha doin’, Johnny Reb?” Bobby Yank asked.

Johnny shrugged. “Just leanin’ on ma tank.”

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Undeath Row and Fog Things From Mars! We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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Bobby cocked an eyebrow. “Umm, tanks don’t exist yet.”

“Sure they do,” Johnny said, patting the steel hull, “an’ I got mine ratcheer. A gen-yew-ine Sherman tank.”

“You realize General Sherman is on our side, right?” Bobby asked.

Johnny waved a hand. “Pfft. He trained under Ol’ Hick-ry, and Ol Hick-ry’s on our side. He says this whole war is a mistake.”

“First,” Bobby replied, “William Tecumseh Sherman entered West Point in 1836, just as President Andrew Jackson was leaving office. Second, Andrew Jackson’s been dead since 1845, eleven years before this war started. And finally, President Jackson threatened to invade South Carolina and even have his Vice President executed, during the Nullification Crisis.”

Johnny shook his head. “I bet ya got that hogwash from fancy-schmancy college books. The same fancy-schmancy books that say this war is ’bout slavery, which it ain’t.”

“Okay then,” Bobby said, “what is it about?”

“It’s ’bout state sawvernty and propuhty rats,” Johnny said.

Bobby took a slow breath. “That ‘property’ being … slaves.”

“Rat now it’s slaves, sure,” Johnny said, “but nex you yankees’ll be sayin’ we gotta let ’em live in our neighborhoods, eat in our restyrawnts, sleep in our hotels, rent our ‘partments, and go to our kids’ schools.”

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Have fun!

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Photo Credit: Civil War Librarian