When I cleaned out Former Neighbor J’s place last year, most of the contents ending up at the local thrift store, I found a spearhead threaded to go on a painting pole. FNJ had gone through a ‘primitive weapon’ phase a few years back, with throwing axes and spears and that sort of thing. Judging from current Ebay prices he actually paid around $30 for this dumb thing. I could never have brought myself to do that, but free has a quality all its own. I brought it home and screwed it on to my longest painting pole, because of course I did.
There wasn’t any particular plan, I just like sharp pointy things and also I had a notion that it might be a better anti-snake-in-the-yard weapon than a shovel. But no yard snakes presented themselves as test subjects, so the sort-of protospear gathered dust in a corner until a few weeks ago…
…when I started having bull encounters on walkies. This is a scary situation: You can’t just shoot them, except in the last extremity, because to do so would bring down the law and thousands of dollars in criminal liability. I would basically need the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to be standing right there as witnesses – and willing to testify on my behalf, which since I’m a gentile is not ensured – for a successful self-defense plea. The cattle have all the rights. This doesn’t prevent me from using my gun to hurry cows with calves along, just shooting to make noise. But gunfire doesn’t usually impress bulls. And when they’re mating – and they’re mating lately – they’re pretty foul-tempered beasts.
I wanted something I could use to fend them off. Something non-lethal, unless things really got nasty in which case it could become increasingly lethal. Something long. Pointy. Which could also be used as a walking stick. Because walkies.
I wanted a … well, I wanted a spear. With a cane tip.
While in the bigger town about 35 miles away on Thursday I bought a cane tip, which by complete happenstance fit the pole perfectly. Tried it out on walkies and noticed for the first time that the pot-metal finial on the paint pole with the threads is only pressed on, and wouldn’t have impressed Clovis Man as a proper spearhead mount. So I went to the hardware store yesterday, bought a few bolts/washers/nuts, drilled and tightened and dremeled, then painted the whole thing green because I pretty much paint everything green.
Forward! To the Paleolithic!