Tying Knots In The Devil’s Tail

Here's my advice: bend, twist, spindle, and mutilate.

Collections

My mentors were just that, mentors. Several couldn't afford the expense that having an actual apprentice would cost; others were not interested. But then by the 1960s, the old apprenticeship programs in crafts like carving were gone.

Shadow

No matter what I did, something was wrong with the grapevine I was carving. My mentor Warburton took one look and snickered. I decided that as a sign that it was terrible, quite terrible.

RITUAL

That's right, the booze-filled evenings with crazy dance tapes. Dancing till four AM, even if it was sometimes with enemies, was normal. Tomorrow in the colloquium was tomorrow. Tonight we danced our unity as a tribe.

Short-Timer

There was a tradition when I was in the Navy of the "Short-Timers Rope." The rope, or sometimes chain, had as many knots ( or links) as remained in the sailor's enlistment. At the end of each day, a knot, or link, was cut off. I saw this happen at meals.