Friday, October 30, 2009

The Duel

So Mike-a-licious remarked the other day that he would enjoy reading a blog about dueling. As such, and since you have been pissing the hell out of me lately, Company, I challenge you to a duel. But not so fast to pull that .22 out from under the seat of your truck, okay? There are rules that proper people like us have to use to go about this.
Wait, rules? Oh yeah, there are rules. I mean, come on, you didn't know that? You just thought that it was people out in the woods or a field or the dusty main street of some God-forsaken Western town. I mean, this isn't the shootout at the OK Corral; I didn't just lope into town on my Appaloosa named Peanut and upset the guy at the back of the bar so now we have to shoot at one another out in the street. No, I haven't challenged you to a shootout, Company. I have challenged you to a duel, like they did in the days of the Founding Father. Of course there are rules. There were people who had to wear powered white wigs that stuck like three feet off the top of their heads to meetings, and probably in the bedroom with their ladyfriends too, who were also wearing similar wigs. I mean, they wore coats with tails EVERYWHERE, of course they had rules for dueling. In fact, in 1777 they actually sat down in their coat tails and powdered wigs and wrote down the rules. And I happen to have a copy of those rules right here.
First I have to demand satisfaction from you, whatever that means. I sort of wonder if maybe the meaning of that term has changed since the time that this rule was written, because for one nobody says that anymore, and for two when you do say it, usually there is a "happiness consultant" or a customer service representative present. But anyway, I have to demand satisfaction, and I have to do this in a way that cannot be ignored or misrepresented. They seem to recommend slapping you with a glove, but I find that to be a little archaic, so I am just going to get a billboard that says "I demand satisfaction, dillhole." That should suffice.
Okay, now that I have demanded satisfaction, it seems that you have the opportunity to apologize to me for sucking so badly. And I apparently have the opportunity to apologize back to you. From what it says here, if we do this the duel is off, even though I have demanded satisfaction and the duel is on. So the apology would be like the shut-off valve that you always see at the gas station and have always wanted to push but have never had the need or nerve to do so. Anyway, as one would expect, there are rules governing the apologies. Whomever made the first affront, has to make the first apology. So like, first you apologize for saying that I have bad breath, and then I apologize for telling everyone at your work that you are impotent. That is how it works so go ahead and let fly. Oh, you aren't going to be apologizing for using up all my oxygen with your ridiculousness? Then it's on with the duel. Oh, by the way, it's a good thing you didn't hit me or kick me in the sack, otherwise the apology wouldn't be good enough. That's Rule 5.
Okay, these are a little confusing as far as rules go, but it seems to me that we have to choose "seconds," who appear to be like the Best Men of Dueling. So you choose your second, which I would assume would be Jack Black, and I will choose mine. I choose Sage Rosenfels. So basically, what happens now is they choose the "field of honour" and check the weapons and make sure that the duel is fair. Yeah, they will check them over and they are supposed to even load them for us. Oh, and we have to use smooth bore pistols, nothing rifled, so we will have to get rid of those 9mm Barettas that we were going to use and get like old-tyme flintlock pistols or something. And the seconds will take care of that business for us.
Oh wait, they are supposed to try to mediate our little dispute, like, try to make things all better before we shoot the shit out of one another. Yeah, I know, it seems like there are a lot of rules designed to keep us alive. Stupid ancestors and their "survival." Anyway, so they have to try to mediate us and when that doesn't work they just have to witness our shenanigans. Oh, and the best part? If they get pissed of at one another, they can duel too, but they have to shoot at one another PERPENDICULAR to us shooting one another at a 90 degree angle. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Can you imagine all those bullets flying across and through the middle of that field in Matrix-style slow motion? That would be the coolest thing. And that is what the seconds are all about.
Okay, so now it's time to duel. And there are a bunch of ways that we can do this, Company. But, bad news. Since I am the one who is demanding satisfaction I get to choose. We can battle to first blood where the first person injured is the loser. I am not into that. Let's move on. We can duel until one of us is so severely injured that we cannot continue. The rules say that once the hand starts shaking involuntarily that is injured enough. I don't like that one either, that could get messy and frankly, it just isn't very cool of us. We could fight to the death, but that just doesn't seem right without a cage. We could also do "slappers only" like in Goldeneye 007 for the N64 - that's a little more modern version I suspect - but we have these shiny, specially made dueling pistols so let's just use those. We will be like Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. I will be Hamilton. Wait, he ended up getting killed, so you be Hamilton and I will be Burr. Anyway, there are several ways to do this. We could do it one-shot style, where we each get one shot, fired simultaneously. That would be cool. If we both miss I can declare the duel complete if I feel I have achieved the satisfaction that I demand. Otherwise we can keep trying. Apparently though, to quote Wikipedia, "A pistol duel could continue until one man was wounded or killed, but to have more than three exchanges of fire was considered barbaric and, if no hits were achieved, somewhat ridiculous." So that means we only have three chances to get this right, or else we will have to have a team duel against whomever laughs at us for messing up our first duel, you know what I am saying?
Now, I know this idea has gone through both of our minds here, Company, to both intentionally miss or shoot into the air so that we can both survive but we have still dueled. Well, we can't. I am sorry. These 1777 rules say that is verboten, which is strange because "verboten" is German, and the guys who wrote these rules were Irish. Anyway, that isn't apparently allowed because it might imply that ones opponent isn't worth shooting, which you aren't after the way you have so egregiously slandered me and denied me my satisfaction. I can, however, stop the duel at any time that I feel I have achieved satisfaction or I get bored, whichever comes first.
There are apparently a lot of ways we can go about this now that we are ready to start. We could have the seconds like mark out a certain distance and we could start with our backs to one another and go that distance and then turn and fire. But I like to more old fashioned way where we go a set number of paces. They say the more egregious the slight, the fewer the paces we go, but since we can't go one pace, which is what I think we should, we will go the traditional ten. We could also do the kind where I shoot first and then you get to, but that just doesn't seem as fun. I mean, if I just wanted to shoot you in the forest I would have just shot you in the forest.
Wait, wait, hold on. Apparently we have to agree on all the details. The rules say it, and from what Sage is telling me a lot of famous duels never came to fruition because the duelers could not agree on the specifics of the duel. Like how many paces, or how many shots, or just about anything else. And if I know you Company, and I think I do, we are never going to agree on anything anytime soon. So I guess there is no reason to have our duel. So what do you say you just buy me a beer and we call it even? I don't think there are and 1777 rules for that, are there?

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