Friday, January 26, 2018

The Knobkerrie

In my earlier life, when I was unemployed and desperate, I worked as a prison warden. During that time I had to let go a lot of myths regarding selfdefense, how "macho" I would act in a real fight and what an effective self defense tool was.  

6 weeks of training with a riot baton including locking, blocking, destabilisation and hitting vulnerable body parts were enough to make me fall in love with the stick.

Apart from having the home advantage of having received some government funded training: The idea of that the fight is at a comfortable stick-length distance from me is/was very appealing. Also: It is very hard to hit a person "hiding" behind a horizontal held stick  (and who does not want to get hit).

So yes, I take a riot baton over any other commercial self defense gadgets (including pepper spray).  

But as usual I had to escalate things and was on the lookout for the perfect stick. 

It came to me when I saw a NG documentary regarding the Zulu tribes of South Africa, in one episode they presented the Knobkerrie and I was SOLD

It is (usually) a stick carved out of ebony with a large knob on its end. The size and form of the knob vary .

On January 22, 1879 a large Zulu  army defeated  invading troops of the British Empire at the Battle of Islandlwana (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.) There the British troops soon experienced that the "walking sticks" were no laughing matter and that the issued helmets were no match for a Knobkerrie.

In fact the Knobkerrie has been used as late as WW1 in the it has left an impression.

The "primitive" design is deceiving, actually the weight/length is distributed in a way so the Knobkerrie deals extreme damage for such a light "stick".

The knob on my Knobkerrie has many edges to....well....maximize the hurt

With a length of nearly a meter the Knobkerrie can develop a monstrous momentum.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Roper 29 - Enter The Spruce Goose 2

The Pilot disentangled  his impressive penis tube from the controls for the 30th time

Speaking still hurt but I could not resist: "So, that thing does not like...uhm...interfere with your flying?"

A broad, grey bearded face with red and blue tribal symbols turned to me, grinning a perfect pearly smile.

"Nah, its the official air force uniform of the Repuplic of Papua man! Only disadvantage is when we throw those thing in the air during the graduation ceremony! Got me a concussion and three days in hospital..where I met my wife!"

He pointed with a thumb to the back of the giant plane where a dozen of children sat in a half circle, looking up to a pretty woman in her mid thirties reading from a history book. The Mandrake sat with the kids, eyes wide open and with an proud, though opportunistic, little tribal warrior trying to pat her vinyl clad but.

The topic was recent history and I must have slept in school: Their version of recent European history diverted somewhat from the mainstream.  Need to ask The Mandrake once the meds wear off.

"You guys kept busy!"

"Not all mine man, Nadine is the town teacher AND minister of intelligence. So she had to tag along on this trip to make sure I do all right" a sourly grin "interrupting the kids school was`nt and option... so we have some flying-classroom thing going on right now!"

"Cool, cool" I murmured and tried to sit more comfortable which was not easy with 3 bruised ribs.

"Speaking you mind?" he nodded over to the second set of controls "I need to visit the loo!"


"Don`t be nervous, just keep her level" a nod to what he earlier called the Attitude Indicator "and under 30m altitude.She`s a good girl and won`t fuck with you"

Well why the fuck not.I took the controls and felt the vibrations of the giant, century old plane that plucked us from the sea earlier. M. told us that the plane was built by some crazy billionaire in the 40ties. He later then faked his own death and used the plane to escape to some obscure Island in Micronesia (or something) and rekindled the locals interest in something called "Cargo".

Well, weirder shit has happened to me lately I thought while I tried not to crash us in to the sea rushing past less than 25 m under us.

I wonder how comfortable a penis tube is....

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pearl Jam "Ten" (1991)

See, there was just no way you could dodge this one when you were a teenager in the early 90ties. Personally PJ was an acquired taste for me, since my roommate at my boarding school played it on repeat mercilessly.

At some point of time I was able to distinguish the vowel rich whining into separate songs and it turned out it was the perfect backdrop to the novels I was reading at that time: "The Faded Sun" trilogy by C. J Cherry.

Anyhow it grew on me and I bought the record myself (wondering how Eddie Vedder managed to finish every word with an "a") and lost interest in it when my girlfriend started to listen to it.

(In Denmark "Grunge" was absorbed into the mainstream as fast as Norwegian Formula on a fisherman`s hand....£$%£$^£$%" posers!)

Anyhow, I never managed to get the same attachment to Pearl Jam`s other records like with this one and as for me: It would have been fine if the band had resigned in dignity then. But hey..

As for the 25 years later and listening to them again (after 12 year consumption of Ska music) it takes me back to the slowest emotional roller coaster ride in the universe. The "Mamasan" trilogy consisting of the songs "Alive", "Once" and "Footsteps" describe a young mans descent into madness after learning that the man who raised him is not his father. After that he starts an incestuous relationship with his mum and becomes a serial killer.

Oh, the early 90ties. So full of cheer!

My personal favorite is "Even Flow": A song so powerfully mumbled that it took me years to find out that it was about a homeless guy with mental health issues.

As for "Jeremy"...we don`t speak about "Jeremy"...EVER! That song traumatized and entire generation!

Fun facts:

- "Pearl Jam" does in fact mean sperm

- Eddie Vedder was a surfing gas station attendant in Los Angeles before he got black bagged and shlepped to Seattle where they cut holes in his jeans and threw some long underwear at him

-The albums title Ten was inspired by the professional basketball player Mookie Blaylock`s jersey number "10"