Follow-up: “What the hell is ‘craping’…”

Oh, the humanity!

You’d think our April Fool’s joke—selling the title and teaching privilege of “Mister of Fencing” and membership in MoFO—was such a blatantly obvious and lame joke, only a sloth would’ve missed it. But apparently, MoFO and the prerequisites of owning a foil and never having earned a competitive ranking were still too subtle

—by J. Christoph Amberger

Baltimore, MD—Sure, I was striving for verisimilitude, using actual nonsense quotes from actual nonsense “masters”. Sure, I intentionally pressed all buttons revolving the secret fears of the community, namely, that someone might actually try to make a crass and crude buck off historical fencing.

And sure, given the number of self-minted masters out in the field, the story was plausible enough to ring true.

But really, now:

“Mister” of Fencing? Amberger as the GrandMister, MoFO?


Not even the fake press release’s leading image, depicting a group of overweight and straight-legged classical duelists in their tell-tale garbs of white circus tents and black sweatpants, was able to throw some off. The more observant were saved by their fellow-fencers’ comments in the Comments section.

The less diligent readers, however, now contact us directly…

We’ll be updating you on their correspondence as it emerges.

But for starters, here’s an email we received from “Jp” on April 3—2 days late and a dollar short to qualify as an April Fool right-back-atcha. We don’t know if he’s joking or trolling—and sure hope he is—or if he has actually ingested Björn Nyberg’s sad little paperback hack-job on the Robert E. Howard and Conan theme and now feels compelled to talk as tough as a tobacco-store Injun.

But we’ve got to leave it to him: He’s entertaining!

“First off I have trained in the sword in over 26 years and find you selling titles the most ridiculous thing ever. I have been instructed in the art of dueling by the greatest masters in the world. You are craping on every masters memory.

“If you continue down this course I will have no choice to but to challenge you to a private duel in the old ways.

“I leave the choice up to you.”

Ooooohhh… choice!

And trained by the best masters in the old ways? That wouldn’t be the capital punishment according to mos  maiorum—the ancient Roman custom of sticking someone into a burlap sack and beating him to death with cudgels?

(Which would go a long way to explain…)

My reply…

Dear J.P.,

First off: Spelling. What the hell is “craping”?

Second: There are no “greatest masters in the art of dueling”.

Third: Every buffoon can challenge anyone to a duel. But only a man of honor can expect to have his challenge accepted. Since you email me anonymously, I’d have to doubt that you’re a man, let alone a man of honor.
Fourth: If you had any clue about dueling, you’d know that I, as the party being challenged, would have the choice of weapons and rules to fight by. If you’d be allowed to fight in “the old ways” would be entirely up to me.
(Get back to your greatest masters in the world and request a refund, since they didn’t appear to have covered this.)
Fifth: I presuppose an acceptable level of practical intelligence in people I deign to fight. Check the publication date of the article, ask yourself if you’d really meet this criterion, and get back to me with an apology.
All the best, 
J. Christoph Amberger

I’m sure there’s more to come…

But in the meantime, here’s another great sword-related April Fool’s deception:

Narwhals display sophisticated sword fighting techniques

4 responses to “Follow-up: “What the hell is ‘craping’…”

  1. I think you ought to certify Jp as the first “Mister of Fencing”. Either he will appreciate it or he won’t, and either reaction is hilarious.

  2. Christoph Amberger

    As soon as he coughs up the $500 initiation fee, he’ll be MoFO member #1.

  3. Christoph Amberger

    Reblogged this on Fencer's Magazine and commented:

    The fall-out of an April Fool’s joke…

  4. Somehow I think you’d have the advantage. You’re the only guy I know who has actually fought (or fenced, or whatever the proper term is) with sharps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s