Party like it’s 1469
The wife and I spent the past 4 days at war, and it was absolutely awesome! I know that may sound a bit odd, but hear me out here. When I say war, I don’t mean we were in the middle east fighting for
the pillaging of resources and assimilation of the indigenous population freedom and democracy, I mean we were at fucking Pennsic!
For those who don’t know what Pennsic is, I’ll sum it up as a layman. The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) runs a war between 2 kingdoms. Roughly 10 thousand people go to a large campground outside of Pittsburgh, dressed in the clothing of the period (600BC-1600AD), and spend 2 weeks having an awesome time. Some people dress in armor and fight, some people help out the war effort by filling supporting roles, and some go to hang out in an awesome environment and party. For right now, we are the latter, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed someday. This is basically all the great stuff about going to a good Renaissance fair, without the commercialism and overacting. Don’t get me wrong, people get heavy into character here as well, but it’s not done to entertain the visitors, it’s done to have a good time.
Now, some people think SCA stuff and LARPing is the same thing. Well, in short, they aren’t. LARP is more fantasy stuff, like trolls and magic and shit like that. SCA stuff is more like civil war re-enactment, just with sword and shield tech. At least that’s how I see it. That’s a very broad analogy, but should be enough to get my point across.
This was our second Pennsic. Our first outing was a weekend of drunken debauchery and awesome, but it was also 6 years ago. We didn’t have kids yet, and were still in full on party mode. We didn’t bring the kids this time, and probably won’t until they are grown, simply because we view this as an awesome adult vacation. This time around, we once again camped with our good friend Honig (the names have been changed to protect the innocent…and because they may want to run for office someday). We camped with a household called Serpentius, which appears to be a fighting household. A bunch of the men in camp, and some of the ladies, fight in the war. The head of the household, Omega, has actually been king a few times, a position that is gained by being the best fighter. Politics does also factor pretty heavily into it as well, but if you can’t fight for shit, you’re S.O.L., or so I’m told.
The group of people in the camp were awesome. We were strangers, since the only people we knew were Honig and her man, and another couple we went with. Oddly enough, there was no awkwardness with anyone. Hell, Omega used the Green Lantern symbol as his symbol on his armor, which was freaking awesome. It seemed we were all similar enough that it just added to the awesome, which fucking rocked. It was great being able to be ourselves, especially for me, since I have the great tendency of pissing people off and offending them due to my lack of a humor boundary and abundance of sarcasm. This, thankfully, was not a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t act like I do around my bandmates, since I’d have ended up in traction or evicted, but I only held back out of respect, since they were nice enough to let us camp there and were extremely welcoming. Needless to say, said respect was easily given. Hell, at one point, one of them locked me in a portable toilet with a piece of wire. It wasn’t difficult to get out, but it made me feel welcomed. I know, I have issues…
So we ended up spending our extended weekend dressed up in garb, sleeping in tents, making fire, watching people in armor beat the crap out of each other, and getting drunk….along with a few thousand others doing pretty much the same shit. There are also vendors there for all sorts of stuff, and classes you can take on everything from weaving to making armor to period board and card games. I MAY have spent some time in the gaming tent….maybe. Overall, it was a truly great time, with really great people. I got to visit another old friend of mine who I don’t see very often, and spent a night at his bar in his camp, getting absolutely polluted off 2 different everclear drinks. For me, this event is full of just about everything I love. Camping, fire, period clothes, drinking, games, etc.. Pennsic is a place where I can dress like this around other people who all do the same and not get weird looks….well, not for my clothing. I still get the “beware of the creepy ginger” looks, and when I was wearing a fully open shirt I probably got those “good lord, cover that shit up! Think of the poor children!” looks, but I’ll always get those. In all seriousness, though, it’s somewhere that I can let go and be myself. I can enjoy the things I love most, and be surrounded by like minded people doing the same. I can get drunk to the point that I start talking with a horrendous accent that is basically a combination of every accent I’ve ever heard. I try to not do that very often, as it usually results in me getting drunk alone….Still, twas a great time, and I learned a valuable bit of information from someone there. It isn’t rape if you yell surprise!!!