July 10, 2004

In modern "medieval" jousting, significant rules are in place to protect the horse, such that riders won't attempt the lance points if it involves risk to the horse. Still, inexperience and too-new skill can combine to bring about accidents. In one newly created women's competition, it happened to one young rider, who was immediately disqualified for inadequate lance control. She was fortunate enough that the horse, while seriously annoyed by the lance lashing across its face, was not at all seriously injured.

In every pass thereafter within that same group, the desire not to injure the horse had become so strong that much less risk was being taken, with the result that the lances were coming nowhere near the riders either: multiple passes without lance contact of any kind. Perhaps predictably, the immediate response of some members of the crowd was to mock the riders as cowards. The next day, they came prepared with signs of "Chicken!" and used them.

One rider in that group (perhaps?) responded, and took the risk - and hit the horse (once again fortunately not at all seriously), and was disqualified.

Smile of the day:

So she goes to the butcher shop to buy a chicken for the special family meal, but the butcher only has one scrawny chicken left. It weighs in on the scale at three pounds. She asks for something bigger. He pretends to rummage around, and comes up with - the same chicken! only this time when he places it on the scale, he presses down with his thumb: "Three and a half pounds."

"That looks better," says she. "I will take them both."

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