Monday, November 07, 2011


We have a winner!

And it is none other than Phil Steger, for this plaintive haiku:

Skinny generals
Slug Mountain Dew before they
Invade Kamchatka!

I like the evocative part of it... and the fact that it is a poem about the game of Risk that never mentions the name of the game.

Phil himself, of course, contributed a worthwhile commentary on Occupy Wall Street just a few weeks ago-- it must have been good, since my dad called to say so! (That is, he called me, not Phil, at least as far as I know).

Here is Phil's story:

Phil Steger was born in a Volkswagen van headed from Berkeley to Guadalajara, the child of a beat poet and a well-known novelist. They intended to name him after their favorite singer, Pete Seeger, but it was hard to write clearly in the moving van and... well, you can connect the dots.

Phil's childhood was a fascinating pastiche of experiences, and he attended a total of five schools from grades 1-7: The Dandelion School in Cambridge, Mass., the Happy LoLo Academy in San Diego, the Monty-sorri School (run by Mony Hall) in Hollywood, California, the Abingdon Friends School, and a charter school identified only as "School" in an unincorporated part of Humboldt County, California. He got fine grades at each stop and in his 4 years at Beverly Hills High, and enrolled at UCLA. While there, he worked as an actor on a series of sit-coms, including "That 70's Show," and "The Danny Bonaduce Show."

Eventually, Phil tired of the glamour and glitz, and decamped for theological training at a seminary which refuses to release his personal information or even its own name. Having received an M.Div., he opened a church outside Austin, MN, which catered to SPAM workers (the meat, not the internet miscreants). While continuing his work at that church, he now is attending law school at St. Thomas where he is well-known for his quick wit, his unusual insights, and his well-preserved VW van.

Good choice! That was my favorite one, too! The one rule of Risk is the one universal of modern warfare since the 1300s -- NEVER GET INVOLVED IN A LAND WAR IN ASIA. Those who don't know their history are doomed to blah blah blah.
Great work, Phil!

@Anonymous Bob: "But only slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!"
I agree. "Skinny General" says it all.

And Bob nails it here with his comment as well.
My favorite too! Hurray for Pete Seeger!
Is this the same Phil Steger who, until a few years ago, held the team record for the 400 Individual Medly at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota?

Records are here:
Is this the same Phil Steger who, until a few years ago, held the team record for the 400 Individual Medley at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota?

Here is the record book:
That explains the Speedo-and-hoodie look he had when he played Peter at the Trial of Christ (pictured).
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