Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Knights of Neigh

“Riders, please report to your end of the field with your steed and your squires!” bellowed the ….. the bellower.

And at each end of the field a clump of activity would form around a taller focal point at the clump’s center. After assisting with the donning of armor or costume components, the squires would grip in place a tall-tall bike while its rider climbed on. In the final act of preparation they would hand up a twelve foot lance, and when the rider had this mammoth spear balanced into position, they would wait for the gunshot and launch the bike in the appropriate direction with battle cries and a group shove.

With a raucous live band blaring from one end of the lot, and a raggedy, bloodthirsty, crowd pressing in around the edges, separated from the carnage by a pitiful strand of yellow tape, the knights charged each other, head on.

The goal, unchanged since the early part of the millennium: Smack the opposing rider off their horse with a really long pole. I noted only one concession toward a more humane approach to impaling another human being: today’s lances are tipped with a large boxing glove.

It’s called Tall-Bike Jousting, and though clearly it’s been going on long enough for this kind of participation to develop, this was the first I’d heard of it. I have more to tell you. And yes, I have lurid photographs for you of course, which I will have to insert later on because I have to run off now. Check back with me.


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