Why am I in a full-body chainmail suit? Because eight months ago you made fun of my robust and officially authenticated collection of medieval artifacts. Now it's time to pay the minstrel.

Look at my bulbous codpiece! That right there was smelted in the fires of my own personal kiln. So yea, this is serious.

What you may not realize is that under this immaculately restored armor lies a soft, gentle soul whose childhood love of swords became an adulthood of arguing with my spouse about turning our foyer into the showroom of my medieval cutlery collection. Also, believe it or not, medieval cutlery consists of an array of belt-laden daggers instead of the whole knife, fork, and spoon scenario we’re all so familiar with today. And that right there is an aside most normal people find fascinating and want to know more about, often responding with “I find that fascinating tell me more about that.”

Which I do. At great length.

Which brings us to 248 days ago when you insulted my relics. I went straight home and loaded my detail-perfect model horse and buggy with an assortment of lumber, an anvil, a kiln, a stache of hot-burning birch wood for the kiln, a bevy of raw metals, and the most comprehensive set of medieval tools ever assembled in Tacoma, Washington.

The next day you filled the tank of your 2008 Camry for $5.32 a gallon then came to the office. Meanwhile, my horse-drawn carriage carted my supplies to the office parking lot with zero petrol required. You see the only costs to my transportation are carrots and apples for the mares, a stable stocked with hay and feed, five acres of grassland, a small inn to house the stable boys who bathe and exercise the horses, and an annual retainer for a specialized equine veterinarian.

As you went about your day, I got to work in the parking lot arranging the wooden beams while my carriage mares grazed the lush slopes of the I-405 sound barrier.

And so it went for eight long months. Hammering, forge blowing, desperately seeking grassland because sound barrier slopes are no place for full-grown horses, explaining myself to my wife and children, being informed my bank accounts were criminally overdrawn, hearing that I should contact a divorce attorney… Sure I could have banged this out in half a day with a nail gun. But I honor the methods of the 1210s, from my handmade nails, vintage gimlet augers, and hydration well of untreated runoff water, to my dysentery and what’s blossoming into a concerning case of leprosy.

It’s important you know I never once in the dead of night questioned dedicating my life to pointless artifacts from the lowest period in human history.

Now, look out the window and witness the fruit of my labor. The product of every medieval tool I own. A hand-built, fully erect, completely functional 48-foot medieval trebuchet loaded with your Toyota Camry and pointed straight in your general area.

I made that with my own hands. The same hands now sheathed in restored metal dueling gloves. God, I love these metal dueling gloves. Sure they move like a 92-year-old arthritic but the unlubricated joints are just enough to make a circular, cranking motion with one hand while the other raises a middle finger like a draw bridge from castle “Fuck You.”

Now, on my mark, the stable boys will release the counterweight unless you acknowledge how cool and impressive my trebuchet is. And that you wish you had the era-accurate tools, historical expertise, and sheer force of will to make one of your own. And that you hope your wife never sees me, a real man, standing next to one that he made all by himself no matter what it has cost him both personally and professionally. And that you are jealous of it.