My boys asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I don't know why they bother to ask, they never get me what I want anyway. So I told them what I really want: a Japanese Katana sword!

Like every year, they said, "No dad."

I guess I understand. I found an antique one on Ebay for $80,000! No kidding. I saw one I really liked for only $20,000.

A friend of mine had a middle school English teacher who studied Karate with a Japanese master while stationed there after World War II. The teacher told him true katana swords had to pass a special test when they were brand new from the sword smith. The samurais used to find three prisoners and tied them together real tight. The samurai would see if the sword could cut clean through all three in one blow. If the sword failed, it was destroyed or sent back to the shop.

That's something to think about, isn't it?

Anyway, I can think of a million uses for a katana sword, so I'll probably use my tax return on it, or maybe just buy it and see if I can get a tax deduction for it next year if I use it for lawn maintenance and other around-the-house upkeep.