Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prithee Good Sir Knight, Art Thou Chuck Norris?

Last Saturday we attended a rather odd event in Guelph called "Faerie Fest" where apparently 'perfectly' normal adults dressed up as faeries wandered around Riverside Park in wings.

C just looked at me and begged me never to become involved with these people. I guess my fatal attraction to Civil War re-enacting, which she has so far managed to keep me from, made her think I might be vulnerable to recruitment by Lords of the Rings.

The most interesting part of the day was a real jousting match put on by a group named "Knights of Valour". While you can go to Medieval Times to watch faux jousts, or better yet, "International Jousting Society" events in England, where the knights utilize balsa wood lances, the "Knights of Valour" are 10 of about the 30 knights in the world, who actually do REAL jousting.

The lances are solid wood; the armour hand wrought stainless steel pieces bolted onto the riders. The possiblity of getting badly hurt or killed is quite high.

The knights refer to their craft as the "newest extreme sport" and it has been heralded by numerous articles as the 'up and coming' dangerous guy thing to do.

We watched two knights, a father and his teenaged son in full armour, have helmets and shield targets screwed on by assistants. They then retired to either side of the jousting fence and begin to charge at each other full tilt on draft horses. We are talking those big Clydesdales or horses you see pulling beer wagons. As the dust flies they smash into each other splintering the 20 foot lances sending pieces of sharp and heavy wood, spinning 50 feet in the air, and into the crowd. With the velocity of horse speed, armour and weight, each rider hits each other with approximately 2500 pounds of force.

In the final attack father managed to storm directly into his kid's head with his lance. There was a "krump" sound and we watched in horror as the struck knight simply slumped backwards in the saddle and then slowly slid off his steed and onto the ground.

He was out cold for a few minutes, after which dazed and wobbley, he stood with assistance, to have his helmet unbolted and removed, and then walked over to the crowd to sign autographs.

The very weird thing about these knights is the unbridled machismo of the riders. Speaking afterwards with the head of the organization, C and I asked many questions: "Given that jousting was so dangerous in the Middle Ages, why hasn't anyone died so far?" Answer: "We do this every weekend whereas back then they would only do it two or three times a year...we also know and understand physics so we reduce the risks. They did not."

"How did you get involved in real jousting?" I ask. The Answer: "Well I attended in Nottingham at a real jousting competition to get information on it and to see whether it was something I was interested in. I found that they had put me on the 'Lists'. I didn't have any experience but I wasn't about to paint Canada yellow" he snarled like 'Dirty Harry' suggesting someone make his day.

"After three broken ribs, a broken wrist and crushed fingers, I came out as....the Champion" Steven Segal testosterone poured out of Good Sir Knight.

I can only assume that very shortly Vin Diesel will star in an armour crashing, skull smashing re-make of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". It will somehow feature massive explosions, this in an era before the invention of gun powder.

Wait, he's from the future! He can MAKE gun powder, joust and then blow things up!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:27 am  

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