Shear Violence

When I was in college — I believe dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth at the time — my roommates and I found a discarded tavern sign.

The tavern had been called “The Spot” and the sign featured a large dot right in the center, with the two words top and bottom.  It was made of wood, nearly six feet by six, and was grungy and dirty and heavy and infested with dry rot and bugs.

So naturally we brought it back to the dorm.

We leaned it up against a wall next to Schwartzkopf’s bed and threw things at it. The spot at the center made a perfect aiming point. We started with kitchen knives, of course, but at Z-Man’s suggestion we quickly escalated to more esoteric weaponry, such as screwdrivers and forks and metal landscaping spikes and scissors.

In our defense, the only computer games we had in those days were things like Zork, played on a dumb text terminal via a 300 baud acoustical modem communicating with the college mainframe via POTS. Sometimes the dinosaurs would watch us through the window.

Screwdrivers and scissors turned out to be great throwing weapons. Despite what you might initially assume, the blade-type screwdriver works much better than the Philips-head kind. And this was long before the days of the razor-thin, plastic-handled Fiskar-style scissors. Our scissors were massive things, forged from 420-S tool steel by burly dwarves high in the mountains.

Thrown properly, they would land point-first with a THUNK that would embed them so deep in the wood that they were difficult to extract again.

Thrown improperly, they would bounce off and sail in random directions across the room, often narrowly missing Voss’ head.  This meant it was his turn to throw.

We spent far too much time doing this, and as a result got pretty darn good at slinging steel, at least from a distance corresponding to the width of our dorm room. Even now, I have been known to sling the occasional screwdriver at a tree in the backyard. It is not good for the tree, but hey, a man’s gotta keep up on the skills.

The dinosaurs may be gone. But there’s always zombies.

— Bob out.