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Stickfight

Rat Scratching #6

Its a strange question but does looking good and being successful mean you are going to be a nasty person, I don’t know about fencers (we may get on to that later) but it is certainly the case with people in general, and for my case I put for Forward the different tube line and where you get on and off, for the last 2 years I have been at kings cross and using the silver link to get to canary wharf and it is full of the dregs of London ( yes that is why I am there) and no matter how busy it was people did not push, people weren’t nasty and people got to work in the best way they could ( and I am talking about the silver link here, the tube drivers call it the scum link is so grot grot) but as I have said before I am currently camping down at Jo and Marcs and have been travelling on the district line, and I tell you I have never meat a bigger group of nasty petty, rude, pushy evil little sods, for the first time since I started stick fighting I have wanted to get my epees out and lay about me until all are dead or dieing, and its all the more worse for the fact that they all look immaculate, all in posh suits and fancy clothes, but WHAT I hear you cry has this got to do with the wonderful sport of fencing, well I’m glad you asked (no really I am), the main difference to me between the people on the different tube lines is that the ones on the district are used to success (the areas are posher and cost lots to live in) and that makes them arrogant, but does that apply to the successful fencers that are always at the top of the rankings, now I don’t know about foil or saber but as far as epee goes I can happily say nooo!!, without an exception I have found the top fencers to be pleasant and none arrogant (the Sussex house epeeists are the perfect example of this) so why the discrepancy, after all in a lot of the large companies I have worked for the top ranked successful people are as nasty and little minded pile of sods that you ever want to see tied to post and covered in their own excrement, and I think it is the physical part, the fact it is all so temporary and that if you let up for one second someone’s on you and your beaten, so you never get time to become arrogant, what ever the reasons, I personally find it very refreshing to find the people at the top of the tree are bearing sweet fruit, without that nasty bitter ness that turns you stomach.

Lester, ahhh if have fucked up again, I mean AGAIN!!!! (I’m telling you its nuts it took my kids less time to start walking and talking from birth, than it has taken me to get good at fencing {mind you a lot of fencers cant walk and talk, not together anyway!!), pool went fine but ( 4-1 up with an +5 indicator ) but I banged into Mr. Bennet in the 128, he in a most gentlemanly manner took me to bits (15-6), I am past anger and upset and into disbelief, but their are some plus points

1) Mr. Bennet was most kind in pointing out my problems when I asked him, these are not extending my arm properly and being very easy to feint to that I parry cart{and its bad cart at that}, to this Jo has added poor lunge (I lean) which we will have to fix, and I am going to throw in poor distance control., so lots to work on,

2) I have no points to defend this year so I have not lost anything but the opportunity,

3) when I explained what I had done to sweetness she was most supportive (she did not make that short silence that mean that I have sodded it up on her eyes) so all in all I could have been worse (it could also have been a lot bloody better), and in the fine tradition of finding someone else to blame other than yourself, I am going to pick Ben Measures, as he is having a good day and he was also in the pool with tom Bennet and beat him, so I am off to find some rotten eggs to throw at him in his fights)

Oh.. 6 new tshirts have been poped on the tshirt page

Jo and Mr. Bengry are fighting on and doing well in spite of being absolutely shattered after yesterday (Mr. Bengry looked as if he had no sleep in 2 weeks and had to wrestle rhinos each day)

update Jo has won, and defended her title, and so the trip back in the Maynard’s car will not be fill with black depression, also the waitresses at the little chief we stopped at did not get shouted at ether

SOD!! I forgot my camera so you have my profound grovelling apologies that their is no movie for the Lester open, this is of particular sorrow as I would have been able to capture the fight between Alistair and the elder barbasavich brother, which was absolutely amazing and wins my award for the fight of the day, Alistair was totally on fire, and was moving around like a man possessed. Even worse was the fact that no one videoed it, thus meaning that a permanent record of it was lost forever (if anyone has by chance I video of it, please tell me so that I might get a copy, I dare say Alistair would want one as well) to try and make up for the lack of movie I have written a little quiz for fencers so that they can judge how much of a fencing freak they are (with any luck I will be able to get it into the sword, but due to its content I somehow doubt it….sigh):

Q1) its Sunday lunch and only the last drop of gravy is left (which you want), do you:

A) If you see anybody else reach for the gravy boat, you parry their hand in cart and riposte to grab the boat, thus claiming victory

B) challenge the whole table to a Sunday open, first having a round of pools, making them all wait ages while you do the scoring then finishing of your uncle in a titanic DE final in the living room before being presented with the gravy boat and pouring the contents on your now stone cold meal.

C) Gently argue with the rest of your family over who gets the gravy, while you aunt (who pretends she is deaf) nips in and polishes it off

Q2) what do you wear for casual clothes when going out clubing/pubing on a Saturday night?

A) You fencing breaches sprayed gold with the most up to date Leon Paul jacket and a ryne stone encrusted plastron, as fencing gear is so “bling”

B) Normal clothes, what has fencing got to do with going out?? Weirdo!!

C) manly normal clothes but with something that show the rest of the world that you are a fencer, maybe a witty fencing t-shirt, or your fencing trainers (they cost bloody enough to wear out) just a conversation piece so you can get the talk onto fencing with anybody you might meet.

Q3) does fencing and its kit intrude into you bedroom life?

A) No, fencing kit smells bad; it stays in the laundry basic or kit bag

B) Sort of, my partner likes to see me lunge and leap around a bit before hand, before leaving my kit and fencing ideas firmly on the floor.

C) I do the deed wearing my plastron and a mask.

Q4) how much do you talk about fencing to your none fencing friends

A) Sometimes, it’s more interesting that watching 22 men kick a bladder round a field for 90 minutes

B) They all put cotton wool in their ears when I open my mouth

C) You can have none fencing friends??

Q5) do you do other sports than fencing?

A) sometimes but only as part of a careful controlled training raysheame for the benefit of my fencing, such as swimming or wholesome racket sports

B) Other sports!!!, how could you try and tempt me with this, don’t you know all other sports are the work of the devil and there practitioners should all be burn at the stake

C) hell yeah, I have a go at anything, as long as it fun, I just do fencing so I can stab people and get away with it.

Q6) Of your girlfriends/boyfriends what percent have been fencers?

A) 0%, ouhh! Nasty!! Not likely. That would mean just too much fencing kit around, and every body and I mean everybody would gossip about it, and anyway who would want to go out with a fencer…er..um.

B) 1%-50%, I can take them or leave them,

C) 50%-100% I must have them!, oh! the way they move, and their shear intellectual brilliance mean that fencers are the only ones for me.

Q7) how much care do you take of your weapons

A) Check them before a comp and if they stop working give them the minimum attention to get the light to start coming back on

B) I don’t, they live in fear of me, not working means I whack them on the ground, and in the case if them being the suspected reason for me losing a fight, I bang them on walls and kick them around, weapons must obey your every need with no maintenance and failure to do so means being given to a decorator to stir his paint with.

C) they are my babies, I check them each night, and have little beds for them to sleep in so that they don’t catch cold, all the way through a fight I constantly look along them checking for the slightest little imperfection in their less than 1 cm bend and gentle tease out any kinks, I take them on holiday so that they can get a bit of sun and fresh air (but I don’t feed them any foreign fencers as that would be bad for their diet)

Q8) how you prepare for a fencing completion

A) after going down extra early the day before, I freat and worry needlessly until I am a bag of nerves, I get accommodation so close to the venue (so that I won’t be late) that the beds are naff and I don’t get any sleep, but that does not matter as I have spent the whole night meditating in the on guard position with my swords laid out in a pattern of cosmic significance before me

B) p-r-e-p-a-r-e???, your kidding right? you just turn up and fight

C) beer, beer, beer!!

Q9) how often do you wash your kit

A) never, if it wants to be washed it can crawl in to washing machine and sort it its self out

B) never, I have a slave called “mommy” who does it for me.

C) When there are more than 3 forms of fungus growing on it

Q10) what happens when you lose badly in a completion

A) shrug, (there is always next year)

B) I burn my breaches, shave my head and become a monk/nun

C) I make all around me miserable for at least 24 hours (after all misery should be shared)

Q11) in you home what evidence that this is the residence of a fencer is there to be seen?

A) none the other members of the human race that I share the house with are normal, and insist that all fencing gear is confined to a cage in the back garden where it can still be heard growling in the night

B) there is a nasty smell coming from the wash basket, and of course you have just tripped over the fencing bag in the hall.

C) my house/room is a shrine to the gods of the duel, with special note given to the toilet carpet which is woven out of old fencing socks.

Q12) how much fencing do you do each week?

A) once sleeping, eating and breathing are done, all other time is dedicated to fencing

B) fencing is more important than eating, sleeping and on occasion breathing.

C) it’s a hobby for heavens sake; I do it when I have time

Q13) when you stop fencing, for example, when you go on holiday, how does this affect you?

A) I carry a photo of my favorite weapon and cry myself to sleep at night holding it.

B) I take my fencing bag on holiday (dealing with all the pain and crisis that brings), and try and find foreign fencing clubs to fight at

C) A break from fencing, horary!!, my coach wont shout at me for a couple of weeks.

Q14) what time do you arrive for booking at a fencing comp

A) On time

B) I sleep out side the fencing hall, so that I can be first in and start my warm up.

C) I do saber!, so I turn up when I feel like it.

Q15) can you remember your first fencing lesson

A) its on video, and I watch it each night, to keep the sweetness of the memory fresh

B) er…yeh…think so… we all stood in a funny position, and shuffled up and down, then we were given a sword and pretended to be Errol Flynn

C) Pain and terror has blanked my memory

Q16) what does the smell of a full fencing hall conjure in your mind

A) Time for my kit to have its yearly wash

B) The smell of joy and rapture, the smells of home and of happiness unbounded

C) What you get if 2 dozen rugby players are locking in a hot sewage farm for a week with a brace of badgers

Q17) if you were washed up on a desert island, what item would you most what to find there

A) The desert Island A-grade, open to last minute entries

B) A boat and supplies…I have to get back for a fencing lesson

C) The lost tribe of “beautifulrandynudes”

Q18) what are the contents of your car?

A) tapes/cd’s, maybe a half empty bottle of coke, some sweets, the odd magazine, just stuff

B) well yes, there is a copy of the sword in a side pocket and you can find about 4-5 half empty packets of sweets, and I will admit that 12 liters is a lot of water to keep in a car, but it is still a car first and fencing transport second (pass us the AA road map its got the location of all “near to comp” travel lodges in it and I will be lost if it goes missing!!)

C) its a sort of fencing scrap yard, bits of weapons, old raged plastrons, and wires fill every crack, weapon tips roll around under the seats every time I turn a corner, and there is the lingering smell of rotting bananas and old sandwiches, to sit down you have to shift the dog eared a to z’s of places like Lester and Bristol, and never no matter how much you want to no matter how much I plead for you to “just check if my BFA card is in there” ever EVER venture into the glove compartment.

Q19) how did you get your last injury?

A) I am currently suffering from a repeat injury caused by poor footwork and inadequate stretching pre fight, it has a name as long as my arm and I will describe it to you in minute detail as well as what I am doing to have it sorted, if you give me half a chance.

B) I was cruelly stabbed in the chest by a full on fleshe when I was thinking about something else (its left me with a bruise the size of an orange, that wakes me up when I roll over in the night, the SWINE!!)

C) I stabbed my self in the foot while raking the lawn

Q20) you’re caught in a pub fight!, someone crashes into you and a flailing fist catches you in the ear, what do you do?

A) parry their other hand in octave, enter corps - a - corps and knee them in the groin

B) Insist that the offender is given a red card for roughness

C) Smash you drink into your attackers face, kick them in the kidneys when they go down and leg it before their mates catch you

Q21) Have you actually written down all you answers and are taking this quiz seriously.

A) Naaa!! it’s just a laugh, and I don’t get half the jokes

B) Just doing it while I wait for the next round of the DE

C) damb right its serious!!, its taking about 2 hours to collate all the scores and I am submitting my answers to British fencing, and hope it will add to my ranking points

Scoring
Q1A=5B=10C=0
Q2A=10B=0C=5
Q3A=0B=3C=10
Q4A=3B=5C=10
Q5A=7B=10C=0
Q6A=0B=0C=10
Q7A=0B=7C=10
Q8A=10B=0C=-10
Q9A=3B=7C=10
Q10A=0B=10C=5
Q11A=0B=3C=10
Q12A=5B=10C=0
Q13A=10B=7C=0
Q14A=0B=10C=3
Q15A=10B=0C=3
Q16A=5B=10C=0
Q17A=10B=5C=0
Q18A=0B=7C=10
Q19A=10B=5C=0
Q20A=5B=10C=0
Q21A=0B=0C=10

What kind of fencing freak are you?

0-40 Points

You’re not a true fencer, ether that of you have done it for so long that you have burnt out all the freakishness, either way you are far too normal

41-129 Points

Ummm..You have potential to be a fencing freak, but you still need work, at the moment you are just a general freak, I prescribe 2 Haverstock training camps and a course of Alp parties, come back and see me next year.

130-200 Points

Ah!!!.. That’s what we like to see a nice well rounded freak, normal people run shrieking at the sight of you, but you are truly an obsessive person and as such fencing is your rightful home.

210 Points

FREAK FREAK!!!, get away from me, your just too much!!, you should be kept in a box and only let out into the rest of humanity as opens.

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