Saturday, 20 June 2015

I'll get it right in a minute


I need some thin, ceramic tube or rod - I won't bore you with why. I have actually ordered the materials needed to make my own, but I thought that there just HAS to be someone out there making it. There is, of course, and - also of course - they are in China.

Every day I am, in one way or another, in contact with China. Today's task is to program my iPod. Out with Eminem, in with Nick Warburton.

Yesterday's air-time was spent in admitting my prejudices concerning red-heads. The only really unprovable prejudice I host concerning gingers is an historical snippet of history which I have never bothered to check up on (or even find out if it is possible to check up on) but that's the thing about prejudices - if we like the sound of them and they fit the sort of bigoted mental framework we have adopted in later age, we don't bother to check up.

It is that all red-heads emanate from the ancient kingdom of Thrace - a remote part of the greater area making up Ancient Greece. Every Thracian was a natural ginger, and black-haired nationals were as uncommon as red-heads are today. Every red-head alive today can trace their ancestry back to Thrace - or so I was once told.

For the whole of its existence, Thrace was permanently at war with at least one of its neighbours. Thrace's elite, front-line fighting force (the equivalent of the SAS or US Navy Seals) went into battle completely naked and - get this - with permanent erections. Make of that what you will, but I know that you have a certain image in your heads now which will probably take most of the day to dispel. Don't blame me.

These were - of course - the days before Viagra, so I have no idea what the military training in their equivalent of Hereford was, which enabled whole battalions of men to maintain their pride in the face of death, when most ordinary humans would shrivel away to nothing for the sheer fear and panic of it.

If you think that was impressive, just listen to this.

There was another ancient fighting force - I forget which country or which tribe, but I have a feeling that they were based somewhere near modern Turkey - and they had a technique to scare the living daylights out of the opposing army's front line, just before the battle proper.

A group of about 10 or 15 trained (but I don't know how) men would advance ahead of the army lines and stand just out of bowshot, facing the enemy. They would then draw their swords and simultaneously behead themselves with one swipe. I suppose I didn't need to say 'one swipe'.

Their front-line comrades would then charge at the gob-smacked enemy, taking advantage of what has to be the most surprising opportunity for a surprise-attack ever invented.

You only have one chance at a little trick like this, so how on earth did they they practice?

There's another little image to ponder, but it may have got rid of the fighting Thracian one.

33 comments:

  1. NO !!!! The Thracian one is still there !!!!
    Mind you, it's better than having some inane tune in your head that you can't get rid of !! XXXX

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    1. A load of Thracian soldiers dancing to an inane tune? Think the late, great James Last...

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  2. Yes, enough to ponder, but I'm not going to lose my head over it...... Ouch.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. How much are you paying Cro to comment twice?

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    1. He's certainly doubling my comments rate. I don't know what he does, but I get the feeling he makes a pronouncement (clicking the button at least once) then doesn't bother to go back to look at it/them.

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    2. Not much you can do about even if you do go back. I suppose it makes up for my absence.

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    3. It seems to be my turn for doubled comments. Now't can do 'bout it.

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    4. I new you'd say that.

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    5. For me the edit function on your blog does not operate properly. Unless you get your comment write first time I can't correct it. There's many an erudite or immensely witty comment that I have not been able to see through and so give up. It's too much bother to post, delete and start afresh.

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    6. See, I've made a spelling mistake that I was unable to correct but I let it pass on this occasion.

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    7. I've got an edit function for these posts, but nobody else has. I think that's the way it works with everyone. Delete and repeat is the only way on someone else's blog.

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    8. Your delete facility gets a lot of use.

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    9. Not for a few weeks, as you well know.

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  5. I'm interested in the prejudice against red heads. I think all shades are lovely. I did not know redheads were "gingers" until Harry Potter.
    I believe most scientists are settled on the origin of the red head gene. It's a recessive; both parents must carry it to have a red headed child. Red heads are more susceptible to pain; and are infamous to anesthesiologists for needing more sedation for procedures.
    I grew up with a slew of red headed cousins, from auburn to carrot. My father's own mother, from that very family, married a Northern Ireland Presbyterian, and broke the chain. I've always envied beautiful red hair.

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    1. I envy red hair too, but only on others. This intolerance to pain is a myth - I have a red-head friend who is constantly injuring himself, and thinks nothing of it. His fingers are spatulated through crushing.

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    2. Joanne, I always tell the anesthetists I'm a red head. That, and I really do need more than the normal person. Guess I'm a horse because I also have a high pain tolerance. Must go hand in hand. And, I'm not a redhead but was always fair skinned, with light blue eyes and dark hair.

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  6. My dad was was a 3/4 Greek 1/4 Brit redhead. I had auburn hair. My niece who was born on my anniversary of my father's passing has red hair. And both me and my dad have/had a high pain tolerance (joke can be inserted here)

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    1. And your point is? (That was the joke).

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  7. My son is a red head and his father was too - as were most of his family - interesting either red or black haired (he was one of twelve). As far as I know none of them was the slightest bit warlike. As to your two images - don't know which is the scariest!

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    1. At your age, I would be hard pressed to differentiate between self beheading and a permanent hard on, but who am I to judge?

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  8. Very interesting post Tom. At your best.

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  9. OK - that convinced me. I'm back in blogland - interesting as ever.

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  10. Rachel is back...all is well

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    1. She - as I have already pointed out both publicly and privately - has never left. I note that you have both fallen off the wagon.

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    2. Just a throw away 'joke' - you have other things on your mind, I know. All is well in any case.

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  11. I once had a red-head girlfriend who tried to dye her hair blonde. It turned out 'kinda' greenish. The poor girl was distraught.

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    1. I've never wondered what happens when red-heads go blonde before. Now I know.

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