The Knights of Amontonar

“Let’s talk about these warriors of old, they who people the Sagas of Amontonar.”

“What of them?”

“The Sagas tell us they wore clothing made of metal.”

“What on the Terròn would they wear metal clothes for?”

“Right! I mean, that’s awfully heavy clothing.”

“Cold.”

“Stiff. Would poke you in the tender parts.”

“Right in the tender parts.”

“Damp. Would not ‘wick’ away moisture.”

“Then what would be the purpose?”

“Because other warriors are carrying weapons.”

“Describe weapons.”

“Steel. Flat. In the shape of an isoceles triangle. A very long narrow isoceles triangle.””

“Awkward.”

“Has handle. Handle in a cylinder shape, for ease of carrying.

“So you can carry it. But why?”

“So you can find another fellow and poke him with the isoceles triangle. A successful poke = a victory.”

“Difficult to poke successfully. Seeing as his clothes are metal.”

“That’s the reason for the metal clothes. So the isoceles triangle can’t get through.”

“So everyone has metal clothing to prevent puncture by triangles. And everyone has triangles that they may attempt puncture.”

“Yes. You catch on.”

“But here now. It strikes one as awkward. This arrangement of implement of puncture, and garment of puncture prevention. A lot of trouble.”

“That’s the way of human interactions everywhere.”

“But say. What of this? Suppose, instead of a triangle, a warrior simply carried a long paintbrush. Then, instead of metal garb, each warrior could wear, say, a white shift. Instead of a poke, the object is to leave a paint mark on the shift.”

“Easier, I suppose.”

“Less dangerous.”

“More humane.”

“Greater comfort achieved.”

“Aha. But hold on. Suppose, just suppose everyone’s wearing these white shifts. They’re light. Diaphanous. The ultimate in comfort.”

“Ideal, I’d say.”

“Then one clever fellow has an idea. Sets down his paintbrush. Picks up an isoceles triangle. Rides forth among the nightie-clad. He’d carve up a real buffet.”

“A bloodbath.”

“A massacre.

“A decimation.”

“So your idea is total crap. One isoceles triangle shoots it all to hell.”

“My idea runs up against the inexorably clever human urge to subdue.”

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