I’ve been in my parents’ house in my hometown since my stepfather passed away last Friday, and I’ll be here until his funeral. They’d been preparing this house to sell, so most of the luxuries have already been stripped: radios, TVs, internet, and beds (candles and canned food are still intact! Score!). Yes, the beds are gone – and if I were a good wastelander, I’d use this as an opportunity to practice sleeping on the floor, curled up in the fetal position and covered in a shower curtain. Then again, who says I wouldn’t have scavenged this air-mattress anyway?
So, I’m stealing an unsecured one-bar wifi signal from… who knows where… and trying to motivate myself to work on the site, but I keep getting distracted by pick up games of Scrabble that need winning and strangers arriving with strange and calorie-laden meat dishes that need consuming – and I feel I must do my part.
At one point yesterday, I ventured out into the dried out husk of the city I once called home and tried to find something to do. I was unsuccessful – I did, however, come across a poorly located (and even more poorly stocked) “knife shop” that dealt exclusively in only the most brittle, gaudy, and impractical blades from distant, exotic locales like Pakistan and China! I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear that they were going out of business and were liquidating their remaining stock for next to nothing.
I decided I needed a project for the afternoon, and bought the only blade I thought I could resurrect – an eighth-inch thick rectangle of steel with one sharp edge. Crude, but effective.
It was spray painted black, and the handle was wrapped in that same sparkly shoestring that comes on little kids’ plastic ninja swords. Has that shit ever been cool? My theory is that the shoe companies were so inundated with it in the 90s that they sold it all for pennies when they realized no one liked it, and the poor bastards in China and Pakistan that bought it all are still trying to use up their stock and send it BACK to us.
Either way, I thought it resembled the lawnmower-blade machetes carried by the raiders in Fallout: New Vegas, so I set out to create what I would imagine a post-apocalyptic raider’s homespun chopping weapon might look like. I stripped the sparkly shoestring off the handle, and the black plastic ribbon layer underneath that, and out fell the two loose pinewood slats that gave the full-tang handle its bulk. I didn’t have any of my tools here, and could only use what my mom happened to have around the house, which ended up being its own little scavenging adventure.
There were countless bottles of glue, but ALL OF THEM were dried absolutely solid, save for one bottle of Gorilla Glue. I affixed the wood slats to the frame with it, and then spray painted over the black with the remnants of a can of copper colored Rustoleum. My brother happened to have brought a shank of paracord with him for… no real reason (I’ve trained them well). He donated it to the cause, so I cord wrapped the handle (I know, no surprise there). I clumsily attacked it with some sandpaper to make it appear rusted and distressed, and then put a RETARDEDLY sharp edge on it with the honing rod in my mom’s kitchen knife block.
Behold, wastelanders, the RAIDER CHOPPER – the newest addition to THE VAULT, and the product of my own personal coping strategy. Win yours today!