finger points to chivalry
Date Published to Web: 10/24/2006
here I thought chivalry was dead.
I was convinced that silver clad knights no longer rode glistening
steeds in the early morning hours, intent on crossing lances with
opponents for glory, honor, and in those rare instances, the hand
of a lovely maiden.
Winning honor and prestige, and the loving admiration of your peers
is as simple pointing a finger -- literally.
Knave! I speaking of the chivalrous world of Finger Jousting. Where
men (and women) take Mr. Pointer and thrust, parry, bob and weave
in an attempt to put their index finger on the person of their opponent.
That's right, you heard me -- finger jousting!
Where a man (or woman's) honor can be won or lost, depending on
one's ability to avoid sprains and dislocations, just like in the
days when old England ruled the European continent.
Don't believe me? Perhaps you've never visited www.fingerjoust.com,
the self-proclaimed "Home of the World Finger Jousting Federation."
The WFJF is not some fly-by-night operation, boasting a club structure
and sponsoring "Majiggers" or tournaments across the land.
While it would be fun to imagine these modern day knights riding
up to the mall on strong horses, followed by squires and handmaidens,
VW Bugs, Camry's and other four-wheeled transport will have to do.
It's the image that's important here, folks.
What is finger jousting you ask? You may as well ask why night turns
to day. It's all so simple, so deliciously simple.
Let the website provide illumination.
Finger jousting is a sport where two consenting players square off
in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right)
index finger before the opposing player can. The competitors must
keep their right hands locked in an arm wrestling fashion and not
use their legs or latent (left) arm in an offensive manner. The
competitors are known as jousters, and the act of touching the other
person's body with the index finger is known as lancing. A player
can lance anywhere except the lancing (right) arm.
Jousting, lancing, honor, valor...this is a sport I can take to
my bosom and relish. Already, you can feel the allure of finger
jousting, can't you.
It's kind of like in the final Star Wars (No. 6) movie, where the
emperor is sitting on his rotating chair announcing to Luke Skywalker
that his "pitiful rebellion" is about to be crushed. Then
he strokes Luke's light saber and in a gravelly, evil voice says..."You
want this, don't you?"
Finger jousting, the light saber of today.
Where did it come from, you inquire further?
The origin of finger jousting is clouded under mystery. Some historians
believe that the sport was founded by the ancient Israelites whom
referred to it as finger spearing. The texts that support this theory
are contained in the Book of Phalanges, an apocryphal manuscript
that was almost included in the Bible at Nicaea. This origin theory
is referred to as the pseudo history. All historians, however, can
agree that finger jousting took on its modern form during the 1970s.
The biggest event in the modern history of finger jousting was our
organization's founding on August 1, 2005.
These are the words of one Julian R. Gluck, founder of the WFJF
and current holder of the highest title at that august body, Lord
of the Joust. Mr. Gluck is a visionary, a young man who sees what
can be, and delivers. I'd like to say finger jousting is the fastest
growing pseudo-sport in the United States and Bolivia, but that
wouldn't be true. In fact, I can't say much about this endeavor
outside of what I've read on the website.
But I can say I'm impressed that they are developing what they call
a "hierarchy" to run the WFJF, have a code of conduct
for the start of matches (including the "man hug"), during
the matches and after the matches. Avoid disquieting surrounding
bystanders and inanimate objects while leisure jousting. Do not
engage in finger jousting matches at inappropriate settings or during
It's a sport that holds its competitors accountable, holds them
to a knightly standard that we've all lost track of in this day
and age of instant gratification.
I have emailed Mr. Gluck and inquired when and where a tourney will
be held in Oregon. I fully intend to take Mrs. Baker, our tents,
servants, squires, smithy, and other castle standards to this tournament.
They will sit beneath my banner and wait for my name to be called.
At that point, with fingernail trimmed to the acceptable level,
I will offer the ceremonial man-hug to my opponent, address him
(or her) with my steely glaze, and prepare to cross lances on the
field of honor.
Chivalry isn't dead, my friends, and my hope is that it's coming
to a mall near all of us soon.