In my early twenties, I was second-in-charge of an enormous global competition. People had gathered from around the world. The games’ name started with a Z and was something like Zweimeckel. Others worked for me as judges, referees, and umpires. They rushed about, watching and ruling over the various events underway and scoring them, a noisy, busy sight under blue skies, while I strode along, grinning and nodding in approval. I mostly saw the workers and was indifferent to the events and competitors. Those things only mattered to me if something went wrong.
Something did. A young female competitor broke the games’ harmony with sudden threats. I responded to the site and found she was complaining, then grabbed a yellow pencil off a clipboard and brandished it like a sword. Her threats found laughter: what could she do with a pencil? “Plenty,” she defiantly responded, and then pulled the pencil point out. “I can stab someone with this?” The point was so small, she couldn’t hold onto it and kept dropping it. That brought a round of greater laughter.
Everyone paused, waiting to see what I would say. I ruled that she wasn’t a threat but that she was dismissed from the games. She was being removed as I turned away.