What a weekend I have had. To begin the unusual tone that would dominate this weekend, my friend Chris was doing his NC Nat'l Guard duty weekend this weekend. Which means no beer and meat, and which meant that I would be waking up in my own bed for once on a Saturday morning, rarity that it is. So I intend to wake up at 7:00, take a shower, pack and get everything up and going by 8:00 so I can pick up friend Lenore (Buttons the Royal Court Lovable Jester[tm]) by around 8:30 and get to cast call for the Carolina Renaissance Faire (still going, weekends, now through Nov. 14th). So of course, even though the alarm is set for 7AM and it works, even after waking up and sitting up at 7:30, I promptly fall back asleep until 8:10. Still needing a shower, I take one, pick up Lenore at 10 til 9AM. So, once again, Justin(me) is late for cast call.
It's a rather dreary looking, cool day, so the crowd is somewhat thin. And of course, Mark the "Other Captain" decides he wants to come on a Saturday instead of his usual Sunday. Which throws my schedule all to poop. John had a school obligations, so he wasn't there. continuing to throw off the groove. Come evening time, our normal entourage staying at the hotel was down to 2 people. 2 rooms, 6 beds, 2 people. So Heather and I check in, cancel one room, and ponder foodstuffs. We are both broke as can be, but Rennie's take care of their own, and there was a massive bratwurst, sausage dog, hot dog, spaghetti cook out thing at Phil's "Royal Court Compound" in the CRF campsite, so we had a lot fo Free Food(tm). Which was tasty and well. We get back to our room, change and go for our usual soak in the hot tub and pool there. We laugh at all you campers. We have beds. And heat and air. Hor tubs, pools, hot showers, free breakfast. Mwahaha. We're soaking along, achingly and quietly. It's quiet because apparently, the major draw of the hotel hot tub is Chris. None of our usual peoples were there. The Sheltons(3), Lenore, Doug(congratulations on becoming an uncle), Kristie, Logan, Michelle, and John all had plans and obligations all at the same time Chris had Guard duty. Coincidence? Luckily, Chris' wife, Lani, showed up while we were soaking and livened things up. That's right, one room, two very attractive and friendly females, and me. So I slept on the fold out couch in the other part of the room, while they each got a bed. Because I'm dripping with decency and propriety. Friend, Safe, with Big Brother cluster and a rank of Virgin, 1st Class.
Continuing on. Sunday. Left when I was supposed to, and I was still late to cast call. Just can't make it on time if left to my own devices. After cast call, the men got pulled aside because a bit we did the week before with peasant girls caused offense somewhere. The words "sexual harassment" was tossed around. Speaking personally, I was conscious of the fact that the girl who happened to be in my lap wasn't of the age of 18. I don't know how old she was, but probably no more than 16. However. Before it even took place, Chris, the great planner that he is, talked to each of the girls and told them that if they weren't comfortable with any of it, they didn't have to. It was ok. Chris just wanted to do this bit, and wanted to include some of the other casts. For my part, it seemed my girl was having at least a little fun. No one was disrespectful, that I could see. She fed me apple slices, I fed her apple slices, and there weren't any involuntary reactions to cute girl in my lap that might have been offensive. However, I could see how a bystander might look at the situation and cry "Dirty old perverts!" There was a highly noticable age gap between us guys and the girls. 22 is the youngest male involved at that was me. On stage, flirty flirt flirt. Off stage, respect of the age difference, professional, we thanked them, let them know they could stop or leave if they felt uncomfortable.
First Joust. Two guards are supposed to escort the Queen on the field so that she might hold some rings for the jousters to lance at. Normally, I can hear her Majesty clopping down our rotted, ancient decrepit reviewing stand, but today, she snuck out on me. She was getting ready to get out on the field before I even saw her. So the other guard with me, Derek, and I come running out onto the field behind her looking as if she had snuck past us somehow. because she did. I went with that and came to a skidding stop just behind her majesty in a bit of a cartoony gesture of catching up. It worked, it's funny, we'll be doing it that way from now on. Huzzah. At another joust, I broke through the floor just by standing on it's rotted planks. I have been told that it's ok if I break it some more. Yay!
Cast-wise, we were majorly short. However, an actress from Minnesota's faire, who shares our queen, and two actresses from the Arizona ren-Fest's Royal Court(ARF is our sister faire, owned by the same rich, cheap bastard), joined us. So we were filled out alright, and we got to play with new people.
I wish I could remember more of the weirdness, because there was a lot, or at least just a general sense of "not right" hanging about in the air. All told, it was a productive and mostly fun weekend. I look forward to next weekend, however, as that's our Halloween weekend, and I hope to break out the chainmail. If nothing else, it's a fun weekend, and there's the whole hotel hot tub alcohol relax friends hang out smoke hooka thing.