By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
Jedi Nick by RU Nick
Sometimes things happen and you can’t believe they are really going down. You wonder if you’re on the set of some game show where at the end of you overreacting, the panels come down and everyone laughs at you, then Ryan Seacrest or some other troglodyte pops out and goes, “Hey, you’re on the new MTV show F*ck with Nick until he loses his Shit!”
This was one of those times.
No shit, there I was: the summer of 1999. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace had just come out a few months prior and I had just graduated from Ranger School and was now enjoying my much needed post-suckfest leave before I headed off to my first unit as a 2LT. I hadn’t really been home for any period of time in the last five years having spent four of them locked in the seclusion and wool-lined misery of West Point and the last year graduating from the 237 schools that infantry officers have to go through before they can get their first platoon. I was actually pretty excited to see some of my buddies from high school and decompress.
One of these friends, we’ll call him Qui-jon, or QJ for short, called me up the first day I was back and asked if I wanted to go to a sweet party. Of course, just like every other time anyone has ever asked me this question, I said yes.
Visions of kegs, girls, tomfoolery and hijinks swirled in my freshly minted Ranger head. It was going to be a great time. The party was out in the country, which generally meant it could be louder and more boisterous and no one would give a shit, so all the better.
QJ picked me up and we drove for a small eternity through trees and darkness until we finally arrived at what seemed like a party teeming with life. There was a mid-sized house alongside a barn. Cars filled the field and I could see people everywhere. QJ had outdone himself! I hopped out of the car fired up to have a good time, ignoring the pain in my back from carrying a ruck for 2.5 months and started marching towards my Ranger Objective.
As I got closer to the heart of the party at the barn, however, I felt a disturbance in my personal force. There were a whole lot of dudes here…actually almost all dudes…and many of them were dressed up funny. As I peered closer, I noticed that every one of them, to a man, had a…I can’t believe I am going to say this…light saber.
A. Mother. Fucking. Light. Saber.
I hadn’t been this floored since I found out Darth Vader was Luke’s father. A Star Wars party brought me to, Qui-Jon had. And this wasn’t just a “party”. These guys were deadly serious. Each light saber was different, representing the individual “Jedi’s” personal preferences. Some guys were Sith Lords. Others were righteous Jedi. The light sabers were made of PVC pipe wrapped with a foam exterior and then wrapped again in a special glimmering tape to replicate the blue, green, orange, and red flavors of molten laser from the movie. If the situation wasn’t so catastrophically sad, I would have been very impressed with the construction, but as it stood, I just wanted to get the fuck out of here…NOW. That desire got even stronger when I realized this wasn’t just a party – these dudes were competing in a light saber tournament! I stared in astonishment as loser after pathetic loser lined up to face each other, spinning their little plastic sticks around as if they were seriously fighting for the freedom of the universe. I threw up a little in my mouth.
Me: QJ, let’s get out of here. Let’s go hit a bar or something.
QJ: But Nick, you love Star Wars. You’ll love it man. Give it a shot!
Me: Dude, I love the original Star Wars movies from my childhood. I don’t need to be dressed like a droid to become sexually aroused. There’s a big fucking difference. Let’s get the fuck out of here.
QJ: Come on man, you need to compete. I know you just finished that Ranger shit, so I’m sure you’ve had tons of training.
Me: Oh yeah, dude. We learn this in the Dagobah Phase of Ranger School. Seriously man, I’m gonna start walking. I’m not doing this shit.
QJ(hurt): Dude, come on man. You can use one of my light sabers. I brought three.
Oh my God, I realized. QJ, my longtime friend, was one of them. I had to save him from this and fast.
Me: QJ, I am not going to compete. We need to get out of here right now dude. If you’ve ever trusted me on anything in your life, trust me on this.
Douchey McDoucherston: Sounds like you’re scared to fight!
I look over to see a guy wearing brown pajamas or something. He has a brown cloak on and a hood up. I wish I was making this up. Even through his loose-fitting garments, you could see his complete lack of physique.
Me (ignoring him): QJ, let’s get out of here man. Please.
Douchey McDoucherston: Yeah, you should leave. We wouldn’t want you to get hurt.
Me: What did you just say?
Douchey McDoucherston: We wouldn’t want you to get hurt. Jedi fights are not for the weak of heart.
I know better than this. I really do. This is Psychology 101. I should be the bigger man.
Me: Give me the fucking light saber.
QJ: Yeah! Let’s go Nick! (drops to a whisper) Be careful man, he’s good.
I am given a light saber. I am furious at the world. I am pissed at QJ for bringing me here. I am pissed at these asshats for living in this fantasy world. I’m pissed at myself for giving in to his taunts. Most of all, though, I’m pissed that I haven’t eaten in like an hour.
They explain the rules. They are entirely too complex. I am staring my opponent down. He will not make eye contact. Rage is building inside me. I’ve seen about five matches already and these guys dance around as if they are skilled athletes. I have no interest in that.
The referee says go and I come at this kid like a fucking spider monkey hopped up on PCP. He didn’t know what hit him…wait, actually he did – it was my freakin’ light saber drilling him across the chest, face and back in rapid succession as the ref pulled me off of him. There’s point one in the best out of three, endeavor. He resets us and the kid makes some comment about my needing to control my anger or I’ll end up a Sith Lord. I literally want him dead. The ref told us to go again and I hit him with everything I could across the neck and face and snapped the light saber in half, leaving him with a giant red mark for the rest of the night.
The geekdom looked at me like I was an alien creature. I thought I was done at that point, having proven my point and been the first guy ever to snap a light saber in half on someone else, but I was wrong. Apparently, I had to be taught a lesson, and that lesson was that I could kick all of their asses in gay ass light saber fighting.
All the rage built up in 2.5 months of Ranger School (and let’s not even talk about pre-Ranger) was unleashed on these poor unsuspecting fools. For the better part of an hour, I took on all challengers. I broke one dude’s nose, two of another dude’s fingers, and two more light sabers in the process.
Finally, I was up against some dude that was supposed to be the “best” light saber fighter. He had a double-sided Darth Maul light saber. I bludgeoned him badly for the first point. In the second round, I repeated my beat down, pummeling him so hard that he fell to the ground. The ref, however, claimed that he had brushed my arm with his light saber before I crushed him with mine, and he awarded him the next point. The crowd was happy to hear this news. I might still be taught my lesson.
As the third and final round began, I hurled my light saber at him and hit him in the throat, dropping him to his knees gasping for air.
Ref: I’m not sure that’s fair!
Me: Didn’t Darth Vader throw his light saber and cut the staircase Luke was on and knock him to the ground?
Ref: Well, yes.
Me: Wouldn’t a magma hot laser hitting you in the throat kill you?
Me: Well, then fuck off, and may the force be with you.
Fuck with the wrong Infantryman, they did.