The French fencer

There once was a famous French fencer. He learned how to fence at a young age and honed his skills over time, his prowess with the foil unmatched in all of France. After defeating all French contenders, he moved on to defeat fencers in nearby countries, eventually becoming the best in Europe. As his ego grew, so did his desire to put on a show. He staged fencing events in different environments; from sword fights in the Himalayas to duels in shark tanks, he won match after match.

One day, he decided to host a fencing match in a submarine, which would be broadcasted to millions of viewers. When the day arrived, he was confident in his ability, but his opponent was relentless. Rather than being a pushover like the previous contenders, the match consisted of back-and-forth thrusts and lunges, with both participants straining to concentrate under the din of clashing metal. Eventually, both participants reached a tie of 14 points, meaning whoever received the next point would be the winner. The French fencer went for a feint, but his opponent was not fooled. It was quickly parried and his opponent sent a blinding return thrust into his sensor, earning the last point. The French fencer was devastated. After so many years of training and so many years of being undefeated, his reign was over.

He turned to confide in the captain of the ship. What could’ve been the reason? Was it the pressure from so many viewers? Or was the water pressure from being deep-sea throwing off his game?

The captain looked at him and replied, “don’t stress about it son. Ripostes are pretty common in this sub.”