Fencing class was fun last

Fencing class was fun last night: once again, I had Szilvia Gyore all to myself again. Spent the night practicing half-retreats, then sudden lunges; parries, then sudden lunges. All around me, teenagers were practicing the same moves, but with what seemed like steel springs in their legs. Me, I should have a dump truck buzzer announcing that I’m going to lunge.

Disadvantage of a loaner fencing mask: sweat was running down my face, bitter from the absorbed perspiration of many other users that had soaked into the headband. Yee-UCK!

I then went home and watched the 1973 Three Musketeers for the first time. The screenplay was written by George Macdonald Fraser, the author of the Flashman books.

Fraser excels at packing in odd historical details — there are Mohawk indians lounging around the Duke of Buckingham’s mirrored study, Louis XIII plays chess at Versailles using dressed-up dogs for pieces, and on and on. Knowing Fraser, this stuff all actually happened. Plus, there’s lots of Rollicking Bawdiness and plenty of goofy humor. Spike Milligan, from the Goon Show, plays a cuckolded inkeeper. Charlton Heston chews the scenery. It’s awesome: the font and wellspring of bawdy seventies historical romps!

Plus, Oliver Reed as Athos is a sweaty, lumbering pillock of a fighter who still manages to kick a lot of ass, so I felt better about my own emerging sweaty, lumbering, pillock-y fighting style. Though I’ll skip the floppy velvet hat.

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