2001-10-11 / Arts & Entertainment

C’est La Vie by Don Flood

C’est La Vie by Don Flood

© 2001 King Features Synd., Inc,

In Days Of Old...

I like to consider myself a Renaissance man — not because of any range of talents, but because I enjoy attending Renaissance fairs.

The fairs seem to be popping up all over the country, but one thing I insist on is authenticity — everything from the frozen cheesecake on a stick to the Renaissance-style burritos.

The games, too, must be authentic, such as Ye Olde Pillow Fight.

My son, age 11 and an aspiring Knight of the Pillow Case, wanted to challenge his old man.

At 44, my best pillow-fighting days are behind me, but I’m not one to turn down a challenge — especially if I think I can win.

Just as in the days of King Arthur, my son and I sat cross-legged from each other on an authentic Renaissance-style log. (It was made from real wood.)

Following the same rules once used by the Knights of the Round Table, we held the pillow with both hands and proceeded to whack the heck out of each other — the object being to knock the other person off the log.

My pillow-fighting skills were a little rusty — when I got married I promised my wife I would hang up my pillow forever — but the thrill of battle brought them back.

I handily smote the Dreaded Black Knight — I mean, my son — with a thunderous thump to the side of the head.

He collapsed in a pile of hay, vanquished forever.

Well, not quite. For two bucks you got three chances, so the Dreaded Black Knight hopped on the log and attacked me again.

But I smote him the second round too — isn’t smote a great word? — thereby winning best of three.

But there was one more challenge.

This time, however, the guy running Ye Olde Pillow Fight — he looked a little like Merlin on a bad hair day — shoved me from behind just as my son delivered a mighty blow.

So I wound up getting smote myself.

Later that night, in the motel room, we re-enacted the epic Battle of the Pillows for my wife. She was very impressed.

(Note to young readers: It is very, very bad to have pillow fights when staying in a motel room, just as it is very, very bad to jump from bed to bed — unless you are re-enacting an authentic medieval battle with your father, who should be well trained and over the age of 40. Then it’s OK.)

But while pillow fighting might seem like an archaic pursuit, Renaissance fairs also include activities with modern applications — such as the axe throw.

"We’re going to throw axes," one of four women in front of us chirped. She said this the same way she might say, "We’re going to look at the shoes."

Naturally, my son wanted to try it too. He’s now prepared in case we get attacked by a dragon.

All this activity, naturally, built up quite a thirst.

Ye Olde Diet Pepsi really hit the spot.

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