“First Blood”

Peter Nadel

It was Tallaght. It was lunch. It was magical.

Zach Oscar (Ireland 3) sat next to me, while speaking to a Tallaght native, endowed with such qualities as to be interested in what he had to say. She seemed to be quite impressed by Oscar’s afterschool career as a fencer. I, on the other hand, was in fact fairly offended. I had been on the team one year less than Zach and achieved a similar level as him.

I plugged my ears.

I heard, through the fog of sound emitting from the tables around me, misinformation.

 Zach began to describe the multifaceted sport of fencing to this willing Irish aboriginal. First explaining its three pronged structure of the game, he started with epee. “The word ‘Epee’ comes from the French for ‘first blood’” My head sprang up like a jack-in-the-box, a French one, I suppose. “Epee” comes naturally from the French word for “sword.”

My anger was evident.

I corrected him. Argument ensued. Such is life. And intellectual justice was served.