Sergeant Stubby, so named for his lack of a tail, was a stray pitbull found wandering Yale campus by some soldiers there during drill.
"He learned the bugle calls, the drills, and even a modified dog salute as he put his right paw on his right eyebrow when a salute was executed by his fellow soldiers."
He was smuggled into WW1 by a soldier, and allowed to stay when he saluted the man who would later become his commanding officer.
He was sent to the trenches where he was under constant enemy fire for over a month. He was wounded in the leg by a German hand grenade, sent to a hospital to convalesce, then returned to the front lines…
After being wounded in a gas attack, Stubby developed such a sensitivity that he would run and bark and alert the other soldiers of incoming gas attacks AND artillery attacks precious seconds before they occurred, saving countless lives. A canine early warming system.
He would go into no man’s land, find wounded men, shouting in English, And stay with them, barking, until medics arrived.
He once captured a German spy.
The spy, mapping out Allied trenches, tried to call to Stubby, but Stubby got aggressive and then chased down and attacked the spy when he attempted to flee, allowing Allied soldiers to capture him.
For this he was awarded the rank of Sergeant- the first dog to do so.
After helping the Allies retake Château-Thierry in France, Sergeant Stubby was sewn a uniform by the women of the town, on which to wear his many medals.
He went on to meet multiple Presidents, dignitaries and ambassadors and become the mascot of Georgetown University football.
There is nothing about this that is not magical.
A very good dog.
you know what would have connected up the da2 plot lines a bit better is if instead of random crystallised poop bomb or w/e, anders used the gaatlok to blow up the chantry
and the real formula could have been stolen in act 2, also increasing tensions with the qunari who thought kirkwall had stolen it to use against them
but it was just anders who took it because he knew he might need it soon
A couple of years ago upsettingshorts made me a recipe book, and while my computer was FUBAR I used it to make dinner. This is what’s on the back.
We are tremendous nerds.
It’s taken me so long to realise/remember how useful libraries are.
Since moving in next to one, I’ve read a stupendous number of books again. (I mean, like, seven. But that’s more than I read last year all together.)
It’s not even just living next door to one (it’s right at our local shop, so I walk in after work, pick up a book, pick up a bunch of lemons). It’s the Australia-wide database. I drop in an order, three days later I get an email and it’s there waiting for me. I’m not sure if this how-to drawing book is any good? Don’t bother buying it, loan it.
I feel so rueful and pathetic and pleased.
Plus there’s the atmosphere of the library itself. It’s the only (airconditioned) place to go where you can hang out all day and spend nothing. This library has a stack of beanbag chairs and PS3/xboxes set up, which can be booked for max two hours at a time (and booked again if you use up your two hours and no one else has come in to ask for the machine). It’s phenomenal. Why have I not noticed this usefulness before? Finally, something that makes me feel like my council rates are well spent.
This sounds so sorrowfully middle aged but argh such genuine astonishment.
Plus I somehow managed to stumble into this intra-layer of library organisation (they’d forgotten to limit my card for public access only, my login was letting me into their system itself) and there is such a detailed wonderful amazing tagging, crossreferencing, hierarchical system capturing theme and approach as well as content in use on their fiction novels that I immediately wanted to copy it, overlay it onto TVTropes in some way and come up with a diagram of how to label a story with assassins as characters something different to a story with Assassins, Trope.
I would be friends with Elegant and work a shop, thanks to my literacy and numeracy skills. I’d be pretty good at it and would learn herbalism as a trade from her. I would outright refuse to deal with poisons. I would become very uncomfortable on realising that half our patrons are criminal members of gangs, but what else can you do?
Eventually I would buy (lease? loan? how does property work?) a very physically secure apartment in Lowtown in a building populated only by other disenfranchised single women. I would take in a lady roommate.
I would not be racist towards elves or dwarves, but I would probably only ever have a business relationship with them, out of too much fear of standing out/being targeted in a city with 18thC or worse mores.
I nod and shrug when people issue their slurs against Fereldans but offer nothing to the debate.
I would avoid getting married or into a relationship out of general distaste for the nature of men in Lowtown. I would be too poverty-arrogant and proud of my hard work to be suitable to target a Hightown gent. I would be too arrogant in general to ever take a job in service to someone.
I would inwardly resent Elegant when she finally marries up, even though she leaves her business to me. But I would never, ever vocalise this, and our friendship would drift apart in a genial silence.
I would have quite a network of herbalist and herbalism related contacts. I’ve heard of Hawke, of course, but he’s too huge and strange and his friends are strange and they spend too much time getting drunk and killing people for my liking. I look away or into the middle distance when they walk past my stall, just like I let myself zone out when a known gang member comes to buy my wares, offering only a mechanical politeness and rote responses and avoiding the weird frisson of what could have been or I should be more than this or I could have made changes to this city as well every time Hawke flicks a coin at me.
I would never enter the Hanged Man or any other kind of pub.
When templars start cracking down on mages, I would quietly and without proclamation slowly fold and cease all my dealings with the Circle Formari. If with quiet regret for loss of a stable customer base.
One day I would wake up and find myself on the wrong side of middle aged.
I would never enter Darktown.
I would never leave the city.
When the Qunari poison erupts and destroys a district in Lowtown, I would lock myself and my roommate (the third) into our apartment, the secure door barricaded, while we wait. When it seems the city won’t descent into riot, I would swiftly load up my herbs and potions and head down to a representative of the guard, where I would donate the products and walk away.
When this roommate finally leaves, I would not be surprised when no one else wants to move I’m. I’m too sharp and cynical, too old for it to be charming, too strong and sure to be completely dismissed as a barren women too far beyond prime, but also too fucking annoying to be tolerated for long.
I have a flirtation for a time with a similarly middle aged human man shorter than me who shares an interest for stories and who has a symmetrical smile and a round face which seams in all directions. He has a girlfriend. One day he offends me for a reason I can’t remember and I stop responding to his flirtations, and several months later I find out he’s married the girlfriend and moved out of Kirkwall all together.
When the Qunari storm Lowtown I’m on the street and it is the most terrifying experience of my life. I fight for my life. I beat a human man trying to rape me to death, screaming the entire time. I get to my apartment and barricade myself in again. I leave only to get food and have a breakdown in the street, quietly, immobile, in such a manner no one realises anything is wrong at all.
Just before the Chantry boom, I wake up one day and the shock/horror/disassociation experienced from having been sucked through my PS3 into Kirkwall in the first instance seems to have lifted. I feel weird and free and accepting. I feel like I’m no longer living in a dream bubble. I wonder what I’ve done with my life. I feel that frisson, that stink of what rot I’ve made of my life and what bullshit I could have spun, except this time there’s no Hawke dragging his pall of gravitas to make me feel it. I wonder that it’s taken that long to wake up. I think of the Fomari I closed away, I think of the barricade on my apartment door, I think of Elegant on holiday in Orlais.
When the Chantry boom happens, I wait it out.
After, the streets filled with grit and ash and young men and women quietly shovelling silt over the bloodstains, I stand at the bottom of that long flight of stairs to Hightown with a basket of supplies on my hip, wondering if my knees can take it.
Quietly, I snag a guard as she walks past, I give her the basket, I walk back to my apartment and close the door.
I write a lot of poverty and economy into my fics without even really thinking about why I do it. I may think about poverty, about how to represent it, about how to subvert or twist or toy with it, but never do I question why this is a thing that I write.
I grew up really poor but overly educated, from families on both sides who sacrificed everything so my immediate parents could become overeducated and still fail to get jobs because they were conspicuously poor or ethnically confused and did not fit into either the solid ethnic group (ghetto!) or mob of defensive white australian pride.
Then I hooked up with a guy whose family is even poorer than mine but who were better at masquerading as white australians courtesy of their particular mix, an act of protective ‘camouflage’ which led to their extreme racism deriding everyone not white australian, and also to deriding the particularly ethnic push to sacrifice all for the education of the children; this led to their kids being really cunning-street-smart but barely functionally literate; all out of that strange phenomenon, poverty-pride.
We have had a shocking death toll due to suicide (fast or slow) in our immediate families. We have been rejected and ridiculed for doing something different. We battle with pride and shame of our achievements, the solid jobs, the career ladder which continues to befuddle me, constant imposter syndrome, constant awareness that everything we have can be taken away so damned easily — even though, in truth, it can’t be taken away that easily at all. But truth is not the thing, here. Absence of social capital in the face of everything else; the fiscal capital becomes eminent in the absence of the social; the very presence of fiscal capital makes any possibility of social capital even less. We the first generation of middle class mediocrity live in irrational, impossible fear and a constant impending sense of doom. Money has an emotional gut-deep id-level meaning to us that intellectually, logically, it shouldn’t, and the conflict between intellectual perspective and emotional lack of perspective becomes yet another shame trigger.
There’s a thing about poverty-when-shared being some kind of bonding, solidarity, comfort — same class, same struggles. This is the poverty-pride, which shuns any attempt to strive or get better because being poverty-proud and blaming everyone else for the poverty (while at the same time elevating the poverty as evidence of being morally better than the rich or middle class) is better than trying and failing; because falling back into the morass of poverty as one marked as having stepped out of that circle is a signifier for crushing humiliation.
So I write a lot of poverty and impacts and thoughts about it and fears of trying for money and failing (or succeeding). Sometimes I think I’m skirting too dangerously on the edge of writing poverty-porn. That might be true. But I’m not going to stop. Because I write it in the same way that I write around the edge of writing blatant crushing sexual, physical humiliation, that prison of the body because of the body and its reactions — because the fear of humiliation (the fear of poverty) the fear of being degraded in my life is so much so, separated from my sense of self by only a pane of glass, that if I add a drop of kink to the mix, if I can just rose-tint that glass a bit, I make the fear-thing a safe thing. My play thing. A playground, instead of a minefield of issues.
That’s me and my use of writing as escapism.
Edits to add: oh, and what about self-insertion? I cannot deny the problematic thing which exists in my writing is my problematic thing. I throw characters into my problem, deep into it, I rip them apart with it, the problem is my self insertion, the issue, the twisting of it into borderline kink, glorification, change; why self-insert into a character, the protagonist, when I already know who I am? I self insert into the antagonist and my antagonist is never (rarely) something as simple as a character.
I’m looking at the Midgar Mass Transit Service poster.
Imagine if you lived in the Sector 7 slum, near Yojimbo Avenue.
Imagine your surprise when you get a job on Ultros Boulevard.
Then realising that you have to either walk through the violent slums, through the Lower City Access, all the way across to Ultros. Free, at least, if risky. Or catch a train from Yojimbo Av, swap lines twice, before sitting on the longest circle route there is.
Your grandma still remembers the day when working class agitators led to the then youthful and desperate Shinra CEO sabotaging the train route between Palmer Parade (it was called something different back then, in memory of one of the eight townships Midgar used to be pre-unification) and Banora St. The riots which led to Shinra’s presidency and the rise of corporation rule. You can’t even blame the structure of Midgar on poor, ill informed city planners (no one really knows Reeve’s name down there); the isolationism, vertical as well as horizontal, edgeward to centre, sector to sector, as deliberate and meticulous and cruelly human in its denial of humanity as only a very well educated architect could be.