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    Sound And Fury, Signifying Policing

    | Ontario, Canada | Bizarre, Wild & Unruly

    (I volunteer at a rather unusual renaissance faire that showcases a number of home-built medieval weapons for competition. Prizes are awarded for authenticity, construction, and most importantly, use. My job at this point is to keep guests from wandering into anywhere dangerous. Currently, I’m stationed at the edge of a crossbow and arquebus live-fire zone.)

    Guest #1: “What’s going on here?”

    Me: “Stay back, please. This is the crossbow and arquebus live fire zone. The contestants are going to be shooting homemade weapons in the next few minutes.”

    Guest #1: “At people?”

    Me: “No sir, at targets. These are real weapons that shoot real arrows and bullets.”

    Guest #1: “That sounds awesome! I’m going to stick around for that.”

    Guest #2: *overhearing us talk* “Do they let visitors shoot?”

    Me: “No sir, sorry. The weapons are extremely dangerous and all our participants are licensed and trained.”

    Guest #1: “Aw man, I hunt all the time. Can’t I?”

    Guest #2: “I’m also experienced with firearms.”

    Me: “Sorry guys, no one’s allowed in without a competitor badge. What you can do is talk to the competitors after the event about getting a guests pass. They’re allowed to bring people with them, and I know they’ve invited people they’ve met at shows in the past who’ve demonstrated interest. But the show’s about to start, so I recommend trying to get some good seats.”

    (The show begins, and many of the competitors are wearing period dress. When the arquebus presentation begins, my supervisor calls out the codeword for missing weapon on the radio. Before I can even start to call the police, there’s a sudden explosion, and a man awkwardly wearing a page’s shirt and a plate helmet falls over backwards. He removes his helmet, revealing Guest #1′s face. Before he can get far, Guest #2 tackles him.)

    Guest #1: *to Guest #2* “Hey! You can’t do that! You don’t even work here!”

    Guest #2: “The lady said you need a badge to enter the field. Well, buddy, I’ve got one of those!”

    (Sure enough, Guest #2 did have a badge—a police badge!)

    A Few Knights Short Of A Round Table

    | Germany | Bizarre

    (I am a dressmaker who specializes in historical clothing. I have made several dresses to illustrate the evolution of fashion over the centuries. These dresses hang in the back of our stall, each labeled with the proper century.)

    Customer: *rushes up an points to the 15th-century dress* “Oh, that’s my dress there!”

    Me: “Yes, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? Would you like to try it?”

    Customer: “I’d like to buy it. It’s exactly my dress.”

    Me: “Your dress?”

    Customer: “Yes. I had past-life regression last week. And I wore this dress while I was waltzing with King Arthur 500 years ago!”