In “Baghdad’s Teetering Floors,” Bryan Finoki writes about new barrier construction in that sunny peaceful spot on the Tigris:
Baghdad is starting to remind me a lot of that old wooden board game Labyrinth, I think it was called, or, maybe it was Tilt-A-World. The one you angled two wooden platforms back and forth with rotating knobs to maneuver a little steel marble through a maze of walls without dropping it into a hole. Ultimately, it was a game of delicate touch, floor balance, and tactical wall hugging. Advancing the marble required a strategy of resting it in a sequence of corners, or hold-outs, until you were ready to carefully slope the board again and make a run rolling the it along a fragmented edge hoping to reach another little bunker to pause once more.
It was a labyrinth of baby steps and well timed wall crawls, and playing it was a test of nerves since it took a steady hand to ever so gently pitch the platforms together in a combined direction that would roll the marble precisely where you wanted it to go. I imagine it like trying to diffuse an IED with your bare hands. One faulty overturn or misadjustment, and you were dead.
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