Guest Girl: Fran Terminiello

I play with swords, so often my tweets will be about swordfighting, while Adele practises kickboxing. Recently someone tweeted the question: “who would win in a fight, @hagelrat or @franterminiello?” I was ready to throw in the towel before the field and seconds had been chosen (having pondered Adele’s nickname of Honeybadger I googled the animal to see why she chose it as her totem – cheezus have you seen what those bastards can do?) but Adele gallantly noted that we would be on the same side.
In my mind’s eye this would take place in a post-apocalyptic setting. Cue a LOTR competitive moment of seeing who can kill more bad dudes (we are the good guys, aren’t we? Of course we are!).
In the zombie films (apart from ‘The Road’ aren’t all apocalypses brought about by the undead roaming the earth, killing all in their path?) the standard weapons are shotgun, baseball bat or any large heavy object good for caving in skulls. Other weapons that spring to mind are lawnmower (Braindead), cricket bat and mug tree (both Shaun of the Dead) although I wouldn’t advise the latter, unless you were really pushed.
Of course, the ideal would be a ranged weapon – the further you are from harm the better – but eventually you’d run out of ammo.
 In the past my weapon of choice against a ravaging revenant would have been something long and thin, rather than big and chunky. A chainsaw or similar hardware would be out of the question, you’d just drop it and run.  
 So how about a long-nosed screwdriver (my Dad’s an electrician, this is something familiar to me), something to stab in an eye or up a nose, into the brain? But this is when you are really desperate and there is nowhere left to run. Ask any martial artist, that’s usually the first option they suggest you take – GTFO.

 And what if you can’t? Two years ago I discovered something that was long and thin and designed specifically for punching through skulls and torsos. Ladies, meet the rapier.

 The rapier, it seems, is often misunderstood. People mistake it for smaller, later swords which are no less deadly and still don’t deserve this namby-pamby reputation. How any edged weapon can be considered less than lethal baffles me, a kitchen knife feels deadly in the hand, why not a sword of any stripe?
The rapier was the weapon of the renaissance: longer and thinner than medieval swords, and designed to kill with the point. The lunge that modern sports fencers perform was originally the move that made the rapier so devastatingly effective, a person could cover a great distance quickly, thrusting into their opponent at great speed.
 Here follows a set of plates, taken from various fencing manuals at the time. They were very explicit, both with violence and nudity, and you can easily imagine that the guy with gore dripping from his eyeball is a rampaging mutant, cannibal, alien or zombie.
 So come the judgement day, when all my molotov cocktails are spent and the defences won’t sustain, I’ll be holed up in my fortress, rapier and dagger in hand. And if the weapons don’t hold out or can’t be found? Well you’d best ask Adele for a guide to kicking zombies in the head.

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