A Connecticut LARPER in King Awful’s Court
After school I moved to the city. Some people go there for a dream. I went there for a girl. Only what I thought was a girl turned out to be a 98 pound door to door Wikipedia salesperson with a hair-lip and eyebrow gout. Which I could probably have lived with only it turned out that this person wasn’t a girl either. Rather he was a girl’s roomate. Or at least he had been until all her money had run out . . . and then, so had she.
And so the offer was made to be a roomate and to take up a job to pay to be a roomate. I accepted both.
Somehow or other it turned out I had a real knack for going door to door and selling subscriptions to Wikipedia and before long I had established myself as a real life true to form resident of the city. I had a real nice rent controlled apartment, a library card, survived a mugging, caught an STD from a toilet seat and even found a really, really great LARPING club called the Gang Gringo’s. Weird name I know, but apparently the founder had some friend that couldn’t get his novel published so he went to Mexico and became a wrestler and then somehow or other his nom du lutteur became be our nom du faux guerre. Or something like that. I don’t know. That’s just what the guy told me.
So everything was going real good. I was making fat cash. I was kicking ass in the parks on the weekend and I even met a girl. In real life this time.
I was really starting to like her and all but she eventually began to wonder why I had so many foam swords and felt costumes around my apartment. I got nervous and figured she might think I was into some kinda kinky stuff, or worse into LARPING (she wasn’t really into that, it is a long story …don’t ask), so I sorta made up this lie that I had a part time job at medieval themed sedation beauty salon called the Charlemagne-tamers. She bought it all and when she invited me to have lunch with her great grandparents I totally agreed.
That was a big mistake. Not only because I really didn’t want to spend all Saturday afternoon chatting up some fogies (I do that all week at work!) but also because of some other stuff that happened later.
I decided to make the most of the wasted day so I brought my sample suitcase with me. My girl didn’t say anything and I didn’t say anything and when we got there nobody else said anything either so I stuck the suitcase in some corner where I didn’t think anybody would take much notice of it.
Let me tell you that was some apartment. And by some apartment I mean it was crap. First of all it was on top of some store that sold cheap video cameras and counterfeit Timex wrist watches. Then there wasn’t even an elevator. So we had to climb up like fifty steps or something and when we got to the top it just led into those space that was a nothing more than two rooms and a bath.
I was pretty spent after my stair climbing. So I asked them if they had Any Monster Energy Drinks. They did not so I had to settle for this stuff called Sanka instead. It sucked.
After that we all sat around in these tiny lawn chairs and a couch and I had to listen to some story or other about their boring ass lives. How he had been a cop and she had been a bohemian. And one night in that very apartment they had gotten into a ginormous fight. And he had all stomped off vowing to never see her again but then she’d caught up with him in the street, proposed, they’d run off that very night, eloped that very next day, gone upstate for two weeks and when they returned Bart (that was the dude’s name) had been fired from his job with the Five-Oh but it was all good because he’d later gotten a work as a hotel dick that paid twice as much and she’d made serious bank selling some copyrights or something. And bla, bla, bla, et cetera.
It was about this time that I excused myself. I took my suitcase, went to the bathroom and began prepping for my presentation. Well by some sort of weird accident, and not a very happy one, it turns out that I am violently allergic to Sanka; and the cup I drank -along with all the other stuff I’d consumed over the previous 12 hours- ended up everywhere in the room that wasn't my stomach.
After the accident I set about cleaning myself as best as I could. And when that failed I decided to open a window and use their shower. Let me tell you. It was one weird shower. I didn’t understand it at all. And when I finally got it working I couldn’t get the hot water to shut off and the whole room had filled with something so suffocating and insufferable that for a minute there I was afraid that somehow or other I’d gotten stuck inside a Moby song.
And then the water stopped for some reason and I reached for the curtain to open it up and get out but it wasn’t there. And when the steam rolled away it seemed that I was alone and naked in some woods somewhere. Only I wasn’t really alone as there were all these guys around me with crossbows and swords and spiky balls on sticks.
So I figured that the Occam safety razor thingy was the way to spring this and that the simplest explanation was probably the right one and that is how I figured out that somehow I’d traveled back in time to the dark ages. At first I was real stoked because I’m so good at LARPING and everything but then I found out real quick that I shouldn’t have been all that excited because live action role playing doesn’t really prepare you for living in the dark ages.
For example I used to think that living in ye olde times would be cool because there were no jocks around and all the wenches were real saucy and apt to sheath your sword if you told them you regularly used it to slay dragons. But in reality most of the wenches don’t have teeth, just about everything can kill you and to top it all off not only are there still jocks around but they’re called knights and they’re the ones in charge!
In fact it was a group of Knights that found me in the woods. After they discovered, rather bitterly, that I wasn’t a woman they took me back to their castle and the boss King Awful (that is really his name. And it isn’t like ironical or anything like that. Apparently Awful used to mean ‘really good’ back in the day) and he set me up with this job in local sanitation because couldn’t decide what else to do with me. Who knew manual work could be so hard?
Once I’d been shown the ropes of refuse removal it turned out to be something that I am pretty good at. Soon enough I got promoted from pig to horse droppings. This was a major advancement but I soon got bored and concluded it was time to start the revolution. I figured these barbarians were in no way a match for my superior 21st century mind and skill set. Disappointingly I found I was wrong about this as well. It seems that while I am proudly a nerd I wasn’t the sort of nerd that cared for science or history class and those are the things you might want to excel at if you’re looking to best these guys that are all rather stronger than you. Plus on top of that language is real funny back now and nobody can really understand me and they all think I’m some kind of moron or jerk. Although I did end up inventing toilet paper -which we all call latrine paper. So there is that.
And since I’m the only person that knows how to make this toilet paper -none of these mouth breathers have been able to figure out how to back engineer it yet, which you’d think they could totally do because it’s not like it has any moving parts or anything- so I’m kinda important right now. So important that the king’s boys are going to go off on this quest next week to find a lost cup or something and they are even going to bring me with them to make sure they have enough toilet paper on the trip. So, there is also that.