The Call, of Duty

The Cast: Andy (Nikolai Belinski), Erich (Edward Richtofen), Myself (Tank Dempsey).

Many years ago, when Call of Duty was young(ish), Andy, Erich (& sometimes one of his boys), and myself would gather around our Playstations to participate in our weekly killing of the zombie hordes. On Friday nights we three (and the occasional fourth) would use the online capabilities of modern technology to spend time together and kill the digital undead. Great times to be sure.

Well, at some point I began to write a song about these fictional heroes and the stresses of their warped world (I liked to annoy and entertain while we game). So, on July 31, 2013 I began to write the song down. I finished it on August 1, 2013 (lots of effort went into it).

After all this time I thought I would finally put the lyrics to the music (I shamelessly borrowed the tune from Disney’s It’s a Small World—don’t judge me). With the help of my wife—who can read music, I have finally been able to put those words to their correct notes.

Because I am fond of fun—almost too much—and don’t always know when to stop, there are eleven verses. That’s right, ELEVEN! To allow them all to fit, I have provided four verses to a page—including the chorus. So, verses 1–4 are pages 1–3, verses 5–8 are pages 4–6, verses 9–11 are pages 7–9, and as a special added bonus (because you ordered right now) I am including the original final verse for free! That’s right free! Sing along with your friends about the insanity of playing Call of Duty zombies, and choose which final verse you like best. Get into a fight with your buddies over which one is better and post it on social media (well, maybe not a fight, but feel free to take sides and argue).

Three years later, on January(s) 1–5, 2016, I decided to commemorate the C.O.D. zombie horde fun by illustrating Andy, Erich, and myself as our favorite C.O.D. zombie playable heroes and then sent a digital copy for them to use as a playstation theme wallpaper (which we all did). Erich liked the doctor as his insanity was funny to listen to. I enjoyed Dempsey because, well, he’s a Marine and so am I. Andy thoroughly enjoyed his Russian buddy simply because of the things he said about his 4th wife. I entitled it: Meanie, Myself, and Nikolai.

Call of Duty: From left to right: Erich as Edward Richtofen, Myself as Tank Dempsey, and Andy as Nikolai Belinski.
From left to right: Erich portrayed as Edward Richtofen, Myself as Tank Dempsey, and Andy represented by Nikolai Belinski—each of us holding our favorite weapons.

As we would play, my Marine combat training would kick-in. I would be barking orders through the mic. “Move it! Move it! Move it!” “Reload!” “I need ammo!” “I’m down!” “I got the [bad word here] gun! AGAIN!” or any number of sort-of-humanized-Marine-Corps contempt and abuse directed at my best friends—or even myself (it is a stress-triggered programing). They were always good about it though and just laughed it off or would remind me to relax (it sometimes would help) and I would apologize.

The time spent was always fun and relaxing (in spite of what I just wrote, it really was relaxing). If we didn’t start off as our prefered characters Erich would often restart the game just so we could play as our favorites. We developed strategies, game methods, and rules. One rule was: Run! And throw grenades. If the other two had died, your job was to run. That’s it. Run. Stay alive. Andy would often forget this rule and try to save one of us (good man, Andy), and then he would die. Erich and I would yell at him, he’d say, “Sorry.” We’d all laugh and play again. We each knew it was all in good fun.

We accepted each others shortcomings and strengths. We listened and cared to the issues we each had in life: family struggles, illnesses, school, children, work, whatever. And then, we would try to council and assist in any way we could. Call of Duty Friday’s may have seemed like just a ‘Guy’s Game Time’ (used to ignore wives and lives), but it wasn’t. We grew closer even though we had all literally moved apart. Our wives usually understood (bless them). It was a bonding time. It was a brotherhood time.

It was good times. Always a blast.

2 thoughts on “The Call, of Duty

  1. I was talking to Erich recently about this, and man oh man, I miss it so much! I can honestly say in my many years of video gaming, I have never had as much fulfillment and all out fun playing video games as I did on our Friday Guy’s Zombie Date Night! You got everything spot on in your song, it was great — the memories came flooding back in the pure joy of killing the undead together! I did feel like I was the reason for us dying so many times though – sorry 🙂 I honestly looked forward to that night so much. Waking up on Friday mornings was like Christmas every week because I knew what I would be doing that night. Thanks for stirring up some of my most favorite and cherished memories sir, and for allowing me to be myself around you guys. I could truly let loose and know there was no judgment going on.

    I’m going to be humming and singing “It’s a Zombie World” in my head for quite a long time…and every time with the biggest smile on my face. Love ya bro man!

    Liked by 1 person

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