1) the human skull is one of the hardest surfaces in nature.
2) a medieval mace lacks the stopping power to crush it.
We argued these points for half an hour, without coming to an agreement.
The next morning Bub texted me to come over and settle the issue. He answered the door wearing his cycle helmet and led me to his backyard, where he handed me a lump-hammer (a small sledge-hammer) and told me to hit him over the head. I don't know if the helmet would have stopped the hammer blow or not, and I wasn't about to try it on my friend. Instead I devised a simple experiment, hoping to avoid any nasty injuries.
Bub and I went to the supermarket to buy two coconuts, one for the experiment and one because I really like coconut. We returned to Bub's house and proceeded to place a coconut on the paving in his back yard. I picked up the lump-hammer and with one solid blow, reduced the coconut to delicious shrapnel. As I was clearing up the shards of nutty goodness, I said, "If that was your head, you'd be dead."
I turned to see Bub trying to validate my theory by headbutting the second coconut as hard as he could. Bub was fine after a few stitches, thankfully not a Darwin this time--but I'll keep you posted.
Incidentally, Bub was vindicated. He did manage to crack the nut. Since he proved that his skull is indeed harder than a coconut, my experiment was inconclusive.
Reader comment: The unbearable hardness of being.
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