It was the second or third night in camp of this years Pennsic, XXXIX, and I was tired. I camp with Tudors, and setup week can be tiring. I’d set up a bridge, moved and leveled an iron roaster, and pitched eight large canvas pavilions. In addition, I’d chopped firewood for two nights and constructed a four poster bed.
I was tired.
And so I walked into my camp.
Went into my tent.
And laid down in my bed.
And then rendered myself into the gentle arms of Morpheus. It didn’t take me long to fall asleep – the searing heat of the second week had yet to come, and a gentle breeze was rustling the leaves in the maple tree overhead.
About four hours later, at approximately five o’clock in the morning, I was awakened by a sharp blow to my chest.
*whap* “Bill!” *whap* “Bill!” *whap* “BILL!!!”
My wife was swatting me awake. Now – any relationship has it’s ups and downs, and Herself is not above letting me know when she’s unhappy with the status quo. But pounding on me while I’m asleep is new. As I opened my bleary, ill-rested eyes, what should they behold, but a pair of calf-high, lace up boots, hairy knees, hair knees, a utili-kilt, naked chest, and green mohawk.
“Ub-buh-wuh-wah?” (I’m quick-witted, I am. Especially when smacked awake after five hours sleep.)
Our “guest” was swaying back and forth slightly, and had a vaguely perplexed expression on his face.
I pulled myself out of bed, grateful that I do not sleep “sky clad” at War, and gently, politely advised our visitor that he was in the wrong tent, and in the wrong camp, and needed to go home. I led him out of the door of my tent and out into our common area. I pointed him toward the road, and went back to bed.
This was a mistake.
About an hour later, this time without assistence from my lovely bride, my eyes snapped open and I was instantly wide-awake. There, at the foot of my bed, in my tent, in my camp, was this total stranger. Eyes still unfocused, still swaying slightly on his feet.
“Dude!” quoth I, “This is not your tent. You need to leave. NOW.”
No answer. Slightly baffled swaying.
Patience exhausted, I popped up out of bed, laid my hands upon his naked upper torso, and bodily ejected him from my tent. This was the point in our adventure together when I discovered that he was nasty-greasy, and that I didn’t want to touch him again. Ew.
And so, outside, I again advised him that this was not his camp, not his tent, and that he needed to leave. Now. He made the right mouth-noises: “Right. Not my camp. Sorry. ”
And then proceeded to try to enter my tent again.
“Dude! NO!” I explained again, using smaller words, simpler sentences, and more volume: you do not live here. Get OUT!
It was at this point that our head of camp, Magistra Rosemounde of Mercia, Companion of the Laurel, Companion of the Pelican, and veteran, yea verily, of a fill thirty Pennsic wars awakened to the sound of my dulcet tones. (I had actively resisted launching into full voice. I had been tempted when I suddenly realized that a) my neighbors were sleeping behind a canvas wall twenty feet away and b) this was not their problem.) To continue . . .
Roz later said that her first thought was, “Why is Will throwing a three-year-old out of his tent at 6:30 in the morning?”
Apparently, my sentence structure had deteriorated still further in my effort to communicate with my chemically augmented companion.
Again, he tried to enter my tent.
Roz joined me at about the same time that my lady wife came out of the tent, car keys in hand.
“I’m going to go get the watch,” said my wife.
“@#$*!?!?!” said Roz.
(For a professional litigator, Roz’s command of invective is somewhat . . . limited. But I digress.)
Working quickly and in tandem, we were able to be sufficiently rude to him that we hurt his feelings.
That was what got him to leave. After fifteen minutes of solid harangue, he declared that we were “mean,” and staggered off.
I was unable to get him to actually leave by the road. He insisted on going through the neighboring camp. We watched him to see that he didn’t go into their tents, but went on out to the road. There, he proceeded to a cluster of porta-johns, urinated between them, and then wobbled up the road toward the Serengeti.
The Watch arrived ten minutes later.
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