Hiking

 

If you ever are hiking in Medieval England, remember to never carry a lance. This is especially true if the lance has a big colored flag on it, because some idiotic knight will run you through.

"Scurvy knave, prepare thou to be disemboweled!" he will yell nobly.

"What?" you will say in confusion.

Then the knight, who is usually called Sir, will come galloping straight toward you on his horse, which has a huge blanket over it with holes cut for the eyes. The blanket is usually the same color as the flag on his lance. The knights put these blankets on their horses to completely eliminate any self-esteem that the horses had. I am sure that the pack horses and mules owned by the peasants would mock the knight's horse whenever they saw it with its stupid blanket.

"OOooh, look, Ethel," one would say to another. "It's the Orange Ghost!"

"Ha ha!" the other would laugh. "Trick or treat!"

At this they would both laugh uproariously. But no one would understand them, because they are horses.

Well, in any case, here comes Sir. And to make matters even worse, he lowers his lance - yes, the one with the matching flag - and points it straight at you! Now, if you don't move out of his way, you will soon look down to discover that you are about to be served at a Chinese restaurant. What I mean is that you are shish kebob. Unless your name is not bob, in which case you may be served at an Irish pub.

Whatever you do, DO NOT -- I repeat, DO NOT -- attempt to defend yourself with your lance. The knight will take this to mean that you want to kill him, in which case he will definitely kill you MUCH slower than he would have otherwise.

"Oho, thou wisheth to kill me, dost thou?" The knight usually pauses to glower at you. "Forsooth, I shall surely run you you through ere the sun hath setteth!!"

Really, the only surefire way to avoid being killed is to not carry a lance. But if, for some reason, you absolutely have to carry a lance in Medieval England, for example, your mother-in-law Berthe insists that you carry your spouse's Magical Birth Lance across England to Scotland, there to throw it at the Blarneystone, then I would advise you to keep to the streets where knights are not known to prowl. The best way to find those streets is to fly overhead in an airplane. Or a helicopter. But, since these were not around during the Medieval Era, you may just ask some of the peasants. They will sympathize with you, and instruct you where the local knights' prowling grounds are.

"Oh, I know just what you mean," an old peasant woman will agree. "My Clyde was out in the field when a knight with poor vision mistook his scythe for a lance. He up and charged my poor Clyde, and--" Here the woman's voice fails her, and she wipes her moist eyes. You should say "there, there." If she then says "Where?" you have failed and you should ask someone else. But if she doesn't say "Where?" she will say, "and then that fool knight mistook a tree for Clyde. I'll spare you the details. We had to shoot that horse. And the knight impaled himself on his lance. But we managed to use the horse's stupid blanket. I made this dress out of it. Do you like it?" I would advise you to say something like, "Yes, it's very pretty." DON'T say: "How did you shoot the horse, with bow and arrows?!" Or: "Were you aware they put eyeholes in the horse blankets?" Especially do not say: "Did you EAT the knight?!"

Once the peasants have told you which streets are safe, avoid those streets like the plague. If you have no idea how you would avoid the plague, then avoid them like you would two smiling men in suits and ties walking door-to-door with a briefcase. The reason for this is that, although the peasants DO sympathize with you, they realize that once the knight has killed you, he will cart you off to Camelot to brag to the King about something that knights like to call "honorable exploits." He will brag there for a full month. So, if they tell you to go on a street with a knight, they are actually trying to rid their town of a knight for a month. Besides, knights make horrible companions at the bar, which is where most peasants hung out. Listening to a knight tell for hours of his "honorable exploits" put anyone who heard it in a bad mood. This bad mood was so intense that it caused intense fever and death. It spread wherever a knight would tell his "exploits." This illness was called the "Black Death", or "The Plague." Afraid, people everywhere began refusing to listen to the knights. This made the knights very, very angry, so they proceeded to complain to the King. The King intelligently circulated rumors that it was caused by rats. Not only did this make the knights happy, but it served several other purposes:

1) It caused the history books to falsely report the Plague's cause, freeing the knights from much embarrassment.

2) It made people get rid of rats, which the King especially loathed.

3) A little kid named Herman thought rats looked "bubonic." He just made the word up one day while staring at a rat. One day he asked his mom, "Mother, shalt thou perish as my father before me at the merciless hand of the Bubonic Plague?" The name stuck.

4) It quieted the Conspiracy Theory believers, so they stopped calling King Arthur a Nazi.

If, even after following those directions, you are apprehended by a knight, say this one line: "Good morrow, honorable Sir! Come, sit thou, and telleth me of thy honorable exploits!" That line works every time. The knight will get off his horse, sit down next to you, and begin to drone like a beehive. More often than not, he leaves his lance on the horse. Then, while he is droning, you must quickly pin him to the tree with your lance. Then escape with his horse. This is easier said than done, because the knight's horse is trained to be loyal to the knight. However, all you have to do is take off the horse's blanket. The horse will be so relieved that he will take you wherever you want to go. The whole thing is really a risky operation, as you run a large risk of contracting the Bubonic Plague from the knight. I have found that the only way to recover from the Black Death is to wear a brightly colored horse blanket. Use the eyeholes for contact with the outside world. And avoid pack horses.The Compendium

© 1998-2020 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019
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