10/05/2008

Darn, I missed snapping up one of those...

While Britain is in the grip of knife-assault fear, this intriguing high street sword-concealed-as-walking stick story has emerged (copied from MSN News, 5th October 2008):


High Street retailer TK Maxx was forced into a second embarrassing product withdrawal after a walking stick was found to conceal a 20-inch sword.
The chain pulled the cane from sale after the blade was discovered by a customer who
then contacted the News of the World newspaper.
It follows the earlier removal of a range of jackets which were sold with an attached penknife.
The latest discovery was made by a customer whose partner bought him a wooden staff
from TK Maxx. He told the newspaper that he became suspicious of the weight of
the 35-inch stick. Having twisted the carved end, it gave way to a tapered sword.
A spokeswoman for TX Maxx told the News of the World that the walking sticks were artisan pieces and that its buyers were not aware of the concealed blades.
"We took urgent steps to remove them from the floor ..., therefore they are not available in any of our 220 stores," she added.
On Friday it emerged that a range of Swiss-branded coats had been pulled from sale after they were found to have a knife attacked to them by a chain.


Note the linguistical slip in the last sentence (original error in the article) - seems like fear of attack is on everyone's minds. I have to say that upon return to the UK last year, I was expecting the country to have morphed into something akin to Colombia. News of the 'hoodies' had made it globally. I was anxious to walk the streets of Britain. The reality is that during the day, things seem to be quite safe. At night, with dark street lighting, making all humanoid forms look like Darth Vader on Guiness, it is another story, and I refuse to do anything but walk down the center of the road (unless of course cars are zooming up and down) whether this is a fear grounded in reality or not. I think the reality is that it has paradoxically become more dangerous for men to walk the streets at night than women, simply because of the British disposition of looking for a fight, (Britain is also the only place I've been where people unashamedly shout and swear at people in public on their cellphone, which also says a lot about our 'culture'), but I think it's safe to say that if you keep your wits about you and use your common sense, you'll easily live to see another day.

As for me, I'm still using my umbrella to improvise as a sword. I'm continuing to practice Jian Shu 32 (see below) and I am now on move 29. The problem is that my scribbled diagram copies have 39 moves in them... Why more than 32?

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