Knight finally proposes to his maiden
JASON Barnes' quest to be Karen Collins' knight in shining armour started four years ago. He finally achieved that feat yesterday with a fairytale proposal.
"About four years ago I went into the chicken shop where she used to work," Mr Barnes said.
Of course it was love at first sight but Mr Barnes is a humble giant of a man and was too nervous to ask her out and as the adage would have it, you don't know what you've got until it's gone.
"One day I went into there and she was gone and I knew I had to find her," he said.
He began his search by going into local businesses and simply asking for a woman named Karen as he did not know her last name.
"I visited 197 businesses over four years until one day I gave up," Mr Barnes said.
As fate would have it, he came across Miss Collins that very day, when she was at work.
"I went straight up to her and asked her out," he said.
The couple had been dating for seven months, however, Miss Collins would occasionally lament that while she loved "her gentle giant" she was still wondering when her knight in shining armour would come along.
After this hint, Mr Barnes hatched a chivalrous plan and ordered a full metal suit of armour from the United States.
When it arrived it weighed in at a mighty 75kg and Mr Barnes found it was impossible for him to get down on one knee.
"It took three blokes to lift me off the ground after I fell over trying it out yesterday," Mr Barnes said, rubbing the hip he hurt in the debacle.
In the end, confident his plan of attack would succeed, he decided to do away with the heavy suit and go with chain mail instead.
And so the scene was set at 10.30am yesterday, when Mr Barnes went down on one knee before Miss Collins while she was at work in the Grafton Mall.
"Karen, I looked for you for four years and now I've found you I want to ask for your hand in marriage," Mr Barnes said as he knelt in front of the shop counter with the wedding ring on the end of his sword.
Of course Karen could only say "yes" as she wiped a tear from her eye.
"I'm just glad he was not on a horse," she said.
"He's my gentle giant and I guess now we're official."
Mr Barnes said he had contemplated the idea of a horse but found centre policy would only allow a Shetland pony.
As he is about 213 cm (seven feet) tall, he thought it might raise questions over who was doing the riding.