A Lengthy But Humorous Tale

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at bga.com
Sun Dec 8 22:35:22 PST 1996

Heilsa, All!

The Iron Rose mailing list (primarily for women who fight in the SCA)
recently had a posting about a woman with bruises, and the fact that someone
who saw them in a non-SCA contect thought she was the victim of domestic
abuse.  I have a funny story that begins the same way that I shared with the
Iron Rose list, but I thought some of the Ansteorrans here would get a
giggle out of the tale as well.  It's long, so feel free to delete it if it
doesn't interest you!

<snip re: learning via hard knocks>
>I totally agree. This is the method I was first introduced to when
>I began learning to fight. It is totally abominable, and I had a
>concerned older lady advise me, "Honey, I don't care who he is,
>he's not worth it." when she saw me changing into my swimsuit in
>the locker room one day :^) <more snipped>


Boy, did this make me giggle!  I started chivalric fighting the last half of
my freshman year in college (the semester before we'd been "Erroly Flynning"
it up and down the halls practicing for the next fencing match).  This was
back in the days when (in Ansteorra at least) everybody started with a round
shield.  I was a student a Trinity Univ, a nice little church-owned college.

Well, fighting with a round I got the inevitable bruises starting just above
my knees and travelling up my legs and fanny.  And a sword bruise leaves a
darker line at the edges than the middle, many times, just as a leather belt
will.  I was sprawled in the middle of my dorm floor one day, fighting a
calculus problem to a standstill, and wearing not much except a t-shirt and
nylon panties, when the dorm mother came by to talk to me and my roommates.
Before she left, she asked me if I could come down to her room a little
later and chat with her.

I nearly had a heart attack.  You see, my best buddy had been called out of
town, and her marijuana plants were hidden in the back of my closet under a
sun lamp.  I was certain my roommates or suitemates had snitched & I was
about to be killed or worse, expelled.  

Imagine my confusion when I (a lesbian) arrived at her room to find that she
wanted to talk to me about "that boy who's been beating you."  I tried to
explain about the SCA, and that it was several people, but not what you
think... She shook her head sadly and told me that if I didn't want to
discuss it, it was OK with her, but that it was her job to ask.  I returned
to my room rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

About three weeks passed, and I forgot the whole thing.  I kept collecting
bruises on the weekends (although, I hope, a few less each week!)  But then
(Trumps of Doom!) I got a note in my mailbox telling me that Dean Grissom
(Dean of Women) wanted to see me in her office at my earliest possible
convenience.  Oh Gods!  Horrors!  The pot plants!  Someone told! (Nevermind
that they'd already been returned to their rightful owner).

I made the appointment. I fidgeted till the time.  Imagine my amazement when
Dean Grissom (plus the Assistant Dean of Women, a lady specializing in the
abnormal psychology of teenaged girls, who was also present for the meeting)
wanted to know about "the boy who'd been beating me."  Once again, I
explained the SCA to them.  I took Dean Grissom to a fighter practice.
Apparently, she understood.

A month goes by.  Then my mother calls me, concerned & upset.  It seems that
she had just received a letter from Dean Grissom telling her that I had
joined some demonic sadomasochistic cult, and would I care to explain?
Luckily, she already had heard about the SCA.  But I made arrangements at
her request for she and my family to attend a Twelfth Night Feast in the
Steppes, near where she lived.

 I fetched home loaner costumes.  Everyone went with me to Twelfth Night.
The feast was excellent (not always a certain thing back then).  The
entertainment was wonderful.  Everyone sat back from the table groaning
because they were full and happy.  Then IT happened!  Someone distributed
about a dozen cloved lemons.  I explained the custom as a quaint kissing
game, and explained that if the fruits were presented the recipient could
opt for a kiss on the hand etc. (anything to avoid them thinking that this
was some kind of demonic sexual ritual!)

Meanwhile, Pepin, our Court Fool (now Baron of Namron and a Laurel for,
among other things, his skill at foolery) appeared.  He's a cutie, and was
single back then, I think, and as a result had about seven of the dozen
lemons in his possession already.  My brother, a sixth grader, excused
himself from the table and disappeared, I assumed to the men's room.  But
no, he tracked down Pepin.  "Hey, give me one of those," he said to Pippin,
indicating the cloved fruit.  "Whadda ya want it for?" Pepin asked in turn.
My brother confided that he wanted to kiss a gorgeous woman.  "Which one?"
Pepin wanted to know.  My brother pointed towards the head table.  "THAT
one," he said, pointing a Tessa, our Queen.  And with that, Pepin seized his
11 year old hand, and hauled him to the front and onto the stage where the
head table was, and after asking for and getting Her Majesty's attention,
slapped a lemon into my baby brother's hand.  

Now the first thing *I* knew about all this was when my mom went rigid.  She
had spotted my brother up front, and Tessa had him in a lip lock which
lasted so long that I swear that they must have had scuba gear in there
somewhere.  I nearly died of embarrassment!  Not only my was mother going to
kill me, there went my life in the SCA flashing before my eyes!!  Luckily,
although mother was somewhat alarmed, she was not unduly offended
(especially after my brother came back with the whole sordid tale of how
this anaerobic athletic activity got started).  Whew!  I was safe to
continue in the SCA!

I told Pepin about the whole story a month or two ago.  He thought it was
funny way back then, but hadn't heard the rest of the tale, which he admits
was even more hilarious now that he's heard the rest of the story.

Wassail and God Jul,

Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa (th)ik hversu o(dh)lask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-A(dh)al

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list