It seems appropriate, on Labor Day, to say thank you to those who work brutally long hours to support our romping on the strip.
For once, I don't mean the referees. I mean the armorers.
Who, may I point out, have far more sartorial freedom than either the fencers or the refs.
Which they sometimes take advantage of, whether with the kind of "sleeve" a competitor never gets to show:
Or smart-ass t-shirts.
Or the little bits of lamé they tape to the table.
So here's to the the armorers, who have to show up early and leave late, face long lines of competitors with a minimum of gruffness and be ready run to the rescue anywhere in the venue when gremlins invade the strip, the machine, the floor cord and all the other fiddly bits of our electronic support that can go out of whack.
And a special shout-out to an armorer by the name of...
Al "Badger" Merritt. (Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.)