Sword of Bitter

When I went to Scotland, we visited Victoria Street, which inspired J.K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. They had a lot of shops dedicated to Harry Potter and sold lots of HP merchandise. It cracked me up that the first store we visited that was dedicated to Harry Potter merch, had less of an assortment than you could find in Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando. I talked to the lady in the shop and told her that, and she was asking me all about it, like I was some sort of Harry Potter authority. She was literally on the street that inspired Daigon Alley and she was excited to go to Orlando and see what Daigon Alley looked like in the US. We had to go all the way to Scotland in order to realize that we have better Harry Potter merch at an amusement park.

We did actually find another store down the street that was a little more impressive, because they were selling the Goblet of Fire, the Tri-Wizard cup and a Scots (an actual language that sounds like English, but doesn’t sound like English at all) version of Sorcerer’s Stone. My sisters were impressed with that shop, but the one that I was the most excited about was at the bottom of the street. No, it wasn’t the joke shop.

They had the original Tri-Wizard Cup.

It was a legit sword store. They had the famous sword of Scotland, the one that William Wallace used. They also had other famous ones from video games like The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword and the sword of Gryffindor. I was kind of freaking out, because I freaking love swords. I’ve always wanted one or 10, but I’ve either never had the money for it, or my wife claims “we would need some room in our house to display one”. To which I said, “Display? I’m not displaying this thing. I’m going to use it for sword fights.” I’m not sure, but I think that’s the last time we talked about getting one.

As an aficionado of movies and video games, I always told my son when he was younger that anything can be a weapon. Rapunzel used a frying pan, Rebel Wilson uses Wasabi powder, a burrito and some sausage links in Pitch Perfect 3. The standard go-to in most movies and video games are guns. Don’t get me wrong, some guns are pretty cool and create some pretty cool moments (The Matrix comes to mind) but gun fights always seem to be from a distance. Gun fights happen when participants are being chased in cars, hiding behind cars, or crashing cars into buildings, or building walls to cover you from bullets. And most of the time, one bullet can end you.

Sausage nunchakus.

Sword fights bring me back to a time when it wasn’t so easy to create a huge body count. Sword fight happened up close and more one-on-one affairs. They allowed time for bitter rivalries and trash talk. They were like classic one-on-one basketball games, except with swords. They involved footwork and dance like moves and clashing and zinging of blades. There was strategy, thought and planning involved.

They even had to think about the weight and size of the blades. Do you prefer a strong and heavy sword that could break the other, or did you like the quick fast striking blade? Or did they prefer a rusty blade that wouldn’t necessarily penetrate the skin or kill them right away, but would make your enemy have to go to the doctor afterwards to get a tetanus shot?

Watch out for rusty swords that can give you tetanus.

Sword fighting also involves certain unwritten rules and codes. Like for instance, when you slay someone, do you get to keep their sword? If you pull the sword out of the stone, do you get the magical powers of sword slaying? If someone creates a Hanzo sword just for you, does that mean that no one else can use it properly? And the Honzo sword brings up another point about swords. They all need to be named. Mine would be called Sword of Bitter.

The thing that my wife doesn’t think about is all the utilities that swords have besides sword fighting. Like for instance, one time she wanted me to cut onions (which I hate for many reasons) and I didn’t want to cry. I had to use a knife and ended up getting that onion smell all over my hands. If we had a sword around, I could have cut the onions from a distance. So maybe the countertop would have been cut in half. Small price to pay for me being a little more comfortable when cutting onions.

Back in Seattle, we used to have to do our own lawn. We also had a blackberry bush that was always getting overgrown. We had a lawn mower and a chainsaw and a weed whacker and they all cost a lot of money. For the price of one Braveheart sword, we could have eliminated all those expensive tools. I could have cut the grass, weed whacked, trimmed bushes and cut down all our blackberries in one afternoon with the sword. But she wanted to go the traditional route. Bet she wishes I had that sword now that inflation is at an all-time high.

Swords are much cheaper and less explosive than lawn mowers.

It could save us on home security. Whether you have annoying neighborhood kids always coming to your house for candy (a constant problem at our house), robbers trying to get into your house to steal your TV, or an ancient ninja curse that keeps sending ninja’s to kill you, one sword could solve all your home security needs. Those Ring doorbells and window monitors don’t help when there is a home invasion. But a sword would have. And it’s a really good kid deterrent too.

Defends against ninjas way better than a home security system.

And me with my constant haircuts. Every three weeks I have to get haircut from Great Clips. Do you have any idea how much of a hassle it is to get a haircut? First, you have to find a coupon. Then you have to go to your app and check in online. You’re lucky if you can get one that doesn’t have a 30 minute wait. Then you have to drive like 3 miles to the closest one. This is the worst part though. You have to make small talk with a hair stylist for like 5-7 minutes while they shave your head. “Any fun plans for the weekend?” “Ughhh. Yes. My couch and I will be taking a nap together for the rest of the day. As soon as this awkward conversation is over. So could you stop talking and finish this thing, so you can way overcharge me and then ask for a tip that you don’t deserve?” is what I really want to say. I could say, but of course, I end up saying something dumb like, “We’re cleaning our house. Can’t wait.” All of that hassle could easily be solved by a nice sharp sword.

Bad haircuts are much easier with a sword.

I would even shave every day, instead of weekly, if I had a sword, because razor blades are just so small. It’s just way more convenient to shave with a sword.

Let’s just say that I hope my wife is reading this post, because I really want a sword for Christmas. If not, at least an Iron Mace with a nice wooden handle. Though I think I would prefer a sword, because if she want to get a promotion at work, I will need to stab someone in the back, which would be way more fun with a sword.

ARRRRRGGHHHHHHHH, I’m bleeding out

Bitter Sword of Ben

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