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"Want to play Civil War?" said Tommy.
"Sure," I said.
Then we all went upstairs to the arsenal. That's what we called my room. This is actually one of the most fun parts of the game, the preparation part. I have this big book about the Civil War, and we would go through it and decide which battle we wanted to play. Civil War always had to start at our house because we had the guns. Nobody else's parents let them play with toy guns, so we had to provide the weapons. Me and Jacob took really good care of our toy guns and it pissed us off when we gave them to other kids and they treated them like shit.
We dumped out all the guns on my bedroom floor. Jacob went and got his guns, too, and we put them all in a pile. Tommy told Andy to go get Jeff who we all fucking hate and see if he wanted to play. (Jeff lives three houses away.) I put on my cowboy hat with the stars and bars on the front of it and my toy saber and belt with a holster in it for a pistol and got my favorite rifle, which is this gun made out of real metal with a hammer that's actually really hard to pull back and a trigger that's also hard to pull back, and when it goes off it's really fucking loud, like it almost sounds like a real gun. Jacob had just gotten one almost exactly like it for his birthday, except his made a ricocheting noise, which sounds cool, but the problem with that is that when a bullet ricochets it means that it bounces off a rock or something, so it means that the bullet didn't actually kill the person you're trying to kill.
So we got all armed and we opened up the book to decide which Civil War battle we were going to play.
"Let's play the Battle of Antietam slash Sharpsburg," I said. "It's the bloodiest battle of the war. And we have a creek that could be Antietam creek."
Tommy wanted to play Bull Run—again.
"We fucking always play Bull Run," I said.
"We don't fucking always play Bull Run. We only did Bull Run like one time before. Plus they did Bull Run twice in the real Civil War."
"Fuck that. Let's play Antietam. It was far bloodier."
I pointed out that the chapter in my book that's about the Battle of Antietam starts out, "The Battle of Antietam was perhaps the bloodiest battle of the Civil War."
"It says perhaps. And how the fuck does the guy who wrote the book know that? He wasn't fucking there."
"He heard it from other people who were there. That's how history works, dipshit."
"What the fuck does ‘bloodiest' mean? Does that mean how many people died?"
"Bloodiest means bloodiest. He's just talking about how much they bled."
Andy came back from going and getting Jeff.
"Hi," said Jeff.
"Hey, Faggy McRetard," said Tommy.
"Fuck you, penisfucker," said Jeff.
One of the main reasons we all fucking hate Jeff is because he doesn't go to our school. Now I'm at Clear Lake Middle, but back then we all went to Eisenhower Elementary, except for Jeff. Jeff went to Bixby, which is this hippie private school for faggot rich kids who still believe in the Tooth Fairy. Also Jeff was always fucking constantly taking off all his clothes. It was really fucking weird. You'd go over to his house to play Legos or something and then all of a sudden for no reason Jeff takes off all his clothes except for his socks and walks around the house until his babysitter tells him to put his clothes back on.