WORDS / FRED KINSLOW
ILLUSTRATION / BETH POST
Though only mentioned as a mere footnote in the North African War Campaign of World War 2, Brigadier Pudding Pie is still revered as a war hero in the city of Zambriana, Egypt.
For it was here, or maybe there, depending where you’re currently located. Probably there though, just because the law of averages dictates that you are probably not, in fact, located in, or anywhere remotely near, Zambriana, Egypt.
Not now anyway.
But if you had been located in Zambriana, Egypt in June of 1941 then you would have witnessed one of the greatest feats of leadership no one ever talks about:
THE BATTLE WHEREIN “FOOTNOTE” BRIGADIER PUDDING PIE RALLIED HIS OUTNUMBERED TROOPS TO THE MOST UNLIKELY ALLIED VICTORY OVER THE AXIS OF EVIL IN ONE ZAMBRIANA, EGYPT IN JUNE OF 1941.
No one knew then (how could they without the aid of history books) that Brigadier Pudding Pie was left alone at the frontline of a forgotten battle. You see, Mr. Churchill was enjoying a mid afternoon espresso, a smidge too bitter but with nice coloring, a pleasant earthy brown turning black, while overlooking a dossier which contained stratagems for ending the war:
* European intelligence reveals there is a stronghold of German chocolatiers hiding in Worms, Germany. The Behavioral Department strongly suggests the eradication of all products positively reinforcing the Fader land.
* Send reinforcements to the North African War Theatre, namely one Zambriana, Egypt. There is a Brigadier named Pudding Pie (his actual real name and not a nickname) who believes the liberation of Egypt will cause the Axis forces to be overstretched and as a result will increase the likelihood of drawing in the Axis forces from the Pacific Theatre, weakening their overall position.
* Brigadier Pudding Pie is also a cat, but a damn brave one willing to do what it takes and smart enough to know what it takes to do what it takes, obviously because he has risen through the ranks to Brigadier at a remarkable rate. He’s also not an overeater like that flabby coward Lieutenant General Tootsie Malone.
* Continue to airdrop pamphlets mocking the Fuhrer. Research has shown pamphlets dropped from the sky satirizing the enemy’s leader are a surefire way of winning a war. This has been proven since before even aeronautical technology was as sufficiently developed as todays. Or at least since the catapult was invented.
* I know surrender isn’t an option, but I’m placing it here anyway.
But as Mr. Churchill came to read the second bullet point in STRATAGEMS FOR ENDING THE WAR an espresso grain tickled the back of his throat causing him a great spasm of coughing, and in the commotion of coughing he spilled his just-a-touch-too-bitter espresso over the second bullet point advising him to send reinforcement to Zambriana, Egypt.
Where our hero is currently entrenched in an epic game of cat and mouse with a yarn as long, if not longer, than the underground wire running under most of Europe and parts of Northern Africa.
It is here where the story truly begins.