In France, during the Restoration, there was a lot of tension between officers in Napoleon's army and the better paid Royal Guard. This led to a lot of schoolyard-level bickering between officers in the respective camps. One of the more bizarre episodes, according to legend, took place between a colonel named Barbier-Dufai and a royal guard named Raoul, which apparently escalated after the former insulted the latter's cockade (we're disappointed to learn that this is a kind of hat badge, and not at all what we first thought).
Knowing that definition also makes this painting tell a completely different story.
The two decided to go at it with swords right there in the streets of Paris, but after easily disarming Raoul four times, Barbier-Dufai figured he might as well be fighting a toddler and tried to brainstorm some way they could brutalize each other in a more evenly matched arena. That's when a coach pulled up and a really stupid plan was hatched.
The two men decided to get into the back of the coach with their left arms tied together and fight each other with daggers, stabbing at each other in a space about the size of an airplane bathroom until one of them stopped moving, for reasons they really should have both been embarrassed about. Raoul must have really liked that cockade.
"WHAT?! Oh, it's go-time now!"
After the carriage had done two laps, the screaming had stopped and the driver was probably left with a memory he couldn't scrub out of his mind for the rest of his life. We'll spare you the details and just reveal that Barbier-Dufai won, because this isn't Hollywood and reality doesn't favor the underdog.
"You're still paying for two, buddy."
The story of the longest duel ever fought is shrouded in enough legend that we really don't know how much of it is bullshit, but it's real enough that it became the basis of Joseph Conrad's story The Duel, which in turn was made into a movie by Ridley Scott.
The legend goes that Francois Fournier-Sarloveze was a captain in the French army at the turn of the 19th century, and he appears to have loved dueling more than just about any other activity. Known for being "bawdy" and "quarrelsome," which was basically a polite way of saying he was an aggressive douchebag, Fournier was such a menace that one Captain Pierre Dupont allegedly had to confront him about it. So Fournier apologized and chilled out, right?
Well, he certainly looks like a humble enough guy.
No, of course not. He challenged Dupont to a duel. But neither of them could have known at the time that this was the beginning of an epic, lifelong mega-duel. They were basically Batman and the Joker, destined to do this forever.
Also like Batman, Dupont refused to use guns. So the two nemeses battled with swords. During their first encounter, Fournier stabbed Dupont in the shoulder, and the latter was unable to continue. Dupont demanded a rematch, and this time it was Fournier who was injured. Not content with a draw, they fought again, but this time they were both injured. At this point, you'd think they would have a good laugh about it and go to the pub. Instead, they agreed to keep dueling until this was finished ... which, as the story goes, would take about 19 years.
"For every part of you that is douchebag, I have an equal amount of 'Go fuck yourself.'"
By 1813, Dupont had grown tired of living like a Highlander and wanted to marry. His fiancee, understandably, wasn't keen on settling down with someone who had to engage in mortal combat once or twice a year and made it clear that the only person she wanted him to be constantly plunging his sword into was her. So Dupont made the sensible decision and called it off. And by that we mean he organized one final duel, this time with guns, which he had always previously refused on the grounds that Fournier was a much better marksman.
But he had an ace up his sleeve. By hanging his jacket on a stick, Dupont was able to trick Fournier into emptying both his pistols on the decoy. With his guns empty, Fournier was at his lifelong rivals' mercy. But Dupont refrained from killing him on the condition that they end this bullshit forever.
"Also, you have to call yourself a pussy. In nine languages."
Yes, it only took two decades for one of them to come to his senses. And it was a bold move, since we're assuming a failure to continue dueling meant both men were immediately and forever scorned by 19th century French society.
For more ridiculous uncivilty, check out 6 Historic Acts of Revenge That Put 'Kill Bill' to Shame and 7 Legendary Acts of Petty Revenge.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see what happens when Seanbaby and Brockway meet in the oil ring.
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