Episode XXI – Go to your painful place and unleash your inner barbarian.

I came to a full four-point stop. The tires were completely motionless for the requisite three alligators. The blinker clicked cautiously. Since it was midday, my alter-ego was driving like a mild mannered responsible citizen. I eased out cautiously, making sure to obey each and every vehicular law, especially all of the laws that would annoy other drivers. The toaster and I were headed over to Bismarck’s house, because just moments before he had called with what he termed the most fantastic idea ever.

“Even better than Ultimate Fighting Bodysurfing?” I had inquired laconically, only to hear the cold dial tone as his reply.

I was curious. Bismarck was the invention guru and plan formulator of the group, so I at least had to see what he had developed this week. The commute was short, and I parked behind the ugly rear end of Senor Inteligente’s prize automobile. He drove a mobile trash-heap of a car that had the fabulous sticker ‘My Other Car is a Klingon Bird of Prey’ festooned on its bumper.

Inteligente and Bismarck were out on Bismarck’s lawn, chatting amicably as I arrived.

“So, what’s the plan, bitches?” I said in greeting.

“Take a look for yourself, foolio.” Bismarck said in a casual manner, gesturing at the well-manicured grass that could never aspire to grow past two inches in height.

I looked. Arranged in a haphazard fashion off to the side was a collection of oddly arranged white plastic pipes. I was about to make some sort of spicy, off-the-cuff scathing remark when I noticed that the majority of the pipes had been ineptly wrapped in duct tape and foam. Upon closer inspection, the pipes, foam, and tape had been made into crude swords.

“They’re swords!” Inteligente announced helpfully. “We’ve been making them most of the morning.”

“Really? They’re swords?” I said acidly. The sarcasm was lost on Inteligente.

“Yeah, there’s a long sword, a short sword, a broad sword, a two handed-sword, and battle-axe of sorts.”

“And it only took two of you to make these fine implements?”

“Well, it was mostly Bismarck” Inteligente continued on, obliviously, “but I was able to assist, you know.”

“So you’d say that you’re some sort of apprentice then?” I continued, smiling, “And that some day you’ll be the master, and you’ll be able to do this all on your own? Your parents must be so proud.”

“Stop being a jackass.” Bismarck laughed.

“No, really.” I said, laughing. “I understand that the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, but this is too extravagant. These will definitely come in handy for repelling – well, I dunno, repelling roving bands of similarly foam armed raiders, or maybe Martians – perhaps small ani…oof!”

The wind was abruptly driven out of me as Bismarck pounded me on the back with one of the larger swords.

“An excellent use!” Inteligente noted enthusiastically.

“Seriously.” Bismarck noted. “Do you have some sort of condition that leads you to babble on and on endlessly in a wordy mess?”

“Verbosity. That’s his problem.” Inteligente added helpfully.

“You’re going to have a condition now!” I muttered as I staggered to get up. “Ow. My spine!”

“Exactly.” Bismarck stated in a satisfied tone, brandishing the two handed sword. “Meet the ‘Widowmaker’. If it had been real, you’d be cut in half right now.”

“If it’d been real, I would have kept my mouth shut.” I grumbled. “And the only way it’s the Widowmaker is if you hit me in the balls. And then it’d really be more like the ‘Ball-Cleaver.’”

“Precisely.” He said, grinning.

“Stay away from me you maniac!” I yelled, scrambling over to the pile of weaponry.

Once I was armed, it was melee mayhem. Swords were swung like bats, curving arcs of fake destruction that bounced off backs, legs and arms like we were all individual super-men. Eventually the battle began to take on a more refined form as the three of us began to actually grasp the intricacies of sword play. Instead of hacking and waiving our implements of destruction with wild abandon, a semblance of actual fighting began to creep in. Whatever skill we had gained in the half-hour rumble was discarded quickly when one of us felt like they could land a particularly bruising blow. Approximately thirty-three minutes into the scuffle we were all seated in a circle, each eyeing the other with suspicious glances while nursing welts in inauspicious places, our naked blades kept close by to prevent any further treachery.

“This sucks.” Bismarck noted. “This isn’t like actually sword-fighting at all.”

“You’re right. Since there is no real danger of us actually killing each other, it is much less entertaining than UFB.” I ventured.

“Man, you are a killjoy.” Inteligente said, aimlessly swinging his sword.

“Wait.” Bismarck interrupted, noticing I was about to lay a handsome beat down on the unaware Inteligente. “What if we modified the rules?”

“There were rules?”

“No – that was the problem.” He began “Let’s try it again, except this time, if you get hit in the arm, you can’t use that arm, and if you get hit in the leg…”

“We get it. Why don’t we just get some food coloring packets too, for added effect?”

“And if you get hit in the vital area, you’re dead.”

I’ve got an idea.” I muttered, heaving myself up with my sword as a crutch. “Why don’t we just use real swords?”

Cautiously, the three of us again squared off. The new rules lead to a dramatic drop off in actual action, and lots of circling. The “battle-damage” rule of Bismarck also led a comical flair to the whole proceedings, as we hopped on one leg and attempted to fence simultaneously. The whole skirmish then took on the gravitas of a bad remake of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“Feint! Thrust! Parry! Feint! Thrust! Parry!” Inteligente prattled on as he hopped around me. I was wobbling on one leg while he dithered about what to do.

“Stop being a pansy and just finish me off.” I yelled at him.

“Don’t be so demanding.” He said, pausing to glance at me. “You’re just bitter because I’ve bested you on the field of battle many times. Unfortunately, it was true. Inteligente’s superior quick reflexes had been the bane of my existence under the “Battle-Damage” era.

“Yeah. For someone that’s a macho egomaniac, you sure suck.” Bismarck chimed in.

“Now don’t go all evil triangle on me.” I said, placing my sword on the ground and giving him a glare.


“Evil triangle.” I stated simply. “I’m sure you’ve noticed that since there are usually three of us when we hang out. This leads to a group dynamic imbalance.”


“Well, there is always an unofficial shifting alliance of two members, to bag on the third person.”

“Interesting.” He said, stroking his attempt at beard growth.

“I agree.” Inteligente began. “You guys are always…”

“Shut up!” Bismarck and I said in unison, which led to universal laughter.

“Anyway. Besides the point. In this case here, this isn’t real. If it was…you guys would be so toast.” I said.

“How so?” Bismarck asked.

“Well, for starters, I doubt I’d really be missing a whole leg from one glancing sword stroke. So I’d be wounded. But I’d also be fighting for my life, so I’d have the crazy adrenaline rush. Plus, there would be no ‘rules’, because it’s my life. So I’d do this.”

With that I leaped forward at the unprepared Inteligente, and with vicious speed, back handed the ‘guard’ of my sword toward his nose. Eyes wide in shock he stumbled backward and slipped and fell on the hill. Instantly, I had the point on his chest. Then, with a quick pivot, and a gleam of malice in my eye, I whipped my foot at Bismarck’s crotch. As he dodged, I whipped my vorpal blade at his stomach.

“Dead and deader!” I announced.

“What?!??! Bismarck complained. “R for reset!”

“More like U for Unorthodox.” Inteligente added from his butt.

“How about ‘total victory’” I crowed, “Because dead men don’t know the alphabet.”

With that, I quit the field of battle and sought forth the spoils that befit my conquering status.