Monday, November 9, 2009

Medieval Times

Usually there would be no stories to tell from a Vegas trip, but here's a child and family friendly one that you can show the kids. Know to most people as "Medieval Times" from the movie Cable Guy, we visited a similar show at the hotel Excalibur called "Tournament of Kings". For the uninitiated, it features legions of horsemen, midgets, overweight king-types, and fair maidens putting on a chivalrous display cum melodramatic performance, frequently exhorting the audience to sip from their chalices of $10 wine with a loud "Huzzah!" (which means "quaff your expensive wine, tourists!" in Gaelic).

So we met at the grand hotel, Excalibur, at the planned time. We took our seats in the Russian section (they seat people in sections led by your fictional "king;" ours happened to be Russian even though I pled with the host to seat us elsewhere. We opted for the prix fixe menu, which is mandatory for buying a seat to watch the tournament. This menu has been in existence, unchanged, for nineteen years as far as I can tell. The luxurious courses began at once. Tomato soup, which one of my friends promised would be the finest part of our dinner, was served in a not-very-medieval-looking plastic bowl. It was indeed good, although for all I know it could be straight from a Campbell's can. Then, the magnum opus of the meal:

You see the offending meal above, and believe me, this is one of the more appetizing pictures of it I was able to find on the World Wide Web. Soggy broccoli, lighted cooked potato sticks, delicately seasoned yet cardboardy cornish game hen, and some pieces of bread round out the entree course. The meal made us long for the days of junior and high school cafeteria food (especially Macho Nachos, and BBQ Rib). But enough about the food: the tourney hath begun!

These are the eight kings of our tourney. They hail from Sweden, Norway, Russia, Iceland, and maybe Spain and some other countries in Europe that really hadn't formed by Arthurian times. The historical acumen of the writers of this show is stunningly poor. But anyway, I was tipped off by someone in the audience that the Russian king would cheat to win the joust (even though I wish he would have said "earmuffs" prior to ruining my enjoyment of the night). I engaged him in conversation, telling him that, based on prior experience with Russians, I had assumed some acts of subterfuge from my king. I also expect his children to dote on him as he lays dying and they harass the doctors and nurses, but I digress...

As the tournament started, there was some half-ass trumpeting going on and some amateur-looking pyrotechnics. I also noted that, less children with their parents, we were the only people under forty in the audience. I ALSO began to note a serious lack of pre-gaming on our part, which became far more obvious as the tourney dragged on and I fell asleep as per usual. But from the part I was awake, I remember that there was a lot of prancing, in fact there were about twenty guys and ten gals whose job was simply to prance around the ring engaging in gymnastic feats. There were a full ten drummers, moonlighting from their day jobs as eighties' hair band backup drummers.

And then there were the eight kings. We all agreed that these guys were moonlighting prior to the night showing of "Thunder From Down Under" as they seemed to be a little too ripped for a medieval king. There was some jousting via horses, some swordplay, a mystical Dragon King who appeared in a puff of fire and fought everyone at once. It all came dangerously close to small children several times and I'm just glad no one got hurt. I slept through the ending, which I assume included some type of moralistic lesson from the time of kings, and I'm glad I missed that part.

No comments:

Post a Comment