Wednesday, February 2, 2011


A buddy of mine at work brought in a book of knots the other week. No, the book was not made of knots, rather it’s an instructional guide on how to make them. Knots, not books.

So during load times or any other period when nothing else is going on (meetings, many conversations, driving, etc), I’ve been practicing knot-making on a piece of cord that used to be the cinch on an old pair of sweatpants. So far, I’ve mastered the Alpine Loop, the Bowline, the Half-Crab, the Albatross Split, the Noose, the Klingon (both Plain and Fancy), and the Reticulating Hair.

Yes, I made some of those names up. No, I won’t tell you which ones.

NOTE: I actually already knew how to make a noose. Thing is, for the life of me I can’t remember where or how I learned it. It’s not terribly complicated knot and I remember making them when I was a ten-ish. I used to hang them from the ceiling to scare the other kids in the ward. The orderlies always got mad at me and sometimes the doctors would increase the dosage on my meds, but that never really stopped me. Good ol’ ward 12. The fun we used to have.

I’m actually starting to really enjoy the knot-making. They’re really just little puzzles. Once you figure out how the knot works, you can see how the loops connect and how you could (hypothetically speaking) use it to strangle a werewolf. Or just some random hairy person.

However, knot-making is a rather useless skill for me, as I rarely venture outside and the computer game industry is not one where you have to secure things with rope on a regular basis. It would be so much cooler if it did.

You’d be at your desk, busily typing away, and suddenly your boss would run into the area and yell ‘We’ve got worm sign! Batten down the monitors and grab your harpoons!”

We’d all leap to our feet (Metaphorically. Computer gaming types don’t generally move quickly) and secure our equipment with a series of intricate knots, then don our slickers and protective eyewear while singing a rousing sea-chanty. Something like ‘yo ho ho and a bottle of Dew!’

And then we’d saddle our trusty war-yaks and go throw harpoons at the giant worms that were trying to eat our mouse pads.

That would be so cool.

And yes, the doctor said I was fine and didn’t need my meds anymore. The fact that he woke up in a room full of nooses had nothing to do with it.



Insectoid said...

Okay, I figured out how to leave a comment here. ;)

This was the funniest thing I read all last week! XD

Thanks for activating my forum thingie. I can see I'll fit right in with the regular commenters there... :)


Stormhawk said...

There are two main schools of artwork of rope and knot tying. The western one is called "Marlinspike", was mainly used by bored sailors, and was used on things, as a stand alone art piece, or as something used on the ship (Like a monkey's fist). Books on marlinspike are quite easy to find and fun to work with when you are bored.

The other is more sexual in nature and is called Shibari. It is used on people, it is rope restraint as an artform, and has it's origins in a martial art called Hoju-jistu (most likely misspelled). If you have ever seen either someone tied in anime or seen hentai, you've most likely seen examples of it. So, which are you playing with?


Jason Janicki said...

Thanks, Insectoid! Sorry it took so long to activate. We had to make sure you were real :)

Marlinspike, Stormhawk :) And now, to put on my nerd-cap: from what I've read, the original use of shibari was to teach bushi (samurai) how to effectively tie up prisoners on the battlefield.

How it started to get used for 'other things' is a mystery :)