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Autumn Security Checklist

Autumn Security Checklist

We live in dangerous times with threats everywhere. It’s your job to make sure security at your castle is tight. Here are four issues that may have been neglected during the summer. For your safety, I urge you to attend to them soon.


1. Perimeter maintenance. Check the fetid waters of your moat for leaks. Confirm that your fill level is correct after the dry days of summer. Check the condition of whatever predators you use to discourage swimmers (sharks, crocodiles, cephalopods, etc.) If any of these monsters have wandered off during the summer, have your minions bring them back. Make sure they are all hungry. (The monsters that is, not the minions.)

This is also a great time for draw-bridge repairs. And while you are at it, why not have the service technicians check your catapults, trebuchets, and guillotine.


This is also the best time of the year to restock the menacing projectiles you plan to hurl down on invaders.

2. Body Doubles. Inspect your doubles to make sure they still look like you and each has the right wardrobe. Use their annual performance review to confirm that they are still motivated to do the things you don’t want to do. If additional training is needed (dance lessons, karaoke practice, curtsy drills, etc.), you’ll still have time to complete it before the busy holiday season.


You want all your doubles to be available to attend in your place those events that are going to be too boring or too dangerous to attend yourself—birthday parties, musical recitals, and riots.

This is also the best time to review your food taster to make sure he or she is ready to detect any toxins your enemies send your way for the holidays, such as kryptonite or raisins.


3. Your personal gear.  The end of summer is a great time to inventory your super weapons and paraphernalia to ensure that everything is in working order. Pay attention to worn parts and replace tired batteries. When you get back to work after a long summer, you want your ominous-mega-death-ray gun to function at full power in the event of a robot uprising or zombie fest.


If you have a magic sword, make sure your spells are all current. Pay attention to any updates that may have been released since you used it last spring.

Take special care when cleaning your cloak of invisibility. More of those things disappear in the wash than you’d believe.


4. Escape. Whether you prefer escape hatches, trap doors, or concealed openings in wall panels, this is the time of year to ensure that your escape appliances are all ready to serve you. Declutter your escape tunnels to make sure your path to safety is unobstructed. 


Get out the WD-40 to lubricate hinges. You don’t want a telltale squeak to betray your escape efforts to any pesky alien invaders or the rampaging rabble.

With timely maintenance now, you can face the new season with poise. Believe me, nothing boosts one’s confidence like a fully tested and functional, ominous-mega-death-ray gun.

Don—Pittsburgh, August 25, 2021

Comments on this post (29)

  • Nov 08, 2021

    Please bring on the Holiday tea towels and aprons!!!!!
    My postal delivery person knows to sing Rock a By Baby to the moat creatures in order to make it safely to my castle door. Oops, I probably shouldn’t have revealed that!!!

    — Tammy

  • Aug 30, 2021

    Your reminder to check moat predators was spot on. Some of the little buggers wandered off unnoticed over the summer. Apparently I’m indirectly responsible for several unexplained disappearances around the public pool in town.

    — Chibitika

  • Aug 28, 2021

    I especially appreciate your moat maintenance suggestions, Don, as I’ve been struggling to restore mine to its former glory, when under the care of my brutal but mildly beloved Uncle Fester. Our beasties seem to spend most of their working day splashing around the public pool or grocery gobbling at the few stores left in my area. Free loading feasting beasties can be catastrophic to a small business. I’m cultivating a garden I hope will be tempting and raising giant rats for beastie appreciation barbecues. My beasties, like free range chickens, return each evening. Motivating moat guards of various species to stay on task has been grim. Any suggestions?

    — Heather DiLorenzo

  • Aug 28, 2021

    All of that is next on my list. As soon as I finish canning tomatoes.

    — cavenewt

  • Aug 28, 2021

    Thanks for watching out for us, Don. I almost forgot about the raisins !

    — Jean B

  • Aug 28, 2021

    Be prepared for feedback. I just forwarded this to the one person I know who actually HAS a castle.

    — Robert Wellington

  • Aug 28, 2021

    Thanks Don,
    Needed the laugh and I will get right on all of this. Loading my Magic Sword right now!

    — Paula C.

  • Aug 28, 2021


    Of course cloaks of invisibility should always be hand washed.

    — Elene Gusch

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Duly noted! I feel prepared to face the autumnal challenges with fresh piranhas and sharks in my moat. My mega-death-ray gun was dangerously low on battery, but it is now fully charged and prepared for all comers. And come they will! My appreciation to you, sir.

    — Cloudy Rockwell

  • Aug 28, 2021

    Dearest Don & Crew
    I can wear only so many t-shirts. Please consider making a few aprons because I love your designs and wear aprons everyday to keep the slime off of me. So far all I have is a dubious musician pin decorating my favorite apron but I’ve just ordered a zombie poodle to keep him company. And my house is so small, it can hold only a limited amount of porcelain calamityware but I have cupboards full of aprons that I would happily rid myself of with the promise of an unspecified sports team apron - it would make a great mens grilling apron. Or maybe a pink zombie poodle for the ladies -- and gents who are not afraid of pink poodles.
    Thank you,

    — Celia Petersen Brown

  • Aug 27, 2021

    All good advice for people with moats and monsters. I just need to ward off the monsters that walk my apartment building halls 24 hours a day. They make some alarming noises.

    — Barbara Kurth

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Don’t forget to check all pilot lights under rooftop oil buckets. Stir contents to confirm liquidity.

    — Mz D

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Although, it would look like a love it more if I spelled the name of your product correctly.

    — Lisa O'Donnell

  • Aug 27, 2021

    I love Calamity Wear. You all crack me up!

    — Lisa O'Donnell

  • Aug 27, 2021

    What!!! No info about recovering from internet hacks! I could have used it yesterday.

    — Linda

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Absolutely love! Appreciate this timely reminder to check on the moat predators and oil those squeaky trap door hinges.

    “The future depends on what you do today!”
    Mahatma Gandhi (no doubt spoken as he was maintaining his trebuchet)

    — Sharon Cz.

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Totally unexpected and very funny. Thanks! Jane

    — Jane Tims

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Thanks for a welcome chuckle on a dark day.

    — Susan Lowell

  • Aug 27, 2021

    A reminder to all the skeptics out there, Being paranoid does not stop people and/or aliens from trying to get you.

    — Lewis R Schiller

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Sage advice.

    — Lisa

  • Aug 27, 2021

    great advice! thanks for the reminder. :)

    — Llee

  • Aug 27, 2021

    If possible, consider relocating your home on a small, isolated island instead of building/maintaining a moat. Doing so, you can accrue all of the security advantages of moat ownership without the high initial outlay and ongoing maintenance costs. However, island monsters differ from dry land monsters and differ from sea to lake monsters. Perhaps consider Loch Ness as Nessie seems to be a gentle and seldom seen nuisance. And, Scottish shortbread cookies are readily available in the are and very delicious (stay away from the Haggis though).

    — Betsy Hern

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Certainly food for thought.

    — Barry Hall

  • Aug 27, 2021

    You might consider cleansing the castle of evil spirits using your favorite method. Stocking up on rabies vaccine might not be a bad idea. Also, make sure windows are locked and raccoon proof. They sure can make a mess. Make sure all your decorative horse shoes are hanging with the opening up, so the luck does not spill out. Hope this helps!

    — Peggie

  • Aug 27, 2021

    Great advice. You should add checking your food stores in case of a siege on your castle. We must have enough coffee, popcorn and beef jerky! 😁

    — CG

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