Reduced to Data
June 12, 2020 things don't always end as you planned
In college, my friend Andy and I convinced two girls to sneak into the Aqua-arena Springs "Resort" with us dressed in musketeer costumes. I only use quotation marks because the main attraction was, as it still is, a glass-bottomed boat and swimming pig named Ralph.
I have an uncle named Ralph.
We climbed over a fence and made our way to the alligator pit.  Yes, a holiday destination in south-central Texas includes an alligator pit.  Our costumes included fluffy shirts, fancy knickers, feathered hats and, of course, point-disabled rapiers. We walked atop the ten-foot-tall fence of the alligator pit like a couple of idiots. The girls, wisely disinterested in our bravado, took a walk.
Unfortunately, we didn't take the hint. I don't think we were trying to impress them. Frankly, I'm not sure what we were doing - exploring the adventures of life or some disjointed expression of youth like that.
I found a building with a roof that had a five-foot gap to the next structure, perfect for jumping to. I regaled my colleague and as experience and age dictated, deferred to him for the first attempt. I held his point-disabled rapier as he made the leap, as such is proper protocol, and awaited his successful traversement.
Andy had spent the previous summer in Spain and had bought these rapiers, souvenirs really, there. I was deeply honoured that he'd thought to buy one for me - that feeling of brotherhood is something I've sought my entire life. The points were topped with a metal blob to make sure they were blunt and couldn't injure someone. Yes, we were idiots but we weren't complete fools.