Yesterday was all about trying to learn new and exciting things in the world of geekdom and even a little bit of science here and there. I kept it scholarly. On Saturday, I decided to try a different tactic. It was time to get physical.
This started with a brisk four-block walk to the George R. Brown in an effort not to be surprised with another $21.95 parking voucher. It's not nearly as hot as it was last year at this time, and it helps that I was humming the Rocky theme in my head the whole time.
Because this year, after spending two years mentioning it in print, I was going to enter battle thanks to Dagohir. You've probably seen them in the open fields along Richmond in Montrose where the Mustache Ride is installed. Using foam weapons and elaborate costumes, they stage huge wars that look like the greatest fun ever.
Usually I just watch the fights, and this time I was treated to what my new barbarian friend Agohim called a midget melee as little kids took after each other with bloody abandon. Once they'd tired of fighting, it was finally my turn.
I used to be a pretty in-shape guy, a professional wrestler, even though that was many moons and bad decisions ago. Surely I could hold my own in a play sword fight.
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I decided to eschew a shield, opting for less weight for better dodging, and Agohim allowed himself to go shieldless as well in fairness and respect for my status as a novice. He launched the attack like lightning, and it took every bit of reflex I had to parry and dodge him. The first fight went quickly, as he aimed a thrust right through my guard that hit me dead in the heart.
The second went more my way, and I managed to cut him down a limb with some clever feints and by switching hands unexpectedly. A lucky shot drove him to his knees, and I got my revenge with a stab.
The final fray was where it became clear that my pudgy little writer's body wasn't up to the art of combat anymore. He took my right arm out early with enough force to knock me into a kneeling position. I aimed a desperate last hew at him, only to be almost comically blocked and gutted. I was now panting, shaking and ready to throw in the towel I shamed Douglas Adams by forgetting to bring.
I'll say what I've said before...if Dagohir was televised on Monday nights, I would crash my car to get home in time to watch it. If only they didn't insist on doing this outside where the yellow hurty thing is most days, because it is one of the greatest things I've ever experienced and I would love to do it more. Make love, not war? Screw that. Fake war, because war is awesome when everyone gets to go home afterwards.
Chastened, I decided to move on to a less physical form of battle and trudged to the exact opposite end of the convention center to do the exact opposite of exercise, play video games.