GREAT REFEREE QUOTES
Attack is no. Riposte is no. Jab, jab, jab, jab, jab-jab-jab-jabjabjabjab, touch left. - Eric Dew
garbage... On the final action, attack (from left), parry-riposte, touch right... And by the way... brown card for crappy
fencing. - Sam Signorelli
The attack to the floor is off-target. - Unknown
Halt. Ladies, please leave the floor
alone. It didn't do anything to you. - Unknown
I swear to God, if you people make me put a clock on this [sabre] bout,
you'll fence it, and then I'll black card you both! - Beau Brunson
You fence poorly. You fence worse. Touch left. -
'Flail, counterflail. Both fail. - Linda Marsh
Two preparations. Nothing done. - Delia Turner
from right fails. Counterattack from left, no. Remise from right. Whatever that was... lands. It was too ugly to call. - Unknown
out the touch, go get a beer. - Jay Young
You see, there are these things called fencing gods. Sometimes they are with
you, and sometimes ... "thbbbbbt". (sticking tongue out and blowing) - Unknown
OK, it was his attack, but that was
funny... could you do it again? - Unknown
You dance, he dances. No touch. - Unknown
SELECTIONS FROM THE DICTIONARY OF FUNNY FENCING PHRASES
(from Rapiernet, posted by Jocelyn Devereaux)
ABSTAIN: French for "so sorry, I wasn't paying
ADVANCE: Forward motion made by male fencers toward female fencers, usually resulting in a slap across the
ATTACK IN PREPARATION: When you sneak up and hit your opponent while they're still putting on their gear.
BALLESTRA: A male ballerina
BARRAGE: Shelling your opponent with cannon fire from several miles away
BEAT: How you feel after fencing
CHANGE OF ENGAGEMENT: Selecting a new fiancee
CORPS-A-CORPSE: French for "full contact fencing"
CROISE: A French pastry
DEROBEMENT: The houdini like motions required to escape fencing jackets
DISENGAGE: Getting rid of your fiancee, usually by fencing too much
EN GARDE: French for "On Guard", a paranoid state in which the fencer believes everyone is out to kill him/her
FEINT: what you do after fencing too long, in full uniform, on a hot summer day. Also known as heat stroke.
FEEBLE: What old fencers usually become.
FLECHE: What fencers do it in.
FORTE: What permanent en garde fencers live in
ONE-TWO: Basic fencing dance step, followed by Cha-Cha-Cha.
PASSE: Close maneuver made by male fencers toward female fencers, always resulting in the male fencer being
POMMEL: Beating your opponent senseless with the hilt of your sword.
REDOUBLEMENT: Pause during the bout for the fencer to take another breath mint (In preparation for an ADVANCE
or a PASSE)
CASEY ON THE STRIP
by Aaron J. Dinkin
(with apologies to Ernest L. Thayer)
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the foil squad
The score stood seven bouts to five, with three more left to fight,
And after Cooney's body cord had snapped
- and so he lost -
The third-to-last opponent to the strip had calmly crossed.
The fifty people watching were enthralled
in thick suspense.
They thought, "If only now were mighty Casey's turn to fence,
He'd win the bout - he's beat this
man two times before, or three,
And Flynn can fence the last man, who is even worse than he."
But Flynn preceded
Casey, as did also Jimmy Black,
And the former never parried and the next could not attack.
There was little chance
that they'd win, so in spite of Casey's tricks,
The tournament would still be lost by nine bouts to their six.
Flynn let fly a mighty fleche with feats of daring-do,
And Jimmy Black, the much despised, won by five to two,
the lights stopped flashing, all the audience was awed,
For now the score was tied, with seven bouts to either squad.
from the fifty people there arose a lusty yell:
It rumbled through the valley and it rattled in the dell:
and the sabres joined this show of fellowship,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the strip.
There was ease
in Casey's manner as he stepped behind the line;
They gently tested weapons, and his smile was benign,
And when his
hand closed, tightening, around his pistol-grip,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey on the strip.
hundred eyes were waiting for the battle to commence.
The two saluted graciously and heard a "Ready, fence!"
lunged like lightening, the machine one light gave out,
And Casey very soon amassed four touches in the bout.
the opponent's foil plunged at Casey through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
it impacted his lamé's metallic weft.
"That's not my style," said Casey. The director said, "touch left."
fifty watching people, there went up a muffled roar
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
weapons once again!" one cried. "There must be something wrong!"
And there might have been a riot had not Casey calmed
Between director and the crowd did Casey intercede,
He stilled the rising tumult, and he bade the bout
So three more times against him his opponent's weapon fell,
And Casey thrice ignored it. The director said,
"Fraud!" cried the maddened fifty, and the echo answered, "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey
and the audience was awed.
His face was stern behind his mask; they saw his muscles strain,
And knew that Casey would
not let himself be hit again.
His face is clenched in hate as he salutes and stands en garde.
The director calls
out, "Ready, fence!" and Casey's eyes are hard.
Forth comes the other foil like a gleaming metal ghost,
And now the
air is shattered by his parry and riposte!
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
birds are singing, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children play,
no joy on the foil squad since Casey's mal parre.
THE TOP 100 THINGS I WOULD DO IF
I EVER BECAME AN EVIL OVERLORD
- My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing
- My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
- My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned
in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
- Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
- The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair
beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object
which is my one weakness.
- I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.
- When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least
tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."
- After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony,
not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
- I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary,
it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger
a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.
- I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my
borders will work just as well.
- I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving
clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
- One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he
is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
- All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied
into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration,
will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.
- The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
- I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is
absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into
- I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to
- When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
- I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would
easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.
- I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the
hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.
- Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When
so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.
- I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror,
as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes.
All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
- No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any
energy field bigger than my head.
- I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way
-- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my
troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
- I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this
takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After
that, death is usually instantaneous.)
- No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which
is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
- No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone
just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.
- I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant
control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
- My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which
I could not accidentally stumble.
- I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
- All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land
will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.
- All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses
who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
- I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate
how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
- I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel
bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved
for formal occasions.
- I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
- I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make
you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.
- I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same
cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies
to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.
- If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe
him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.
- If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find
them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in
my old age.
- If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my
Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.
- I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will
use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
- Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
- When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever
sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
- I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she
claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.
- I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of
the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.
- I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization.
For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure,"
then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.
- If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I
will reply "This." and kill the advisor.
- If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he
is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.
- I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness.
Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.
- If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all
my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.
- My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible
with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.
- If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful
princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.
- I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and
inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
- If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear
me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.
- I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply
because I feel like being contrary.
- The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror.
However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone
else equally qualified who would attract less attention.
- My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit
a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.
- Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's
- If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a
- I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
- My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of
using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
- If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed
until I have a response that satisfies them.
- I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which
intruders could use for cover in a firefight.
- Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot,
with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
- I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre
compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.
- If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display
of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual
main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.
- My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press
a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger
the alarm system.
- No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every
surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.
- I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as
it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better
save my life again.
- All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved
hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.
- When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at
least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately
initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
- If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant,
I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
- If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I
will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.
- I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my
advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.
- When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor
can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.
- I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around
waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.
- If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an
attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over
a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)
- If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a
job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before
making the offer.
- I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And
try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."
- If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed
it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.
- If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of
wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
- If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to
finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find
out what he saw.
- I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support
beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
- If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table
for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.
- I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
- I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the
12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more
along the lines of "Push the button."
- I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
- My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct
walkways above them.
- If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence
then send the same group out to try the task again.
- After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax
my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from
- I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the
- I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until
my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
- If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his
dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months
of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)
- If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed
me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.
- When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket
of purely sentimental value.
- My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way
if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead
of opening up the cell for a look.
- My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals
the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.
- My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or
anything that can be unravelled.
- If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities.
If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their
will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they
are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.
- Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size. (This one is
a little out of date.)
- Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each
of them with free unlimited Internet access.