The Metal Edge

The mother responsible for her son’s developing a near crippling neck condition that required corrective surgery at age two, called Torticollis (where the neck muscles contract, causing the head to twist to one side, as a result of too much newborn plopping time alone in the crib), summoned the gall to ask her son, who’s about to turn 50 years old in his new Victorian mansion home outside of Saratoga, NY, lounging on a monied polo lounge green Adirondack chair overlooking Lake George, “Why would you push your son into fencing?”

            The Torticollis Survivor Son says, “Because the sport of fencing needs a metal edge. And your grandson, ‘Headbangers Baller’, is just the kid to do it. Plus, Christian Knights slayed the Jews and Muslims for centuries because they didn’t wear crosses around their necks.

            “So, it’s time to rock those Limey bastards on their ass like they just got hit by an American made twister from Kansas City in the shape of Charlie Parker, with the colossus wind power to match.  

            “Bruce Dickenson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden, is a championship fencer, yet his nerdy-hued Dungeons and Dragons stylings are no match more for my son’s budding Headbanger Baller Edge.

            “I want my son to be the most famous American fencer who ever lived, who graces the cover of Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated all at the same time. I envision my son becoming the dreamy child offshoot of John Belushi, Charles Bukowski, and Slash, all wrapped into one.

            “He’ll shred every fencer record to pieces and will tear more than his share of hymens in the process. Assuming he identifies with highly addictive heterosexuality puss-plowing play.

            “Force=Mass x Acceleration and becoming a world class championship shredder will make my son an indomitable force within the business world when he opens his own hair metal shredder fencing line (which will be recession-proof, because we’re all going to be stuck wearing nappies on our face in a post-COVID universe gone wild ’till our last dying breaths, anyway).”

            The Torticollis Survivor Son adds, “Fencing will be more popular in the US than basketball and baseball combined after Headbanger Baller Kornbluth adds windmill celebration dances with his fencing sword, throwing all that old-school fencing decorum bullshit out the window.

            “Plus, he’ll be loaded from commercial endorsements from the Guitar Store, Bose, Spandex R Us, and you name it, so he could afford to pay any fines for inappropriate, hotdogging behavior whenever the flamboyant showboating moods strikes again.  

            “Dana White will be inspired to go into the fencing business and make Headbanger Baller Kornbluth the face behind his new billion-dollar behemoth franchise, transforming Octagon rings into enormous steel cage fencing matches instead.            “Instead of having Michael Buffer in a tux before fencing matches, booming “Let’s get ready to rumble,” Dana White will find the new Cherry Pie girl to announce, “Let the shredding begin” while ‘Kickstart My Heart’ by Motely Crue blares on the state-of-the-art surroundsound speaker system that gives the steel cage tremors of impending despair.

            “I’d push my son into becoming a WWE Wrestler for a living, yet there will never be another Andrew the Giant; nor is he third-generation wrestling royalty like the Rock, nor has a Canadian hockey player dad like Chris Jericho.

            “So, why not become a big fish in far smaller pond, while making the most humongous splash possible?

            “He also plays with collection of lightsabers now, more than he does with his cherished wrestling figures, and he owns the original rubber dog toy-size Hulk Hogan and Ricky The Dragon Steamboat (among many others the with vintage WWF wrestling ring I got off Ebay, to match).        “Kayne West is worth six billion, mostly from his fashion line of sneakers that sell for one grand and upwards; yet there’s no limited, in-demand fashion line for the flamboyant hair metal shredder in us all.

            “I envision a flashing middle F-You finger logo that sports the inscription of a Kosher Chalef butcher knife on it that says, “Live To Shred,” to slap on his own line of silver spaceman sneakers and ripped jeans and shorts (obviously in every color imaginable except Slayer Reign In Blood Red).  

            “He’ll have his own line of studded belts, necklaces, metal cowboy hats, and tank tops to show off to his legions of groupies and adoring young male fans how his own line of core exercise workout videos involving jumping off box jumps through rings of fire as ‘Moth Into Flame’ by Metallica plays at full blast is responsible for his shredded physique, once he steps into something more comfortable for post-fencing fight interviews.          “I want to feed my son’s love for speed. I want my son to maximize his inherent shredding edge like Buckethead, Randy Rhodes, and Steve Vai for love-of-God, kickass metal guitar solos and for his metal-loving American Dad, who pushed him to shred for bread.

            “On a less poetic, baser level, I want my son to be an all-American athlete who gets a fencing scholarship for being the most rollicking, flamboyant, fencing front man of all time while making the sport less overtly nerdy in the process.    “I want him to be loved and feared like Sonny in the Bronx Tale’s mom. I want colleges to recruit him in junior high for fencing scholarships so he can become a Headbanger Baller in life, instead of being a desperate flailing hounder. That’s why I’m pushing my son into fencing, Mom.”

            Mom says, “Your father thinks a team sport would be better for our grandson; like football, for instance.

            The Torticollis Survivor Son says, “We’ll be sticking with Nerf football in yard, Ma. I also don’t like to take advice from fake news hippies like Dad, Mom—no offense. You’ve lived in Arizona for nine years and haven’t visited the Grand Canyon once, yet. Case closed.

            “AlsoDad pushing eventual Pee Wee Football on his grandson is another example of him trying to make me bow down to his authoritative opinion, which makes me think he’s the one with brain trauma from feeding his head with too much acid at Woodstock.

            “Because, if I bowed down to this belabored, weak-ass pitch command request, I would’ve shied away from doing political material during my speech at my younger brother’s wedding, when I said to his old pal from boarding school, “Cam from Canada, make yourself at home and hit somebody so Jim Carrey can paint you as an alt-right goon on the loose in Charlottesville, with a tiki torch in hand, looking like an angry rejected extra from the Sears Catalog in ’89.

            “And that material killed at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2022, which got me the agent who got me my movie deal for Back To Hebrew School, which bought this Victorian mansion, wave runners for all three of my kids, and my speedboat, Slashing Thunder.”

            Mom says, “Why do you hate me so much?”            Son says, “Mom, I just hated how you always tried to shred my ego to pieces and cut me down to size in my divine-powered pursuit to become a world-famous comedian author/light spreader shredder, who lives to bang out more sheets of electric-fueled comedy gold.

            “I hate your arrogance for thinking you get to tell me how to raise my kids; because they’re my kids, not yours. Especially after your lack of physical play with me as an infant resulted in my Torticollis-correcting surgery, from being left to smoosh my face into the crib out of place for serially unhealthy, prolonged periods of time.

            “I hated the way you always tried to make me feel like I was a crazy moron for trusting my instincts and for pursuing the work I was good at, which made me feel the most kickass, happy, and alive.”

            Mom says, “I still think fencing is a dumb idea. I bet they only offer two fencing scholarships a year, max.”  

            Headbanger Baller won the Olympic Gold in Fencing three times in a row, shredding every fencing record of the past. Dana White expanded his business empire to include MMA with fencing swords, now, in steel cage Octagons with no protective gear required, although Headbanger Baller preferred to show off his shredding edge in the ring, sporting various items from his billion-dollar fashion line of ripped jean shorts, tank tops, and speed metal belts with his signature middle finger logo that sported a ring with a Kosher Chalef butcher knife inscription on it that says, “Live To Shred.”

            Shredding rocks, especially when you shred perceptions of what you’re capable of achieving in this world, whether it’s through individual accomplishment or through coaching your speed-addicted seed or not. Shredders soar. Shredders fly high with the angels like ‘Three Guitar Attack’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd on Free Bird.

            Shredders makes us feel most alive, for doing the rocking out for us. Shredders inspire us to unleash our own solo edge. Shredders make us feel most alive because they put us in touch with our Sunset Strip-strutting, Headbanger Baller inside.

Michael Kornbluth

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