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Violence too anachronistic for small park

May 16, 2002|BY TIM ROWLAND

In the annals of re-enactments, this is a new one. The Society for Creative Anachronism was banned from practicing its medieval battle re-creations in Red Run Park in Waynesboro, Pa., because they "are too violent for a small community park."

Well.

This should actually be good news for the Society for Creative Anachronism, because once you ban something, everyone wants to see it. Mark Twain was happy when one of his books was banned in Boston, because he felt that would sell him 20,000 copies, sure.

As a man who has long believed that war re-enactments are way too peaceable, this makes me want to see these medieval battles all the more.

I'm wondering what constitutes "too violent." Do guys actually get their heads lopped off? Do they make "Braveheart" look like an Easter egg hunt? We can only hope.

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Personally, I feel that if you are going to participate in a retelling of a bloody battle that you should actually be prepared to die. What fun and challenge is it, elsewise?

n For those concerned that the weekend wedding would go off without a hitch, fear not. It took place outside an old hotel that was just a "Heeere's Johnny!" away from "The Shining," with several sinister aspects - besides me, I mean.

Probably the highlight was the ants in the appetizers, not that it was entirely easy to tell the difference. We heard several inquiries of clarification along the lines of "Which are the mushroom caps and which are the ants?" but all told everything came out OK.

The absolute best part, and I swear to the truth of this, was just as it came time for me to say "I do" along comes the world's loudest freight train, honking its way through town. I could have said "I defer" and no one would have known the difference.

n Maryland has announced, and I swear I am telling the truth about this, too, that it is now possible to report dead birds on the Internet. Yes, this is the news we've all been waiting for.

If I see a bird that I think has died of West Nile virus (what do I look like, a vet?), I can log onto the Web and get the state health department into the act. The site, again no lie, is: edcp.org/wn/html/wndeadbird.cmf.

Too bad the state of Maryland wasn't around during the Black Plague. We could have had www.frothingrat.org.

n And speaking of state affairs, you can tell it's an election year because once again candidates for state office are showing up like Western Maryland is their own personal Kennebunkport.

Both Bob Ehrlich and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend were here over the weekend. The Herald-Mail described Townsend's affair as "a festive, sunny day, complete with a band, pony rides, children's games and someone in a Dalmatian suit." A Dalmatian suit. That's really weird. I could have sworn Paul Muldowney had switched parties.

n Martinsburg High School softball pitcher Tabi Merceruio had an interesting day last week. She struck out 30 batters in a game against Jefferson, but was still in a position to lose in the bottom of the 12th inning. So she knocked in the tying run and scored the winning run.

But 30 strikeouts? There are only 27 outs in a regular nine-inning game. Good thing she wasn't pitching in Red Run Park in Waynesboro, or they would have banned her for causing a slaughter.

Reminds me of the story about a baseball scout who runs up to the team owner all breathless, telling him about some kid he just saw pitch. The kid struck out everyone he faced and it wasn't until the seventh inning that anyone was even able to hit a foul ball.

The manager was impressed. "But we have enough pitchers," he said. "Sign up the kid who hit the foul ball."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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