I just came back from Pennsic War in western Pennsylvania this past Sunday. Pennsic War is the Society for Creative Anachronism's biggest event of the year. I was there for a week.
It was the hottest Pennsic anyone can remember. It's a sad state of affairs when you go to western PA and it's actually hotter there than it is is South Carolina. I felt pretty damn cheated.
Here is Robin taking a turn at it. She's got the flint and steel in her hands. The object is to strike the flint with the steel so that sparks land on the charcloth (which is cotton fabric burnt in an anaerobic environment, such as a sealed tin). The spark is then folded into the jute tinder and blown on till it combusts. The directions say this can be done in ten seconds or so.
You know what? My entire ass.
But hey, now we know firsthand why flint made such a good thing to kill things with.
Pam did not get a cut on her knuckle. She got one on her thumb.
Well, looking on the bright side, who knew a fifteen dollar bag of burnt rags, dried plant fiber, and a rock would provide a whole crowd of mostly sober people so much entertainment? Hell, I shoulda picked one of these suckers up for our last party.
Good thing one of the women in our group is a nurse. She quite literally had a suitcase full of bandaids in her tent.