Fence-posts (UG)

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Official UnderGuide Entry

Fence-posts. We’ve all seen them, marching proudly past a garden’s edge like skinny soldiers interlocking their enormous wooden arms or innocently surrounding a tantalizingly glimpsed scrap yard whilst insidiously failing to show the slavering Baskerville hound which waits so impatiently just beyond.

There’s two sides to every coin (well, three really but it never actually lands on that edge does it? No, really, does it?) and the fence-post is not a coin. But it still has two metaphorical sides, in that it can be good (the garden; keep out the tramps) and bad (the scrap yard; damn dog). However, there is so much more to the seemingly humble fence-post than this. Detailed below are just some of the more uncommon uses for the fence-post1 (apart from point 1, which is quite common).

  1. A good starting point for a fence. It is perhaps the best known of the fence-post’s many abilities that it can form a solid foundation for basic security and privacy measures such as for example a fence. By placing the fence-posts upright in a line it is possible to use them as posts for the construction of a fence. This is actually pretty logical when you think about it. The name itself does give a strong hint, wouldn’t you say?

  2. A vampire killing weapon. In terms of basic structure a fence-post is remarkably similar to a stake. Or, to put it in a more accurate way, a stake (as used in multiple big-budget films and TV serials) is nothing but a fence-post adapted for another purpose. By the simple process of holding the body of the post and waving the pointed end at your foe (for dramatic effect Dracula is to be hoped for but anyone pale with big teeth will do) you have created one of the most potent weapons known to man or beast: the stake, or in layman’s terms, pointed stick. Have at you!

  3. A toothpick. A fence-post is wooden, long and relatively thin, with a point at the end. A toothpick is wooden, long and relatively thin, with a point at the end (and often at the other end as well, but that’s just for economy), need I say more? Yes. A fence-post is ideally suited for use as a toothpick for the somewhat larger mouthed gentleman or lady. Got a big gob? Tree stuck between your teeth? Here, have a fence-post. Ideal for the more hygienically minded dinosaurs.

  4. The sand pencil. Though not ideally suited to life as a graphite pencil without some tricky modifications (graphite perhaps) the fence-post does come into its own when required for use with less paper based mediums. When writing in sand (a popular pastime at beaches and in deserts) the most commonly used tool is the index finger. On British beaches in particular this may raise the ugly question of hygiene. Just what, you may inquire, is lying about in all that sand? Do you know where it’s been? Could be anything. And, no. Those are your answers. So what then is the safe solution? Well, you could do worse than a fence-post. The perfect shape for the job in hand: long bit to hold (room for both hands; improved precision), pointed bit for more accurate character formation. I present to you the sand pencil. Fear no more young al fresco scribbler. Your saviour has arrived.

  5. Aide memoir. Can’t remember what a fence-post looks like? Just whip out your trusty fence-post and it will all come flooding back. 102% guaranteed, +/-2% (probably).

  6. A javelin. With just one fence-post you can organize a javelin throwing contest for all your friends and family. (Friendless orphan? Good chance of taking the gold.) the trick to getting a good distance with a fence-post javelin is to throw it as far as possible in a direction away from where you are standing. Leading with the pointed end can help to achieve the much sought after upright quivering javelin effect, which most impresses the ladies. If you find yourself in danger of losing your own javelin competition then the adaptability of the fence-post can once more come to your aid (see use no.2.). Who’s the loser now huh? Huh? Oh. (See friendless orphan).

For more ways to utilize a fence-post, or if you yourself have some suggestions for fence-post uses, please don’t hesitate to let me know. (Fence-posts suggestion box conveniently placed here.) That’s all for this week folks, see you all next time.

1For the purposes of this article a fence-post is defined as being a wooden post between 4 and 8 feet in length with a thickness of not more than 6 inches. It has a square cross-section and is sharpened to a point at one end. The other end can be flat or raised in a shallow cone shape. For more information on fence-posts visit B & Q. Or a garden.

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