August 19, 2009


Somehow I ended up reading about melee weapons on Wikipedia. It started with potato guns (not melee) and t-shirt cannons (not weapons) and went from there. The most appealing melee tool I found was the sjambok, a traditional African cattle prod made from the thick hide of the hippopotamus. It bears some resemblance to a street-legal hardwood staff one Zach H. used to carry in Hillsdale, except that the sjambok is flexible, like a whip (sadly, it was also used to oppress humans under apartheid in South Africa.)

On Amazon, I found the Cold Steel Sjambok, a synthetic model available in 42" and 54" varieties. Here's a demonstration:

Surprisingly, this video has not diminished my desire to own a sjambok for home defense.

I should warn you, however, that a Czech product reviewer by the name of Bartok Kinski said his sjambok failed to protect him from a pack of wolves in the wilderness. He posted the same negative review four times. At first I thought he was out of line for posting an identical review multiple times, but maybe he was just bragging about surviving not one, but four wolf attacks?

This summer was the first time since 2006 that I had slept nights in a first-floor bedroom. My bedrooms at the Beat, Sad Bear, and Factory were all second floor lookouts in a formidable fortress of safety. But I spent this June and July in a first-floor bedroom in the State House, a 109-year-old four-bedroom home on a calmer street. This fostered paranoia.

Now I live by the fairgrounds ("Most Popular Fair on Earth"), two blocks from where a 34-year-old neo-nazi allegedly slit another man's throat earlier this month. I saw the victim's body on the sidewalk as police set up barricades. It made me glad to be back on the second floor.

I'm also looking for a helmet to wear on long road trips.

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Blogger JHitts said...

That's twice in a day of pure gold. We are back to life.

August 19, 2009 at 2:21 AM 
Blogger K. Janke said...

After seeing his sjambok video, Thad's friends stopped poking fun at his shorts...

I really could have used one myself when some street toughs leapt out of their car at the Starbucks drive-thru and began throwing wiffle balls.

August 19, 2009 at 5:45 PM 

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