During my undergraduate days, I took a few semesters of fencing to earn my physical education credits. I took that and ballroom dancing. I guess I figured both would come in handy if I were to apply for a job as Zorro, a pirate, or one of the Musketeers. For the record, I was a terrible fencer. Also for the record, I was the most sought-after partner in the ballroom dance class. What can I say? I’m a lover, not a fighter.
Competitive fencing is nothing like swashbuckling or the swordplay you see in the movies. There are long periods of deliberate, measured, uneventful maneuvering until somebody sees an opening and lunges. Bam. It’s usually over before the buzzer stops buzzing. The VP debate last night reminded me of all the fencing matches I competed in, and usually lost badly. Both Ryan and Biden chose their words carefully, circled each other strategically, and looked for an opening which never really came. Like a fencing match, it was terribly boring to watch – long periods of nothing with only an occasional lunge or parry. Both men made an equal number of attacks, and both successfully parried throughout the evening. No buzzer. No hit. No great, memorable “You’re no Jack Kennedy” moments. Continue reading