Do you get the banana sketch? – Chap. 5, Act 3, Strip 20

And now you know the secret behind all of these “I beat (large number of) enemies armed only with my knife” claims – the secret lies in defining the rifle as an attachement to the bayonet, instead of the other way round. That’s also the only legitimate reason to tape a knife to a selp-propelled artillery piece – it has admittedly no tactical value, but it makes the later tale-telling much more interesting. Not only can you claim a much higher number of enemies, you can also claim a much larger range than with a typical knife attack.

The Professor is more concerned with the practical aspects, of course, and less with the tale-telling. Which doesn’t mean that he isn’t planning to add the story about how he killed legendary Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen with a knife to his repertoire of tall (or at least tallish) tales – but that’ll come later.

If it comes at all, since it looks like “Snuka” is on top of the thing. She knows she’s got to stop the Professor, but she also knows she has to make it look like an accident. The banana peel is a classic choice for such an occasion. Not only can it make nearly anything look like an accident, if you know your stuff, you can make nearly anything look like a funny accident. That’s a considerable boon, for people in the thrall of delicious Schadenfreude are paying a lot less attention to context. Not that the Professor has been able to spot the obvious when it became obvious the first time, but you never know – the more distracted he is, the better.

The drawback of the banana thing is the indignity of it all, of course, but what can you do. If you’re below average size, outnumbered two-to-one and stuck up a mountain at least six times higher than Silhouette mountain in a pink ninja outfit, you’ve got to play the hand that isn’t the army you want, but the known unknown that you were born like.

More on Monday.

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