Tuesday night we met up with Dad, who had spent the afternoon doing a training call with coworker Warren. We walked down to a dinner show we had bought tickets for earlier, called Tournament of Kings.

The setting was a huge oval arena, a dark dirt floor surrounded by stands four rows high. Each row had cushioned seats, like at a movie theater, behind a long counter. In front of each seat was a plastic mug and an odd, shallow bowl with a long handle on one end.

Stands cover three sides of the oval, but on the short side nearest to us was a sort of castle setup. I could see it very well, since I was the very last person in our row. Er, that might be a bit confusing, so here’s a nice little diagram thing. Isn’t Microsoft Paint stuff pretty?

Soon a man came around to fill our mugs with root beer and out bowl things with very hot and very good tomato soup. The only problem? No spoons…

It was only a moment before out into the arena came a small man dressed as a jester, and a tall man dressed as a wizard. They informed us that we could not use cameras during the performance, could not smoke (this got cheers, the one man who booed got ridiculed by the jester!), and would be eating like they did in medieval era…with out hands. So we drank the soup. That was easy enough, but the real challenge came when they brought out the main course. The little roasted potatoes and boiled broccoli seemed easy enough, but the small whole chicken? Kind of a problem.

I couldn’t bring myself to tear apart a chicken, so dad did it for me. After that it was fine, and actually very tasty. Is there a moral in there? Maybe…or maybe not. Oh well, let’s move on.

We were lectured in huzzahing (you must throw your hands high into the air), toasting (drink deeply and sigh loudly), and drumming (move the drink away from the edge of the table). Then, as the plates were cleared and small apple pies passed out, the show began.

The plot? A tournament is being held by King Arthur to present his son to the kingdoms. Each kingdom’s king will be competing for the honor of being called champion. The seven kings rode out, to cheering from their section. We were seated in Ireland, and it was actually rather fun to cheer for our king. He had shoulder length, dirty blonde hair (nicer than mine), and was dressed all in green. His horse was a very pretty dark brown. The other kingdoms were Spain, Russia, Hungary, France, Austria, Norway, and Dragons.

Dragons were evil, of course, and their leader was a frightful man with a staff that shot fire. It was real fire, too, because every time he shot it, I felt the heat. He didn’t compete in the challenges, but popped up every so often to offer threats if the kings did not let him compete. They didn’t.

The challenges were riding the length of the area and grabbing flags, knocking the heads of dummies, and jousting. During Spain and Ireland’s joust, Spain actually grabbed a rope from the side of the castle and swung across the arena, coming back to kick Ireland in the face. There were also dancers and acrobats, and it was very cool. Spain ended up winning, which was all right, because he was my third favorite after Norway in second (very pretty brown hair and a brown horse with a white patch on its nose) and, of course, Ireland in first.

After all the challenges, out of nowhere poofs the evil Dragon king with his dragon-headed minions. The minions were a lot like something out of Power Rangers, except cooler because of the whole fire thing. Anyways, they were controlled by the Dragon king, who stood back from the fight.

There was a pretty cool little battle, where all the kings ended up unconscious and King Arthur dead. The Dragon king and his minions had vanished, so it was just Prince Christopher, who took his father’s sword in a cloud of smoke and swore revenge…then back came the evil guys!

Some more cool fighting, in which the kings returned, and the minions were dead. The Dragon king vanished in a blast of smoke and fire, promising to return.

The show ended with Prince Christopher’s coronation, very pretty with the dancers and acrobats and kings all bowing. All of a sudden, sparks flew across the ceiling in three directions, a giant firework exploded in the middle of the arena, and the Dragon king’s maniacal laughter rang out across the room…

I got my picture with Spain and France afterwards, because they came out to say hello. I went to bed feeling all tingly from the clapping and huzzahing. Another exhausting night…

-Iona-