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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

29 Responses


November 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!!!


August 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.

Heather DiLorenzo

August 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?


August 28, 2021

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

Jean B

August 28, 2021

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

Robert Wellington

August 28, 2021

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

Paula C.

August 28, 2021

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

Elene Gusch

August 28, 2021


Of course cloaks of invisibility should always be hand washed.

Cloudy Rockwell

August 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.

Celia Petersen Brown

August 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,

Barbara Kurth

August 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.

Mz D

August 27, 2021

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

Lisa O'Donnell

August 27, 2021

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

Lisa O'Donnell

August 27, 2021

I love Calamity Wear. You all crack me up!


August 27, 2021

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

Sharon Cz.

August 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)

Jane Tims

August 27, 2021

Totally unexpected and very funny. Thanks! Jane

Susan Lowell

August 27, 2021

Thanks for a welcome chuckle on a dark day.

Lewis R Schiller

August 27, 2021

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


August 27, 2021

Sage advice.


August 27, 2021

great advice! thanks for the reminder. :)

Betsy Hern

August 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).

Barry Hall

August 27, 2021

Certainly food for thought.


August 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!


August 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! 😁


August 27, 2021

Your blog is best, and this post made my day. I especially loved, “Use their annual performance review to confirm that they are still motivated to do the things you don’t want to do.” – timely, as I had to write my midyear review while feeling unmotivated to do the things I’m supposed to do. But if I don’t work, I won’t be able to acquire more Calamityware, so I’ll just skulk back to the dungeon right after this Lunch and Learn about curtsying to my overlord.

Martha Fishkin

August 27, 2021

Gun? Weapons? How about sharpening those self-defense skills? And yeah, clean your gutters if you have them.

Carol Wilkerson

August 27, 2021

Oh thank goodness you reminded me to do all those things. I’d write more but I’m overseeing the installation of the gun turrets on the perimeter of the compound. Happy Friday!

Hannah Pearce

August 27, 2021

ok, this is so good!!!

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