Joust Another Day

We interrupt our regularly scheduled (Guatemala) programming to share my most recent revelation that I should not have children for a very long time.

The evening began innocently enough. Edie (my youngest sister) entered my room with a suspicious glint in her eyes.

“Ali, will you come joust with me?”

“What?”

“Jousting.”

“That’s what I thought you said…”

“Yeah!”

“What about it?”

“I made a jousting rink, will you come joust with me?”

“Um, what exactly do you mean?” (Because all I knew about jousting is from A Knight’s Tale, and I was fairly positive I would not arrive in the living room to find horses and a Heath Ledger look-a-like).

I did however arrive to this…

Edie ecstatically raced over to her score board appropriately titled “Jousting Score,” and explained the rules to me. Turns out it was nothing like jousting. It more similarly resembled the “Swordplay Showdown” game in Wii Sports Resort where you mercilessly try to whack each other off a giant floating target into the water. Minus the water. But all about the wacking.

She sprinted into the “rink” and prompted me to choose my weapon out of a group of hand-made death-sticks, fashionably crafted out of PVC pipe and old pool noodles.

Which she lovingly named, in order from left to right: Reverse Minion, Michelangelo (after the Ninja Turtle), Lava Lamp, Spiderman, and Sprite.

I chose my…lance…and prepared for battle.

Suddenly I felt a shift in my inner being. Looking at this tiny human, holding a PVC-pool noodle-hybrid jousting stick named after a Ninja Turtle and being told I have free reign to beat her with it, I realized I had never felt so powerful in my whole life.

“Okay Google, play ‘Final Countdown.’” I shouted, never breaking eye contact with my poor, unsuspecting little sister.

I regret to say I did not keep my composure during the 15 minutes that followed. And while I may not have physically crushed her, I did crush her spirit. As we went through round after round, and song after song (the playlist consisting power anthems like “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Everybody was Kung-Fu-Fighting” and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song), I really let myself go, chanting “heroes in a half shell” repeatedly…all the while watching as Edie’s eyes flashed with mixtures of surprise, fear, and regret. Eventually Edie got tired of the beatdown she totally brought upon herself, and turned into a lance-wielding Tasmanian devil . Or at least a rabid squirrel that also shoots Monster straight into its veins.

She attacked me with everything she had, lance stabbing, vocal chords screeching, and began whacking me with all the strength her 70 lb body could muster.

It turned ugly quick. The dog escaped upstairs. The rules were forgotten. The tension was high. There was blood.

It may only be a scratch, but it is the blatant lack of concern from Edie that really stung.

We both realized that this was a horrible idea for two people (me) that are uber-competitive and not good at controlling themselves when using weapons, and we retired jousting (but not before Ava had a go and made up her own rules, creating even more confirmation that this should never happen again).

Two nights later and the scoreboard still sits at the foot of our stairs, reminding me that I should not be given anything resembling a lance, especially around children, and that any idea Edie has involving physical altercations should be shot down BEFORE she builds an entire arena that is now blocking the entrance to our kitchen.

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