I'm Daniel, a skinny teenager from New Jersey. My mom got a new job, so she and I had to move to Canyon City, California.
I decided that I needed a new hobby, so I started taking classes at the YMCA.
One night I was coming home from a school Halloween party and some California bullies in skeleton costumes and blond haircuts jumped me and challenged me in a contest related to my hobby. Not terribly proficient yet, I was getting beaten pretty badly when this mysterious man came out of nowhere and really hammered on them good. He told them to stop picking on me. Turns out that this man was Edward, the maintenance guy at my apartment complex. I asked him to help me improve my skills and he agreed, but game me fair warning: I must not question his methods. He told me to meet him at his place the following morning at 5 A.M.
The next morning I was excited to begin learning, but he was too busy catching flies with chopsticks and pruning ridiculously tiny trees, so he gave me a menial chore to do instead. He showed me a van full of wood and told me to weigh the entire thing, then stack the wood onto a tree stump, over and over, numbskullishly. He showed me a picture of how I had to stack the logs:
I was to carry the wood using only my fingertips, five pieces with my left hand, three with my right, then weigh the now-empty van again. By the time I had finished, I was exhausted but feeling good about not quitting. I expected praise, but of course got none from Edward. He simply told me to come back the next day at 5 A.M.
The next day (you guessed it), he had me weigh and stack wood again, but it was slightly different: This time, some of the logs were split. A new picture was presented to me:
Days went on in similar fashion, each day presenting a new stacking challenge. One day he even used his axe to make the ends of some of the logs pointy. I tried to keep a positive attitude even though I was getting very frustrated doing all this crap for no apparent reason. These chores seemed to have nothing to do with my hobby. These are the pictures that he showed me on days 3 through 6:
On the seventh day, he showed me this picture:
and I simply lost it. "Screw this!" I erupted. "I'm going home." As I started to walk away in disgust, he clapped his hands and rubbed them together furiously.
When I turned around, Sensei Edward finally showed me the secret reasons behind his unconventional training methods.
He started by saying, "Show me... Stack the Logs!"
- What is my hobby?
- What does the weighing teach me?
- What do the (7) configurations of stacking teach me?
- What is my Master's full name?
The answers have nothing to do with the movie franchise The Karate Kid.