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February 10, 2007

Today's Quote to Athena, Made That Much More Interesting By Its Utter Lack of Context

It is thus:

"Now, I hope you understand that in fact most problems can't be solved by the judicious use of a crossbow."

Posted by john at February 10, 2007 03:10 PM

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Jon Hansen | February 10, 2007 03:19 PM

"Untrue!" cry the Balloon People.

Nathan | February 10, 2007 03:28 PM

Context is totally overrated.

Jeff Hentosz | February 10, 2007 03:29 PM

I gotta say, Hansen's on the right track — most problems actually could be, especially if the application is judicious. Now that doesn't speak to the host of other problems that may arise. But if we're looking at problems in isolation, crossbow's got it all over, say, a mace.

Dan | February 10, 2007 03:33 PM

Had it been anyone else's child, I would have said there's no way she could have said that.

Do you worry that one of these days she's going to read one of your books and just say "Ya know, Dad? I would have used bigger words if I was writing this."

John Scalzi | February 10, 2007 03:45 PM

Dan, note I said "Quote to Athena," i.e., it was me saying it.

Brad J | February 10, 2007 03:46 PM

Of course not.

That's what high explosives are for.

CaseyL | February 10, 2007 04:00 PM

What suggestions did you have for those tricky occasions when a crowbar just won't do? Lockpicks?

Lee Gray | February 10, 2007 04:17 PM

It all depends upon who is wielding the Crossbow. Take Macgyver for example.

And, you don't actually have to shoot someone with it to solve the problem.

But, the point is well taken. And humorous to boot.

Bookninja | February 10, 2007 04:19 PM

As one of my friends found out, this also applies to a home invasion by mice.

Nathan | February 10, 2007 04:25 PM

Ooooooh! Clouds.

It's really bluey.

Dan | February 10, 2007 04:30 PM

Ohhh... TO Athena.

One of these days, I will learn how to do that thing with words where you look at them and put them in your head to make sense and stuff.

The funny thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if she actually did say it to you.

Oh well... time for me to get back to those reading lessons.

Annalee Flower Horne | February 10, 2007 04:32 PM

odd fact for the day: A bolt from a 450# cross bow won't even dent a set of plate armor, but the kinetic energy transfer will liquify the internal organs of the armored person.

Just thought I'd share that.

And hey, we've gone from space to sky! Good times.

clvrmnky | February 10, 2007 04:34 PM

It's true. Crossbows are somewhat limited in their problem-solving abilities.

Now, an arbalest is a different matter altogether. I believe that arbalests are the Turing machines of human problem solving. Very few problems are so intractable that the judicious use of an arbalest cannot help.

Michelle in Colorado Springs | February 10, 2007 05:45 PM

But DAD!!!!

Brian | February 10, 2007 06:20 PM

What I want to know is where was the emphasis?

Now, I hope you understand that in FACT most problems can't be solved by the judicious use of a crossbow

is very different from

Now, I hope you understand that in fact MOST problems can't be solved by the judicious use of a crossbow

hugh57, who gots TSD | February 10, 2007 07:02 PM

Even more different is:

Now, I hope you understand that in fact most problems can't be solved by the JUDICIOUS use of a crossbow

Metal Fatigue | February 10, 2007 07:24 PM

Great! Now show her the one about "sudo make me a sandwich." That'll keep thing interesting around the house for a while.

John | February 10, 2007 07:24 PM

And even more troubling:

NOW, I hope you understand...

Metal Fatigue | February 10, 2007 07:26 PM

Things, I mean.

CaseyL | February 10, 2007 07:27 PM

Crossbow? Not crowbar, but crossbow?

One of these days, I will learn how to do that thing with words where you look at them and put them in your head to make sense and stuff.

Right there with ya, Dan.

Boyoboy, I can't even claim innocent by reason of no-coffee-yet.

Kyle Maxwell | February 10, 2007 08:48 PM

Oh, how I wish my father had imparted that bit of wisdom to me in time.

KevinQ | February 10, 2007 09:34 PM

Into the spam queue again? Man, I just can't buy a break.


John Scalzi | February 10, 2007 09:41 PM

I have no evidence of you in the spam queue, KevinQ. Send whatever you were sending again.

KevinQ | February 10, 2007 10:14 PM

Really? Because I tried posting the same thing again, and again I got this message:

Thank You for Commenting

Hi there. Your comment has been put into the moderation queue for one reason or another. It's not personal; it's to help me manage spam. I'll approve your comment when convenient, usually within a couple of hours; there is no need to re-post your comment. If you want to know more about my moderation policies, go here. Thanks! Return to the comment page


KevinQ | February 10, 2007 10:16 PM

Let me try it without the paragraph breaks:

I think I'd need to see some examples of problems that couldn't be solved by a crossbow. Parking dispute? Crossbow. Last slice of pizza? Crossbow. Cheating at poker? Crossbow. President keeps starting wars? Crossbow. Neighbor's music too loud? Crossbow. Country being invaded? Bunch of crossbows. Wife wants to you to go shopping with her? Definitely crossbow.
I think I'd need to see some counter-examples.

(For the record: Tire, pin the pizza to the table, the cards, vice-president, speaker, deterrent, your own foot.)

Riccardo | February 11, 2007 01:44 AM

Course not. A LONGbow, on the other hand...

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) | February 11, 2007 01:51 AM

Yes, Metal Fatigue, Thing is always interesting.

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) | February 11, 2007 01:55 AM

No, no, Crossbow tears Paper, Rock breaks Crossbow.

Steve Buchheit | February 11, 2007 12:48 PM

It's true that crossbows won't solve most problems. It is also true, as Brad J stated to state above, there is no personal problem which cannot be resolved by the judicial use of a pound of C4.

As Riccardo states as well, longbows are faster, have a longer range, but require more skill in usage.

Graeme St.Clair | February 11, 2007 01:38 PM

From one of Ernest Bramah's "Kai Lung" stories:

"...there few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice on a dark night."

fishbane | February 11, 2007 01:52 PM

Wow. I've been living my life the wrong way. All this time, and crossbows were not the answer. I think I need therapy.

Sally Lou Liz | February 11, 2007 02:12 PM

Bet all you guys give a reasonable impersonation of sanity when you are out and about in the real world eh? heehee

diddidit | February 11, 2007 02:33 PM

Having spent the morning playing Half-Life, I must disagree. Judicious use of the crossbow solves a LOT of problems.


Mark | February 13, 2007 11:56 PM

@Jeff Hentosz: That really depends on whether you are the type who takes a hands-off approach to problem solving or one who enjoys getting down and blood... err, dirty when solving problems. While a crossbow quickly brings issues to a point; it's not as well suited to pounding home your argument as a mace.

@Sally Lou Liz: Where would be the fun in appearing sane? Muhahahahahahaah!

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