Pick Up That Gauntlet. But Only If It’s Absurdly Heavy

I’ve gone and gotten an urge to bulk up and bulk out lately.

Perhaps I’ve been standing too near the mountains. The show-off “look-at-my-snow-tufted-peaks” mountains. Those “ooh-I-bet-you-wish-you-were-as-riddled-with-goats-as-I-am”mountains. Mountains with an entourage of Sherpas playing fifes in their immovable wake.

Maybe I’ve been too long in the too near mountains, but that’s New Zealand for you…and for me. Still better than the old Zealand.

Perhaps it’s not ‘Zea-land’, but rather instead ‘Zeal-and…’; thereby leaving you with fact that Kiwis are espousers of zeal and…whatever else you’d like to add. It’s pleasant when national identity is a matter of, first, enthusiasm and, second, whatever else you’d like to add.

Like laziness. One could be be enthusiastic and then lazy, 100% dedicated push towards not really being bothered about it. Enthused lethargy.

Not that I’m saying Kiwis are vehement recliners, because that seems a tad racist and if I’m going to be racist I’m going to save it up for a good one (brace yourselves…Scandinavians).

Scandinavia…that’s another common hangout for mountains; the sort of mountains that once did terrible things to handmaidens or gave birth to longboats, or other ancient Scandinavian strangeness.

But to be like a mountain; I’ll give it a go.

I’m beginning with lifting some heavy shit, but not actual weights.

I’m going to improvise variously, such as by lifting a shipwreck’s timber or a conveniently proximate boulder.

However, best place to find a new heavy thing for up-and-downing is a farm. Sure, armfuls of bundled hay and discipline-inducing muck for shovelling, but mainly livestock, for the best things to lift for applicable strength are things that wiggle, and wriggle is rampant in the farmyard.

For there lay the beasts that have the ancient instinct of not-knowing what being lifted up is, but know in their gut they must not allow it to happen to them by any and all means deemed appropriate at the time of departure from the ground. It should be one of those situations in which the animal is so pissed off that the majority of noises it makes are coming out of its nose. An articulate snort of sorts.

If they don’t wiggle or kick, then it’s one of those animals that naturally climb people, like scenery.

Complimentary though it maybe to be considered vast enough to be a place to spend an afternoon (“I think I’ll have tea at Sam…perhaps the elbow region.”), it doesn’t count as lifting. Even if a horse climbs you; that’s down to the horse, not you.

And when the animals become willing to be lifted…rotate your sheep, sir.

Keep an unwilling yet steady procession of animals a’coming, thoroughly unprepared for being hoisted and lunged at the sky as though eager contrary proof against the cloud’s accusing suggestion that you don’t have any sheep to hand.

And the method works! My biceps nowadays…they’re why animals think of me as scenery, like a valley.

You know when the show-off body builders kiss their biceps? Well, I can’t help but do that, because mine are near my lips perpetually, being a bit of a sizeable bother to be honest.

My biceps are so large; they’re near. Near the dog, near the hat stand, near the computer, my wife complains when my biceps get in her light whilst she reads…and her soup.

More importantly…Forearms. You’ll want nice manly firearms, naturally the kind that make your daughter’s suitors know that you can…just…keep…hammering, in a rugged checkered shirt, whilst your beard looks on sternly and bushily.

How illegal is a hammer anyway?

Hammers give me confidence, less son-in-law strife and and forearms that bulge like I’ve got a problem.

Bulging is either a sign of the absurdly healthy (healthy to the point of arousal) or desperately done-for. And I’m the former.

You don’t even need nails, though some earplugs to hand and ear might be advisable. And then, thoroughly deaf, you can show the ground why you live on top of it. Make it pay for abandoning those sheep and other livestock to your lofty ambitions of cloud collisions.

Hammer, mallet, axe; all these are tremendous for the forearms and greatly decreases the proximity of those you want, increases the distance of those you don’t want, and adjusts the altitude at which you prefer your sheep to be.

I say sheep, but there’s nothing more biblical than ‘oxen’ to lift.

When you go ‘oxen’; you’re too-too-much in general terms.

Like as a wedding gift. Once an oxen would have been an ideal wedding gift, sitting patiently as a future grandchild’s inheritance, between the toasters and bed sheets. Now though, that oxen is too-too-much.

‘Biblical’ is a hell of a method of overkill though.

5000 people for dinner and serving just fish and loaves of bread? With some suspiciously watery wine? And then retaliating to a rude comment at the water-wine bar by flooding the Earth? Rounding things off by killing yourself to one of the worst torturous deaths imaginable and then saying to people as they walk back to their seats from the bar: “I’m doing this for you, y’know. How about some applause!? If it’s not to much to ask?! Can’t do its myself obviously, can I?!”

Biblical is one way, but medieval is quite another.

Like chucking down a gauntlet and expected other folk to be suitably insulted by it, thereby picking up the gauntlet prior to you both killing each other’s employees.

If you’re going to take part in that daftness, at least make it a heavy gauntlet.

That’ll do for today’s…whatever this is. I wouldn’t call it advice, as I’m more that chap your teachers and parents warned you about regarding being told to jump off a bridge.

Remember.

Variety and weight. Every day. Check the farmyard.

Conditions are perfect.

Silly enough?

Sam

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Of Course You’re Not Going To Survive In The Past. You Dick

There has often been the brought up notion, from conversation to Hollywood movie, that if a modern man (‘man’ because – you know – they’re the ones with enough forearm to make a difference in the movies. Plus stubble and vests) were to emigrate backwards through time and enter the past…he’d be awesome.

Typically, we’re talking medieval history. The variety of history in which, if you tried with some vague degree of determination…you could be king.

King’s in those days populated the land with babies and…what modern man wouldn’t? When the wenches are as buxom as a barn door with tits – you’d procreate yourself to the throne.

This is of course the Hollywood elaboration of realistic approximation for how the Kings of the times behaved (and why). And they’re not far off.

The point to be made though is that if you were to be sent back in time to a period of history in which becoming a King is an option…no you couldn’t.

No. No you couldn’t indeed.

You could not rule the land purely because you’re from the future as this doesn’t mean you could somehow outwit people into doing as you instructed.

And this states a great deal about how much of a dick you are. Dick.

What are you going to do when you arrive back in England circa 1209?

To begin with, you’d likely appear in a field, which I feel is just terrific because I’ve got a lot of time for fields (I respect them. Ask me why and brace yourself as I may get emotional all over you), though you may realise that you’re going to have to just keep walking until something happens.

Here’s the first issue- eat something. Or be a dick and don’t eat something.

The removed existence of delicatessens and your fridge equates to you bumming around grasping a stick with dreary ambitions of convincing something onto the end of it, somehow wind up being cooked (since you didn’t even think about skinning the poor medieval dish did you? You dick) and then shat out with zero comforting wipes to you posterior.

And what are you going to wash it down with?

The beverage of the time consisted of cholera and pox-ridden water full of fish cum and your neighbour’s proverbial digested…or you could drink beer. And seeing as how you’re in a field with no beer and nothing on the end of your un-triumphant stick (I’ve got a lot of time for sticks. You could ask me why but I already wrote about it here: https://samsywoodsy.com/2015/02/18/the-evolution-of-the-stick-and-why-it-matters-to-me/ ) then you’re going to be drinking a hell of a lot of nasty neighbour-contents…and you might not even be near a river. You dick.

So, let us Hollywood a little.

You’re in an English Medieval town……………your move, brother.

What are you going to do? Convince them you’re able to do anything? You’ll be shovelling pig leavings as soon as you fall face first into them once you’ve been hounded for the first time for dressing like a futuristic weirdo by your newly-acquainted Medieval bullies. I bet they’re as blunt as this sentence.

Unless you can juggle, you’re going to slowly blend the fuck in with this crowd of peasants and vaguely attempt to wonder how you can apply anything at all you knew from your time spent in century 21.

One plus side however which you may have neglected to conceive…you’ll be a giant to these wee little peasants. 5 to 6 feet of bloke walking through the literally shitty streets would be an impressive sight to the average peasant, as they gradually gain neck-ache from constantly seeking to look you in the eye.

And you’d wash. Shiny people would be a novelty and they’d likely seek to make some sport of you until the inevitable burning takes place – mostly because you’re different in a time of maniacal fear and superstition, partly because you’re a dick and you’re shiny.

I’d burn you.

I’d blend right in. I’m good with a stick and they’d regard me with respectful contempt a distance away great enough to avoid a clobbering from my now-triumphant stick. Back then, having a stick was a serious possession to have…and I’d have one. Plus I’m stocky.

You’d probably have quite a few sticks actually; regrettably compiled into a revoltingly effective bit of kindling around your dickish feet.

Apologies for the perpetual inclination I have towards call you a dick – I’m a little sad, in fact greatly sad, but will address this once I’ve expressed this issue of you being a dick amongst peasants.

You dick amongst peasants.

Here’s the knee-knocker right here and no mistake.

Make a difference.

What the fuck could you contribute to the Medieval society? A very small amount of sod/bugger (your choice) all I fear.

Whilst you’ll spend the remainder of your time through time regretting not being a woodsman and trying to somehow make a gun out of stones and bits of squirrel…you could have introduced good people management skills.

The people that are going to survive when thrust back in time? It’s Human Resources brother!

And those amongst us built like either a gorilla with a bit of wit or the aforementioned barn door with tits (‘knockers’ – if you will). Being gorilla-like with wit is a common component of the successful throughout time. Good genes.

They’re the fellas and femmes who are going to be able to cope with the repressed civilisation people were living as part of in the times. They’re going to encourage the sticks to stack around your feet because they’re going to survive and having some shiny giant screaming about lightbulbs and why he doesn’t regret doing what he did to that squirrel is only going to help them if it’s the burnt version. Because back then the conversation was over until someone was burnt.

By the way…when the elderly chestnut comes around about going back in time and killing Hitler surfaces…no you couldn’t.

No. No you couldn’t indeed.

How would you be able to kill Hitler? What the fuck are you talking about?

Dick.

“Oh, I’d use my modern-age charm to deceive the guards and make my way through the big door and give Hitler a meaningful chat about why he shouldn’t have done that which he did. And then I’d kill with a move I learnt from Tekken. Because…I’m a 21st Century-kind-of-guy.”

You think far brighter and more capable murderers weren’t already trying to accomplish this feat? I’ll say this for World War Two – we had some good murderers on both sides and to suggest you would be the guy to go back and use your knowledge of internet memes and Grumpy Cat to encourage that bullet into Hitler’s Brain is a disservice to their murderous careers.

But aside from you’re …ah fuck it. I’m all sad now. Here’s why I’ve referred to you as a dick thus far.

In total honesty, if I was thrust back to 1939 I’d rip off Terry Pratchett. And I’d fail.

What a guy.

We’re talking about a fellow of inspired inspiration; by which I mean that he didn’t just have a next-level imagination or an outstanding work ethic…he had both. Therefore, his inspiration was inspired. As were we all.

Now there are going to be a series of heartfelt and on-the-nose prose written about the man Pratchett, but not to include my own would be impossible since I write inspired by him, and now I write for him.

Maybe I should only do obituaries; its assured work. Plus the subject matter’s fairly thrilling.

I’m sure that Pratchett would approve.

What a guy.

Terry Pratchett – thanks for making my childhood, teenage years and adult life perpetually spiced with ingenious and innovative imaginings spliced with beautiful doses of some of the greatest humour I have ever known.

I miss you and always shall.

Sam x