The Battle for Terminal F Food Court

Dear Sirs,

In light of certain recent Statements made by the President of the United States upon the celebration of the American Day of Independence, I have undertaken to write a brief history, in Verse, of an oft (and, might I add, sadly) o’erlooked episode in that Nation’s War of Independence. A pale imitation of the Eminence of Longfellow, Layamon, and Watterson, I hope it is, nevertheless, an Entertainment suitable for your esteemed Publication. I present, Sirs,


America’s got glory,
But one historic story
Stirs patriotic hearts with its report:

Hear tell of Old GeorgeWashington,
Who led his loyal countrymen
In battle at the Terminal F Food Court.

My son, you must remember
On an evening in December
How the Continentals readied for a fight.

They crossed the frozen Delaware
To catch the Hessians unaware
And kick them in the derrière
In the night.

Bold Washington, the general,
(The best of men and venerable)
Bade them march to Philadelphia - not a peep.

For there, just off I-95,
If our country wanted to survive,
They had to catch those Hessians fast asleep.

It was early in the struggle,
and the Congress was in trouble
As the British then could dominate the skies.

They backed their harsh authority
With air superiority
they’d fighters, bombers, rotaries, drone spies.

While the skies went uncontested
The Americans were bested:
They couldn’t move by daylight without fear.

For His Majesty’s fighter-bombers
were often wont to bother,
Harass, annoy, and molestate their rear.

Worse yet, in terms logistical,
their transports packed with victuals
kept garrisons supplied with food to spare.

The Yankees tried besieging,
cut supply lines and went reaving,
but the British troops munched on without a care.

The French had sent a fistful
of anti-aircraft missiles
But even those broughtWashington no luck.

For the Redcoats (at their leisure)
deployed counter-battery measures,
electric jamming, flares, and pilot pluck.

Washington’s desperate last resort
Was to take the British airports
And deny the RAF its landing-strips.

(In the latter 18th century,
land-based airports were obligat’ry,
as you can’t land fighter jets on wooden ships.)

At the Airport all was silent
Unprepared for struggle violent
As the Hessians slumbered off their Christmas feast.

They’d controllers in the Tower
Who with radar the skies scoured,
But unwatched were all approaches to the east.

Colonel Rall and his Lieutenants
(with the Regimental pennants)
Slept tightly in American’s Admiral’s Club.

(AAdvantage Platinum Cardholders
Receive discounts on all bar-orders
Free wi-fi, and some complimentary grub.)

Their men camped in the concourse,
tossed uncomfortably on the hard floors
or curled up on the seats as best they could.

While out across the tarmac,
Yankee troops prepared to a-ttack
Checked their flints, formed ranks, and silent stood.

At Washington’s command,
the grenadiers in the van
Quietly advanced on term’nal F.

They garrotted the sentires,
rammed the ramparts and made entries
While militiamen advanced upon the left.

Imagine the confusion,
Hesitation and bemusion
As the Hessians woke to find the Yankees there:

They fled to’wards the food court
And though some of them were stalwart,
Some threw surrend’ring hands into the air.

Colonel Rall and his Lieutenants
(with the Regimental pennants)
Heard the din and sallied forth into the night.

“Halt this madness!” cried the Colonel,
and despite the din infernal,
the Hessian troops formed ranks and held them tight.

The grenadiers in the van
Tried to match them man to man,
and the Food Court then became a roiling fight.

Soon the sulfur’d smell of powder
And the scent of spilled clam chowder,
Told Washington that Rall would not give way.

He rallied Contientals,
and then through his oaken dentals
Cried “Charge!” And plunged into the bloody fray.

The valiant Contientals
Earned themselves a heap of medals
As they broke the Hessian lines by Gate F2.

They chased the frightened Hessians
From Sabarro and from Freshëns
Jamba Juice, Au Bon, and Hudson News.

Then the struggle was soon ended,
And the Yankees wounds were mended,
and the Hessians bonded under lock and key.

As the sun began to waken,
A rapid stock was taken,
and Washington knew his army had to flee.

So he told his sappers outright,
“Take your semtex and your thermite
And do your worst to all the aircraft here.”

And explosions soon were sounded,
And the RAF was grounded,
And the Yankees all let out a grand old cheer.

America’s got glory,
But one historic story
Stirs patriotic hearts with its report:

Hear tell of Old George Washington,
Who led his loyal countrymen
to victory at the Terminal F Food Court.

                                M. DE PLOUM