Friday, September 11, 2009

The Green Knight . . .

. . . was a pussy who was felled by the first round.

"She really wants to go to Medieval Times for her birthday."

I learned a long time ago that anytime I answered a phone call from Lindsey, a terrible evening lay ahead. After a few months of dodging her, I figure I'm due to answer one. The "she" Lindsey was referencing was our mutual friend, Michelle. Along with her boyfriend Brandon, they'd moved to Chicago some time ago. "She's been really wanting to go for a long time and told me this is what she wanted to do for her birthday." Michelle and Brandon are great people so there really wasn't anyway to squirm out of this. After I agree to go Lindsey adds, "By the way, can you cover their tickets, and they'll get you back when we get to the castle?" Yeah, I'm never answering a phone call from her again.

Later in the day I call Brandon to tell him I got the tickets. "You what!?"

Apparently Michelle did say she wanted to go to Medieval Times, until they went on-line and saw that tickets were eighty-bucks apiece. Then the idea was dismissed outright. Lindsey didn't mention that. Then I remembered that for the past several years, Lindsey has been bugging us, her friends, to go to Medieval Times. This was all her show.

Even after I called Medieval Times and told them the person whose birthday we're celebrating was killed in the most fiery of auto crashes, they still refused to refund the tickets. I was told to get there two hours before the show time.

We showed up fifteen minutes prior to gates opening. The only reason one would want to show up two-hours prior to showtime is to be trapped in a lobby with only a bar serving 14-dollar Bud Light to pass the time.

Seated and pissed off, the show began.

The production starts off with the King welcoming you to his court, and then reads off a welcome list of people there for whatever function.

"We'd like to welcome Bethany Community College's Quiz Bowl Team." A crowd across the dirt stage squeals in nerdy delight.

"The King would like to bid a welcome to the following who are here celebrating a birthday ..." The list he read went on for fifteen minutes. At it's conclusion, I noticed that Michelle's name was absent. Brandon leans into me, "It cost an extra forty bucks."

The dinner was a measly imitation of Chicken Planet. (Notice how I capitalize Chicken Planet, that's because I respect it!) The side was a charred potato served alongside warm pepsi. (Notice how I don't capitalize pepsi, that's because I have no respect for it!)

As we ate, the white knight rode on his horse. Galloping sideways. To the left. Then to the right. Then back to the left. This "routine" went on for ten minutes. At some point in the display, a pre-teen boy five rows down stood up and yelled, "Okay, we get it!"

The whole fucking thing went on for several hours. Hours too boring to regurgitate here. We left the castle and decided to get drunk at a bar back in the city called Exit Chicago. I'd seen ads for this place which tout it as Chicago's "last punk rock bar."

You know that rebel who's too coiffed to be taken seriously? The one you look at and are amazed at how calculated and planned "not caring" must have been for that person. The Hot Topic shirt, matched with the eBay belt buckle and accouterments found at a local upscale boutique. That person developed a foundation, four walls, and a diamond plate interior to become this bar.

I sat in silence for most of the night, sitting at a corner of the bar, watching a z-flick play out on a black and white tv while The Misfits blared through the loud speaker. I looked at the patrons. Make-up. Chains. And all. These people are playing out a fantasy no different than the people at Medieval Times. It's this idea of making a world that doesn't exist, part of your own reality - if only for a few hours. Back at the castle, people put on a paper crown and cheered for a knight whose color matched their seating area. Here, they put on leather vests, don eyeliner and become part of the mythos that comes with the apparel, all before going home to wash it off.

No. These two places aren't different in any way. In fact, they're the same.


me... said...

I heart/miss Brado.

Lanny said...

Medieval times there was at least excitement from snuck in booze.

Anonymous said...

the one good thing about the exit is the Dennis Hopper print that they have hanging in there... the Angel (see how i capitalized Angel) i know would have noticed that for sure.

Happy Holidays!!!