A Faire Draught

– by Michael!

When Joanie and I were dating, we decided that we really wanted to take a drive down to the Texas Renaissance Festival. This is because we are nerds, and we enjoy being nerds, thank you very much – and frankly, what part of throwing axes while gnawing on a roasted turkey leg is unappealing?

So we drove down to the Fairgrounds outside of Houston, a little more than two hours away from Waco, with the idea that we would eat some deep fried awesome (along with the aforementioned turkey leg), take in the sights (oh, the people-watching!), and maybe catch some jousting before heading home that afternoon. (We briefly discussed camping, but our trip to the Grand Canyon was not too far behind us, and we were a wee bit gun-shy.)

The entire experience was phenomenal. As mentioned, both the food and the people-watching were great fun (Joanie had to talk me out of procuring a chain-mail bikini of my own, for which I’m still lobbying to this day), we enjoyed both a jousting show AND a pretty rocking falconry exhibition, and I tried my hand at throwing hunks of semi-sharpened iron at imaginary enemies. However, the entire process took quite a bit longer than we planned because of the mead.

After we’d eaten our fill of the various healthy choices available at the faire, we decided to have a couple of cups of mead just for fun. When we ordered two cups, however, the helpful lady at the counter said, “why not just pick up a bottle? It’s only $2 more than the two cups, and we pour four cups out of a bottle, so…”

“Sure!” we cried in unison, gladly taking both the bottle and the proffered cup. Joanie kept the former, and poured me samples out of the latter as we resumed walking around the festival for what we assumed to be the last hour or so of our time there. Several passers-by applauded her for the swigs she was taking out of the bottle, with one or two young gents going so far as to congratulate me on my wisdom in selecting a girlfriend. We chalked it up to general festival-inspired silliness, as the mead was sweet and light and not really all that impressive in terms of its effect, as evidenced by the –

Oh, my.

It appears that the label proclaims this bottle as being almost thirty per cent alcohol.

Hm.

We had been enjoying this heavenly substance as though it were more comparable to wine or beer, lower in alcohol content and thereby quicker to cease its effect on one’s system. 

This… this was liquor. 
And we had just finished drinking a 24-oz bottle between the two of us in a very short time-span. And – in true Loony-Tunes fashion – we didn’t feel the gravity, so to speak, until we had already dashed right over the cliff.

In other words, we weren’t leaving the fairgrounds any time soon.

Thankfully, there was still a lot of fun to be had. Including an hour-long nap on an authentic Renaissance park bench. Eventually, with the help of some more heavy, carb-laden food and lots of water, the golden haze of the mead lifted and we were able to safely operate a motor vehicle once more, and we left the park – several hours later than planned, of course, but we carried with us some great memories along with the excess layers of powdered sugar and slight sunburn.

Not to mention a new appreciation for the art of reading the label.

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