Lost Journal: What if Words Really Were Weapons?

Tim Mollen, Lost Journal: What if Words Really Were Weapons?

Journal entry: February 20, 2009 (age 39) – Words as Weapons

The only political issue I’m something of a radical about is gun control.  (I’m very for it.  So shoot me.)  But I still need to make a buck like everybody else.  So in my home office I’ve been working on an until-now secret project to replace guns with another weapon that’s been talked about for years, but has never been used in the field.  I’m preparing a presentation of my findings for the research and development teams at Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and several other local defense contractors.

My idea?  Use words as weapons.  Literally.  As a prototype, I have retooled a flamethrower and a Selectric typewriter and combined them into a “letter thrower,” a powerful launcher of typographic characters.  With some practice, I believe I can eventually fire off the letters in a logical order, and even string together complex sentences into a hailstorm of verbal ammo.

But what individual letters would have the added value of causing the most physical pain if they pierced enemy flesh?  If I can identify a delta force of letters, numbers and symbols that would cause extreme damage when impacting at high speeds, I can then select phrases with a preponderance of those characters.

Here are some ideas generated by my preliminary research:

  • “A” would supply a pleasing arrowhead effect, and would accelerate well because of its sleek, aerodynamic design.
  • “l” would make Vlad the Impaler a very happy undead man.
  • “Q” is a mixed bag. The uppercase would hit like a Civil War musket ball — which is good, but amateur.  But the lowercase “q” would be an extremely effective weapon because of that little hook thing at the bottom.  Ouch.
  • “?” has an unknown effect, except when it comes at the end of a deeply probing question.
  • “∞” might not hurt so much going in, but the pain would go on and on.  Like the Golf Channel.
  • “W” is my go-to girl.  There’s no way that thing’s not gonna hurt.
  • “π” in the face wouldn’t hurt — but it’d be funny and humiliating, which is always a great combo.
  • “b” isn’t an obvious winner, but in my weapons tests it makes a really cool sound when it hits.  The only thing I can compare the sound to is Bowser from Sha Na Na hitting a powerful bass note while experiencing severe abdominal pain.

The conflicts of the 21st century will be fought with the tools of the information age.  To play my part as a patriot, I will not rest until I have brought these alphabet projectiles to bear in the coming wars of words.

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Tim Mollen
Buy your copy of "Lost Journal - the Book" at www.timmollen.com. Each Lost Journal column is a journal entry written in retrospect. In other words, Mollen chooses a different day from his past, and writes about it as though it were today. The date may be last week, Halloween 1980, or the day he was born (May 4, 1969). Some of you may be asking, “But how would he have been able to write a journal entry on the day he was born?” To you he says: “Lighten up. It’s a humor column.” Mollen is a nationally syndicated columnist and actor, and he is available as a speaker on writing and humor.
Tim Mollen

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