Unlikely Survival Guide: So you've been challenged to a duel


Where Am I?

Perhaps a better query would have been "when am I?" The answer being the year 1825.

How did that happen?

Were you born in the early 19th century? Because that seems the likeliest explanation.


In that case, the only possibility is that your eccentric scientist friend invited you to the mall late last night, where he showed you a time machine he constructed from an iconic, though deeply unpopular American car. After the inevitable mishap that occurs when all time machines are invented, you hurtled backwards in time. Notably, because only organic material can travel through time, you arrived in the 19th century without car or clothes, an unfortunate state of being when traveling 88-miles per hour.

clockcarYou probably had a slight tailwind.

And why is some man yelling at me?

As it happens, this naked high speed approach into antebellum America interrupted the afternoon promenade of a Southern gentleman and his teenage sister. Whether it was your manner of dress, or the string of profanities you uttered as you skidded to a halt ass-first on their finely manicured lawn, your presence has greatly disturbed them.

Colonel Sanders here seems a little more than just disturbed.

Your highly nude presence has sullied his sister's honor. Additionally, the manner in which you are hopping up and down, fanning air on your bruised and chafed buttocks is causing an unfortunate amount of flopping, further damaging the lady's virtue. The man now has legitimate concern whether any gentleman will find her acceptable as a bride.

Who are these people gathering around?

While you've been consulting with this guide, you failed to notice the man come to a decision: He feels that the only way to salvage this situation is to shoot you dead. The people gathering will bear witness to this justice.

He's just going to straight up shoot me? Is that legal?

Probably not, but as a dead naked man, you'll have a difficult time arguing your case in front of a magistrate. Fortunately for you, judging from the set of matched pistols being produced, this looks like it make actually be a duel, and not straight up murder.

s360So I have a chance?

Oh gracious no. Sorry to get your hopes up. Have you ever fired a muzzle-loading pistol before? You have a slightly greater chance of a condor picking you up in his talons and carrying you to safety as you do of winning this duel.

I don't see any condors anywhere.

That is unfortunate.

So what do I do?

Well, now that you have this pistol, you could shoot him with before the duel starts. The downside with that approach is that you are unlikely to escape the large number of angry Southerners who would see you hung. Alternately you could-

I've started peeing involuntarily. Is this normal?

In these situations it is a relatively common affliction, and nothing to be embarrassed about. Unless it's also arousing you. Is it?


Well then if anything, this show of abject patheticness may cause your opponent to take pity on you.


Well then, your best bet really is to take off running. You could maybe take a hostage, but that poses its own-

Yeah, I've just taken the young girl hostage. Now what?

Wow, you uh, really showed some initiative there, hey? Congratulations, I guess. Uh. Are you peeing on her?

A little bit, yes.

OK. OK. That's certainly information. I guess you can't get in any worse trouble.

I am now in much worse trouble.

Because the girl fainted and passed out at your feet and you're still peeing on her?

Yes. People are just furious now.

Yeah, they take these things quite seriously in the South. Actually everywhere. Every civilization throughout history has acknowledged that peeing on unconscious women is Not Acceptable.

OK, I'm going to try and help her up. Oh fuck! He shot me!

Holy shit! Are you OK?

donkeyHe shot me in the ass! Oh damn that hurts!

Listen! This is your chance! Shoot him back before he can reload! You can do this!

I missed and hit the girl.

What? How?

These things are really tricky to aim.

I think it's time to go dude.

OK, I'm running now. What next?

Accelerate to 88-miles per hour and pray that the next leap is the leap home.

I don't think I can run that fast.

Unfortunately you have reached the limit of this article's expertise (Duels, Surviving of). Please consult our article on The 8 Most Badass Pre-Civil War Cross-Training Techniques.


Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. Join him on Facebook or Twitter and make him reconsider that.

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