Monday, July 31, 2006

What happend to all my rope? Pt1

You know how in the movies when a rope breaks it is this long, drawn out suspension building event? The fibers of the line fray and untwist in slow motion as the camera jump cuts between the hero and the failing rope. Well that, dear readers is bullshit invented by pulp writers to sell tickets. When rope breaks, it breaks with sudden and explosive force. A thick enough line, under enough tension can cut a person in two when it snaps.

This is why good riggers know that there comes a time when you must retire your rope. Hemp, like all things, when used and used hard breaks down. The fibers, strained from too many trips through a carbineer begin to show the tell tales signs of wear and if not dealt with, possible failure. Now for most folks, a well cared for set of ropes will last them years, decades if they are not putting the rope under too much stress (ie, non-suspension use) however for those of us who lean toward the more dramatic aspects of rope bondage and practice suspension responsibly, well we are always inspecting our rope and when the time comes, destroying it when it has passed its safe working life.

Yes, destroyed.

My personal rope kit's time was close at hand. There is no fail-safe method of knowing, no gem in the palm of your hand that will one day blink crimson when it nears the end. No it relies more on experience and ones own personal paranoia about such things. After months of hard use, my suspension kit was due. Frayed and unraveling in spots, this rope had served me well and deserved better than just being discarded. What better way to send it off to bondage rope heaven than destroying it in one final scene? Call it a Viking funeral of wax and rope where, when completed, the only way to release the bottom from said rope would be to cut them free of it all.

So, how does one destroy almost 600ft of custom-made bondage rope?

All little Alex knew was that the scene would involve the destruction of rope, lots and lots of wax and would require her to take the next day off from work. (For those of you who might be confused with me swapping between feminine and masculine when writing about Alex. Alex is a “factory equipped” female who chooses to, when in service to me, be treated and addressed in the masculine form, aka as “my boy”.) You can imagine his worry when we entered the WetSpot on Saturday night and I was immediately set upon by the director, Allena Gabosh, “I trust you Monk, but if you set off the fire sprinklers tonight I’m going to KILL you!”

Taking a hard point away from the center of the space, and as far away from any of the fire sprinklers are possible, I set Alex to task getting ready. Laying and taping a tarp down so that any stray wax that missed his body would not get inadvertently ground into the carpet by my boots. Covering my boy in wax is one thing; getting the director of the best play space in Seattle on my bad side is a whole other matter.

Once the area was secure and all the watching monitors warned about what was to happen, see they tend to like it when you let them know about scenes involving fire and the use of a switchblade knife. Oh did I say knife? More on that later. Where was I? Oh yes, area secured and ready, I laid out the rope for it’s final performance. Coil after coil of violet and black hemp that had served me well was now facing its last scene.

more tomorrow, I promise.