Those of my Gentle Readers who have met me in the paint usually notice that I've got a blackthorn walking stick somewhere about my person.
I started carrying it in 1994 after a minor matter of zagging when zigging was the correct option rendered me hors de combat for a couple of weeks; during said recovery period I came to the conclusion that there were more than a few times when it behooved a gentleman to carry a weapon firmly in paw, so to speak.
Unfortunately, Texas etiquette tends to frown upon the practice of appearing in public places with a pistol super-glued to your right paw. In addition there are occasional times when violence -- or the display of the capability of violence -- is necessary, but sticking a blade into the other guy or putting two 9mm's betwixt his running lights is a bit excessive.
During my recovery period I spent a great deal of time gimping about on a cane, and I was struck one day by the fact that there are no laws rendering the carry of canes or walking sticks verboten.
I had already done a little training in European and Filipino stick-fighting, and had taken multiple law enforcement baton classes. These were rounded out with a couple of seminars in hanbo-jitsu, a little WWII combative stick training and voila! I had myself a very discrete, very effective weapon that could be openly carried anytime I felt the need.
On top of which, I discovered that one can stand with a walking stick in such a manner as to cause various sub-groups of the Societally Challenged to rethink their intentions, without causing Suzy Soccermommy to run down the street in a blind panic, screaming "OhMyGawdhehasaGUN!" every other step.
Which sounds catastrophic only if you've never had the pleasure of experiencing the Standard Sheeple Response to you not unsheathing a knife as discretely as one might wish.
I carried my blackthorn when the State of New Jersey ordered me to stow my sidearm and not retrieve it until after I had left the State, it has accompanied me during tours of a couple of government facilities where I was cordially relieved of my knife(s) and pistol, and I have carried through more than a couple of post-9/11 TSA checkpoints without so much as a raised eyebrow.
While it has served more than adequately in a scuffle or three, it has also served quite well as an emergency splint, a window-breaker, a brace, a leverage tool, a reach extender, a dog dissuader, and -- believe it or not -- as a walking aid.
Friends of mine have borrowed it post-knee-surgery, and others have used it during short-term hikes in the Wichita Mountains.
Handy little thing.
Unfortunately I think I've just cracked it.