Saturday, October 25, 2008

Medieval Times

I recently went to Medieval Times with my girlfriend Traci and her 8-year-old daughter Bianca. I had never been there, inasmuch as a single ticket costs as much as two full cases of beer, and, well, priorities.

Anyway, we were greeted by Olde English-speaking folks dressed in Medieval attire, and I got a distinct Medieval feeling as long as I ignored the fact that these people were high school students working at the mall. The paper crowns added an eloquent touch that I’m sure people in 16th century Europe would have envied.

Our first stop: the bar. Traci got a glass of wine, and Bianca and I shared a Medieval slushie served in a Medieval plastic cup. We then got a tour of the Medieval torture museum, which had actual torture implements and placards describing in gory detail how they were used. I was not the least bit unnerved by the agony that the victims must have suffered, because I’ve been married.

We were then allowed to enter the main arena. The way it works is there are six sections, each a different color. Six “knights” do mock battle, and each section is supposed to cheer for their knight. The other sections cheered loudly. The one next to us was especially loud because it was inhabited by a horde of girls from a local middle school. My section was not nearly as enthused. Apparently the proprietors had put Xanax in our Medieval Pepsi.

The show was quite good. The actors swung real swords and other weapons at each other, clashing with noise and sparks. There was also jousting, horse dressage, and falconry. Meanwhile we ate Medieval style, meaning without utensils. We ate everything with our hands. Even the soup bowls had handles so patrons could drink out of them. I particularly enjoyed this aspect because I am known for using my hands to eat just about any kind of food, including ice cream.

There was a plot to the show, with a king, queen and other players exchanging dialog. Unfortunately I could not hear what they were saying over the screaming 8-year-old next to me.

One thing about this place: they try to sell you anything and everything. You’ve already sold a kidney to get in, and they come by with flags, banners, glow sticks and other stuff for you to buy. The biggest racket is the photographs. They snap your picture whenever you do anything of note - like drop your napkin - and then try to sell it to you. “Here, only $10 for this photo of you eating your garlic bread.”

All in all it was a fun evening. I’m glad we did it, if for no other reason than to appreciate our lives of convenience and freedom from Medieval torture such as having your eardrum shattered by an enthusiastic third grader.