May 2nd, 2013


So what does a Laurel drink?

No, not the person -- the award itself.

Today is the 21st anniversary of my induction into the Order. Thinking about that kind of makes my head hurt, in a "*man*, I've been playing this game for a long time" kind of way. Other birthdays are rounder, but the concept that my Laurel is now an adult is just kind of weird.

But it does lead to an on-and-off conversation that Kate and I have had in recent months: so what *does* a Laurel drink, now that it's legal? I'm having trouble coming up with a decent-sounding cocktail that involves bay leaves. (Which would, I suppose, be subversively cannibalistic.) Or would it be something painfully period, in a Mistress Laurel Seamchecker kind of way? (Do folks nowadays even remember the Seamchecker plays?)

Suggestions welcomed...

The Seamchecker Plays

The previous entry left me wondering whether the scripts for the Laurel Seamchecker plays were available online -- fortunately, it appears that the Internet, as usual, has preserved it all for posterity.

For those who haven't ever seen them: the Our Kind trilogy were a set of plays put on by the Golden Stag Players 20-some years ago. They're roughly contemporaneous with the beginnings of I Sebastiani, and are Commedia-flavored, but with actual scripts and with SCA-based characters such as Mistress Laurel Seamchecker, Cupcake Gaolbait, Queen Lowbodice, and Don Swishpiffle. They are frequently quite funny, sometimes just a tad rude, and full of SCA culture. (And pretty much *every* SCA stereotype as characters.)

The Golden Stag Players' website has admirably detailed information -- if you click on "The Plays" link, you'll get info on all of their plays. The Our Kind plays are numbers 1-3, down at the bottom. Those pages include full details, including pointers to recordings of the plays on YouTube, but here are the quick pointers to the scripts, with their descriptions from the website:
  • "Our Kind is simply the tale of a new member of the SCA finding out what it's all about, from some very stero-typical characters. The character names tell you all you need to know about most of them. The fun of this is the stereotyped characters -- you can almost see someone you know in every character. The dialog is fun, but it's obviously a first play ..."

  • "Mistress Laurel Seamchecker Explains It All At You is basically about Mistress Laurel Seamchecker (introduced in the first play) coming out and talking to the audience, with frequent interruptions by various stereo-typical characters. As you might guess, she's rather opinionated on the 'correct' way the SCA should be played. At the end, she is "given the bird" by the Queen in court for her service ..."

  • A Nightmare on Laurel Street "is based very loosely on Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Mistress Laurel is visited by her old mentor, Mistress Mentor, who is now dead, and a ghost (wearing rags), and given the usual spiel about how Mistress Laurel will be visited by three spirits. Well, she sees herself in the past as a newbie at her first event, in a horrible outfit, etc. She sees herself in the present bowing to Queen Cupcake!, and in the future, she's a Duchess, and has her own costume police (at this point she's the oldest living Laurel)."
I only saw the third one performed -- honestly not sure where. (I had thought it was at TFYC, but that appears to predate the writing of the play.) I will admit that the line "At wong wast, we have combined civiwization with manwiness" has stuck with me ever since.

Anyway, they're delightful scripts, and well worth reading if you enjoy poking fun at the club. Things have changed a bit since they were written, but most of the jokes hold up well...