Come on a Journey With Me...
Sometimes you fall down the rabbit hole of the internet into knowledge. Often it's despair. And sometimes you find cosmic poetry. This was one of those times.
First: A quick rundown of how I even got here:
Wednesday night I enjoyed a random chuckle remembering how funny Iron Man 3 was (truly hilarious, Ben Kinglsey especially).>>>
That made me think of the comic book villain The Mandarin (who Kinglsey plays in the movie, kinda). >>>
The Mandarin's whole deal is he wears these alien rings on all 10 of his fingers that give him assorted powers. I was never really into Iron Man during my childhood comic book phase but I remembered once getting hold of an issue and seeing an image where The Mandarin's hands had been vaporized down to stumps due to too much power flowing through his rings...or something. When your entire superpower is wearing jewelry on your hands it's kind of a big deal to have them blown off so seeing him bandaged and beaten in that issue just kind of stuck with me. (You can read the whole thing, Iron Man 275, right here if you're interested). >>>
This made me wonder how that had all worked out for the character. Given that his hands were like his main thing I was curious to see what plot devices they had used to inevitably return him to normal since, like that time Superman was made out of blue electricity or that time that Wolverine went feral and had no nose, those kinds of major changes to classic characters pretty much always get reversed. >>>
The character Wikipedia mentioned that he somehow temporarily got reptile/dragon claws in place of his hands. I wanted to see what that looked like so I googled "Mandarin hand claws". And while there was a (pretty cool) pic of the character with scaly green appendages on that results page it was relatively far down. What caught my attention FIRST was this product photo for "ninja hand claws". Which are as glorious as they are absurd.
These are available at KarateMart.com, a "ninja supply" retailer and once I was on their website I stayed around for a while having a looksie at their assortment of grappling hooks, blowguns, and nunchuks. I know you're wondering: do they have have samurai swords too???
Among all of the blades, tactical stun batons, and martial arts books I couldn't help but notice their Hidden Weapons section and that led me to the product page of the travelers sword cane above and, most importantly the absolute poetry of the ad copy that I found which I share with you below. I don't know what intern wrote this but they were not paid enough! Truly epic, so many surprises. I've been thinking about it for days.
Anyway, all of this, from Iron Man 3 to the sublime literature below took maybe 9 minutes and is a perfect example of they type of thing my mind does about 20 times a day.