Sunday, October 02, 2011

Watching Deadliest Warrior Does not make you a Ph.D

I thought I'd long grown use to the fact that when people go to the Renn Fest they drink a little too much, they talk a little too much, and they talk a little too loud. I even thought I'd grown innured to the fact that some folks become instant experts at the Renn Fest.

But the guy behind me at today's joust was too much. He was providing running commentary to twins dressed as gypsy girls (see It was obvious that his knowledge was derived from drunken viewings of Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior and not any academic study.

"Jousts were bloody duels to the death. They just kept hammering away at each other until somebody got impaled through the chest."

Oh, please.

On the other hand, a few years ago, I was very pleasantly surprised to be sitting behind a man pointing out the parts of the knight's armor to his young son -- in painful detail and perfectly accented French: sabatons, pauldrons, poleyns, gorget, cuirass, tassets, etc. I could follow him, but I couldn't have done that from memory. 15th Century armor is not my specialty -- though it was clearly his. This guy obviously had studied more than the last D&D Complete Fighters Handbook.

Today I saw a man in beautifully turned out Viking Era Russ Trader kit. It was so understated, I nearly overlooked him. He had a close cap, brilliant red and black Russ coat, a blue wool tunic, oatmeal-colored wool trews, and brown leather boots. The best part was his bead necklace, with square, multi-colored glass beads. This was a man who knew his Dark Age costuming, and I'm sure he knew he was about 500 years out-of-fashion at an English Rennaissance event. Unlike the score or more of Capt. Jack Sparrow look-alikes who were probably blissfully unaware the Black Pearl isn't due to sail for about 200 years.

I love the floorshow at the Renn Fest. But I really enjoy it when I stumble across an actual expert.

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