Once a Fencer, Always a Fencing Alum


I got up especially early Saturday morning in adrenaline and ran to West campus. Not to the Richardson Stadium, but to the gym in Duncan McArthur. It was Alumni Fencing Event day! That means, any fencer in Queen’s history could be there. I was gonna see a lot of good skills, a lot of great bouts, a lot of pain but a lot of fun!
I got to West at 9 o’clock sharp, but no one was there. I figured that I would grab breakfast first. Then the stupid interior doors to the caf wouldn’t open – like every other weekend. So I had to go outside to get around to the other side of the building.
I headed out, but guess what I see! A beautiful field and a group of people with swords in their hands. Fencers! I was so happy to find them in such good spirit – that is, they dressed up in fancy and authentic doublets! This must be a theme, how nice! I hurried over to make them notice.
“Are you alumni fencers?”
“Alumni? Perchance. We were students once many years ago.” They looked at each other smilingly in nostalgia.
I was delighted to see alumni! “Are we fencing here? Would you like to fence?” I asked without a pause. “May I borrow a blade?”
One of them handed me an epee, and another stood across from me in salute. “Don’t we need masks?” I asked. “The club’s rule says we can’t fence without a mask. That would be unsafe.”
“Tis not a matter of safety, but honour! Hesitate not, my good fellow.”
“Alright.” Alumni are always right because they are senior, right?
With an “Allez” I engaged my opponent. Quickly he got a hit by picking off my arm. “Ouch!” I yelled. That was more painful than usual. I looked down, expecting a bruise, but instead I saw a stream of blood rushing out of my wound!
“What’s this?! I’d like to stop now.” I panicked, asking for first-aid. But everyone just stood around and watched.
“Be thou a coward now?” asked my opponent. “Come again! It is not the end ‘til one of us fall.” He raised his epee in a challenge. So I had to pick up my epee again and fight him. After a few more exchanges, I was bathed in blood. I struggled to stand, but fell eventually. In my last breath, I had only one question in mind: “could I ask…what year…is this…?”
“Why, ‘tis 1785. Gentlemen, this fellow here is conquered. Let us away.”
What a homecoming! Once a fencer, always a fencer in Queen’s history.