(This is a True Story)
THE INCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 81
It was about 2pm on Sunday. I had the Kahless batleth completely cut out, sandblasted smooth with a beautiful bevel placed on all the cutting edges.
I determined beforehand that I was going for the Very Old Kahless batleth look, as if it had been sitting around for a thousand years. I figured to enhance the look of antiquity with the addition of scratches to the surface of the weapon. But I had never deliberately made scratches in the steel of any of my weapons, so I didnt exactly know how to go about doing this.
My first thought was to take the round part of a ball peen hammer and just start whacking away at it, leaving small indentations that would give it a textured look.
This was an unbelievably stupid idea.
I had forgotten that when you place a piece of steel on an anvil and hit it with a hammer for long enough, that piece of steel will bend. I ended up with one of my blades slightly kinked in the middle, and I wasted an hour trying to straighten it.
My next thought was that I would take the batleth to my new sand blaster glove box and sand blast the heck out of it.
This turned out to be another stupid idea.
The sand blasting removed the dents I just worked so hard to achieve with the ball peen hammer.
When I took the batleth out of the sandblasting box I thought, Im going about this all wrong Instead of a scratched finish I now had a satiny finish that is usually fond on brand new Gerber knives.
Then I had an inspiration.
(Doesnt it sound like a good idea?) For some reason I got the idea that if I tied a rope to the batleth and attached the other end to the rear bumper of my truck, then dragged the batleth down a deserted highway for a few miles, this would be sure to scratch up the surface the way I wanted it.
I drove to old Highway 81, north of Grand Forks, North Dakota the most desolate place known to man. I attached 30 feet of nylon rope to the batleth and the other end to my back bumper. I then started driving.
Well, it seemed to be working like a charm.
Of course, I was only going about 10 miles per hour at the time. I thought to myself, so far, so good lets take it up to 60 and see what happens.
Well, what happens is that the rope started whipping left and right behind me.
Now, when youre going 60 miles an hour down a highway, you have to look forward, so I have no idea what was really going on back there. However, I realized I had over-torqued this idea when I glanced in my rear view mirror to check for cars behind me only to see the batleth fall into view.
Thats right, fall-into-view.
There was corner up ahead, and now I saw there was a car coming, so I hit the brakes rather abruptly, not contemplating all the laws of physics that was involved in this situation.
The batleth continued straight ahead, sliding at 60 miles an hour UNDER my truck. I noticed as it sailed into view ahead of me that the nylon rope that I had so foolishly believed would stay attached to a sharpened batleth was ground off, and the batleth was free to continue its high-speed journey unimpeded.
I thought for sure that the batleth would slow down before it reached the oncoming car, but it didnt. It just would not stop. The other car must have seen it coming, because they had slowed down in their lane to figure out what in the world was going on.
I watched that little batleth go and go and go.
The beauty of the situation was the fact that the batleth stayed in my lane. It passed by the other car, and kept going and going like the Eveready bunny.
For a moment as I drove by the car that had stopped to watch the batleth go by, I thought about avoiding eye contact, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I turned to wave at the other driver.
He sure did have an odd look on his face.
I guess its not every day that that guy sees a batleth flying down the road at 60 miles per hour all by itself?
Below is a photo of what is possibly the only batleth ever to be road tested.