This is probably a little silly…

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!

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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21 Responses to This is probably a little silly…

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    Hmmm, now I want something pointy and sharp on my walking stick! No bulls running loose right here, but plenty of other possibilities. I did see a wolf once…

    I have to think about how to go about it.

  2. Robert Evans says:

    Reminds me of a passage in Robert Louis Stevenson’s travel book Travels With a Donkey In the Cevennes, in which Stevenson is unable to achieve obedience from the titular donkey until he visits an inn, and the innkeeper, noticing his plight, tells him, “Tomorrow I will make you a goad.” Stevenson had no problems with the beast after that.

    You realize, of course, that a picador traditionally rides a horse with a mattress strapped to its side and doesn’t try to face down a bull afoot, right?

  3. Ben says:

    You have probably already thought of this, but I will mention it anyhow, because this is the Internet and we are all experts. 😉

    I can think of scenarios where your pristine body and that sharp blade could come into unfortunate proximity, especially if you were to take a rolling tumble in steep terrain.

  4. MJR says:

    Joel I hope it never comes to the point where you have to fend off a angry bull with the “long stick.” That could get real ugly real fast. It’s a good thing you carry the .44 with you as back up. Personally I think you would be better off with some pepper stray or bear bangers or a good shock cane along with the .44, but that’s just me.

  5. Kentucky says:

    My admittedly limited experience with bovines-with-attitude would lead me to believe that poking said critter with a sharp thing would result in considerable bodily trauma to you. The relatively docile variety of cow might be persuaded, but bulls-in-lust? Doubtful.

    JMHO, you understand.

  6. Joel says:

    When I was truly one-legged, dragging myself around on crutches, it was drilled into me that in case of a fall it’s important to throw the crutches away from you. Having fallen a few times in the intervening 45 years, that is pretty much ingrained. Yeah, it would be more important with a spear.

  7. Robert Evans says:

    “According to the biblical passage Judges 3:31, Shamgar son of Anath killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad.” (from the Wikipedia entry for goad).

    For what it’s worth. 🙂

  8. Robert Evans says:

    It is possible to make a cover for the spearhead; Cold Steel sells one for their boar spear.

  9. MamaLiberty says:

    Sounds like a tall tale to me. 🙂 Even if they were all unarmed (doubtful) and maybe even if they were all dead drunk… also doubtful, I can’t imagine one man being able to kill that many with a stick… No mention of what all those men were doing while he swung the goad around all that time.

  10. As a bona fide Clovis man, I approve of the results.

  11. coloradohermit says:

    In the meantime, while waiting for a bull encounter, you could practice harpooning rabbits. Make yourself a nice rabbit skin something or other. I’d be more concerned about running into a coyote or a sight seer, but that’s here in the forest, not in the desert.

  12. jed says:

    Personally I think you would be better off with some pepper stray or bear bangers or a good shock cane along with the .44, but that’s just me.

    Joel, what you really need are some Picatinny rail sections at the business end of that thing, so’s you can mount a variety of different tactical gizmos. You’ll probably want to include the jawbone of an ass, if you want to keep with that Biblical theme.

    Not sure about rubber cane tips in that terrain. But then I just did a web search for trekking pole tips, and they’re made of hard rubber too, so what do I know?

  13. MamaLiberty says:

    Oh jed! I had a momentary picture of what Joel’s spear would look like if he tricked it out the way a friend did his AR15. He did it as a joke, and is having too much fun with it to take it apart. He’s very popular at the range. 🙂

  14. Joel says:

    Hey Mark, if they could build that gadget into a walking stick so that you’re likely to actually have it with you when needed, that would be perfect. I’d bet you could sell a bunch around here.

    CH, WTH is a ‘sight seer?’

  15. Kyle says:

    This thing is fucking pro status!!!! Good deal! I especially like the “cane tip” would not even know what or were to buy those being born in the 80s thx oldman joel! A bit of good fun but back when u were dating was that the sort of weapon the girls daddys would chase u out of the cave with! Ha ha ! If only i had your superior writing capabilities i might have gotten a few laughs from above comment!

  16. Robert says:

    FWIW, I heartily approve of spear-carrying Joel. It’s primal, man! I feel echoes of the Serengeti when I hike carrying a big stick. Keep the gun, too, as one must not ignore practicality in order to engage the ancestral spirits. Or something like that. My high-tech bamboo/carbon-fiber/hardened-steel-tip walking stick has served as a deterrent to possibly-hostile dogs on the trail a few times. Keep the spear…
    PS: Have you considered a rabbit-hide loin cloth to complete your ensemble?

  17. Buck says:

    Now that’s gotta be a sight. Desert hermit, YUGE black shag dog, spear.
    Almost worth the price of admission.

    So Jed….how’s he gonna get a telescoping stock on that spear?

  18. anonymous says:

    My Grandpa took a stout cane when walking through the corrals to poke bovines away as he walked about them. The .45 on the hip was his back up.

    Most of the people who move cattle in the stock yards use ‘hot shots’ (long distance stun guns), makes them move away pretty quickly. The spear looks way cooler in my opinion.

  19. jed says:

    how’s he gonna get a telescoping stock on that spear?

    Quite simple. The std. AR-15 stock is tubular … totally TUBULAR. He can either slip it right over the end, obviating the need for a rubber tip, or use a double-ring clamp to attach a mil-spec diameter tube to the walking stick.

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