You may have noticed that there was no War of the Worlds, the Series review this weekend. That's because I'm getting married in a few weeks, and this weekend was the bachelor party!
Since I am a tremendous geek, my best man David (who also happens to be my brother) and my long-term friend and coauthor Bill decided that the perfect bachelor party activity would be ... a Renaissance Faire! (BTW, screw you, spellcheck, I really DO want to say 'faire'.) So, despite some minor car trouble, a core group of six of us trundled off to Big Bear Mountain, to Rim of the World Drive (yup, it's really called that) to let the festivities commence.
There was jousting! I love a good joust. For the first Joust, knights Sir Michael and Sir Edwards vied for the privilege of defending England's honor against Prince Killem of Scottland. We in the crowd were split into two sections, to give us more of a stake in the match. Our champion, Sir Edward, won by unseating his opponent. In the next match, though, Prince Killem bested Sir Edward and taunted us a bit. It was all in good fun. This was a german form of jousting that gives 1 point per valid hit, 5 points per broken lance (Sentinel Prime? Are you in trouble?), and 10 points for an unhorsing. While we gave good natured cheers and jeers to our champion and his opponent, we went fairly quiet when there was an unhorsing. Two horses traveling at 20 miles an hour each is quite a blow. But once the knight got back to his feet, we all gave a rousing cheer.
There was music! Bawdy wenches performed for our titillation, roguish bards strummed their instruments for our amusement, and family-friendly troupes harmonized together for the many children present. Me, I favor the bawdy wenches of the Salty Satyr Stage, but then, it was a bachelor party.
There was a jail, and a brace of stocks. My D&D buddy Rob put himself in a stock for a picture, but then a guardsman wouldn't let him out immediately. It would seem that a half an hour is the minimum, unless the prisoner performs a song for the constable. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star effected Rob's emancipation.
There were animals! Of course there were horses, but there were also owls, kestrels, raccoons, possums and more. They were brought in from a local hardcore animal shelter that deals specifically with unusual wild animals who are for whatever reason unable to fend for themselves. It was quite a menagerie.
There was royalty! Queen Elizabeth made her way around the faire grounds with quiet dignity, though there were occasional incidents. Sir Killem, it seems, is a bit of an agitator!
There were feats of skill. Sword swallowing, juggling, knife throwing, prestidigitation, archery and more. I even chucked a few throwing axes ... with little success, I'm afraid.
There was a sailing ship! Keen.
And finally, there was the occasional wastrel, passed out from too much mead.
We naturally did all of the other requisite bachelor party activities, but the high point was the festival. Thank you to Bill and David, Marty and Harrison and Rob, for kicking the ass of the sixteenth century.