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Naginata and Jumble Sales

by Kat Beyer

"As for the whole question of women fightin’, Major, I told ‘em I wouldn’t have it in my regiment. Ridiculous bringin’ up the whole question in the first place. Take this new school on Skye—" said Captain Markby to Major Daneham.

"Old school, sir. Reopened after two thousand years, sir,” put in Lieutenant Jennings.

"Thank you, Jennings. I believe I was speaking to the Major?"

"Sorry, sir."

"No, do go on, Lieutenant. I hadn't heard that they had finally got funding," said Major Daneham.

"They didn't, sir."

"Beg pardon?"

"They didn't, sir. They raised it themselves."

"What, through jumble sales and coffee mornings?" joked the Major.

"Something like that, sir. Over fifteen hundred of them, in three years. They had bake sales, as well. Got rather famous for something called the Amazon Roll, actually."

"Good heavens. Organized bunch of—ladies, what?"

"Yes, sir. I believe they gave weapons demonstrations as well."

"Marksmanship, that sort of thing?"

"Yes, sir. And weapons of historical interest, such as the naginata, and the claymore, sir."

"Really?" said the Major, and wished he hadn't, because Lieutenant Jennings' eyes had lit up, and Major Daneham could tell he was about to start jabbering about weaponry. The Captain came to the rescue accidentally.

"Yes, yes, yes, but the point is, the point is!—I'm sure you'll call me an old-fashioned man, but whether you like the numbers or not, got to face ‘em. When some dashed starburst has done for the computers and you're out there in the field, face-to-face with the enemy and half your armor blown off, give me a man's superior strength any day. Women, bless ‘em, well—damme it, I'm a traditionalist. ‘Her Place is in Space’ and all that. I mean to say, when I want a colony on Mars, nobody better for it than a lady! Taught my own daughter how to shoot so she could go to the Moon and serve in the police, didn't I? And as for rocket design—! But when some dashed chap is telling me I can’t have Australia back, give me a regiment of men, thank you very much."

Major Daneham noticed with relief that it was five o'clock and high time for him to pick up his wife from tae kwon do. He walked the Lieutenant out with the coffee cups, saying, "Can't change old habits all in one go, you know."


The rocket design comment was a nice touch. what's next? Women arguing that men aren't fit 4 combat? No, that's been done.

Posted by: David | February 17, 2009 1:07 PM

Loved this. I hope we'll hear from the "ladies" at some point. Any chance of it?

Posted by: Luc Reid | February 17, 2009 3:54 PM

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