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The Barbarian Bra
and the Modern Barbarian Woman

by Byron Bailey

Ninety-seven barbarian women assembled in the deep of the night, the chain and metal plate brassieres of ninety-six of them gleaming in the light of the full moon. Those ninety-six gritted their teeth as metal bit and crushed their tender flesh and autumn crispness peppered their otherwise naked torsos with goose bumps. They scowled but didn’t complain. Barbarian women never complained from minor discomforts such as bras and amputations. Finally, the ninety-seventh woman climbed Speaker’s Boulder. Ninety-six barbarian women listened in rapt attention:

Sisters of the clans! I implore you to cast off the symbols of your subjugation. No longer should we content ourselves with making the best clothing for our men only to cobble together the few scraps of mail and plate remaining for ourselves. We deserve better with which to cover our nakedness!

I know you are reluctant to melt your bras and switch to clothing more sensible like the blouses that our civilized sisters wear. You fear to lose your man. I am here to tell you that your fears are misplaced. I used to be a faithful barbarian wife, wearing only my bra and bikini even in the coldest weather in order to please my man. Because of that bra, I almost died from pneumonia. Because of that bra, I almost died from frost bite. And now because of that bra, I may die of skin cancer from too much exposure to the sun. My shaman currently has me on weekly injections of snake venom but my future is uncertain. What the venom therapy has done to my hair, though, has made it impossible for any man to look my way without shuddering.

Even when I still had hair, though, the bra didn’t prevent me from losing Thorgack. No matter how shiny I kept my bra, I couldn’t draw his gaze away from that slut Frigga who forwent any bra. You all know and hate Frigga or Frigga the Free as the men call her. Let me tell you, Frigga the Free is anything but free. She owns all the plunder Thorgack and I have ever stashed away for our old age, even the silver-inlaid victory axe Thorgack earned when he raided Warsaw.

Now I have nothing! Don’t let this happen to you. Stop kissing your man’s battle axe and for a change scream, “No! You kiss my battle axe.” Sisters of the clans, unite and throw your brassieres in the fire, watch them turn to slag. And while we’re at it, let us free ourselves from Frigga and throw her in too.

Copyright © 2005 by Byron Bailey

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