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[Tidbits] Dagger


The beginning… 105 million years ago in Africa and Asia.

And we progress… or not.

So here’s what it is. In olden days… daggers had three uses. One:
To carve up the evening’s meal. And two: To slit one’s enemy’s
throat. So far… things have not changed all that much.

Ah… but then there’s: Three. Yer all sittin’ there at the feastin’
table … guzzlin’ yer wine… pattin’ yer fat bellies which are well
stretched out from all that venison you’ve been crammin’ down yer
collective gullets… suckin’ at yer teeth… tryin’ ta get them
left-over morsels out from between all them cracks and crevices
lurkin’ between them ivories.

Suddenly Sir Sam over there whips out his dagger. You all freeze. Sir
Sam ain’t well known fer his placid nature. Sir Sam looks at all of
you… then grins. He twirls the dagger inwards… points it toward
his maw… and begins pickin’ at his teeth.

Sir George is impressed. Who woulda thunk it? He grabs his dagger …
flips it around… and starts a-pickin’ too. The rage is on. The
Dagger has become the world’s first toothpick.

There’s more. Yes there is. The dagger is considered to be an
ambiguous weapon. It is easy to conceal. Only one imbued with a
nature filled with cowardice and treachery would carry such a weapon
that intrinsically has the potential of surprise. One can stab one’s
enemy to death before he has a chance to realize he’s under attack
and is able to defend himself. Look what happened to Julius Caesar.

On the other hand… is there any weapon that symbolically suggests
greater courage that that of a dagger. This is close-up fighting
with one’s foe. One has to be brave beyond belief. This is not a bow
and arrow from across the field. This is hand-to-hand and eye-to-eye
and stinkin’ breath to stinkin’ breath. This is bravery beyond all

And now… for a minor segue… a semi-segue one might say. And it is
this: For every dagger there is a hilt. Some are mundane and some are
magnificent. And even others leave magnificent to rot in the dusts
of time for they are elevated works of art which can be conceived
only by a precious few.

Now I know you’re not going to believe this… but I have such a
hilt to show you. It is gold… of course. It is gorgeous… of
course. It was made in the 4th century BC by the lost wax technique
which had been introduced into China a century before. It is of the
Henan style. It consists of a pattern of densely interwoven dragons.
It is impressive. And should you ever decide you can not live without
a dagger of your own… I strongly urge to settle for no other hilt
for your weapon than the one you are about to see. Personally… you
get me a hilt like this… and I’m off toothpicks for life.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and you will get to view one of China’s great
works of art.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark