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The Big Cod vs. King Kong!

Ever since last October when he was officially named "The Big Cod" by his troops and Esprit de Corps readers, General Rick Hillier has been pitted against other superheroes to determine macho supremacy. In his first outing, The Big Cod destroyed Superman; the following month Esprit de Corps' own Rantman (a.k.a. Michael Nickerson) found out that the pen is no match for a sword wielded by the general.

Since then, the Action Figure Academy filed a complaint with us noting that the judging criteria in the first two bouts had made it impossible for any challenger to defeat The Big Cod, thus forcing us to alter the point-scoring process. As a result, last month's battle was a hard fought, furiously paced bone-crusher, but at the end of the day, it was the Terminator who was dragged from the ring, and the champion belt was still fastened around the tanned, chiselled six-pack of The Big Cod's muscular waist.

This month's challenger is none other than the great King Kong, and our judging staff was faced with a number of difficult problems. First of all, there was the fact that The Big Cod's destruction of former defence minister Gordon O'Connor was likened to the fighting prowess displayed by King Kong when he took apart two T. Rexes. Such a similar fighting style was bound to cause both contestants some problems. The fact that we were pitting a giant of a human against an enormous primate also needed to be resolved.

The solution was resolved with a call to Hollywood to secure a guest referee by the name of Cheetah. He is the chimp actor who played alongside Johnny Weissmuller in the Tarzan movies. At 78, he's the oldest chimpanzee on record, and still lives in L.A. Despite his advanced years, he is still able to play with children's toys, watches his old movies and is able to communicate with a symbol vocabulary of 700 words. His owner was excited at the opportunity of giving the old chimp some new publicity since few fans know he is still alive. All the other human actors from those films are long since dead, but Cheetah was only two or three years old when he starred in them.

We knew that he would show a bias towards King Kong, but he was only one of five judges this month. To balance off the pro-monkey ref, we also enlisted the temporary assistance of a chap who goes by the handle "Killer Canuck" on the Army.ca website. Although KC's vocabulary is only about half that of Cheetah's, he firmly believes The Big Cod is "more powerful than power itself."

Here's how the battle evolved ...

1) King Kong led with the fact that he is an all powerful ruler in a world far removed from civilized society. Violence is the way of this isolated world and despite the presence of some incredibly tough characters, King Kong reigns supreme. The Big Cod easily counters with the fact that he too presides over a subculture steeped in violence and little understood by the general public--the Canadian Forces. RESULT: DRAW

2) King Kong comes from the forbidden Skull Island were few outsiders have ventured. This tropical abyss is filled with savage locals, deadly insects and vicious dinosaurs. The Big Cod hails from Newfoundland. RESULT: DRAW

3) It was against King Kong's wishes to be dragged into a world of deceit and trickery, where people without moral compasses attempted to humiliate him in public. Faster than you can say Sandra Buckler, The Big Cod matches the big ape with his own tale of being plunged into the world of politics where people attempted to hurt him with words. RESULT: DRAW

4) By sticking to his principles, King Kong lashes out against those who would mock him, and despite his terrifying appearance, wins over the hearts and minds of the movie audience. Just as deftly, The Big Cod is able to trundle about in a fearsome well-worn camouflage uniform and have the media eating out of his well-calloused hand--much to his tormentor's dismay. RESULT: DRAW

5) On his climb to the top of the Empire State Building, King Kong is frequently irritated by the air force, but he simply swats the planes out of his way. During his rise to chief of defence staff, The Big Cod was similarly irritated by the air three, triggering a similar response to that of the giant ape. RESULT: DRAW

6) In order to protect his love, Ann Darrow, King Kong pays little regard to the collateral damage he causes to New York City. Despite the extensive destruction, the audience sees the oversized monkey as a noble beast and loves him all the more. In The Big Cod's case, the love of his life is in the form of freedom, democracy and the Canadian way, but the results are about the same in terms of winning public opinion. RESULT: DRAW

7) At the end of the movie, King Kong successfully protects Ann Darrow, but he is killed in the process. In contrast, Canadian citizens remain free from Taliban occupation, our women are not forced to wear burkhas, Tim Hortons is now on every corner in Canada and in Kandahar. And, most importantly, The Big Cod lives. ADVANTAGE: THE BIG COD

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RESULT: The Big Cod. In the end, the current champ retains his title.

NEXT MONTH: The Big Cod goes toe to toe with Rambo!
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Title Annotation:AT EASE: Military trivia & humour; Rick Hillier
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 1, 2008
Words:912
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