Where’s That King Arthur Dude?

I think there’s something weird in the air up here. The past couple of days, the news has been full of some very bizarre goings-on that are a wee bit too close to home for comfort.

It all started when some guy in Portland got into an argument with his stepson. The kid invited a few friends over for the night, and they were being loud –  as teenagers often are – so the stepdad kicked them out. The boys came back the next morning and started beating on the stepdad’s truck with sticks and pipes. Realizing that even the always-perky Flo from Progressive couldn’t prevent his insurance premiums from skyrocketing now, the dude hopped in the truck and chased after the boys, hitting two of them “at a slow speed.”

This, in turn, angered the kids. Apparently being sort-of run over is a sign of disrespect in the ‘hood, so they turned around and chased after him, again beating on his truck. Question number one: how’d they catch him? He was in a vehicle, they were on foot, and he doesn’t strike me as being the law-abiding type, what with the whole hitting-kids-with-his-pickup thing. Speed limit, schmeed limit. Question number two: if attacking his truck the first time led him to go all Mad Max on them, did they think doing it again would result in a less-hostile outcome?! I think there was plenty of stupidity all around here.

You scratched my truck. Now you must pay!

Really peeved now, the stepdad ran inside the house and grabbed a machete. That’s right, one of those long, sharp swords that are useful for cutting trails through the rainforest. What, you don’t have one stashed away in the hall closet? Haven’t you ever heard the saying “it’s a jungle out there?” Reminds me of that scene in Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis is choosing a weapon to deal with his Deliverance-style attackers and settles on the machete. Sort of a case of life imitating art right here in P-Town! The boys, staring down the business end of a very wicked blade, decided to fight back with weapons of their own.

Garden rakes.

Which are perfectly fine for scooping autumn leaves into neat little piles, but as defense against a machete-wielding nutjob? Not so good. Fortunately, the whole ruckus ended with a few minor injuries, and some jail time for the dude with the really big knife.

Not to be outdone, a stepdad in Washington (hey, mom – thanks for staying married to dad all these years, by the way! I’m beginning to feel like I dodged a bullet here) forced his sixteen-year old stepdaughter to dress in armor and fight him with a wooden sword in a medieval-style duel.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

The girl did something terrible, committing an offense that no other teenager in the history of time has ever dared to partake in: she disobeyed her parents. That’s right: she went to a party – without their permission.

{Insert gasps of outrage}.

Her mother and stepfather, after gasping outrageously over this blatant transgression, decided to dole out punishment. Nerds to the core Renaissance enthusiasts who often recreate medieval-era battles (hey, everybody needs a hobby, right?), and clearly confused over the fact that the Round Table down the street was actually a pizza restaurant and not home to King Arthur’s court, they made the girl fight them with a sword for two hours, until she collapsed from exhaustion. As opposed to grounding her or revoking her driving privileges or something more mundane (yawn). And just to ensure the fight was fair, they beat her with a tree branch first. Which reminds me of another scene in a different movie: remember how Commudus stabbed Maximus in Gladiator just before their big fight? What ever happened to playing fair?

You ordered a large supreme, m'lord?

Also in my beloved state-that-was-named-after-a-President, a woman attacked her sleeping husband with an electric saw over the weekend. When the cops arrived she claimed an intruder had entered the home through a window and attacked her slumbering sweetie, but in her haste to make this farfetched story sound believable, forgot to remove the child lock – a device that prevented the window from opening more than a few inches.

They would have doubted her story anyway, since her husband was quoted as shouting, “You tried to cut my head off!” while gesturing wildly at the woman he had exchanged I dos with.

I’d reckon that once you awaken to a power saw slicing into your neck and shoulder, you’re beginning to rethink all that “til-death-do-us-part” stuff.

So, what’s the deal? Has the whole world gone crazy…or is it just the Pacific Northwest?

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22 thoughts on “Where’s That King Arthur Dude?

  1. OMG, Mark…those are SOME stories!

    WOW!

    But I have to say, that I agree with you….something is truly in the air (everywhere) because in the past few weeks, we’ve had so much anger and violence going on in Philly.

    And it’s so ironic you posted this because we were just talking about this same topic at work today because our customers have been acting CRAZY.

    At one point, we all looked at one another and said, “Is it a full moon????”

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    1. That’s funny, Ron…I actually checked my Moon Phase app (there really is an app for everything!) when I heard about all this stuff, but found it’s in a waning gibbous phase with 63% visibility. So much for that theory…

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  2. Oh yes…it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Kids have gotten more braver (and somewhat stupider) since you can’t do anything to them without getting arrested. I just heard on the news about the sword-fighting episode and how the Dad is in jail and is being charged with abuse. Your take on it was much more informative and enjoyable to read. I even chuckled….okay, I laughed…a lot!! Out loud even!! I laughed even louder with your take on the woman who tried to kill her husband, especially with what he was saying!!

    People are just crazy Mark….c-r-a-z-y!!

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    1. There does seem to be an excessive amount of craziness in our neck of the woods, Tracy! They do say the PNW is kind of the epicenter of serial killer activity. After reading these stories, I’m not surprised!

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  3. Clearly the pending arrival of your sweetie inspires to you write weird but stunningly wonderful stuff. This piece is really well done, Mark. And in “and he doesn’t strike me as being the law-abiding type, what with the whole hitting-kids-with-his-pickup thing”–the pun was unintended?
    Machete-less in the safety of the South,
    Kathy

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  4. Note to self: Cancel any future trips to PNW, aka the epicenter of serial killer activity.

    I was about to argue your comment about a different breed of crazy in Ely, but couldn’t list a single opposing point. Huh.

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  5. Well, here in Rhode Island yesterday a cow on its way to the slaughterhouse got loose on a bridge during the morning rush when the trailer broke down. He stopped traffic on the way to Newport for an hour. . .sounds more like something you’d hear about in Texas right? *grin*

    -Lisa

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  6. Um, yikes. I still want to move to Portland though. Do you think it’s possible to defend oneself with a voodoo donut? Well, I wouldn’t want to waste the donut, but I could throw the box at them. “Come any closer, and I’ll papah-cut ya!” Oh yah. I’m scary. All hopped up on maple bacon bars.

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  7. Jesus, these stories are out of control. On Twitter I used to do something called “The Bad News Press” and every day I would post a terrible news story. Usually they would be something like your first one – only for it to get BNP status, someone usually had to die or be crippled. I realized after doing this daily for about a year that I was becoming desensitized to terrible news. I was grossing myself out. So I stopped. Reading these stories, and cringing, made me happy I stopped. Because they actually affected me! I’m cured! Thanks for your help proving that. :)

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