I find myself at one of life's recuperative interludes considering an unsettled world. There is enough to recuperate from right now without the added inconvenience of going deaf from sabre-rattling --and no help for it besides a survey of local defenses. In an effort to set my mind at ease, I have reviewed the fortifications of various places around the world and compared them to those of my city.
Here is a typical example. Castle Krásna Hôrka was built in the 1300s but, according to clippings in my commonplace book, was compromised slightly over a year ago:
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Police are investigating two boys on suspicion that they set grass at the
foot of the Krasna Horka castle on fire on Saturday when they tried to
light a cigarette. "A
unit sent to the site found that two local boys aged 11 and 12 were
trying to light up a cigarette and because of careless use of safety
matches, set grass at the castle hill on fire," said Jana Mesarova, police spokeswoman for the eastern Slovak region of Kosice. "The
castle's roof burned down completely, as well as the new exhibition in
the gothic palace and the bell tower. Three bells melted."
We can excuse the designers their ignorance. In the 14th century, they could not know the destructive potential of two boys and a cigarette. In my notes, I see an aside asking if any other countries have explored this relatively inexpensive military strategy.
Our own state's capital was originally fortified. [Captain John Augustus] Sutter's Fort was begun in 1839 and covers one city block. He called it New Switzerland.
Then, what with the Gold Rush and one thing and another, the name was changed to Sacramento and it expanded to a busy city of 100 square miles, surrounded by a densely populated county ten times that size. My peaceful and therapeutic researches were shaken by an alarming realization. This city has outgrown its fortifications --perhaps irreversibly!
So I called upon my chief advisers to study the situation and, although I could only get one to consult me at a time, they both dropped by yesterday. We drew plans and made high-level calculations.
We decided it would be best, and least expensive, to lure any invading forces INTO Fort Sutter by piling treats within its walls, then bar the mighty doors behind them and not let them out until they learn to behave.