Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Tie a "Necktie"

As I was searching through my book case the other day I caught another book I hadn't looked at in years. It was called "The Handbook for Boys", the 1957 edition. It was actually the Boy Scout Manual. and aside from the crap about being brave, clean and reverent, it has a ton of practical information on building campfires, field cooking, setting up animal traps, keeping warm, etc. for the teenage outdoorsman.

Yes, I was in the Boy Scouts for about a year when I was 12, and there is even a photo of me in my Junior High yearbook wearing a dumb scout uniform and looking stupid. I didn't last long in Scouts, what with all the marching and crap and the quasi-Nazi-Hitler-Youth aspects to it, but I did manage to hold on to the book on the chance that it would stand me in good stead some day.

There's a great section on how tie various knots, such as a bowline and a bowline on a bight, a clove hitch, a half-hitch, etc., but one thing it did not show you how to tie was the one thing you wanted:  A hangman's noose. My friends and I tried it, with varying degrees of success, but as you can see here (from a different source, of course), it's quite simple:

The only thing you had to remember was not to put 13 loops in it -- that was against the law (or so we believed). But once we wrapped it up with 12 or 14 loops, we were ready to mete out some well-placed amateur justice, should the occasion present itself, even with our slipshod tied-in-ignorance granny knots pretending to be a noose.

As you might have guessed, the situation never came up. There was only one black guy in my class, and he would not have taken kindly to being the honoree at a necktie party. Plus he was way bigger than the rest of us...

1 Comment:

the yellow fringe said...

I remember when I was in grade school and Kruschev visited Nixon and made the remark the boy scouts were a kind of proto military group like the Hitler youth. I already had a belly full of a couple smart ass boy scouts in my class, as far as I was concerned he wasn't far off the mark. I didn't understand all the political aspects of what he had said, but looking at those two assholes I knew enough to understand he was insulting them, and that made for a bit of fun.