Friday, November 14, 2008

The Ninja Problem.

First emusing (correction, apologies to Jon and Dave, it was HackBend) and then Utterlyboring have picked up on the Ninja Throwing Star ordinance:

Possession of a Throwing Star.

(1) Definition: "Throwing Star" means any instrument, without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiation points with one or more sharp edges, and designed in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond, or other geometric shape for use as a weapon for throwing.

(2) A person commits the offense of possession of a throwing star if the person knowingly manufactures, causes to be manufactured, brings into the city, keeps for sale, offers for sale, exposes for sale, gives, lends or possesses a throwing star as defined in section l herein.

(3) Possession of a throwing star is a Class A misdemeanor.

[Section 5.070 added by Ord. NS-l398, passed 6-20-84]


So they're asking, "Did Bend have a Ninja problem in the early '80's?"

Oh, my, yes.

A huge problem, I'm here to tell you.

I know, because my son Toby was one of them. He'd dress all in black, loop his knumb-chucks in his belt, and go out into the dark with his friends.

"Um....what are you doing out there, Toby?"

"Oh....Oh, nothing....."

"Un, huh....."

I sort of expected a phone call each night that he had raided a fireworks stand. (His other obsession, blowing things up.) But I'm great believer in imaginative play and just hoped his common sense would outweigh his overwhelming urge to become an invisible assassin.

I don't remember exactly which movies were coming out at the time, but the young ninja's were really, really into it. I distinctly remember a conversation in the car after one such movie where Toby insisted that they had proof, absolute proof that Buddist monks could live on air, and could shift through solid stone. (Why, they had found skeletons embedded in walls!)

It seemed as though every kid 12 years old was enrolled in one martial arts program or another. (Which taught honor and duty -- and wasn't it cool to be able to kill someone with a single stroke?) I drew the line at samurai swords, no matter how dull, but throwing stars were manufactured by anyone with sheet metal and a way to cut them.

But I do sort of remember that damage was done, by someone; they never caught them.

Ninja's are too slippery.


Anonymous said...

Goes to show you that even in the worst of times (1984) that the Bend Government was finding and fighting demons.

I'm sure fairy-dust will soon be banned in Bend.

dkgoodman said...

You know you've made it when people attribute things to you that others actually did. Thanks. ;)

Bend Economy Man said...

I can back you up on the throwing star problem in the '80s. They were a huge fad, all the kids had/wanted them, and you could buy them at Rising Sun Records & Tapes (I think you had to be 16) until they were outlawed. The ordinance was more aimed at Rising Sun than anything else. Rising Sun, and later Paramount, was kind of a record store slash headshop before Bend had actual headshops.