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Taking Cheap Shots

, , , , , , | Learning | November 28, 2017

(I am part of a club fencing team at my college, and we are usually very laid back about adult language and jokes, but we have gone to a practice that also includes kids as young as eight, so we are all trying to watch our mouths. We are running a drill in which we try to score points in specific places on the opponent’s body. I am fencing with the assistant coach.)

Coach: “Okay, I still need to get my arm shots and leg shot. Already got my body shots.”

(I smirk but manage not to make the obvious joke, mindful of the twelve-year-old three feet away. Later in the same fight, I push him to the end of the strip, but hesitate in going much further because of a wall right behind him, and he scores the touch on me.)

Me: “Yeah, I should have just kept going on that, but I didn’t want to knock you into the bookcase.”

Coach: “Wouldn’t have been the first time I got pushed into a wall.”

(Later, after a lot of the younger fencers have gone, the other college fencers join us in a corner to chat.)

Me: “Man, it is so weird not being able to swear after a point. And I am holding myself back from some of the jokes I want to make.”

Coach: *laughs* Yeah, I realized after I made the wall joke that it might have been a bit much.”

Me: “I think that one might have gone over their heads. But I was talking about the body shots. I had to bite my tongue on that one.”

(He laughs, but another fencer looks confused.)

Fencer #1: “Body shots? Yeah, he hit you in the chest; that was a body shot.”

Me: “No, but it sounded like he had body shots.”

Fencer #1: “What?”

Coach: *sighs a little and turns his back to the room of kids to face her* “Yes, but a body shot is also when someone pours a shot of alcohol down someone’s chest and then you lick it off them as it drips down.”

Fencer #1: *still very confused* “But… that’s not what we were doing.”

Coach: “Well, yes, but— Oh, never mind.”

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