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Now Serving: Lord of the Rings, Live

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Photo by Matthew Millham

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Handshake just returned from a three-day military embed with Ragnarok, the biggest live-action boffer battle game in the U.S. of A.

This isn’t D&D live. It is a real-life butt-kicking with soft(ish) weapons wielded by people who love to hit and be hit. It is anything but bloodless. Its participants anything but shy. We’ve seen more bare nipples the past three days than Madonna’s had boyfriends.

How rough is it? Try this: wipe with sandpaper, then swim in a pool filled with lemon juice, then take a Tabasco shower, and towel off with fiberglass insulation. After that, down a pint or so of grain alcohol. Sleep, wake, and do it all again. For a week straight.

That is Ragnarok.

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