Dances With Mundanes, published in A Sealions Tale July 2000 The interface between the Society and Mundania is always a source of interesting tales and one of the most common interfaces occurs at school demos. The kids are always appreciative, if for no other reason than it gets them out of regular class work. Occasionally the school demo can be hazardous to the SCA members’ health. A particular demo that proved this occurred many years ago at a Gulfport elementary school.
This was a typical school demo held in a gymnasium. Seleone put in a show of medieval arts and sciences and concluded with a fighting demo. Among the fighters present that day was Lady Diana nic Chlurain of the isles who had just started her martial career.
The fighting demo started off well, with the kids as usual getting excited by the display of virtual mayhem. Then, Diana took the field, I forget who Lady Diana faced as she strode onto the list, but by virtue of her gender, Diana had become the immediate favorite of every little girl present. From all around the edge of the lust area you could hear exclamations of,”It’s a girl! The girl’s going to fight!”
Since she was a novice fighter Diana didn’t stand much of a chance against her more experienced opponent, and she was struck down rather quickly. Immediately the mood of the crowd turned ugly. “He killed the girl!” the cry went up from a hundred little girl voices. If it were not for the presence of the teacher, I think that the assembled female students would have rushed the hapless fighter and torn him limb from limb.
WE decided not to use that fighter in the “Fight-A-Knight” that day. As it was, the male fighters who did the Fight-A-Knight came under merciless attack by every girl who stepped up.
One of the most unusual confrontations I had with Mundania occurred about a year after Isolde and I had moved to Meridies,
when I was attending the Texas Renaissance Faire in Magnolia, Texas. The Barony of Star Gate has a permanent area at the Ren Faire, part of which is an enclosure run by those who have adopted an oriental persona. Early Sunday afternoon I had stopped in at the Oriental enclosure and bought a couple of egg rolls for my lunch. I was about to tuck into a second egg roll when I was accosted by two middle aged mundane women.
One of the women pointed to my egg roll and asked in a voice sounding like brass, “What’s that?”
Trying to stay in persona I replied, “I believe it is called an egg roll, my lady.”
“Where did you get that?” she next asked.
I pointed to the oriental food kitchen and said, “Over there, my lady.”
“Oh I don’t want that,” she said to which I had no reply.
As they turned and walked off I heard the woman, laughing loudly, say to her companion, “Did you hear that? My lady!”
Funny,” I said to myself, “I thought even mundanes liked to be treated with courtesy?”
Sometimes the interaction between Society and Mundania takes place at very unexpected places such as at work. One day at my place of employment, I was talking with another member when he said to me, “Yes, Sir.”
“No need to call me sir,” I said, “I’m not a knight.”
“Yes, Your Excellency,” he amended.
“That’s better,” I said, while near-by co-workers all looked at us as if we had lost out minds.
Lady Eugenie Griffon de Seleone, who also works at my place of employment, has told me this story: One day she was talking with some of her co-workers and made mention of Finn. The co-workers immediately interrupted her, “Who is Finn?” they asked. “We see this LDFINN license plate in the parking lot and there is no Finn working here. What does LDFINN mean?”
Eugenie explained that LDFINN was the license plate of Norman Hopp, and it stood for Lord Finn. “Lord Finn?” they asked, “Why does he have Lord Finn on his license plate?”
Eugenie explained the significance of Lord Finn, but I have told her she missed her chance. She should have said, “Because he got the license plate before he became a Baron.”