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Old 05-12-2016, 11:46 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Home Depot Thunderdome: Choose Your Weapon

The other day we we're at Home Depot when I came across the display of axes and sledges, and as we all do, I thought about how I could use one to smash open someone's head to feast on the goo inside.

So today's exercise is this: suppose you must fight someone to the death using only a single weapon in a Home Depot. What weapon would you choose?

RULES:

1. The death match shall be against a person whose physical and combat prowess reasonably matches your own.

2. The death match takes place in a room thirty feet by thirty feet with cinderblock walls. There are no obstacles, intrusions, or anything else.

3. Two go in. One comes out. You must fight to the death and you will fight to win.

4. For your weapon you may choose any one weapon found in a well stocked Home Depot, with the following caveats:

4a. The weapon cannot actually be a gun, crossbow, or other thing designed primarily as a weapon. I dunno if American stores stock those but they're off limits.

4b. If the weapon is fuelled, it will be supplied to you with a full tank of fuel.

4c. If the weapon is powered by electricity you may bring a fifty foot extension cord with you and plug it in before the fight begins. Your opponent is permitted to try to unplug or destroy your cord.

4d. Aside from the exceptions above you may bring no other objects in with you.

Choose your weapon and justify your choice.

FINISH HIM!
  #2  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:42 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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If it requires air compression, will it be filled with air? If so my choice is a nail gun and a round of 12 pennies, greased, please. My opponent wouldn't get within 10 feet of me without becoming a coatrack.

If not, choice two is a gassed up chain saw, with electric start, of course.
  #3  
Old 05-13-2016, 08:27 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Air compressed weapons will be filled with air and, if necessary, you get your extension cord.

In the interest of coaching I am obliged to remind you that nail guns aren't really that powerful.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:07 AM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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My first thought was of a ram set gun but I think you'd have to get too close. Personally I like the idea of a sledge if I got time to train with it but that is probably not a option.

Really we're looking at sharp things I'm thinking that a large set of hedge trimmers would do nicely if they could be sharp enough. You could use them to catch incoming attacks or stab and slice with. I think most people would swing an ax like a baseball bad and be one swing an done while the shorter length, two handle grip and lighter weight would keep the shears more mobile.
  #5  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:12 AM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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My first instinct is to go for a regular ol' 20 oz. hammer and either hope to get in close combat or fling at my opponent's head. But I think it's too risky.

My next thought is to keep my opponent at a distance, maybe with an 8 foot pole saw. But I don't know if that will do enough damage and if he manages to get in close, I'm too vulnerable.

So I'm thinking the 18" chainsaw may be my best bet.

And while I'm at the Home Depot, can I get some armor like a leather apron and safety goggles? Maybe steel toe boots to go along with my weapon of choice? I mean, if I'm wielding a chainsaw as a killing device, the leather apron is pretty much mandatory.

Last edited by Barkis is Willin'; 05-13-2016 at 10:13 AM.
  #6  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:36 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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You get to choose a weapon. No armor. No backup weapons. You will be wearing running shoes and branded athletic T-shirt and shorts (this is being televised, after all.) Only the exceptions noted in the OP.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:42 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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I suppose I might choose the machete. I'm not strong enough to wield a bludgeon effectively. An opponent with a chain saw presents an obvious problem, but I'm not sure how long a tank of gas lasts on one of those; perhaps I would be able to keep moving long enough for him to run out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
In the interest of coaching I am obliged to remind you that nail guns aren't really that powerful.
I think they also require contact with a surface in order to fire.
  #8  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:45 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Air compressed weapons will be filled with air and, if necessary, you get your extension cord.

In the interest of coaching I am obliged to remind you that nail guns aren't really that powerful.
They're terrible distance weapons, but up close they're pretty terrifying. I'd pick a fuel cell powered nail gun - no cord or hose needed. Launch a couple at the eyes to distract the opponent, then move in for some kill shots.
  #9  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:45 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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If this machete would be considered to violate Rule #4a, I would dual wield 24 oz. hammers or I would use something that gave me a bit of reach like this dandelion weeder or this scraper.
  #10  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:47 AM
boffking boffking is offline
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I'd hijack a forklift. Preferably propane-fueled so there is no cord to destroy. Run the guy over before he can get a swipe with a hammer.
  #11  
Old 05-13-2016, 10:54 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Originally Posted by boffking View Post
I'd hijack a forklift. Preferably propane-fueled so there is no cord to destroy. Run the guy over before he can get a swipe with a hammer.
You realize the other guy isn't immobile, right?

And I'm not sure a forklift would be allowed as they aren't sold at Home Depot; I'm sure our host (and the creator of this fantastic program!) will be along soon to clarify that point.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-13-2016 at 10:56 AM.
  #12  
Old 05-13-2016, 11:05 AM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
An opponent with a chain saw presents an obvious problem, but I'm not sure how long a tank of gas lasts on one of those; perhaps I would be able to keep moving long enough for him to run out.
I suspect if I only run the chainsaw at high RPM while cutting you, it will last a good while. When constantly cutting wood, I think I can get at least 30 minutes out of a tank. However, that doesn't mean it won't otherwise malfunction. The chainsaw becomes much less dangerous when inoperable.
  #13  
Old 05-13-2016, 11:07 AM
moldmonkey moldmonkey is offline
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Billhook:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Temp...6600/100466221

Good for chopping, slashing with some reach and light enough to strike quickly.
  #14  
Old 05-13-2016, 11:11 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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I'm leaning towards this grass hook. Can stab and cut and the 36" handle seems long enough to give some range (or use the handle to block) without the "getting inside his reach" issue a pole saw would have. Also, it seems like it'd be lighter than an axe or sledge. If the handle broke, the half with the business end would still make a functional weapon, unlike the chain coming off a chainsaw or half an axe.

I have to admit that this 40" glaive is tempting as well, though with less stabby options. I'm not trying to cleave armor though so I think my first option is better.

Alternately, I could rent a powered drain snake and just gross the other guy out by flailing at him with the metal coil that's seen and scraped the interior of a million soil pipes.
  #15  
Old 05-13-2016, 11:13 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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You're more accurate with your term but "glaive" is more fun to say
  #16  
Old 05-13-2016, 11:38 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
If this machete would be considered to violate Rule #4a, I would dual wield 24 oz. hammers or I would use something that gave me a bit of reach like this dandelion weeder or this scraper.
The machete is designed and sold to clear brush. It is permitted.

Stealing a forklift is not permitted. Forklifts aren't sold at Home Depot.

However, every week "Home Depot Thunderdome" will feature the Thursday Joust, a single bout where the contestants must wield their weapons of choice while driving a Hyster H80-120FT fork truck.

Last edited by RickJay; 05-13-2016 at 11:47 AM.
  #17  
Old 05-13-2016, 12:56 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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Absent the ability to practice, I think you're best going with a familiar item like a hammer or a machete.

But don't they sell high-pressure washers? On full power, those suckers can split a watermelon from a couple of feet away. Might be enough to blind someone or knock them over or otherwise incapacitate for long enough to kill them.

I wonder if there aren't some chemical sprayers that might have a similar effect if sprayed in the eyes, etc.
  #18  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:05 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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I wonder if there aren't some chemical sprayers that might have a similar effect if sprayed in the eyes, etc.
Can of that wasp spray that says it shoots up to 50' -- very innovative!

My melee fight "against a person whose physical and combat prowess reasonably matches your own" would probably be the saddest thing ever. Maybe we can both pick sledgehammers and bust our way out through the cinder block walls and get pizza.

Last edited by Jophiel; 05-13-2016 at 01:06 PM.
  #19  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:13 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
The machete is designed and sold to clear brush. It is permitted.

Stealing a forklift is not permitted. Forklifts aren't sold at Home Depot.

However, every week "Home Depot Thunderdome" will feature the Thursday Joust, a single bout where the contestants must wield their weapons of choice while driving a Hyster H80-120FT fork truck.
Cool about the machete, but I think I'd still use the hammer since it requires a lot less finesse (any edge that hits is going to hurt, eh).
  #20  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:14 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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If I can choose a different weapon for the joust then I probably will take the 8' pole saw.
  #21  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:16 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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I'd probably go with a machete, but I'd also consider a pitchfork or a brush cutting tool (dunno what it is called) that looks pretty much like a smallish halberd.
  #22  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:17 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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I should have pointed this out, but a few other rules of Home Depot Thunderdome, (which airs every night on FOX, 8 PM sharp) are

1. If you refuse to fight or attempt to leave the Thunderdome without defeating your opponent you're burned at the stake. So sorry. You must fight.

2. Every winner wins a million bucks. If both contestants die of wounds sustained during the fight before one can exist the Thunderdome alive, the winner is either

2a. The contestant who clearly killed the other one first, or
2b. If it is unclear who died first, the contestant who fought the best, as voted upon by a panel of celebrity judges.

If the winner dies before being able to sign the paperwork to receive their winnings, the money is awarded to a party they designate prior to the bout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster
I'd probably go with a machete, but I'd also consider a pitchfork or a brush cutting tool (dunno what it is called) that looks pretty much like a smallish halberd.
Some call it a sling blade, I call it a Kaiser blade.

Last edited by RickJay; 05-13-2016 at 01:18 PM.
  #23  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:30 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Can of that wasp spray that says it shoots up to 50' -- very innovative!
Nice! You're essentially playing as a spellcaster.

Last edited by Tom Tildrum; 05-13-2016 at 01:31 PM.
  #24  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:37 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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This propane torch kit would be interesting. Certainly, the other guy would probably be unexcited about getting too close to me. Looks like it produces a pretty sizable flame as well. I don't know how well I'd be able to lug around the tank and chase a guy, though.
  #25  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:38 PM
Paintcharge Paintcharge is offline
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Gotta go for the mattock.

Although the long distance wasp spray is cool, but then you'd have to kick the dude to death.
  #26  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:41 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Although the long distance wasp spray is cool, but then you'd have to kick the dude to death.
They sell it in a 12 pack. Maybe I can drown him. Or bludgeon him with Can #12.

Last edited by Jophiel; 05-13-2016 at 01:41 PM.
  #27  
Old 05-13-2016, 01:58 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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Is modification allowed (removal of safety mechanisms, sharpening)?

A lawn mower is probably too heavy to wield effectivley, bit this with the edger might work:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/ECHO-17-i...25VP/202064228

How big a flame can you get out of this?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-E...H837/205380140

Brian
  #28  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:05 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Modification of items is not permitted. (I mean, given some time in a Home Depot, you could construct a goddamn trebuchet.) The item must be used as it would be sold, though of course, if applicable, the item will be removed from packaging prior to the fight and will be assembled and, if it is a machine, in working order,. However, machines (like lawnmowers) shall be assembled exactly as per instructions for normal use. All de-packaging and assembly will be performed by the production staff of Home Depot Thunderdome, so the contestant has no opportunity for trickery. The production staff of Home Depot Thunderdome <TM> will also ensure your weapon is not broken. The inherent quality of the product cannot be guaranteed - if your kaiser blade snaps when you try to block your enemy's attack because the Chinese manufacturer just didn't make it for that purpose, too bad - but you will not be accidentally handed something that was broken or malfunctioning out of the box.

There is no rule saying you cannot attempt to disassemble or reconfigure a machine after the battle begins, but as you cannot bring any tools with you, and your opponent will be charging at you, screaming and waving THEIR weapon of choice, opportunities to MacGyver up a fascinating new weapon will be rather short in duration.

Last edited by RickJay; 05-13-2016 at 02:15 PM.
  #29  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:09 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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How do the people come to find themselves in the ThunderDome?

Are they kidnapped and then shown a quick video on the rules and tossed in?

I could imagine that for any given set of contestants, it might take a while before it sinks in that it's kill or be killed. Maybe you could even lull your opponent into believing you intend to cooperate in an effort to escape, or at least die honorably by committing mutual suicide or something--while you work on removing the cover from the lawnmower.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:14 PM
Jimmy Chitwood Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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I see a 1 inch steel security door that weighs 75 pounds. Seems to me that against the weapons listed thus far, the bullrush and flatten gambit would be a pretty good bet.
  #31  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:16 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Chitwood View Post
I see a 1 inch steel security door that weighs 75 pounds. Seems to me that against the weapons listed thus far, the bullrush and flatten gambit would be a pretty good bet.
Couldn't they just jog away until you exhaust yourself?
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:22 PM
Jimmy Chitwood Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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Yeah. I wouldn't really need to chase them, though, right; the million bucks goes through me and my riot shield.
  #33  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:27 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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If you just stand there with your door, and your opponent just stands on the other side of the room waiting for you, then you both die, right?
  #34  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:32 PM
Jimmy Chitwood Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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If we're not trying to fight, then it looks like. But I wouldn't be the one running away, at least. I think I could slowly advance with a 75 pound weight for a fair amount of time. Plus 30x30 isn't so vast that I'd think it would be impossible to get a good 5 yard sprint at them while they hopped away.
  #35  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:34 PM
Jimmy Chitwood Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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I guess there's really only one way to find out. If I don't report back on Monday, then I was wrong.
  #36  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:51 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
How do the people come to find themselves in the ThunderDome?

Are they kidnapped and then shown a quick video on the rules and tossed in?
At $1,000,000 a pop I think you might be surprised how many people will volunteer for a fifty-fifty shot at either solving their financial problems or... solving all their problems.

Actually, now that I think about it, the show's doubtlessly staggering popularity could lead to sandbagging and de facto professional contestants. If you and I stepped into the Thunderdome armed with whatever looked best in Aisle 32, it would be a hell of a show but very amateurish. The results could be quite unexpected. However, once the show has been on awhile, people applying to be contestants will, inevitably, begin to train with their weapon of choice. If you're going to be on you'll try out different weapons, choose a favourite, and train with it. (The dandelion picker looks like a good one to me.) You might even hire an expert in martial arts to train you in a salle d'armes. If your opponent did not engage in similar preparations their odds of survival would be terrible.

Since Home Depot Thunderdome ((C) all rights reserved) tries to match people evenly contestant would therefore have a perverse incentive to lie about their physical fitness and prowess with weapons. I'm not sure how to deal with that. I'll put some thought into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker
If you just stand there with your door, and your opponent just stands on the other side of the room waiting for you, then you both die, right?
Eventually you'll die of thirst. The show can be edited, so if two people decide to play the Who Dies Of Thirst First game, it doesn't have to be broadcast.

I guess it'd be really boring for the studio audience, who came to see blood. However, just going by game theory and probability, I think one person's going to decide the rational course of action is to slay the other.

Last edited by RickJay; 05-13-2016 at 02:57 PM.
  #37  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:53 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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At $1,000,000 a pop I think you might be surprised how many people will volunteer for a fifty-fifty shot at either solving their financial problems or... solving all their problems.
That sounds like an interesting thread in itself.

But my point was different. If you allow volunteers, then you cannot stop people from training in advance. If I can train for a decade in advance, that might change my weapon choices.
  #38  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:56 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Yeah. I wouldn't really need to chase them, though, right; the million bucks goes through me and my riot shield.
So they run around to the non-door side of you. Even if you can somehow swing the door around fast enough to stay between you, you certainly can't maneuver it fast enough to also push him over or anything, not with you moving a 75lb door and him carrying a 4lb machete. So now he's standing right on the other side of the door, close enough to grab, and it's not really your door anymore.
And he still has the machete and you don't.

There's a reason real shields didn't weigh 75 pounds.

Definitely right choice is machete: light and short enough to maneuver even in close quarters, strong enough to block spears or clubs, heavy enough to do some blunt force damage on the backstroke if necessary, but a lot more damaging on the front stroke than a hammer, and harder for the opponent to grab and wrestle away. Weight is too far toward the tip to be a really good sword, but still better than a hammer.
Pre-gunpowder, people made clubs, axes, or spears only when they didn't have enough good metal for a sword, they were in one of the few limited situations where a wall-of-spears made sense, or their opponents had so much good steel armor that a specialized armor-piercing weapon was needed. None really apply in
  #39  
Old 05-13-2016, 03:07 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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I assume a steel security door doesn't come stock with shield straps or any other way to carry it "shield style" so it'd probably make a terrible shield in practical use.
  #40  
Old 05-13-2016, 03:13 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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A long length of link chain from the cut-it-yourself spools. One of my arms would be wrapped up like a gladiator arm shield, and my other would have a long length with a tangled bunch on the end for a whip/flail type of thing.

If allowed enough length, I may even be able to Michelin-Man myself completely in chain, an impervious lumbering link tank laughing as chainsaws anemically bounce off me.
  #41  
Old 05-13-2016, 04:06 PM
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I can't decide between a 1/2" steel pipe, 6 ft long, or a 14 ft. long tree pruner.
  #42  
Old 05-13-2016, 04:20 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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But don't they sell high-pressure washers? On full power, those suckers can split a watermelon from a couple of feet away. Might be enough to blind someone or knock them over or otherwise incapacitate for long enough to kill them.
I think this is the winner. Looks like they have washers that go up to 4200 PSI. That could do some serious damage, and you have better range than anything else.
  #43  
Old 05-13-2016, 04:21 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Six pack of bug bombs. I might not "win" but I'm taking you down with me.
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I think this is the winner. Looks like they have washers that go up to 4200 PSI. That could do some serious damage, and you have better range than anything else.
Do they require an external water hookup? Might have trouble finding a spigot in the HD Thunderdome.

Last edited by Jophiel; 05-13-2016 at 04:23 PM.
  #44  
Old 05-13-2016, 04:27 PM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by moldmonkey View Post
Billhook:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Temp...6600/100466221

Good for chopping, slashing with some reach and light enough to strike quickly.
That is exactly what I was thinking as well; last time I was at Home Depot, I took one off the rack and sort of waved it around, thinking just how martial it seemed, without realizing that the "ditchbank" is basically the old 14th century "Bill" that English infantrymen used, which was actually an agricultural implement repurposed as a weapon anyway.

Last edited by bump; 05-13-2016 at 04:27 PM.
  #45  
Old 05-13-2016, 04:59 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Maybe instead of a door for a shield, go for complete protection and cloak yourself in a small refrigerator. Open the door, stand facing away from the opening, and pull it onto your back, essentially enveloping yourself in the fridge compartment on three sides. The fridge door would be a shield, and if you were to whip your body around quickly, the freezer door on top would swing around as a sort of bludgeon. It's not the most practical weapon, but think of it as analogous to an animal fluffing itself up to look big for intimidation purposes.

If you peel the gaskets off the sides of the shelves, there might be some sharp edges to use as an admittedly awkward blade. And if you're allowed to have the water hookup, then you could scatter ice cubes to make your opponent slip. Finally, after killing your opponent and cutting out his heart, you could keep it cold for preservation, especially if you didn't want to eat it all right away.

This is starting to feel like an unconventional-materials challenge from Project Runway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
This propane torch kit would be interesting. Certainly, the other guy would probably be unexcited about getting too close to me. Looks like it produces a pretty sizable flame as well. I don't know how well I'd be able to lug around the tank and chase a guy, though.
I don't know that it would disable your opponent quickly enough, though; it's not a light saber. () If he's willing to risk a burn, he could step in somewhat readily and cut your hose. In general, it seems like it would be hard to immobilize him long enough to sear him to death. A gruesome way of killing your opponent, to be sure.
  #46  
Old 05-13-2016, 05:37 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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I wonder how many of you will make it... Beyond Thunderdome!
  #47  
Old 05-13-2016, 06:53 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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I think I'd dual wield axes. A smaller hatchet that could be used for ranged attacks and larger, heavier one for CQC.
  #48  
Old 05-13-2016, 07:26 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post

I don't know that it would disable your opponent quickly enough, though; it's not a light saber. () If he's willing to risk a burn, he could step in somewhat readily and cut your hose. In general, it seems like it would be hard to immobilize him long enough to sear him to death. A gruesome way of killing your opponent, to be sure.
Maybe an acetylene torch would work better?
http://www.popsci.com/sites/popsci.c...?itok=irNvfkB7
  #49  
Old 05-13-2016, 08:34 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I'm going to keep it simple, and go for a nice 6' length of inch-diameter oak closet rod. I'm sure it's not the most effective weapon overall, but it's at a nice trade-off point of reach and wieldability, and it has the tremendous advantage that I've actually trained a bit in how to fight with one.
  #50  
Old 05-13-2016, 09:17 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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That, I think, is the key. Without some training or practice, just about anything you pick is going to be problematic. A weapon you know how to use is better than a "better" one you don't.
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