1. To fend off the alligators in the Middleton Place plantation gardens in Charleston, SC.
2. To fend off the bird that attacked me while I was eating jumbo Georgia shrimp and drinking margaritas at Latitude 31 on the pier in Jekyll Island.
3. To fend off the wild boars that jumped on our boat during a swamp tour in Slidell Louisiana.
4. To swat the swarm of bees that we had t o run through to cross Canal Street in New Orleans. Why was there a massive swarm in the middle of the busy street at noon? Your guess is as good as ours. No, we didn’t get stung.
5. To fend off the local men. Jackie and I didn’t have any issues, but a pretty young mom overheard us at Latitude 31, talking about needing the machete and made this helpful suggestion (she also recommended a place to eat the next day in Charleston).
6. To fend off Jackie at a second hand costume shop in the French Quarter when she finally lost her marbles after driving for days and came after me with a sword.
7. Instead of stopping at fast food places when we got hungry, we could have used it as a spatula to fry an egg on the pavement in Florida. In early May.
8. To shuck oysters at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans.
9. To write our names in the sand like a couple of corny idiots on Folly Beach at sunset. While drinking moonshine out of a lemonade bottle.
10. Because a billboard in Georgia told us that we needed one. A serrated one, that is. Other billboards along the highway told us that we needed Jesus, semi-automatic weapons, fireworks, peaches, whiskey, and strippers. Gotta love the south.