Gary L. Simmons  rev 07/09/04  http://webwonks.org/Marathon/Origins.html
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The Battle Cat's Litterbox


The Origin of Species

The Origin of Feces

I have been asked many times where I got the nickname or handle of "the Battle Cat". "Are you Cringer?" Ja, well I do cringe a lot while listening to politically correct speeches, but naw, it doesn't have anything to do with the He-Man or the Masters of the Universe. Another common question is, "Why does it have 'the' in front of it?"

Wellllll... A long long time ago in a job far far away I had these 3 buddies and we got to playing table top football in the lunch room during the morning break at work. You have probably played table top football in school by folding up a piece of binder paper into a triangle and flicking it with your finger to your opponent at the opposite end of a table or a desk who flicked it back. If a corner of the paper football hung over the edge of the table you got a touchdown. You could go for a kick then and the guy had to hold his fingers up like a goalpost and you had to kick it between his fingers. Remember that?

Well, there was a pogie bait machine in... a pogie bait machine... what? You know, a candy machine in the break room that had these little candy boxes that were 2 5/8" X 1 3/4" X 1/2" and make great table top footballs. We were sitting around spreading rumors one day and we got to kicking one of those little boxes around on the table and started reminiscing how much fun table top football was and got to playing a game or two.

Well we got way into it. Way too way into it. We would meet every morning and afternoon all fired up and ready to kick some butt. We all played at the same time on the same table with two footballs on the table whizzing by and crashing into each other. We would

 

get to shouting and cheering and a couple of times the table got knocked over. I was 46 years old, why do you ask?? Many times we would be nose to nose, the tension high as each play lived and died on the table top.

Each of us had several "battle boxes" as we called them, those little candy boxes we used for footballs. We took to decorating them with drawings and giving each of them names. Some were winners and some were losers and we figured out why in long sessions of heated scientific shop talk. We each had our champion battle box, mine was the Battle Cat, named after the battle box itself. It had a scrappy old bloodied alley cat drawn on it with ball point pen and highlighter. The Battle Cat not only took me to the "World Wide Interplanetary Championship Table Top Football Hall of Fame" it took me over the top and into 1st place.

When I started kicking around the Internet and needed a handle, I immediately thought of the champion battle box, the scrappy Battle Cat and took the mind set that I was not actually the Battle Cat, but I was speaking for the battle box called the Battle Cat, hence, "the Battle Cat" instead of "Battle Cat" when I signed my name. I still have the Battle Cat and the other battle boxes and have scanned them in and converted them to JPEGs. So, put your feet up and take a gander at some really stupid artwork. IMPORTANT - To best view these pages you must have JavaScript enabled in your browser preferences. If you do not, or cannot enable JavaScript in your browser then click on the "*" link beneath the battle box link to view the battle boxes.



Battle Cat
*

Here he is, the all time champeen battle box, the Battle Cat. This box has definitely seen better days. This beat up old cat has had more air time than Neil Armstrong and more fights than Bill and Hillary. He was drawn with a red ballpoint office pen on office laser printer paper then colored in with blue green and yellow office highlighters. You see, while the boss thought we were busy cranking out killer computer code we were actually... uh, er, if you are a potential employer here from the resume page, I can explain everything!
Nuke the Whales
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This hearkens back to my hippy days when we all had something or other to do with whales but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Were we supposed to hug them, or make umbrella stands from their feet or what? And what was all that about nukes? It is all blurred into a mish mash. Cripes, what was I smoking? Cat hair? My brain is gone. Anyway this is the only useful thing I could think of to do with a whale so this is what I drew. This graphic was drawn in MacPaint! Remember that? MacPaint on a Mac SE and printed out on an ImageWriter II. Those were the days. It is filled in with colored pencil and dot matrix. See? I did some of this at home!
AVENGER
*
Again MacPaint and some skulls I found in HyperCard. The crossed swords was original work. I took a colored pencil to it but it was hopeless, this battle box played as bad as it looked. It was sticky. This sucker slid across the table like you laid a long sloppy spit lick on the bottom with the flat of your tongue. I mean you could almost hear tires squealing as it jerked to a stop on the formica table top. If anything, this was the nuked whales vengence against me, but like any novelty box, if you practiced with it you had the advantage over a player who wasn't used to it playing like it was nail gunned to the table.
The Hog Fart
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Ahhhhh The Hog Fart. This turned out to be my most effective battle box when it came to psychological warfare. My toughest opponent hated this box! He would whine and moan and complain bitterly when he saw The Hog Fart set hoof on the playing field. I don't know why it bothered him so badly, I am just grateful it did. This distraction won me some close games. Sure it is a bit of a distasteful subject what with all the slippery butt spit and the filthy old bluebottle flies but I did attempt to give it a touch of class by putting it's name in an old English Font. Again, MacPaint and colored pencils.
Cliff Hanger
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I drew this one in pen and colored it with highlighter after my wife and I saw the movie "Cliff Hanger" It seemed appropriate that in order to get a point you had to make it hang over a cliff. If you flicked it too hard and it went over the edge the opponent got a free kick. Many a game was won on free kicks.
Point Blank
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Point Blank was a very good sliding battle box. If you practiced with this one you could really screw up the other guy who wasn't used to how far this thing could travel. There was a definite ground effect with this box sending it for long long slides that seemed to defy the laws of gravity. Ball point pen and highlighter. For some reason I had to explain to everybody that the spider was explaining to everybody that the bullet that put the hole in the skull was shot point blank. Do you get it or was it me the whole time?
NTFL Championship
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And here it is. The official National Table Top Football League championship trophy box. It is hard to read and I am sure you are dying to read it and slap me on the back and buy me a beer and have me tell you all about the big game so I will read it out for you. It says, "NTFL Champion of All Time, Sept. 26 thru Oct 2 1994, Gary Simmons 'Battle Cat'". Make that beer a Tree Frog beer guys and... guys... guys... hey guys where are you going? Aw the heck with you. Let me tell the folks that couldn't find the door, that was one hell of a week. Each week we fought like hellions for a trophy that was the ornate trophy-like cap of a cologne bottle that had a little football molded into the top. There was just enough room to tape the winners name... hey guys come back! Hey come on listen up. Don't go away. I said there was just enough roo... aw hell.

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