Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Failure of the Day: I Frankly Expected a Little More from the Black and White Knight.

What can you say about a place where everyone is required to wear a paper crown? Medieval Times taught me a variety of things: 1.) I might be allergic to horses and fog machines or some combination thereof, and 2.) Upon having half a chicken is plopped onto my plate by a woman who says only "Very hot! No utensils!" my reaction was surprisingly, delight.

The Medieval Times experience transpires thusly: You arrive and are divided up into six groups of roughly 100 people each. You can tell the other members of your group by the color of their paper crown. The crown color corresponds to the knight you will be rooting for. After everyone is settled into the Dinner Arena, the show starts and there is some attempt at exposition, which you will not follow very closely because the server is slopping soup into your cast iron bowl and you are required to do some complicated thermodynamic equations. The soup is 1000 degrees, and so too hot to eat immediately, but the longer it sits in the bowl, the hotter the bowl will get, and there is no soup delivery mechanism other than picking the thing up and sort of sloshing the soup into one's maw. The bowl will stay hot longer than the soup will so there is something of a narrow window of opportunity during which the soup is still warm but the bowl will not brand the Medieval Times logo into your palm.

By now the stadium is filled with fog machine fumes up to the horses' necks and you will notice a tightness in your chest. But the server is coming round again with the half chickens, spare ribs, potatoes and garlic bread, all of which, I must say, were very good.

There is a long period of time before the tournament begins (which is being held for reasons I don't understand because I missed the exposition). During this time, a bunch of horses come out and do funny walks and some jumping things. I think this was so people could eat and pee without missing the jousting.

Then the knights come out, six strapping young men who come in two models: the Kevin Sorbo and the Ben Affleck. Our knight was of the Kevin Sorbo variety. After the introductions were made (Knights, Crowd! Crowd, Knights!), there was some more of the riding of the horses by men with big sticks. It was hard to pay attention because at this point we were all very sticky and smeared with chicken.

At some juncture, the knights began offing each other in elaborate hand to hand combat, and we witnessed the Green Knight eviscerate the Black and White Knight while we, his loyal subjects, were served apple pie pockets.

There was a happy ending: All but one of the knights was beaten or stabbed to death but the traitor was exposed. (Traitor? There was a traitor? Damnit! I really needed that exposition!) The princess is successfully wooed by the surviving knight and wet napkins are delivered to our tables. We all shuffle out to the courtyard with our commemorative glassware, and there in the splendor of Anaheim, we go, "Yep. That was worth 40 bucks."


Post a Comment

<< Home