First cousin to the bludgeon, the billy-club, the truncheon, the brickbat, and the bo staff, the cluestick is distinguished from these by the intent behind it: it imparts not only a drubbing but also an object lesson. If you as an aspiring exponent of dirty deeds do not already own a cluestick, that is a sign that you are badly in need of one, despite the continued difficulty that you will doubtless encounter in obtaining one from your ordinary villainous places of commerce. It is expected that a young apprentice villain will spend some effort crafting his own cluestick as a sort of proof of his or her own level of seriousness as to their chosen trade, and the level of ingenuity that the more ambitious of these efforts is something to behold.
- Select a material and style. The earliest cluesticks were made of simple wood in the form of tree boughs, often with very little shaping of their dimensions to suit the wielder. Soon, however, it was recognized how much of an improvement it would be to incorporate such features as a resilient grip, metal spikes, optimized mass distribution, and advanced composite materials to produce today's top-of-the-line models. Some other popular materials besides Douglas fir include saguaro limbs, high carbon steel, alabaster, and human bone. If you plan to use your cluestick on a regular basis, it may pay to spend some time beforehand to determine what your physical endowments and your budget will support so that you are less likely to regret your selection in the long run.
- Establish the dimensions. The traditional sizing methods dictated a length of 75% of one's arm length, a smooth taper, and a total weight between 5% and 10% of one's body weight. There are elaborate calculators available nowadays which will come up with all the important figures given a particular design to eke the greatest performance out of the implement. In between, of course, one can choose to adopt an iterative approach where you add or subtract increments from the cluestick both according to your experience and owing to battle scars.
- Fabrication. After you rough out the blank using hand tools, power tools, or mental tools, finish the surface with protective coatings, attach studs or cutting surfaces as desired, wrap and seal the grip, then it is time to check the balance, adding weights or hollowing out the inside (perhaps filling the space with cork) until the cluestick is in proper balance.
- Customization. If you intend your cluestick to impress a written message when it is wielded, remember that you must incise or raise up the words in reverse on the surface for them to be readable afterwards. Many villains dislike the appearance of a brand-new cluestick and will distress the surface either with tools or by working it carefully on a test victim. Those who are prone to having it fly from their grasp may wish to attach a thong to the grip end; a few individuals balance it out with a thong at the other end as well.
- Practice. The most important word of advice when it comes to wielding the cluestick is that of mindfulness. Once you have grown accustomed to having one by your side, you will begin to identify those circumstances where it might be used to worthy effect and act upon those opportunities. Organized sparring practice of the sort which is emphasized for other weapons is not mandated for this one, as it is rarely the case that one will employ it on any but a helpless target, much less someone who has a cluestick of their own.
Strokes of genius
- Workouts. Fifteen to twenty minutes of upper-arm, back, and chest workouts two or three times a week will usually suffice even if the cluestick sees rather heavy use.
- The follow-through. Applying the cluestick without proper attention to the follow-through is likely to lead to drastically degraded results, not to mention the possibility of injury. Visiualize a target just on the other side of your victim and imagine stroking smoothly through to that point in a single fluid motion punctuated by screams.
Precious and needful
- Flexion. A stick which is too whippy will generally give dissatisfying results. This is why green willow wood and carbon fibre tubes are considered to be unsuitable for cluesticks.
- Unsuitable mass ratios. If your cluestick is too light or too heavy it will lead to a weak, awkward bow. In addition, a poor mass distribution will make it too hard to swing or too hard to control.
- Low and impaired vision. As with baseball, tennis, and caning, the key to hitting your target lies in seeing it well. Consult your eye care specialist if you are consistently having trouble delivering your lessons the way you would like.
Traps for mere fools
- Depleted uranium.
- Batting gloves.
- Safety goggles.
- How to avoid a gruesome demise
- How to break up with someone
- How to clone an army
- How to control the governments of the world
- How to defend against magic swords and other weapons
- How to keep a giant spider
- How to conceal weapons
- How to run a restaurant
- How to exploit advanced technology
- How to oppress the meek
- How to prank your adversaries
- How to run an institution of higher learning
- How to betray your master
- How to perform an emergency stop on a dragon
- How to get apes to accept you as their leader
- How to survive a road trip
- How to entertain zombies
- How to show flying monkeys and win awards
- Image credit Darts + Balloons = Win stuff by Jaako
- Image credit Oni with Spiked Club - netsuke - LACMA by Marshall Astor - Food Pornographer
- Image credit Watch out for that Smokey Bear! by Bah Humbug
- Wikimedia commons image of a basic model
Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Friday 28 of August, 2009 16:26:07 EDT by .