Sword Guys Are a Thing and I’ve Had Sex With All of Them
August 30, 2017 10:17 PM   Subscribe

Hana Michels breaks down a subspecies of That Guy

From the article:
I genuinely think there’s no better demonstration of sexism in our society than the fact that we talk about cat ladies but not sword guys (and I do not mean to disparage either). This is despite the fact that the transition into the sword-guy lifestyle is swifter: A woman has to have, let’s say, more than three cats before her cat ownership becomes a lifestyle statement and people deem her a “cat lady.” But if a guy just mounts a single katana on his wall he is saying, “That’s it, this is me now.” Yet we never talk about sword guys?
posted by coolname (245 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ok, first, i liked that this was published in The Cut.
Second I just came home from the fencing club. No love for the fencer and their rolling bag of blades, collection of tiny screwdrivers and obscure home made devices to assist with rewiring electrical components?
posted by chapps at 10:37 PM on August 30 [15 favorites]


There was a sword guy in my unit at Fort Bragg. I didn't know he was a sword guy until one of those 5:30 a.m. surprise "health and welfare" inspections. The first sergeant came walking out into the quad clutching the guy's katana. One of the other sergeants yelled "hi-YAH!" and we all started laughing.

That sword guy went away to the Ft. Knox stockade the next year for selling construction paper he claimed was acid to an undercover CID guy.

He also had a conch shell. I know that because he blew on it during storms. One time he blew on it while another guy shoved the end of a roll of toilet paper up his own ass, lit it on fire, and ran around naked and howling.
posted by mph at 10:38 PM on August 30 [117 favorites]


what... was in the water at Fort Bragg?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:41 PM on August 30 [123 favorites]


Construction paper, apparently.
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels at 10:45 PM on August 30 [256 favorites]


A frequent butt of jokes on Reddit is the guy who goes on and on about how katanas were the perfect sword. They're usually laughed at by guys who will tell you that Japanese blacksmithing was terrible, and that Damascus steel was far superior. Then there's this book. I don't know if it's serious or not, but it probably is.

I went to elementary school with a guy who grew up to be a sword guy. He has a whole bunch. We're not exactly close, but he seems like a nice guy.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:48 PM on August 30 [8 favorites]


If it was good enough for Duncan MacLeod...
posted by asperity at 10:51 PM on August 30 [11 favorites]


What if you only have a sword because a sword guy gave it to you as a groomsman's gift, and you keep it in the corner with the umbrellas because just in case, and because the jewelled skull on its, um... end, is cool and sparkly. I definitely am not familiar with the word "pommel" and I'm asking for a friend.
posted by XMLicious at 10:56 PM on August 30 [51 favorites]


I have a bunch of wooden swords I made for my daughter's theater group last year. I enjoyed making them. The 8th I made looks much better than the first. Where do I fit in the sword guy taxonomy?

(I'm also secretly hoping that this year's production will involve even more swords, so I can make more. I've studied asavage's and others' tips and tutorials on how to make a piece of wood pass as a metal sword)
posted by Harald74 at 10:57 PM on August 30 [6 favorites]


"We don't talk about sword guys"? Let me introduce you all to the glory that is /r/mallninjashit. (NSFW for rude & crude language, I suppose.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:58 PM on August 30 [20 favorites]


My own sword guy story is about a guy I sort-of dated for a while. Shortly after we sort-of broke up a friend told me this story. At his birthday party, He lost his wallet halfway through the party, and thinking one of the guests had stolen it, got out a giant sword and violently threatened everyone with it for about an hour. Turned out his wallet was in his other pants. The party resumed. And I realized the bullet I had dodged by kicking this dude to the sort-of curb.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:58 PM on August 30 [42 favorites]


Then there's this book. I don't know if it's serious or not, but it probably is.

Oh my goodness, the reviews on that book!
I received this book after i was trying to find a way to conceal carry my Gladius. This book not only taught me how to wear it so that it appears as nothing but a scarf, it also taught me how to use it to the greatest effect. I now call myself Sksen Maximus. It is my adopted name as I roam the streets of Salt Lake City Utah. I have stopped no less than a quarter of an attack with my Gladius and I am willing to bet that if that man had stayed around and not run away while dialing 911 he would have thanked me for rushing in and pommel punching that Catholic priest in the heart of Mormon country. Why was a Catholic priest there? Suspicious! I learned to trust my instincts and size up my opponent just like this book tells you to do. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to carry a sword.
(I ran D&D games for a couple of decades, so I've known plenty of Sword Guys. I agree with the author's general notes about their subspecies.)
posted by mordax at 11:02 PM on August 30 [37 favorites]


Are.. are you in this picture, XMLicious?
posted by Harald74 at 11:02 PM on August 30 [23 favorites]


This was funny but she's complaining "sword guy" isn't a thing and then refuses to make generalizations about sword guy. It's like she's not really trying to make it a thing. Cat lady is a thing because people generalize. Can't make anything a thing if you're trying to be fair or accurate.

When my mom got her third cat my siblings and I were worried, because we weren't sure if "cat lady" started at 3 cats or more than 3 cats. I see Hana Michel says more than 3 cats but I personally have decided the number will be one more than my mom has.

Finally there is no part of my childhood that makes sense if a trekkie who makes their own batlath is now "objectively cool." Everything's been all topsy turvy since sometime between LoTR movies being a blockbuster and Dr. Who becoming reasonably mainstream.
posted by mark k at 11:03 PM on August 30 [25 favorites]


One of my ex-girlfriends lived full time as a BDSM house slave for a middle-aged married couple in the San Fernando Valley. One time when I was visiting her I noted that the dude had a crossbow, to which she responded by rolling her eyes and saying, "They all have fucking crossbows."

When my mom got her third cat my siblings and I were worried, because we weren't sure if "cat lady" started at 3 cats or more than 3 cats. I see Hana Michel says more than 3 cats but I personally have decided the number will be one more than my mom has.

My former roommate had a girlfriend who told him a story about how one night at a party she'd had sex with three dudes at once (totally consensual, not drunk, just decided that she was up for it). When he expressed that he was impressed that she'd been in a gangbang, she flatly stated that a gang was four or more; what she'd done was group sex. I think it's probably human nature to think that the point at which a thing becomes weird is exactly one past the point that we practice ourselves.

Obligatory Achewood: You look like you ride a Honda Goldwing and collect swords.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:27 PM on August 30 [117 favorites]


My college friend dated a sword guy who made all his swords. And in fact as far as I knew the only job he had was making swords, and also sometimes chain mail? I decided that was not my bag.
posted by potrzebie at 11:30 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


I have had 2 swords over the years. A broadsword that was pretty, and my first love, an unpolished hand and a half, simple leather wrapped hilt from my SCA days (Okay, that one was named. It was Smoke. Can't be a D&D/SCA nerd with a hand forged blade that doesn't have a name, IMO) And, one boken (does that count?) Never a katana, although I had a housemate that was a fencer that had a selection of foils.

Had several people over for sexyfuntimes, and no one ever commented on them leaning against the wall. The Ibanez semi-acoustic (I could never play) and the little Crate amp got all the attention.

So, what does that say about me?
posted by Samizdata at 11:34 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


OTOH, don't know why I am even asking. I have never has sex with her.
posted by Samizdata at 11:35 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


Are you certain?
posted by hippybear at 11:44 PM on August 30 [10 favorites]


There's much Freud could comment on about sword guy and cat lady. We know what it is so let's not.

I know a sword guy that doesn't have any swords, but is a huge fan. He subscribes to youtube channels of blacksmiths. His favourite reality TV show is called Forged In Fire. It's actually a pretty good show. The smiths on it are all guys, some with problems but all passionate about their thing. One thing I noticed about watching this show with him, was that one part of the sword is for destruction, the other end, the handle, is for creativity. They all try to make the most ornate and beautiful end of the weapon the non-stabby part. I think it speaks to balance?

My friend has some problems and I think he knows that he can't have that stuff around him when he has an episode. He's also very lonely romantically. He's handsome enough, but his attitude... let's just say he's an Australian that supports Trump, because it's true.

As counterpoint, I love cat videos. SO MUCH. I ctrl-f Johnny Wallflower every time I load the front page. But I can't have a cat. Not in this inner-city apartment. I'm not even allowed according to the lease. It'd even be cruel, to keep a cat trapped in here. But I love watching cat videos.
posted by adept256 at 11:49 PM on August 30 [6 favorites]


Are.. are you in this picture, XMLicious?

The best part of that picture is I'm pretty sure there are jurisdictions in the states where the guns are perfectly legal but the swords are totes illegal because reasons.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:49 PM on August 30 [13 favorites]


The Ibanez semi-acoustic (I could never play) and the little Crate amp got all the attention.

I would be known as 'that guitar guy' among your friends.

tell me about the humbuckers
posted by adept256 at 11:57 PM on August 30 [6 favorites]


I just can't not think of Star Wars Kid, and that makes me chuckle, then feel guilty, then feel very, very sad.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:22 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


A broadsword that was pretty, and my first love, an unpolished hand and a half, simple leather wrapped hilt from my SCA days (Okay, that one was named. It was Smoke.

I never owned one, but I was assigned a lovely (prop) broadsword during a production of Julius Caesar. The blade was too dull to cut anything, but other than that it was weighted and onstructed like the real thing. I really came to love that big guy. Wearing it totally changed the way I walked, and I couldn't hold it without standing really straight and tall and manly.

(I ended up with the biggest, heaviest sword in the company and because I was the tallest, but couldn't do any actual stage combat because I was doing the show on a broken foot. But I got to stand around holding it and looking tough.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:44 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]


> there’s no better demonstration of sexism in our society than the fact that
> we talk about cat ladies but not sword guys

How about the fact that we talk about cat ladies but not cat guys?

> Cat lady is a thing because people generalize

Yeah but we could generalise to "cat people" or "cat botherer" or endless other possibilities that escape my limited imagination. But we don't.
posted by merlynkline at 12:54 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


I refuse to be called a 'cat lady'. 'Catwoman', on the other hand...
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:04 AM on August 31 [23 favorites]


Also:
I'm not a sword guy*, but my brother-in-law built his own forge many years ago, and I'd hang out there and try to learn how to blacksmith sometimes. I was absolutely terrible at it, but I still have a really crappy knife I made out of a piece of rebar one time. (It resembles nothing so much as a butter knife, and it was my best effort.)

Using a forge is... well, it's hot, it's bright, it's noisy. There are tons of sparks and it's really easy to get seriously injured screwing around with one. In short, it is totally sweet, and guys who buy weapons off QVC have no idea what they missed out on. I think owning a bunch of sharp objects is pretty silly, but there's a visceral appeal in trying to put them together.

(* I want a coilgun, but my girlfriend said magnetic acceleration weapons were a hard limit for her.)
posted by mordax at 1:36 AM on August 31 [29 favorites]


Also:
I'm not a sword guy*, but my brother-in-law built his own forge many years ago, and I'd hang out there and try to learn how to blacksmith sometimes. I was absolutely terrible at it, but I still have a really crappy knife I made out of a piece of rebar one time. (It resembles nothing so much as a butter knife, and it was my best effort.)

Using a forge is... well, it's hot, it's bright, it's noisy. There are tons of sparks and it's really easy to get seriously injured screwing around with one. In short, it is totally sweet, and guys who buy weapons off QVC have no idea what they missed out on. I think owning a bunch of sharp objects is pretty silly, but there's a visceral appeal in trying to put them together.

(* I want a coilgun, but my girlfriend said magnetic acceleration weapons were a hard limit for her.)


DTMFA!

I keed! I keed!
posted by Samizdata at 1:41 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I think Michels' personal taste is clouding her view of the general view of sword guys. I had not gotten the impression that most women considered them "super-inviting." (And we talk about them all the time! We just call them neckbeards.)

tldr while you were sleeping with sword guys I studied the blade.
posted by No-sword at 1:45 AM on August 31 [26 favorites]


DTMFA!

I keed! I keed!


Nah, she's cool. Around the time that blacksmithing was a thing, a close friend of mine gave me a meat cleaver 'for when I snap.' I met my girlfriend online, and one of the first pictures I sent her was of me brandishing it at night in front of a dead tree, with a joke about getting the whole 'Internet ax murderer' thing outta the way. (The cleaver itself is boxed up someplace - wouldn't want to leave something like that laying around.)

We moved in together a year later anyway, so I'm willing to forego my supervillain inclinations on her behalf. (Besides, maybe I can talk her into a nonlethal maser or something.)
posted by mordax at 1:50 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I think it's probably human nature to think that the point at which a thing becomes weird is exactly one past the point that we practice ourselves.

Well, I can personally attest that when it comes to cats, after the first two one finds the energy barrier for adding another cat decreases with each additional cat. Three cats is not much more difficult than two. If you have six cats, what's a seventh, really? And what's really the difference between thirteen and fourteen cats?*

Anyway, I don't know how it is for gangbangs but I've decided Cat Lady status is three cats. When I had two cats enough people gave me indulgent smiles that I felt normal. After adding #3, mentioning the number of cats now universally inspires eyebrow raises and exclamations, at minimum. And if I admit that it's technically 3+ when adding in the fosters . . . Well, that's when the other person moves their chair a bit away and starts questioning the wisdom of interacting with me at all.

Sword guys could only hope to reach the status of cat ladies. In theory we can milk our wards for endless Internet points, plus dating us offers our partners access to all-natural foot-and-head warmers for cold winter nights.

*The only time it's all that noticeable is if you're in a foster situation where multiple cats need their own isolation spaces, either because they don't get along with other cats or are just in off the street. Then it starts getting nuts.
posted by schroedinger at 1:55 AM on August 31 [22 favorites]


That sword guy went away to the Ft. Knox stockade the next year for selling construction paper he claimed was acid to an undercover CID guy.

Of all the sentences I've read this week, that's my favourite.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:57 AM on August 31 [50 favorites]


I think Michels' personal taste is clouding her view of the general view of sword guys. I had not gotten the impression that most women considered them "super-inviting." (And we talk about them all the time! We just call them neckbeards.)

tldr while you were sleeping with sword guys I studied the blade.
posted by No-sword at 1:45 AM on August 31 [+] [!]


We're still doing eponysterical, yeah?
posted by andromache at 2:00 AM on August 31 [26 favorites]


I genuinely think there’s no better demonstration of sexism in our society than the fact that we talk about cat ladies but not sword guys (and I do not mean to disparage either). This is despite the fact that the transition into the sword-guy lifestyle is swifter: A woman has to have, let’s say, more than three cats before her cat ownership becomes a lifestyle statement and people deem her a “cat lady.” But if a guy just mounts a single katana on his wall he is saying, “That’s it, this is me now.” Yet we never talk about sword guys?

That's because there's two types of sword guys. One is your earnest collector who quietly makes his own swords through years of dedication to a hobby. The other is an intersection of the larger species of neckbeard and weeb. And we millenials sure as hell talk about them, although talk is a bit of a misnomer, more like mock incessantly.
posted by Talez at 2:05 AM on August 31 [11 favorites]


The number beyond which one becomes a crazy cat person is one plus the number of available laps in the household.

It is, like the half-your-age-plus-seven rule, a known thing.
posted by automatronic at 2:14 AM on August 31 [14 favorites]


The rule for cats is: n= number of adults in household, n+1 cats is the barrier beyond which "you have too many cats." There is anexception for two people at full catpacity who have merged households. The number of allowable swords is probably not far off.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:39 AM on August 31 [15 favorites]


Ah, there but for the grace of my wife go I.
posted by Naib at 3:04 AM on August 31 [15 favorites]


Well, I can personally attest that when it comes to cats, after the first two one finds the energy barrier for adding another cat decreases with each additional cat. Three cats is not much more difficult than two. If you have six cats, what's a seventh, really? And what's really the difference between thirteen and fourteen cats?

I'm told that Normal People™ reason similarly about having children: once you're a parent, going from one kid to two is relatively straightforward, and so on. The next big barrier is when one needs to replace the family sedan with a minivan; the families beyond that barrier are the ones who are perhaps overdoing it.
posted by acb at 3:14 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


My girlfriend is a hatchet and axe girl, and I'm a Western gun twirling dude and will be a tomahawk throwing dude when I get around to it.

Between the two of us, we're Jeremiah Johnson.
posted by maxsparber at 3:22 AM on August 31 [31 favorites]


Between the two of us, we're Jeremiah Johnson.

Or, possibly, minor Batman villains.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:26 AM on August 31 [48 favorites]


Or, more possibly still, slightly more-colorful-than-the-mean 19th C East Coast Urban Gang Figures.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:28 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Next article in the series: Kilt Guys
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:39 AM on August 31 [24 favorites]


Sword-shaming, cat-shaming, kilt-shaming.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:41 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


"Next article in the series: Kilt Guys"
Wait are we talking proper Scottish kilt on a dude who did not grow up in Scotland and/or is not currently at a wedding, or does this include Utilikilts? Because I'm ...um... asking for a friend with a camo print Utilikilt capable of holding a just silly number of beer bottles.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:45 AM on August 31 [10 favorites]


A cat person (as it were) is someone who has more cats than they can live with without having their life subsumed into cat-care. A cat person is a cat person because of the way their life revolves around cats, not because of how many cats - consider the person who has only one cat but who is obsessed with that cat, has several cat towers in a small space, talks of nothing but cats, etc etc. I have one cat and teeter on the brink of cat-personhood because I bend to so many of her whims.

Similarly, a sword person is a sword person not because of having swords but because he thinks the swords make him ultra-cool and badass and he obsesses about them - it's the space the swords occupy in his life rather than the swords themselves. This is not readily apparent because it takes a lot more effort to collect and store swords in the modern US than to have a cat, so there aren't nearly as many casual sword-havers as there are non-cat-people cat owners.
posted by Frowner at 3:52 AM on August 31 [46 favorites]


I have a bunch of wooden swords I made for my daughter's theater group last year. I enjoyed making them. The 8th I made looks much better than the first. Where do I fit in the sword guy taxonomy?

Sword Dad.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:56 AM on August 31 [26 favorites]


Sword Dad

Speaking of obsessions, my brain is frantically telling me there must be a significant anagram in these words....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:59 AM on August 31


So, earlier this year I got a mutual "like" with a 96% match on OkCupid. She has a PhD and does government work in ecological monitoring. Her profile was filled with ironic humor.

What this meant was that I was instantly smitten and too eager, which invariably makes me prone to idiocy.

While the initial correspondence went well, a few days later I wrote her a casual follow-up with what I considered some "casual banter" -- including waxing rhapsodic about my recent delivery of a full Lansky knife-sharpening set, with diamond hones and an ultra-fine sapphire hone. "Oh yes", I wrote, "there's nothing quite so satisfying as a beautifully, exquisitely sharpened knife."

Only after I clicked "send" did it occur to me that this was perhaps a mistake and that following it up with a "don't worry, I'm not a serial killer, promise" disclaimer would not help.

But let's be frank: we can agree that an edge which perfectly slices a medium-rare sirloin with only the slightest of pressure is kind of sexy, right? I mean, that's a totally normal human opinion.

It probably has more to do with my love of fine, specialized tools and the satisfaction of having a wide variety on-hand. At least I didn't also mention my recent x-mas gift receipt of a 56-piece X-Acto knife set. Will I ever really use it? Probably not. But I feel warm and secure just having it. It includes five needle-like punches of varying sizes. I have no idea what they're good for. Yet I feel an urge to make perfect little holes in things. You can imagine my collection of Dremel tool accessories. Also, an enormous variety of specialized printer papers and labels.

I don't own any swords, nor do I have much of a desire to do so. However, I am disabled and often use a cane to walk and it's absolutely true that I've cumulatively spent hours daydreaming about a truly functional sword-cane, or even one with some other hidden mechanism.

I have a beloved cat, upon whom I dote. I will be happy to tell you all about her. At length.

It looks like I'm to remain single for the foreseeable future.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:02 AM on August 31 [36 favorites]


GenjiandProust: Sword Dad

Speaking of obsessions, my brain is frantically telling me there must be a significant anagram in these words....


Let's see... [cheats using online anagram generator]

Draw odds
Odd draws
Word dads
posted by clawsoon at 4:13 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


When's the last time that swords - as opposed to knives, daggers, machetes, bayonets, etc. - were useful weapons? (I'm guessing maybe the Taiping Rebellion?)
posted by clawsoon at 4:26 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I knew a sword guy in college. He actually became a sword guy while we were in college; he got into it to the point that when we once went to the Arms and Armor section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we spent about two hours there because he was painstakingly explaining what each and every kind of weapon was that they had on display, and was even able to spot that one of the Japanese swords was mis-labelled (they called it a katana, I believe, but he said that katanas were usually only a certain length and this one was too long so it should have been called something else).

However.

The thing that got this guy so caught up in swords was that he was a freak-of-nature prodigy in stage combat, as we all discovered the first time he took a course. He was so good that by his second semester, he was already a teachers' assistant. The usual teacher had some family emergencies during that period and asked him to take over and teach, and rose to the challenge, and was so good at it that the professor gave him a stage broadsword to thank him. The rapiers, broadswords, halberds, quarterstaffs, etc. that he owned were things he used for 15-odd years in stage combat performance, choreography, and direction, which he did on stage at the Metropolitan Opera, in film, and in theater, including the six-month tour of Japan he did as part of a stage show George-Lucas tribute, during which he was one of the Luke Skywalker understudies when he was only 22.

....Somehow I think he's a bit of a different case.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on August 31 [44 favorites]


clawsoon -- not helping!

I need a cat.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:31 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I give utilikilts a moderate pass (uh, my husband also has a camo print one). I'm talking full Scottish great kilt on a person not born in Scotland in the 18th century..
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:32 AM on August 31


I feel like the utilikilt-sword guy Venn diagram is a small circle almost entirely inside a large circle, with a tiny sliver peeking out that represents the four guys who own utilikilts but not swords.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:36 AM on August 31 [30 favorites]


GenjiandProust - there are only 11 anagrams. See if you can figure out the other 8.

Sorry.
posted by clawsoon at 4:37 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


...Forged In Fire. It's actually a pretty good show. The smiths on it are all guys...

No, they are not. Watch moar. If I'm not mistaken, at least one of the women won her episode.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:50 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


When's the last time that swords - as opposed to knives, daggers, machetes, bayonets, etc. - were useful weapons? (I'm guessing maybe the Taiping Rebellion?)

Is a machete not a type of sword?
posted by explosion at 4:52 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Kirth Gerson: No, they are not. Watch moar. If I'm not mistaken, at least one of the women won her episode.

She did point out that she wasn't technically a smith, but a farrier. (And she put a lovely horse-head pommel on her sword.)
posted by clawsoon at 5:07 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


DTMFA

Deploy The Magnetic Firearm Already
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:13 AM on August 31 [58 favorites]


Is a machete not a type of sword?

No? Not any more so than a cleaver, butcher's knife, or comically oversized chef's knife. It's just a big knife.
posted by Dysk at 5:14 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I would designate the "sword guy" threshold not by the sheer number of blades, but by whether they've got a YouTube channel, where they amateur-splain sword facts.
posted by pseudocode at 5:14 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Mods! clawsoon is the very Devil!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:19 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: ....Somehow I think he's a bit of a different case.

Perhaps he is to sword guys what someone who starts an animal rescue shelter is to cat ladies.
posted by clawsoon at 5:22 AM on August 31 [12 favorites]


Mr. Bad Example: Deploy The Magnetic Firearm Already

One thing I learned from watching Forged in Fire (which I watched after a recommendation in a comment in an FPP I recently posted) was that a critical part of sword-making is heating it up to a temperature where a magnet doesn't stick to it.

I had no idea that iron stopped being magnetic after a certain temperature.

And I just realized that "temperature" has "temper" in it. Woah. Dude. Mind blown.
posted by clawsoon at 5:28 AM on August 31 [21 favorites]


Sword guys can't become cat ladies until swords start running around clawing up the furniture and coughing up rustballs.

Does signing up for ice climbing, doing one day of ice climbing, but then keeping an ice axe sitting in the corner of the living room for years because it looks cool kind of count as a sword guy? Because those things are wicked...
posted by lagomorphius at 5:29 AM on August 31


Okay, I found this highly amusing. I've slept with a couple of sword guys. This was before youtube so I didn't have to worry if they had youtube channels, thank god. I also know some sword gals. (Hell, I'm not quite a sword gal, but I'm pretty fuckin close. Also, kind of a cat lady. Embrace the power of 'and')
posted by rmd1023 at 5:32 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


Also if these guys care about protection so much WHY DO THEY NEVER HAVE CONDOMS?

This cracked me up and made me like the article a lot, despite the flaws people have noted above.

Sword Dad.

Freud was already salivating at the binary of cat woman/sword guy; adding "sword dad" to the mix might make him rise from the grave.

Is a machete not a type of sword?
No? Not any more so than a cleaver, butcher's knife, or comically oversized chef's knife. It's just a big knife.


There is a reason that one of the common words for machete in English speaking countries that use them is "cutlass" -- machetes are just swords slightly reengineered for agricultural function (eg, thinner blades, wide variety of blade shapes, etc). But they work just as well as a traditional sword for killing people and are routinely used for just that (including in genocide).

No love for the fencer and their rolling bag of blades, collection of tiny screwdrivers and obscure home made devices to assist with rewiring electrical components?

The venn diagrams of fencers and sword guys definitely overlap. Every fencing club I have been to has had a subset of dudes who, while they might have fun with foils and epees, really are there to discuss what techniques used to work for cutting a femoral artery and doing reenactment sword play using their fencing gear.

The idea that someone finds sword guys particularly sexually appealing and makes a pattern of sleeping with them is interesting, and was not something that I saw a lot of in the situations where I was meeting sword guys. I mean, they clearly all hoped that their love for swords would attract a mate, but I just didn't see it happen very often.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:32 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't say I'm a sword guy (I don't own any swords), but I did mention in a recent thread that the only two reality shows I watch are Forged in Fire and RuPaul's Drag Race.

I don't know what that makes me, but at least I know that you never do a water quench, and that you TAKE YOUR DAMN MASK OFF BEFORE LIP-SYNCING FOR YOUR LIFE, VALENTINA!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:33 AM on August 31 [18 favorites]


I think it's important for non-sword-guys (like myself) to reflect sometimes on how close we came to being sword guys. I can easily see a road not taken in my past that would have led to me having a hand-forged daisho somewhere in my parents' house. Instead I have a beautiful little place with my partner, and a thousand hobbies I never quite have the time to get good at.

At 14 I made my own bokken with an oak dowel and a belt sander. I made my own chain wallet. Sliding Doors, you know?

I like to believe it gives me empathy with sword guys, and the ability to return some of their shibboleths. Hopefully I've turned some of them to the good side, away from the terrible shitty attitudes and ideas that social isolation can nurture.
posted by penduluum at 5:36 AM on August 31 [21 favorites]


I know a gentleman who lived in a local band's practice space and was pretty out there. He once brought some sort of sword out during band practice and said his plan was to "light it on fire and chase n*****s." O_o
Anyway, he liked to kickbox a truck tire he had hanging up outside the spot to show people the place was "guarded," and one fine afternoon he kicked it wrong, got caught in it and ended up stuck upside down for awhile with a severely broken ankle, end of drumming career. I've always felt like the tire that kicked that guy's ass did the world a favor.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:41 AM on August 31 [58 favorites]


"I have a piece of Sharon Tate's fireplace" should be a one-way express ticket to Government Registrytown.

Also I'm pretty sweet with a bo staff
posted by middleclasstool at 5:47 AM on August 31 [11 favorites]


This thread is the best thread because I was previously unaware of "Forged in Fire" which sounds like it is right up my alley.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:47 AM on August 31


penduluum: I think it's important for non-sword-guys (like myself) to reflect sometimes on how close we came to being sword guys.

There is a tiny sword-guy homonculus living inside of all of us, waiting to be fed.
posted by clawsoon at 5:48 AM on August 31 [14 favorites]


I technically have a sword, but only because the former occupants left it behind. It's a "ninja-to" style (ugh) sword with a wooden display scabbard/hilt, so I just thought it was a curtain rod for the first couple of years we were here. I only still have it because how the frig do you throw away a sword?

Anyway, it's one thing to be a guy who owns a sword. It's another to be a guy who owns a sword and then leaves it behind when he moves.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:53 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Watch Guys. I didn't know that I was around two of them until they finally bumped into each other, both looked at their watches briefly to see if there was any damage there, saw each other do the quick damage-check glance, then had a two hour conversation about their watch collections.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:57 AM on August 31 [26 favorites]


Oh god yeah, Watch Guy is the yuppie version of Sword Guy. Watch Guy might smell better, but they're both flashing neon DANGER signs.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:02 AM on August 31 [18 favorites]


I own a nice machete that I love. I acknowledge that it's kind of like being an in-denial vestigial Sword Guy. I tell myself (and my wife) that a machete is a super practical tool and it's not a conceit to own one. But I don't have any brush to clear. It's totally a sword.
posted by 256 at 6:05 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Yeah but we could generalise to "cat people"

This also upgrades you to a pretty great theme song.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:06 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


And, asking for a friend, what's the naming convention for the sci-fi fans who, halfway into a conversation about sci-fi generally, ask if you've read any of the books about this civ called The Culture...
posted by Slackermagee at 6:07 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I had no idea that iron stopped being magnetic after a certain temperature.

That certain temperature is the Curie point, and it's possible to design alloys with Curie points at a wide range of useful temperatures. Soldering irons that incorporate thermostats based on this principle have available since the 1960s and are still being sold today despite the modern obsession with putting microcontrollers in everything.
posted by flabdablet at 6:19 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


Sword Dad

I think you need to find Axe Cop and teamup.
posted by bonehead at 6:21 AM on August 31 [13 favorites]


When I was young my family had a super rusty sword that (from the style and certainly the wear) may have lived through the Civil War. One would never demonstrate badassary with it, considering it looked like it would break if you held it wrong.

I knew a bunch of awesome, fun sword guys in college. They were originally inspired by D&D but quickly moved to L5R; they were normally laid back but heaven help you if you mistake your tanto for a wakizashi.

I knew a sword guy in college. He actually became a sword guy while we were in college; he got into it to the point that when we once went to the Arms and Armor section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we spent about two hours there because he was painstakingly explaining what each and every kind of weapon was that they had on display, and was even able to spot that one of the Japanese swords was mis-labelled (they called it a katana, I believe, but he said that katanas were usually only a certain length and this one was too long so it should have been called something else).

It was probably a nodachi.
posted by Jpfed at 6:21 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


No mention of Oakeshott's typology. Not a word about the medieval and renaissance Fechtbuch documenting historical European martial arts. What, really, are the differences between yanmaodao and liuyedao? Swords are not all about katanas.

Machetes aren't swords? Haitian machete combat, Filipino Eskrima, and messer fechten.

Sword guys are just one small part of sword culture.
posted by Mister Cheese at 6:25 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]




Ask me how hard I had to bite my tongue to not volunteer the word "nōdachi."
posted by penduluum at 6:27 AM on August 31 [11 favorites]


Badly need crowdsource photoshop'd cats with swords, Go Puss'n'Boots!

Yeah, was in a wedding of a mild case but only got a handmade knife, essential to the authentic kilt and knee socks. Do note that the one detail about sword, ah lore, that is inauthentic, must wipe the blood off a blade immediately after use or it seriously discolors the blade. How do I know? A sharp honed knife is amazing, did not feel anything until I saw blood seeping through the sock. Silly knife is great but stays in a box in the basement.
posted by sammyo at 6:28 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Oh god yeah, Watch Guy is the yuppie version of Sword Guy. Watch Guy might smell better, but they're both flashing neon DANGER signs.

Would this generalise to males collecting any sort of manufactured/technological artefact, i.e., Bike Guy, Synth Guy, Nintendo Game&Watch Guy, &c.?
posted by acb at 6:28 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


penduluum: Seems like you did not bite it hard enough.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:29 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


There is a hard overlap between the sword guy, the SCA guy, and the comic book nerd guy.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:31 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Are there gay sword guys? I don't think I've ever met one and I'm certain I've never slept with one.
posted by Nelson at 6:33 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I mean, I think that a difference between a cat person and a sword/watch/etc person is that the latter think that owning a thing makes you "badass", that being badass is possible given human flaws and mortality and that being badass is desirable. Those are all things it's sort of normal to think when you're a young teenager and don't have a handle on your feelings, but pretty silly in an adult.

It's also different from just liking a thing, which is why there are people with swords who are not Sword Guys, people with watches who are not Watch Guys, etc.

In a way, aspiring to heroism is appropriate in a kid or a teen, because it's part of developing a moral compass - which is why that light saber kid was actually rather sweet, and why he has apparently grown up into a good guy, or at least I read an interview with him in which he seemed that way.

I think that the definition of being a "sword guy" is being an adult who really, really wants to be cool, more than they want to be happy, or have friends, or have a good relationship, or even be successful in business. I guess wanting to be cool is preferable to wanting to be a hedge fund manager or something, though.

I guess inasmuch as there's a gender aspect to this, I think it's that the fantasy implicit in being Sword Guy is very much coded male - being, like, a modern ronin, being all stoic and mysterious, being really good at fighting without being anything low-class like a bar fighter or socially sanctioned like Black Block. It's a fantasy about being able to impress people and have status without having to worry about social skills or the normal requirements of modern life.
posted by Frowner at 6:33 AM on August 31 [46 favorites]


I used to hang with blacksmiths because I like making stuff, and there is a pretty big overlap of sword guys there. Usually they were more of the utilikilt and SCA sword type, who we grudgingly respected because they could Do Things. The breaking point would be if they insisted on being called boyers, then we'd roll our eyes and write them off and go back to making hinges and other Useful Things and leave them to their Stabby Nerdiness.

(A side note, blacksmiths do talk in Terry Pratchet capitals, because some things are hard to express thru mere words, you will need added emphasis. "Be careful, that is Hot." "Don't drop that, it's Heavy." Imagine a meaningful look and forward tilt of the head on every capital, and you get the drift.)

Knife makers are definitely a subset of sword guys, but the arguing is less katana vs broadsword and more which steel hold the edge best and best epoxy for handles...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:33 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


Would this generalise to males collecting any sort of manufactured/technological artefact, i.e., Bike Guy, Synth Guy, Nintendo Game&Watch Guy, &c.?

Actually a good question, and something I considered after I posted that semi-flippant comment. I have issues with collectors of all stripes, but I feel like there's an especially threatening vibe around certain kinds, particularly weapons and high-value status-symbol items.

So: Model Train Guy might be a little odd, but I don't feel like he's more likely to be a literal murderer. Bike Guy, who wears Spandex even when he toodles around town on the weekends, is probably harmless. Synth Guy could go either way; I think it depends on whether he has a use for the synths or he's just obsessive about owning them.

But the guy who has strong opinions about Breitling versus ... some other kind of watch ... and can probably tell you the eBay user names of more than one seller of used watches? I'm not turning my back on him. He gets the same scrutiny as Sharon Tate's Fireplace Guy.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:40 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


there are people with swords who are not Sword Guys

No one just happens to have a sword. Even if the sword was a gift, you're a sword guy now. It's just like, um, you know, werewolf rules.
posted by rodlymight at 6:47 AM on August 31 [23 favorites]


I am definitely Unrecycled Advertising Leaflet Guy.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:48 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I was a sword kid who narrowly avoided becoming a sword guy, thanks to a medieval lit prof who made the campus SCA folks his personal punching bag. (Those were super nice folks, btw.)

My kid swords:
+ Grandma's golf clubs (found in the barn), when decapitated, became AWESOME ninja swords. I experimented with different decapitation techniques, settled on bolt cutters because I could create a sealed point by cutting at an angle. This was when I was ten. Uncle Ron's navy sea bag, stuffed with straw and suspended from the barn rafters, paid a heavy price one otherwise-boring Iowa summer Sunday afternoon. Spoiler alert: Grandma and Uncle Ron were PISSED.
+ Grandpa made me many swords from scrap wood, sometimes by whittling them with his knife, sometimes with power tools. The one made from a hickory plank, carved then hardened over a fire, with a leather-wrapped handle, was so freakin' great. Held an edge for a long time, if I used it mainly on the tall weeds out back of the barn. It lasted a lot longer than the soft pine models he made in minutes. Alas, it broke, like all the others.

He carved my name on the blade. I miss that guy. He got me.

I'd totally put a Grandpa-carved sword on my mantle. Full circle, no?
posted by Caxton1476 at 6:56 AM on August 31 [29 favorites]


But the guy who has strong opinions about Breitling versus ... some other kind of watch ... and can probably tell you the eBay user names of more than one seller of used watches?

I don't know any watch guys by that definition, but I definitely know tons of dudes who sublimated their nascent Sword Guy tendencies by becoming obsessive collectors of strong opinions about things.
posted by penduluum at 6:56 AM on August 31 [16 favorites]


Nelson: "Are there gay sword guys? I don't think I've ever met one and I'm certain I've never slept with one."

Anecdotally, yes.

The Renn Fest in my area attracts a surprisingly diverse crowd. LGBT folks are well-represented (although, gay nerds seem to be an incredibly self-contained community).

There's also enough chain-mail at kink events that it's impossible not to believe that at least some of those folks are into swords.
posted by schmod at 6:59 AM on August 31 [12 favorites]


(A side note, blacksmiths do talk in Terry Pratchet capitals, because some things are hard to express thru mere words, you will need added emphasis. "Be careful, that is Hot." "Don't drop that, it's Heavy." Imagine a meaningful look and forward tilt of the head on every capital, and you get the drift.)

"Careful, that is Hot"
"How hot? It can't be-"
Iᴛ's ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ ʜᴏᴛ.
"Wait, who are you? Why are you holding a scythe?"
Hᴇ ᴅɪᴅ ᴡᴀʀɴ ʏᴏᴜ.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:00 AM on August 31 [74 favorites]


that being badass is possible given human flaws and mortality and that being badass is desirable. Those are all things it's sort of normal to think when you're a young teenager and don't have a handle on your feelings, but pretty silly in an adult.

This was a great comment, but I should note that if being a badass is not possible then one must be using a definition of badass that does not include Teddy Roosevelt or Shackleton.
posted by Jpfed at 7:01 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I was never a sword guy, and I never had a sword, but I used to force my little brother to joust with me using my mom's tomato stakes after I finished reading the Alanna books.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:09 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Is there a price limit on this? If someone spent $20,000 on a custom-made sword, is he comparable to the QVC guy? If you had a museum-quality sword that you displayed as art? Really I'm looking for the price point where you'd be in the clear...

Honestly the Culture comment hit too close...Goddammit I'm a nationally ranked epee fencer! I actually have a girlfriend! And I love this guy's work.

I do not (currently) own any non-epee weapons of any sort.
posted by Farce_First at 7:17 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I feel that, as the progeny of jewelers and watchmakers, I need to make a #notallwatchguys defense here.

There are two kinds of watch guys. The first is the kind of person who has a real affinity and appreciation for the really very amazing craftsmanship and precision that goes into the manufacture and maintenance of a mechanical timepiece. They have an appreciation of history. They watch ebay for chunky old Rados that weigh a goddamn pound and have square corners that chew through your shirt cuffs. They probably have an old gold-filled Accutron tuning fork lying around somewhere that runs for a day or two after you bang it on a table. They carry their grandfather's old Hamilton 992B railroad watch from time to time. You say "Rolex" and they shrug, generally. They are friends with people who Make Things, and may be craftspeople themselves. Full disclosure: I am one of these guys. I have my dear departed Molly McGee's old pocket watch in my jeans watch pocket right now.

Then there are people who tell themselves that they are in group one. But really they just like being fancy and are looking to justify spending shit tons of money on wristwatches because they don't feel comfortable wearing jewelry? I guess? And probably are uncomfortable owning the fact that they like being fancy. And so they learn enough to be able to speak half-intelligently about horology, but what they want to buy is not as much about being interesting as it is about being expensive and "cool" in the most superficial sense. They don't carry a pocket watch so much as the pocket watch carries them, if you follow me.

The same thing is true of blade people, really. I know knifemakers and blacksmiths. I used to work with a watchmaker who quit to go run his own knife and hand engraving business on a forge he built himself. There are people out there who have an appreciation of how very fucking hard it is to forge a good quality damascus blade, and they appreciate owning something forged by a master. But most just want to cosplay being Hardcore Blade Person.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:18 AM on August 31 [16 favorites]


Are there gay sword guys

There are gay blades.
posted by maxsparber at 7:24 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I agree with her making a clear distinction between shitty kanana guys and every other kind of sword guy out there. Even if you're into sword guys, boning the former will inevitably end in disappointment. (I'm a sword gal, always have been, and spent the first two years of college cutting a swath through my local SCA chapter, so I know allll about it.)
posted by merriment at 7:27 AM on August 31 [10 favorites]


1. I'm pretty sure Crocodile Dundee established conclusively that a machete is a knife.
2. The Curie temperature is specific to permanent magnets. In steel it matches up with the forging temperature, because austenite (what you hot forge) is nonmagnetic, but ferrite (room temperature carbon steel) is. Most stainless steels are austenitic at room temperature, which is why they're nonmagnetic. If you're above the transformation temperature (which varies by alloy), you're hot forging. If you're below, you're cold working.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:36 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]


Reader, I married him. The marriage is over, but I still have some idiot 'collectible' rapier he gave me when we were dating jammed in the back of a closet somewhere.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:37 AM on August 31 [14 favorites]


To make a significant anagram of "Sword Dad," you might need to... add words.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:39 AM on August 31 [21 favorites]


Mick carries a bowie knife, not a machete. You are thinking of Machete, who carries a machete.
posted by cortex at 7:39 AM on August 31 [15 favorites]


And Nacho Libre, who carries Chancho's father's machete.
posted by maxsparber at 7:41 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I mean, I think that a difference between a cat person and a sword/watch/etc person is that the latter think that owning a thing makes you "badass"

Basically, they're Dwight from The Office.

Obligatory.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:46 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I have a sword dad and a sword brother. They're both super creepy. I don't recommend dating either of them. Unfortunately, I have one of their epees, but we have no longer have contact, so the epee sits in a corner of a closet.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:51 AM on August 31


I feel like the best distillation of the canonical Sword Guy (as expressed in TFA) is Elijah Wood's character in I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:52 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


It was probably a nodachi.

It also could have been a tachi, which was the predominant sword style before the katana became ubiquitous. It was slightly longer, with a deeper curve and a different style of hilt optimised for use from horseback. Tachi are still shorter than nodachi, though, which makes them easier to confuse with katana.

>.>

I mean, uh, what's a sword? Some kind of pointy thing or something?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:01 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


Are we all just pretending that we've never wandered into the "cutlery" store at the mall just to side glance at the dudes holding decorative swords??? Gotta do something while the SO is shopping.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:02 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]




I'm learning how to use a sword. Though I haven't decided on which one or which style yet. Right now it's just a long piece of wood that I imagine is a sword. It is pretty badass. I've killed many zombies and goblins in my yard.

I have no arm strength at all so a few times a week I do some basic exercises I found online. I think the channel fits a sword guy. I do plan on getting a more realistic sword someday but not until I can use it for more than 5 mins without feeling like my arms are going to fall off and I have $ to spare.

I am a geek who plays D&D so it's not hard to see where it comes from. The main reason I'm doing it though is that I am super bad at exercising and get bored with regular sorts of activities. I've discovered going outside and swinging my badass stick around doesn't feel like a chore. It's fun and silly and I get a good upper body workout. Beyond that there are real techniques to learn so I'll see where it goes. And the history part is pretty cool. I love history so it hits that spot as well.

I do have an advantage. I have no neighbors so can I run around like a little kid playing imaginary games without any concern. Pretty sure my dogs think I'm a weirdo.

I promise to try not to be 'Sword Gal' if that even exists.
posted by Jalliah at 8:07 AM on August 31 [22 favorites]


My little brother once bought me a katana for Christmas, which he then returned to the mall cutlery store because basically what the fuck was he doing buying me a katana and wherever that money came from it almost certainly was not intended to be mall cutlery store money.

Another time in high school I went to the mall cutlery store to buy a dagger for a wiccan friend in exchange for her buying me a tarot deck.

Mall cutlery stores: we totally did go in them.
posted by cortex at 8:09 AM on August 31 [16 favorites]


My dad is a Sword Guy. I don't know if he falls into the new category of Sword Dad, as the decorations on the wall have little to do with us kids*, and in fact he didn't start putting them on the walls until long after we moved out. In contrast to the article's claim, despite his collection's lack of any ties to pop culture, he's never owned a katana nor any other Japanese style of weapon, nor for that matter a sword with a sharp edge - they are all dull but otherwise somewhat accurate, if probably stylized, historical replicas, nearly all in the European tradition**. On the other hand, I think if presented with the opportunity, he'd be equally interested in hanging either a katana on the wall or a Bat'leth, so maybe he's not a counterexample so much as a hybrid.

*Technically, I may have been involved at the start? I suspect it kicked off when he came across a replica I'd bought at Medieval Times when I was 15 and had left in the back of a closet ever since.

**Except the small bronze Tuareg sword replica I got him while living in West Africa, because apparently I am a Sword Enabler.

posted by solotoro at 8:14 AM on August 31


I played RPGs as a teenager, and there was a small store that specialized in RPGs at the mall. I'd hang out there and chat with the staff pretty regularly. Right next door to it was a store that sold costume weapons (which I guess we'd now refer to as QVC-grade katanas). This was the perfect setup for breeding sword guys—I mean, it's just a short step from knowing what all those obscure bladed weapons are from studying D&D rulebooks (with the obsessiveness that seems to come naturally introverted teenage boys) to owning them, right? And if you're playing RPGs in the 1980s, you're probably already a proto-sword guy already. Somehow I dodged that, uh, bullet.

My father has his grandfather's campaign sword from the Spanish-American war hanging on the wall. Someday that'll probably be mine. I still won't be a sword guy.
posted by adamrice at 8:18 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


My father has his grandfather's campaign sword from the Spanish-American war hanging on the wall. Someday that'll probably be mine. I still won't be a sword guy.

Yeah, full disclosure: when my grandmother died I took the Japanese bayonet that my grandfather brought back from WWII. It's hanging in the garage. I am not a sword person of any stripe. Is a bayonet even a sword? I don't know.

(Strangely, there was also a note giving permission to bring home a Japanese pistol, but nobody's ever found it. I wonder if it's still hidden somewhere in the house.)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:26 AM on August 31


This is relevant.
posted by mikeand1 at 8:30 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Let's not kid ourselves. Metafilter is exactly the kind of place that'll be swarming with sword guys, or could've-been sword guys, or dated-all-the-sword-guys. No need to be shy about it.

I'm too-lazy-to-be-a sword guy. Watching Forged in Fire was fun, but it made my arms vicariously tired.
posted by clawsoon at 8:43 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]


Anyway, he liked to kickbox a truck tire he had hanging up outside the spot to show people the place was "guarded,"

Ahhh, Practices Martial Arts In The Front Yard Guy.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:51 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


I should note that if being a badass is not possible then one must be using a definition of badass that does not include Teddy Roosevelt or Shackleton

On "being a badass":

The thing is, the canonical badass does not do things or have characteristics that are common to human persons. The canonical badass doesn't bore his friends whining about his ex. He doesn't have a weird whinnying laugh when he thinks something is really, really funny. He never ends up doubled over on the toilet with food poisoning. He doesn't have a flabby little pouch of a belly, no matter how old he gets. He doesn't trip getting off the bus - or even take the bus - and fall in a puddle. He might get a serious illness, but not an embarrassing illness or one that people view as shameful - no colon cancer or dementia. The canonical badass is good at everything and never ridiculous, his learning curves are always short, he's a natural leader. What's more, the world complies with this - his partners never think he's emotionally unavailable, or decide that actually they would prefer to move to the suburbs, or have hobbies or feelings that get in the way of his badassery. Somehow the badass's sink never backs up, and he never steps on a centipede and shrieks, and he never pronounces "Foucault" wrong in front of people who care, or uses chopsticks badly and drops a chunk of tofu - does he even eat tofu? only if it's "authentic" - down his shirtfront.

The main thing about the badass, too, is that he does all of this naturally, without calculation, because that's what being a badass is. It's the dude version of the woman who is "naturally" beautiful, spends no time on her appearance, wears only inexpensive clothes that she doesn't care about, eats a large pizza every day and still looks like a fashion model.

The badass doesn't have empathy, even when he sheds a single tear. He can't have empathy, because that would involve understanding that war, conquering territory and traveling to remote and dangerous places impose costs. Bravely blowing up an enemy installation kills people. Even a just war is never just - think about the bombings of civilians in WWII. This is not troubling to the badass, except if its "troubling" nature shows that he is a man of sensitivity and feeling - empathy is only important if it is one more character point for the badass, not because it links him to common humanity.

In a way, the badass represents the death of interiority - he can't be self-reflective, because the badass is never undignified, and real self-reflection always involves some indignity.

Heroic deeds exist; the "badass" is a kind of flesh robot.
posted by Frowner at 8:52 AM on August 31 [41 favorites]


Is a bayonet even a sword? I don't know.

So, there is a style of bayonet called a "sword bayonet", but they straddle the line between long knives and short swords pretty ambiguously.

There are other styles of bayonet as well, though, which were generally more common (because cheaper) and would definitely not meet any definition of a sword. Some bayonets are literally just metal spikes you can stick on the end of your rifle, theoretically for stabbing cavalry, because why shoot a horse when you can let it almost trample you and then poke it with four inches of wrought iron?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:52 AM on August 31


Sword guy? SWORD GUY? My husband has well over 100. Google "sword display david smith" to see pictures of my house. No kidding. The second through fifth images are my family room and living room. He's actually pretty creative with them.

He started collecting when he was in middle school, and is essentially a self-taught expert. Yes, he is an SCA guy. I don't really care about the SCA, but I participate occasionally.

I, on the other hand, am a Fiber Lady. Yarn, looms, sewing machines, yeah.
posted by corvikate at 8:57 AM on August 31 [26 favorites]


If there is one thing I have learned from reading about the West, it's that people ran out of ammo pretty fast and resorted to just beating each other with pistol and rifle butts, so I can see how having a knife stuck to the end of your rifle could come in handy.

By the way, there is literally a Native American weapon based on a rifle butt, called the gunstock war club. You might notice that they have added a little knife as a little "is that a rifle hammer NO IT IS NOT" surprise.

It's the primary weapon in the only Native American martial art that is regularly taught, which is a sort of modernized version of a variety of Indian fighting arts called Okichitaw.

Don't bother with sword guys. Find you a gunstock war club guy.
posted by maxsparber at 9:01 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


chapps: No love for the fencer and their rolling bag of blades, collection of tiny screwdrivers and obscure home made devices to assist with rewiring electrical components?

Electrical components and outfits for regulation sparring = too formal for sword guys, from my vantage point as a former fencer (in college) and someone who has a few Sword Guy friends. Sword-Guy swords are for show, while fencing gear is for use in a sport, and generally aren't displayed on a wall. I can't imagine sword guys with a rolling bag for their blades, no matter how many they had. That's why you have scabbards.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


What do you do about a household with both cats and swords? Ah... asking for a friend.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:20 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I have a clear memory of my triumph in kindergarten when I overcame a rival in a duel with giant tinkertoy swords. Off and on through the years I've wished I went into fencing, but life didn't take me that way. Still enjoy watching a good swordfight, though. I could have been a Sword Gal, is what I'm saying.

Oh and if you want to read about the early 70s versions of Sword Gals and Dudes and SCA weirdos (plus actual magic), I highly recommend Peter S. Beagle (the Last Unicorn guy)'s Folk of the Air. He has a nice bit in there about the mechanics of fighting with swords and shields.
posted by emjaybee at 9:22 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I inherited a katana. Then I spent a bunch of time reading up, as you do. Blessedly, there is a lot of good info on Japanese swords online, and some very serious oldschool sword nerds who are willing to answer questions from n00bs if you've done some homework and respect their local message-forum etiquette.

The stuff they talk about, how if you look at the surface carefully you can see all this visual evidence of how the metal was forged, these subtle visual markers of different processes and hardnesses and that reflects the microstructure of the steel.... it's true! You can really see it.

This is kind of orthogonal to the Sword Guy who's buying stuff at the mall and dressing in costume to look tough, and I feel apologetic and dorky even making this comment. But the actual thing of real old Japanese swords, they're really cool.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:26 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


A frequent butt of jokes on Reddit is the guy who goes on and on about how katanas were the perfect sword. They're usually laughed at by guys who will tell you that Japanese blacksmithing was terrible, and that Damascus steel was far superior.
There is a man I must kill. There is metal in my path. Metal boiled in cauldrons and mixed by computers. There is metal in my hands. Metal made soft by fire--folded and flattened by a hundred thousand hammer blows--folded, flattened, patiently, lovingly, endlessly until each of its million layers is thinner than air--until its edge is thinner than air--sharp enough to cut through anything made in cauldrons by computers.
posted by straight at 9:27 AM on August 31


I, on the other hand, am a Fiber Lady. Yarn, looms, sewing machines, yeah.


"Honey, can you cut me off a yard of--"

"On it." [SWOOSH]
posted by mikeand1 at 9:39 AM on August 31 [17 favorites]


I have a sword. My grandfather got it when he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1917. I mostly use it to open champagne bottles.
posted by slkinsey at 9:51 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


do scimitar-shaped machetes from Tijuana count as swords?

fingers-crossed! I may be a sword-girl wooooooo
posted by supermedusa at 9:55 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I used to work with a sword-guy who was behind the grill at a bar I worked at.

One night, my barback Joe and I are out taking a smoke break. And Joe turns to me and says "Pirate, he was twirling his kitchen knife at me again. He said "You know Joe, knights and warriors used to twirl their swords to intimidate their enemies before battle."

Joe pauses, takes another drag, and continues "So I stopped and asked 'Did it ever work?'"

:)

The twirling stopped.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:01 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]




There is a hard overlap between the sword guy, the SCA guy, and the comic book nerd guy.

You forgot to mention that he also brews the mead for the cast party.

CAMELOOOOOOT!
CAMELOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:10 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


The summer before we all went off to college a few of my friends and I discovered that we could make "swords" by wrapping foam rubber around PVC pipe and then, delighted by our discovery, spent the rest of the summer beating the shit out of each other. I should turn that into a heart-warming coming-of-age story.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:13 AM on August 31 [11 favorites]


No one just happens to have a sword. Even if the sword was a gift, you're a sword guy now. It's just like, um, you know, werewolf rules.

I believe this was the entire line of thinking that led us to banjo guy.
posted by notorious medium at 10:22 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]


I dunno if it's such a good thing to look down on "the QVC sword guys" or whoever. Some of that feels like classism to me - they're not enjoying something that I enjoy the "right way", or I find them embarrassing and I'd like to separate how I enjoy something from how they enjoy something so I better find a way to look down on them, or whatever. They don't have the money or the time or the cultural capital, which gives me a wedge to address my own discomfort about enjoying a socially questionable interest. That feels ehn to me.
posted by clawsoon at 10:24 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


There is a hard overlap between the sword guy, the SCA guy, and the comic book nerd guy.

Good gravy yes. Almost all of the dudes I know who are into comics, SFF, and/or RPGs have at least one or more of varying size, quality and/or authenticity. At least some of their swords were from the BUDK catalog, and one guy I saw at the supermarket with a couple of foam rubber swords stuck in his backpack Deadpool-style, just in case some spontaneous LARPing broke out in the produce aisle, I guess.

My own blade collection, such as it is, tends toward multitools and a Spyderco Chicago (so-called because the 2" blade is street-legal in that city; I keep it clipped to one pocket for various cutting-related tasks). I do have a Bowie knife that's a few inches short of being a short sword, plus a Bear Grylls brand parang that I got after my apartment was broken into and I came home while the burglar was still inside (I missed seeing them, and they did a lot of damage to my blinds on the way out, well in excess of the value of the laundry quarters that were the only thing they stole). I don't know if it would really be that good of an idea for self defense, but I feel a little bit safer than if the deadliest thing I had around was a mop handle or my edition of the complete works of Lovecraft.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:27 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


It's a fantasy about being able to impress people and have status without having to worry about social skills or the normal requirements of modern life.

Disclaimer: my grandfather brought back a war-era katana and a Phillipines (I think) carved-handle machete. I think. So apparently he was a sword guy. Who knew? And I guess I am by inheritance. So it goes.

The piece I find interesting about this comment is the notion that there are alternative modes, if you will, to finding the right social skills or other whatever for success or status in modern life. Well, witness here. In other words, I don't find seeking alternatives to "modernity" disagreeable per se. Sorta come around to not wanting to fight that one any more, you know?

How one goes about it, sure, worlds of difference.
posted by emmet at 10:35 AM on August 31


The only kind of sword I am interested in are the little plastic ones they use to spear the maraschino cherries in my cocktails.
posted by briank at 10:36 AM on August 31 [12 favorites]


soren_lorensen: "Next article in the series: Kilt Guys"

Previously.

clawsoon: "When's the last time that swords - as opposed to knives, daggers, machetes, bayonets, etc. - were useful weapons? "

There was this one time in 2009.
posted by exogenous at 10:37 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


there is a photo series somewhere of griphus drunkely posing with a selection of greg nog's many swords while internet detective and i are chasing his many cats around the house
posted by poffin boffin at 10:40 AM on August 31 [19 favorites]


and you didn't link it?

I'd finish with 'shame!', but that would trigger me, much less a lot of other people.
posted by mephron at 10:43 AM on August 31


When I bought my apartment I was taking a huge step up from having been renting with other people for a decade. It was the first time I had full decorating oversight of a space that was bigger than a room. As I was gathering all my things that I would move in, I thought about a sword that currently hangs in my parents' hallway. It's technically mine as my grandfather gave it to me when I was a boy. He had been given it by his grandfather, who'd been a policeman in Copenhagen in the 1880s, which apparently ment being given a sword. It's a very unornate, functional piece of murderware, not really useful for anything beyond hacking at another person and having them not stand up again. As a boy I thought it was just about the coolest thing and hung it in my room, but as an adult I'm maybe not so fond of it. But since it was a gift from my grandfather, I have a deep affection for it.

I thought about hanging it up in my apartment, but as it would be the main piece of decoration in my apartment, I didn't feel like moving it with me. I worried a bit about people would think if they came into an apartment decorated only with an old sword. Funnily enough, about a week after I had moved in, my current girlfriend paid her first visit to the apartment. I asked her what she'd have thought if she'd seen a sword on my wall. She said: "Well, I would've thought you'd inherited a sword and you hung it up for sentimental reasons."

So the lesson from all that, I guess, is that I totally missed out on having a sword hanging in my apartment this whole time.
posted by Kattullus at 10:45 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


I tell myself (and my wife) that a machete is a super practical tool and it's not a conceit to own one.

I think that all depends on the specific machete one owns...
posted by jkaczor at 10:47 AM on August 31


"I'm Captain Sword Guy, and THIS [does sweet sword moves with katana] is not my sword."
posted by straight at 10:50 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Ok, first, i liked that this was published in The Cut.
Second I just came home from the fencing club. No love for the fencer and their rolling bag of blades, collection of tiny screwdrivers and obscure home made devices to assist with rewiring electrical components?


Honestly the Culture comment hit too close...Goddammit I'm a nationally ranked epee fencer! I actually have a girlfriend! And I love this guy's work.

I thought this was a funny response that will go underappreciated because it requires context (check the bio links).
posted by atoxyl at 10:50 AM on August 31


On "being a badass", my favorite quote/imagery is from Snow Crash:

“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”
― Neal Stephenson

The most hilarious thing about this is that good ole Neal went on to become perhaps the worlds nerdiest "sword guy"...
posted by jkaczor at 10:59 AM on August 31 [14 favorites]


There are so many versions of my husband in these comments, I've lost count.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:00 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I bought a wood katana at a Ren Faire in college. My ex-girlfriend (now wife) made fun of my at the time, but boy, when I used it for self defense in the place of a baseball bat that one time I thought someone had broke into our condo?

Well, she still laughed at me -but the point is if there had been an intruder they probably would have laughed too while they shot me and stole all my worldly possessions and isn't the point of living to spread a little cheer while we're all stuck together on this big dumb rock?
posted by Tevin at 11:00 AM on August 31 [13 favorites]


I would say awareness of "sword guy" as both a pejorative and subgroup is pretty common.

I briefly did stunt work when I was young and had 2 good knees and 2 good elbows. I at one point owned many (blunt) swords and (fake) guns. Luckily it occurred to me in my late 20s to get rid of all of them, because that was no longer my vocation and it was a weird thing to keep. I have one steel practice sword tucked in a closet for sentimental reasons, that I am still very self conscious about owning. Mostly due to the pejorative nature of being a "sword guy"
posted by French Fry at 11:13 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I Should note, I professionally design board games, play table top rpgs, and all manner of other nerdy shit and I still worry about being seen as a "sword guy". The stigma is real.
posted by French Fry at 11:17 AM on August 31 [6 favorites]


Sword Guys are often partnered with Cat Ladies, in fact.

I work at a Renaissance Festival. All my friends are Sword Guys, basically.
posted by desuetude at 11:30 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I have always intended to mount my machetes over the fireplace (yeah!) but in the 14 years I've been in my house I've yet to make the effort to figure out a good mounting system. if this thread inspires me I will post pictures!
posted by supermedusa at 11:30 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


The only kind of sword I am interested in are the little plastic ones they use to spear the maraschino cherries in my cocktails.

Those little babies worked great with my Castle System LEGOs. I'll never stop kicking myself for giving them away to my little cousin who never played with them and then sold them at a yard sale where he didn't make enough money to buy the bike the whole yard sale was in aid of and ended up being cigarette money for his awful father.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:35 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I mean, you had to cut the blades down a little and then file the points to make them just the right length but still it meant everybody got a weapon and you could stage teeny little melees.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:36 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


I dunno if it's such a good thing to look down on "the QVC sword guys" or whoever. Some of that feels like classism to me

It isn't, though. Nobody has to own a sword, and sword-shaped objects are fucking dangerous items to possess in a way that actual, properly-made swords are not.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:38 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I just remembered I have a fair-sized machete tucked away at my house.

I picked it up from the middle of the road in front of the college where I work one morning. Just layin' there, being sharp, minding its own business. Kind of a turtle-on-the-fencepost thing, but I never learned the backstory.

Showed it to Public Safety, who said they wanted no part of it, thanks, get it off campus. So now it's hidden in my basement laundry room, behind the detergent, where, I'm nearly certain, my children will never discover it by accident.

Strongly considering picking up a watermelon on the way home tonight.
posted by Caxton1476 at 11:43 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Oh man, all the machete talk is reminding me that a guy I know used to keep a machete under the seat of his car in high school. Some kind of weird road-rage defense mechanism? I have no idea.

He also used to loop a chain around the steering wheel and use it to drive sometimes. He crashed his cars a lot. A lot. Thankfully into trees.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:49 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


tobascodagama: sword-shaped objects are fucking dangerous items to possess in a way that actual, properly-made swords are not.

I watched 'em slice clean through a pig carcass with a properly-made sword on Forged with Fire, and I'm not buying that a sword-shaped piece of metal from QVC is more dangerous than that.
posted by clawsoon at 11:57 AM on August 31


I own a synthetic sjambok, 2 throwing shovels (which live between the mattress & the headboard, hers/his), and a 2.25" folding knife I carry for work.

I got almost no excuse for the sjambok.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:01 PM on August 31


I dunno if it's such a good thing to look down on "the QVC sword guys" or whoever. Some of that feels like classism to me

It isn't, though. Nobody has to own a sword, and sword-shaped objects are fucking dangerous items to possess in a way that actual, properly-made swords are not.


We know how this goes. If only the rich have swords, then it's only a matter of time before you're shining boot buckles for a tittering baronet as he gambles away his father's thousand pounds a year.
posted by The Gaffer at 12:01 PM on August 31 [14 favorites]


I have both been a sword guy and a cat guy at various points in my life. I contain multitudes.

I wouldn't be shocked if my son became a sword guy at some point in his life.
posted by drezdn at 12:04 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I know how to fence, and I really enjoy fencing, so if anything (if I had extra money and for some reason felt inclined) I might buy a high-quality small sword, one of the intermediates between the rapier and fencing (i.e., dummy) weapons. I would buy a sword that I knew what to do with, in other words. But I would actually use it; I would practice with it, doing footwork and trying to impale apples with a quick strike and such. That would be fun. I wouldn't mount it on the wall. Displaying swords (especially non-functional ones) is one of the things that makes a guy who has a sword into a Sword Guy, to me.
posted by clockzero at 12:24 PM on August 31


I watched 'em slice clean through a pig carcass with a properly-made sword on Forged with Fire, and I'm not buying that a sword-shaped piece of metal from QVC is more dangerous than that.

A blade that can hold an edge is infinitely safer for any attempted use as it's not likely to skid and hit something other than your targeted area.

Also, I don't know about the QVC one, but a former roommate's boyfriend had cheap swords and had one shatter into flying pieces when practicing hitting stuff in the backyard. That was unsafe as hell.
posted by notorious medium at 12:26 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


This seems like a good place to mention my favorite reality show ever: Big Giant Swords, a show about a professional welder named Irish Mike who lives in Martha's Vineyard and make giant-ass replica pop culture swords for a living. The show is equal parts the story of this guy trying to build a business doing what he loves, crafting porn of people making giant-ass swords, and videos of the swords themselves in action, and I love it so much.

It only lasted for six glorious episodes, but Irish Mike is still doing his thing on YouTube
posted by Itaxpica at 12:28 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


a former roommate's boyfriend had cheap swords and had one shatter into flying pieces when practicing hitting stuff in the backyard

Exactly. A razor-shape blade that stays in one piece is significantly safer than a bluntish blade that falls out of its hilt or breaks in half when you look at it funny.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:31 PM on August 31


We know how this goes. If only the rich have swords, then it's only a matter of time before you're shining boot buckles for a tittering baronet as he gambles away his father's thousand pounds a year.


I don't particularly want a sword, but where do I sign up to be a tittering baronet? I have a beauty mark and can bring my own scented handkerchiefs.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:32 PM on August 31 [22 favorites]


I'm married to a Sword-Lady. That's all there is to say, I can't imagine trying to categorize her more, if we had a foundry and anvil I think I'd be married to a Smith.
posted by NiteMayr at 12:40 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I don't particularly want a sword, but where do I sign up to be a tittering baronet? I have a beauty mark and can bring my own scented handkerchiefs.

Depends - do you have any experience in being born to both wealth and title? How many servants have you used cruelly, most cruelly? Is your wig powdered a blinding white and tall enough that you have had your phaeton's roof lifted?
posted by The Gaffer at 12:40 PM on August 31 [11 favorites]


1. Title but not wealth.
2. Several, and most cruelly indeed, but it was by prior arrangement, and at their request.
3. My phaeton is open-topped (as they all are), but at any rate, I have of late considered adopting the new "Dandy" style advocated by Mr. Brummell & Co., which will certainly save me on wig powder (although it may require increased outlay on cravats).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on August 31 [8 favorites]


I just remembered I bought a machete when I was on a Mission Trip to Jamaica when I was 16.

I was going to do a deep dive in some old boxes stashed in the basement to try and find some lost Legos but with this latest revelation I'm afraid I'll find a dusty crate filled with various and sundry katanas and gladii.
posted by Tevin at 1:59 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I'm not a sword guy myself (altho I do have a utility machete and did drunkenly talk my ladyfriend into buying me a shuriken set at the renn faire once), but I've had something like a half dozen roommates over the years that all had various levels of sword-impulses... to the point that my house now just has a 'sword barrel' near the door, to hold the dozen or so loose claymores, epees, cavalry sabers, etc that don't have proper homes. There are also a few umbrellas and canes in the mix as well to keep it utilitarian.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:06 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


so I guess I am a sword girl, and mr supermedusa is def a sword guy (used to fence and do renfaire, still has his foils...) and we have 2 cats in lieu of children...so! what do we win???

also, for any swordspeople out there who have not (yet) read any K.J. Parker, get thee to a library!!!
posted by supermedusa at 2:07 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


oh wait i forgot the other drunken renn faire purchase of a tanto in a sheath that's designed entirely to look like a dildo make of skeletons, because holy shit anyone who could pass that up has no soul

i may be a sword guy

i'm trying to find a picture of this thing but googling 'tanto skeleton dildo' is giving me surprisingly invalid responses
posted by FatherDagon at 2:10 PM on August 31 [11 favorites]


When my mom got her third cat my siblings and I were worried, because we weren't sure if "cat lady" started at 3 cats or more than 3 cats. I see Hana Michel says more than 3 cats but I personally have decided the number will be one more than my mom has.

I have always considered Carolyn Kaiser from Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr Burglar books to have the definitive answer to this one.

"You can have one cat, you can have two cats, you can even have three cats, but after that you've got 'more than three.'
And you're a woman with cats."

posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:30 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I used to think this was because sword guys only exist on the Coasts, and in Middle America “sword guys” are “gun guys.” But my sword-guy stand-up material went over really well in Arizona this year, and many of the sword guys I’ve hooked up with have been transplants who took their swords with them on their journey to either Coast.

Yeah, no, there are plenty of sword guys in the Midwest. And there is also significant overlap between sword guys and gun guys, as well as between these guys and dudes who are just generally technically minded; are creative and self-taught; are musicians with multiple guitars and other instruments around; are artists; build computers or are software developers; like DIY projects and remodeling; possess a sense of aesthetics; like sci-fi, fantasy, D&D, LARPing, comics, and anime; read and watch a ton of things in these genres; collect stuff; and are secure enough in their masculinity to wear Utilikilts, do cosplay, make puppets and miniatures, enjoy My Little Pony, do leathercraft, make chain mail, cook, coo over their cats... Sorry, the way I write this, it starts to sound like I'm penning a personal ad. Maybe I am. I kinda dig the whole blue-collar Renaissance man thing, even when maybe in practice, without a lot of money or resources to access a higher level of craftsmanship, it veers a little closer to mall ninja. If a guy can be self-aware about it and laugh at the ridiculous parts while still being into it...

I honestly find it all fairly endearing, really. Even when it veers into me chuckling about a dude and his masculinities (see: tactical benchtop thread injector), or a friend showing me videos of testing out knives and guns, it still just makes me smile, 'cause he's honestly sharing with me what he likes. I'll take that over the dude who's too cool to like anything wholeheartedly or learn a new skill any day. And I like some of that stuff myself—I'm a bit of a sword gal, though the largest bladed weapon I own is a big Bowie knife. The milled titanium pendant I wear was made by a guy who's on EDC Forums. He'd just bought some new equipment and was taking commissions, and the price was quite reasonable for a custom piece like that. The gifts I gave my half of the wedding party were stainless-steel EDC keychain sets. I took apart and rebuilt every lock in my house... All of that is who I am, and I appreciate that I can discuss any and all of these interests with sword guys and not get "Why would you want to do that?"

Yeah, a lot of sword guys are otakus or otherwise into some embarrassing shit. There are also sword guys who are quite liberal, self-aware, feminist, and willing to learn to be better feminists, even if they start out with some goofy white-knight fantasies. I've seen many friends and former lovers who are sword guys mature into better people as we've grown into adults together. Of course, this also makes me think of a certain strain of boomer and Gen-X white-dude philosophical orientalism, such as Richard Bach and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and all the copies of Siddhartha and Kahlil Gibran books you find at Midwestern thrift stores and garage sales. But...I own and love that stuff, too, even as I acknowledge its problematic aspects. Hanging out with sword guys is sometimes an exercise in liking problematic things, but it is often rewarding.

(And yeah, I know multiple MeFites who are sword guys or sword gals, and I love that about this place. I didn't know Greg Nog was a sword guy as well as a cat botherer and kilt wearer, but he was one of the guys who kept coming to mind as I read this thread until I saw him actually mentioned, so there you go. I guess Greg Nog is now a sword dad. Greg Nog rules.)
posted by limeonaire at 2:43 PM on August 31 [16 favorites]


Oh right, and I was going to mention, I feel like Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, an anime recommended in this AskMe, kind of touches upon sword guy–ism and the embarrassment it can engender in a high-school setting. A guy decides to escape his past identity as Dark Flame Master, something he made up in middle school when he used to carry a fantasy sword around, only to find that it's harder to make a new start than he thought... I just started watching it, and it's really cute.
posted by limeonaire at 2:51 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I would designate the "sword guy" threshold not by the sheer number of blades, but by whether they've got a YouTube channel, where they amateur-splain sword facts.

No true sword guy!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:07 PM on August 31


They all try to make the most ornate and beautiful end of the weapon the non-stabby part. I think it speaks to balance?

It's more because the show tests the weapons by actually putting them to use, which means that you need to have a blade that can actually withstand being used - the critical distinction between the sword and the sword-shaped object. As a result, there's less leeway with the blade as there is with the handle/guard/pommel.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:07 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I'm a car guy. And a watch guy. And a guitar (and banjo, and mandolin) guy, Civil War history and Presidential biography guy, craft beer and homebrewing guy, briefly a pocketknife guy, you get the idea. I've been this way since I was young (first it was all things Garfield, then (inexplicably) M*A*S*H, then the Beatles...

You can be a snob about anything, really, and at the same time you can just be super interested in something, and super eager to talk about it, without being a snob. That's the real dichotomy, the Sword Guy to avoid and the Sword Guy to bed.

As the username suggests I'm specifically a British car guy, and within that group there are always people who mock other makes (stuck up Porsche owners) or Muscle cars or even modern Subarus with aftermarket everything. But to me, whether you have a perfect concourse E-Type or a rusty do-it-yourself Sprite or a Volvo brick or even a really well-maintained Hyundai, I can dig it. Being interested is always interesting.
posted by MOWOG at 3:31 PM on August 31 [8 favorites]


I was almost a sword guy, and for quite a while I was a trenchcoat guy. I diverted to guitar guy, and now I guess I'm a bass guy, although I refuse to have a soul patch or wear any kind of kangol or trilby type hat. Nor will you ever hear me talking about being in the pocket.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:46 PM on August 31


I watched 'em slice clean through a pig carcass with a properly-made sword on Forged with Fire, and I'm not buying that a sword-shaped piece of metal from QVC is more dangerous than that.

There's dangerous, and then there's Dangerous.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:06 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


UtiliKilts: 1
Swords: 0 (Since we've established that fencing could don't count)
Cats: 2

I'm assuming this puts me a couple standard deviations beyond normal, but not quite into the "X Guy" category.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:21 PM on August 31


I also have a utility kilt. I run a Scottish Festival every year but I like wearing it other times. The pockets are to die for.
3 cats but only 2 in practice. One has decided he likes Mom better.
posted by Jalliah at 5:34 PM on August 31


A discussion of sword guys and how they buy their swords on QVC requires a link to that time Coach McGuirk bought all those swords on QVC, which contained this short dialog that sums up the phenomenon:
Brendon: Why'd you buy them?

Coach: It's complicated, Brendon.

Brendon: Well, what's so complicated? I can understand it - why?

Coach: You don't understand.

Brendon: No, I could probably understand.

Coach: You would never understand unless you lived alone.

Brendon: So you live by yourself and when you get lonely, you buy swords? I don't understand.

Coach: Well, you nailed it.
posted by palindromic at 5:37 PM on August 31 [14 favorites]


My son just took up fencing and there's a epee in my mudroom, so sword guys may be closer than they appear. Still just the one cat.
posted by Biblio at 5:58 PM on August 31


A discussion of sword guys and how they buy their swords on QVC requires a link to that time Coach McGuirk bought all those swords on QVC

It's really hard not to recreate McGuirk's "spaghetti time" with utensils instead of swords every time you make spaghetti.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:20 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


This thread made my day, but man, that askme about the banjo guy made my *week*.
posted by acrasis at 6:52 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


The bitter, bitter punch line is that I lusted, viscerally, for a katana from the age of 9 until...until I could finally afford one, at which time I couldn't own one without feeling faintly ridiculous.

my modular synthesizers, let me explain you them
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 7:06 PM on August 31 [11 favorites]


I discovered only recently that my partner has a sword in the closet that I didn't know existed. I'm not sure he remembered it existed, either.

I used to fence but never owned my own epee.

I have, however, used a machete regularly for legit agricultural purposes. Bananas, man!
posted by little cow make small moo at 7:16 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


my modular synthesizers, let me explain you them

can you do it in the form of a captioned forty-minute youtube video exhaustively demonstrating the effect of each knob on an otherwise unvarying triangle wave

posted by No-sword at 7:43 PM on August 31 [9 favorites]


I'm a single cat cat-lady, looking to transition into also being a sword-gal (a sabre, for champagne, obvs). Should I put more XP into Dual Wield?
posted by ninazer0 at 7:54 PM on August 31 [9 favorites]


tobascodagama: Nobody has to own a sword, and sword-shaped objects are fucking dangerous items to possess in a way that actual, properly-made swords are not.

Her mention of QVC sword guy brought to mind this example, in which your point is very well demonstrated:

shopping channel accident
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:58 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Oh, shit. Sorry radwolf76 - you beat me to it.

There's lots of interesting links in this thread
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:02 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I started telling my girlfriend about this article and she reminded me she owns a sword.

We would totally get a third cat if our lease allowed it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:10 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Should I put more XP into Dual Wield?

Sure, to negate the -2 from using a cat as your offhand weapon.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 8:12 PM on August 31 [9 favorites]


I may be a sword lady, as I possess several swords. None of them are sharp or meant to be used as a weapon though. The metal ones were a present that I'm not quite sure what to do with (especially with the above point about them potentially shattering). The wooden practice swords I bought myself, at castles in Europe. They're for playing and they are fun. They are jammed into a box with badminton thingys, a frisbee, and other outdoor toys.

I felt most like a sword lady after I bought the most recent one in England. At Warwick Castle there were tons of kids running around brandishing wooden, plastic, or foam swords and I didn't think anything of it. When I decided to take one of the lovely wooden longswords home, I thought, well, I do look a bit like a kid carrying this around, oh well. On the train back to London it felt a bit weirder, but a few people on the train were like, oh, you were at the castle, and it was a fun thing. On the tube, it was officially a weird thing and aren't cities strange with the kind of people who just wander around with wooden swords. Then I discovered it didn't fit in our luggage. (My husband was completely unsurprised.) I was like, well, can I just carry it on, if it doesn't fit in anything? I got an incredulous look and eventually a conversation about weapons and why one doesn't carry them onto airplanes. He even showed me an airline thing about not having weapons, including large wooden things which could be used as weapons, (when questioned, he hadn't looked it up, it was a routine part of checking in for our flight). He then proceeded to carry it a mile or so away to a shipping store to purchase a cardboard tube to pack it inside. At the airport they agreed that checking it was a good idea, but also had that brief, oh, I guess it could be a weapon second take on it. (It also took the scenic route home, rather than traveling with us, but that's another story.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:22 PM on August 31 [7 favorites]


The sword guy is known.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 8:32 PM on August 31


OMG how did I miss banjo guy
posted by emjaybee at 8:42 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Where does owning an ax put me? Ax Gal? Who may also own a mud-smudged tupperware full of half-empty vegetable seed packets, hand-crank egg beaters, and various low-tech construction tools like a plumb bob and set of chisels?

Also, I can't believe Ivan Fyodorovich's comment went without reply. Destined to remain single? Hardly! Maybe Knife Sharpeners and Ax Holders are natural allies. And "five needle-like punches of varying sizes:" how can local singles resist that?
posted by salvia at 12:51 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


I almost became a sword guy a few years ago, but it's a little different--I was planning to actually use mine. See, I used to do quite a bit of stage combat, and I wanted a decent rapier/dagger set just to keep my skills up. (Crucially, stage combat blades look sharp, but are dull enough that you won't get stabbed or slashed badly enough for serious injury unless you really, really screw up1.) I never got around to it, though, because I couldn't really afford it at the time and I didn't have anywhere to practice.

Then I almost got talked into buying a rapier in Edinburgh a few years after that, but that was actual, sharp, stab-you-in-the-liver live steel, which is even less practical. It was a much easier no.


1I was doing King Lear once, and the final fight between Edgar and Edmund was choreographed as a bare-chested longsword duel. The finishing move was a slash across Edmund's abdomen. Now, the thing about even the best stage combat longswords is that they'll gradually develop nicks and burrs from the repeated impacts, and we had one guy whose job it was to file those down every night before the show started. One night he forgot, and the abdomen slash came along...it wasn't all stage blood that night, and our sword guy didn't forget for the rest of the run.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:55 AM on September 1 [3 favorites]


I dunno if it's such a good thing to look down on "the QVC sword guys" or whoever. Some of that feels like classism to me

Damn straight. And let us not pretend, comrades, that this is about safety in swordplay. It's about what it takes to turn a sword boy into a real swordsman who deserves all the groupies.

At least the swords guys on youtube seem to be practising on melons and punching bags. But this poor kid on the right needs some OSHA protection from his crazed uncle with a 'tactical pen'.

(All props to middleclasstool for teaching me about the Accutron tuning fork watch. )
posted by tirutiru at 4:28 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Salvia, I agree completely re: local single women who appreciate excellent and well maintained hand tools. Ivan, we're awfully far apart but maybe I can send my linocut blades to you for a fine edge once a year or so? Also, I am having an issue with my own Dremel and would appreciate a consult, kthx.

Pondering how to revamp my OKC profile to find the blade guys and not the sword guys. Honers, not boners?
posted by Sublimity at 4:43 AM on September 1 [6 favorites]


OMG how did I miss banjo guy

Holy shit. Yeah, Banjo Guy: on the watch list. Banjo guys, generally: probably not.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:09 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Let's just say that sexytimes with sword guys who carry Valyrian steel sounds just fine!
posted by carmicha at 5:53 AM on September 1


For the record: Banjo Guy did realize that his plan was a bit...unusual, and ultimately - if memory serves - was a good sport about the whole thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


At a party 19 years ago a sword guy handed me his shiny new katana and asked if I wanted to duel. From what I hear he's still mad at me for being the first person to draw blood with his sword, which... bruh, maybe take the blade for yourself and give the drunk girl the practice bamboo katana next time if that sort of thing matters so much to you. Sheesh.
posted by palomar at 6:18 AM on September 1 [13 favorites]


So about machetes: a couple of years ago I was thinking of putting some hostas out and I found an ad from a woman who was settling her garden for the winter and was giving away hostas (and some other plants) that she was thinning out. I went out to a very upper upper middle class little neighborhood (not big enough to be a suburb, just a couple of isolated streets with expensive houses bordering on the big horse farms) and a small round middle-aged woman dug out the plants and we talked a little. I asked how she thought it was best to split the hostas up more, and she said "Oh, just use your machete to cut them apart."

So apparently machetes are just standard gardening equipment for some surprising people.
posted by dilettante at 7:05 AM on September 1 [6 favorites]


I definitely know tons of dudes who sublimated their nascent Sword Guy tendencies by becoming obsessive collectors of strong opinions about things.

Are they all Breitbart readers, or just to two I know? Seriously, the Venn diagram of Frustrated Sword Guys I Know and Breitbart Readers I Know is these two guys.

QVC katana

The Kitchen Aid model, or the one made with Argan Oil?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:11 AM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Yeah, banjo guy within the thread realized it was a bad idea; his responses later on indicating that disappeared when we anonymized the whole thing a while back as an act of clemency. The internet is a weird place to grow up.
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on September 1 [7 favorites]


to the point that my house now just has a 'sword barrel' near the door

Um no - you are a "sword guy"... Werewolf rules, remember?
posted by jkaczor at 8:15 AM on September 1


I should note that if being a badass is not possible then one must be using a definition of badass that does not include Teddy Roosevelt or Shackleton

On "being a badass"... He doesn't have a weird whinnying laugh...He doesn't have a flabby little pouch of a belly...He might get a serious illness, but not an embarrassing illness...The canonical badass is good at everything and never ridiculous...The badass doesn't have empathy, even when he sheds a single tear


I guess Teddy wasn't a Badass then...
posted by kjs3 at 8:42 AM on September 1


Is a bayonet even a sword? I don't know.

You can think of a bayonet more as a way to turn a rifle into a spear or pike.
posted by kjs3 at 8:45 AM on September 1


once you're a parent, going from one kid to two is relatively straightforward

Sorta...as much as dealing with small humans is.

and so on

Oh, no! Going from 2->3 or more (assuming 2 parent household) means going from man-to-man to zone defense and you just know shit is going to slip through.
posted by kjs3 at 9:06 AM on September 1 [6 favorites]


and you just know shit is going to slip through.

Sometimes literally!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:41 AM on September 1 [4 favorites]


I...I feel like I should have some sort of opinion about this article, since my user name is more descriptive than not.
But given that I'm a woman, and the owner of all the stabby objects and cats in our household...I think I'll just go ahead and feel sorry for Mr. Objects instead.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 11:51 AM on September 1 [3 favorites]


Whenever I hear cat lady, I think of this

And for your sword guy: this
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:23 PM on September 1


My husband is definitely a cat lady...and he's the one who taught me the N+1 rule! (For a while we had five cats, and when Sasha died, I was very clear that no, we would not be getting a kitten.)

We own a machete, which has mostly been used for valid brush-hacking activities, but nothing else sword-like as far as I can remember.

My grandfather had a couple of Civil War swords in his den, and one Christmas when I was a teenager, my very drunk uncle challenged my boyfriend to a duel. I was actually pretty impressed at how well the boyfriend handled it. Dunno whatever happened to the swords, tho.
posted by epersonae at 1:16 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


So apparently machetes are just standard gardening equipment for some surprising people.

Can confirm: we have two machetes for this purpose, having acquired the second when the first was lost for a winter. Why? Because Mr. Carmicha enjoys throwing them such that they stick into the ground, ready for action, once his task is complete. Then he runs by and grabs the machete in passing. Come to think of it, there's a sword (in its scabbard) hanging over our bar area that he received upon graduating from OCS when he was serving in the Navy. So maybe I married a sword guy after all? Mind blown.
posted by carmicha at 1:28 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


"It's your father's lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age."
posted by ob1quixote at 5:02 PM on September 1


A friend of mine, a lovely woman who is maaayyyybe 5'4" tall, one day walked into my favorite hardware store and plunked a machete and a big tub of boric acid down on the counter. The old timer at the register looked at her purchase, then at her.

"So," he said. "Whatchoo gonna do with this?"

She looked him dead in the eye. "There's going to be a reckoning," she said, very matter-of-factly.

He said not another word, just rang her up and followed her out to the parking lot to take down her license plate.

If you were to ask me what my favorite hardware-related story is, that's it.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:55 PM on September 1 [27 favorites]


The Twitter account that transcribes some of the Portland 911 calls features more machete-related incidents than you would think. So much so that #PortlandMachetes is a thing. We're probably due for another round, given the heat.

The sword guy I knew in college had a complete set of Highlander: The Series on VHS. I am pretty sure the two facts were related.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:54 PM on September 1 [6 favorites]


octobersurprise: The summer before we all went off to college a few of my friends and I discovered that we could make "swords" by wrapping foam rubber around PVC pipe and then, delighted by our discovery, spent the rest of the summer beating the shit out of each other.

You've just described what I do pretty much every weekend, actually.

Sword guy, occasional kilt guy, LARPer, rennie. I've even taken a couple of blacksmithing classes and, if I lived somewhere where I could own property (fuck you, Bay Area), I'd probably have a small forge because why not?
posted by hanov3r at 9:26 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]




plunked a machete and a big tub of boric acid down on the counter ... "There's going to be a reckoning," she said

Lay waste to the armies of kudzu, and salt the earth that neither they nor anything else that creepeth shall ever again venture to set root under the deck; nay, not for seven times seven generations.
posted by flabdablet at 4:11 AM on September 3 [5 favorites]


salvia: Hmm. Where does owning an ax put me? Ax Gal?

You're a lumberjack, and you're okay.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:07 AM on September 4 [16 favorites]


This thread reminded me to check up. Turned out that "Andy" the angry axe-thrower and original stealer of multiple-times-stolen cheese unsucessfully stood in a local election earlier this year but, despite his um previous involvement with the criminal justice system and that defeat, is still trying to forge a career in right-wing UK politics. Huh.
posted by Wordshore at 4:47 PM on September 4 [7 favorites]


Back in college, I was 100 pounds sopping wet but I worked the 20 lb sledgehammer in Smithy workshop as part of my engineering degree coursework.

I made tongs.

As for swords, I always wanted a kris
posted by infini at 6:40 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


But I got to stand around holding it and looking tough.) posted by The Underpants Monster
posted by infini at 6:40 AM on September 5


A few years ago, my son, who was about 10 at the time, wanted help making a Deadpool costume for halloween, and wanted the swords to wear on his back for the costume. So I ordered a pair of cheap, fake prop swords online that fit the bill. When they arrived, it turned out they were cheap, but not fake and not prop swords. They were (and are) very sharp and a very bad idea, and not the sort of thing you can strap to a 10-year-old's back to walk around the neighborhood at night. And there was no return policy. So now we have a couple of swords stashed away where kids can't get to them and where I don't have to think about them being stashed away in our house somewhere. Because how do you dispose of swords? I have no idea.
posted by The World Famous at 10:40 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Because how do you dispose of swords?

First, be smart from the very beginning....

Reference in case that was too obscure a joke
posted by solotoro at 10:53 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


The traditional method is beating them into ploughshares.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:13 AM on September 5 [11 favorites]






A few minutes with a whetstone or similar will take the edge off the swords and presumably give you a little more peace of mind.
posted by Harald74 at 11:31 PM on September 5


It is such an intriguing coincidence (isn’t it!) that the third link from the top stories sidebar right next to the article is an interview with this guy with the shocking revelation we might see him "trade in his Valyrian steel sword for a phoenix feather-wand in the near future".

Is this a sign of the beginning of the end for sword guys? Isn’t it a bit late though for a thirty year old man to switch from swords to magic wands? What would a Freudian psychoanalyst have to say about that?

These are the kind of questions that will keep my mind busy when fire will be raining from the sky.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:29 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


This thread is probably my spiritual home. My house contains, at last count:

2 cats
5 swords (2 one-handed broadswords, 3 rapiers) + 1 buckler
4 fencing foils (or rather, 2 foils, an epée and a sabre)
2 scythes
... is it wrong that I really want a polearm? Or two? Two would be cool.

HOWEVER, there are also types of Sword Guy whom I can't abide:
Mr. White Guy Katana Wanker
Mr. Let Me Mansplain Swords To You
Mr. Hey Look At My ...Thing With All The Curvy Barbed Bits, Also Jaggedy Bits And Skulls, Isn't It Cool

(Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the last type. We each choose our own soul-talismans, and if your barbed jaggedy sword-thing makes you happy, then rock on with your bad self.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:13 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


Synth Guy could go either way; I think it depends on whether he has a use for the synths or he's just obsessive about owning them.

[shifts uncomfortably]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:03 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


my house contains
[...]
4 fencing foils (or rather, 2 foils, an epée and a sabre)
2 scythes


This reminds me of the time last summer when my son was hired by our fencing coach to come mow his (large rural) lawn as he was injured.

Half way through the job the electric mower's cord caught fire (don't ask!) So coach taught chapps Jr. How to use his scythe!

(I arrived to pick him up and got to learn to scythe (is that a verb?) as well!)

My house contains my 3 foils, son's 3 epée, no scythe. Fencers of Metafilter I salute you!
posted by chapps at 11:55 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


The writer must be on very good terms with this fellow.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:23 PM on September 13


Sometimes the goofy stuff I always wanted as a young VTX turns out to be really cheap to adult VTX. To that end I have a cheap, un-sharpened katana. It's tacky and silly but it was like 20 bucks.

I also have an even cheaper claymore that was swag I got from the in-branch investment rep when I was in retail banking. He got it from Claymore Financial. Get it? That one I keep just in case I ever have to open any giant envelopes. Though in truth I'm not sure where either one has ended up.

I can also tell you a LOT about the marvel comics universe despite never having really read a comic book.

Am I a sword guy?

corvikate, the density of those displays is a bit much but they are all very well done. They fall firmly into the category of things I wouldn't want in my house but I like so I'm glad someone has it their's. The crossed sabers on the wall look old and like they have a story and I like the elfish toolkit on the mantle. I like to imagine that if one straps on the bow and sword, the raven springs to life and alights on the bearer's shoulders.
posted by VTX at 7:16 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]


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