Tuesday, October 17, 2006

COLUMN: Renaissance

Ooh, you picked a good week to read my column. That's right, lucky reader, this week you get to gain valuable behind-the-scenes insight. People often ask me (between autographs, of course) how I choose a column topic each week.

Truth be told, it's a highly scientific process involving two important steps:

(1) I sit around for a week, and
(2) Hope that something dumb and funny happens.

This is a proven method for success (I'm just a magnet for stupidity.) Every once in a while, though, the clock starts ticking and the stupid stuff just doesn't happen. Last week, in fact, I went five whole days without anything idiotic going on around me. I was starting to sweat. Would I have nothing to write about this week? Then my prayers were answered:

A renaissance fair was a-comin' to town. The gods were on my side.

After all, what could be funnier than a pack of grown adults putting on fake suits of armor and fake fighting each other with fake swords until one of them fake dies? It's Instant Comedy: Just Add Dorks. This is the humor columnist's Mecca.

Now, no offense to you Renaissance Fair-loving folks. To each their own, I say, and if your idea of fun is wearing tights, using the word "m'lady" as a pickup line, and chugging a mug of Schlitz -- sorry, I mean, MEAD -- then hey, more power to ya.

Me? I'm ENOUGH of a nerd as is -- I don't need to display it publically. Frankly, I believe God created puberty for a reason, and that reason is to give us an exact timeframe in which to pack up our Dungeons & Dragons modules. As difficult as it was to accept back in 8th grade, I had to come to grips with the harsh truth that most girls don't actually care that you're a 12th Level Paladin who successfully defeated the dread Troll King of G'narloff Spire.

So I was pumped. Granted, I didn't want to go on an all-out assault against the Renaissance masses. After all, these people are kindred spirits - we nerds can smell our own. I like my video games and my computer, and yes, I spend my days posting on "Lost" message boards and the like. I'm a dork through-and-through, so I wasn't going to devote an entire column ridiculing the Renaissance folk.

Still, I could poke fun a little, right? Right?

That was the exact moment when technology decided to declare war on me. Let's recap:

• A taillight goes out on my car. Which is courteously pointed out to me by a police officer and a written warning.

• I get home to find my air conditioner going "KA-CHUNK! KA-CHUNK!" I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that's not good.

• My universal remote control goes out -- but that's okay, because so did the TV in my bedroom.

• To top it all off, I turn on my computer to do pre-work on this column... to find out it's hosed. My primary hard drive is toast, along with all of my software and about 175 GB of music for my weekend DJ gig.

Look, I know that random bad things happen from time to time. But never like this. Never all at once. I'd like to play a video game, but I'm afraid to touch any more technology. I'm living in fear of my toaster exploding. This is no mere run of bad luck. Nope, this must be MAGICK.

My guess is an Elf Mage, with a Hex of Mechanical Failure +2, and I missed my saving throw. I thought I could make fun of the Renaissance Fair without harm, but NAY! A seer must have gazed into a mystic crystal to become learned of my plot, and hence crafted a stealth attack to thwart the scribing of thine column.

Thy moral of thy story: Mock ye not the Renaissance Fair, lest ye be cursed. Oh, and if ye happenth to possess a 250GB Western Digital hardeth drive, thou art encouraged to send it hastily my way.

Vengeance, however, is mine. My column may have been thwarted, but I was happy to turn on the news last night and see live coverage from the Renaissance Fair. In the foreground, medieval dorks were frolicking about as you'd expect. But in the background? Cars whizzing by, one of which was clearly blaring a diddy from that minstrel bard of yore, Sir Snoop of Dogg.

STOP THE PRESSES! I can't even make a Snoop Dogg joke without the wrath of the Renaissance warriors! I woke up the morning after writing this column to find my car dead in the parking lot. Won't turn over, won't move. I have mocked the Renaissance Fair and its denizens for the last time. You are all wonderful, powerful human beings and I beseech you to leave me and my technology alone. I shall ne'er speak ill of you again. Just remember: when I call you "dorks," it's with the utmost respect.

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