Pardon the gratuitous Deus Ex quote, but I am now officially a ninja-in-training.
One of Fleur's colleagues is having a house-warming party next Saturday, and the theme is that you have to go as a country. These kind of things fill me with all sorts of fear. You never really know how much effort people are going to make when there's a stupid little fancy dress theme like this. For one of the Foundation Institutes I had when I joined IBM, we had a James Bond night. Of course, only about three people actually went in fancy dress (me being one of them - I had a whole night ops suit, along with BB sidearm - the P228; not actually a weapon Bond has ever used, but most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between that and the new Walther he uses in Tomorrow Never Dies anyway) - everyone else turned up in tuxedos... Annoyingly, I didn't even win one of the fancy dress prizes - that went to the guy who dressed up as an Aston Martin DB5 (basically he cobbled together a few cardboard boxes and drew a very bad outline of an Aston on it - it was rubbish). Bloody favouritism, I say.
Anyway, I was thinking about what the heck I would go to this party as, when I had a bit of a brainstorm. I didn't want to do anything boring and go as Scotland or France - I wanted to be a little bit more imaginative than that. I know I've probably watched Seven Samurai and Zatôichi too many times, but I do love Japanese culture, so I thought it would be cool to go as a ninja. I mean, how much more Japanese can you get?
Of course, I don't just have a ninja outfit in my wardrobe, but this is what we have eBay for... Not only that, there's a shop in Farnborough in Queensmead that sells ornamental medieval weapons, and they've got quite an amazingly good selection of katanas. So off I trot at lunchtime and pick up a 110cm black katana, which even has a darkened ninja-style blade. Fleur will have a fit, but it's going to look great on the wall above my PC, as we've got a little Japanese corner there around the desk - and they're seriously beautiful things. I've been after one for ages, anyway, so this party was just the excuse I needed to go out and buy one. I drew the line at considering the no-dachi they had, because it was absolutely immense - it made a Highland Claymore look small. Some of their other stuff was really nice though - when we move to a bigger place (sometime in the next millennium or so), I may have to start a collection.
I will certainly make a splash at the party on Saturday, anyway. Assuming the ninja costume arrives in time. Otherwise a may have to go wearing my Obi-Wan Kimono instead. Which may not be pretty... especially if I get pulled over by the cops on the way to the party. Gulp.