Why I love my machete

May 16, 2012 in Apocalypse World

It’s not the way my machete’s thick metallic edge glimmers in the light or how its sleek, glistening blade slices through just about anything. Nor is it the graceful beauty of its curved blade or the fear it evokes among women, children and an unfaithful ex-boyfriend. My love affair with this dark, irreverent weapon of destruction is based on one thing only—its sheer power.

Wielding a machete sends a powerful message in the event of an apocalypse. Cheap, quiet and superbly multifunctional, it’s basically a one-stop shop—you can fend off undead intruders, clear miles of thick brush and split open even the hardest shelled coconuts for that morning-after hangover cure. There’s more than one reason it’s the weapon of choice among survivors in horror films and post apocalyptic books.

Derived from a Spanish word meaning “little sledgehammer,” a machete typically has a blade between one to two feet long and approximately 0.12 inches thick. With roots dating back to primitive times, machetes were originally created for cutting dense jungle undergrowth and plants such as sugarcane. However, its sword-like qualities soon gained appeal among many rebel and outlaw groups, as well as national armed forces. Commonplace throughout Central America, South America and Africa, the machete achieved iconic status among various militia groups such as the Interahamwe during the Rwandan genocide, Communist revolutionaries in Cuba, Gran Colombian patriots against the Spanish Army, Dominican independence fighters and the Dominican Republic Armed Forces.

In a zombie invasion ala The Walking Dead or the kind of world depicted in the most horrific post apocalyptic books, a machete can be your very best friend. You can kill your dinner with it, conduct some bushwhacking and behead a crowd of zombies without having to reload or worry about diminishing your ammunition stash. You can carve open the hardest to cut fruits and vegetables or slice the head off of venomous snakes. Plus, the evil, gruesome imagery it conjures up will scare off any survivors looking to pillage you and your supplies.

Whether you’re splitting coconuts, fending off wild animals or trimming unruly hedges, a machete is a powerful ally to have on your side.

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