WTW: D&D Style in the Dirty SouthMay 31st, 2006 at 9:29 am by Preston Taylor Holmes
Back when I lived in Nashville, we used to live at The Grove apartments on Elmington Avenue. We would often drive by the park there at Elmington and West End, where we would see scenes like these:
The wife (then fiancee) and I would say to one another, oh my, what a throwback to the days of yore…, then we’d head down to Baja Burrito for a big fat chicken burrito.
Anyway, the Tennessean, known nationwide for its cutting-edge journalism, reminded me of these bloated battlers with a feature this week.
Scads of people clad in medieval garb descend on the grassy park in Nashville most Sunday afternoons to flail, stab, hack and skewer each other with foam-covered swords, axes and spears, much to the amusement and confusion of passing motorists. Nearby there’s usually a crowd of onlookers smirking and saying, “What are these geeks doing? Do they think this is Middle Earth or something?”
Well, that’s the thing. Many of them do.
The combat occurs under the auspices of Dur-Demarion, a local nonprofit whose aim is to re-create medieval combat with a healthy dose of “Lord of the Rings” fantasy and safety foam thrown in. Part contact sport and part role-playing game, the weekly battles the group hosts aren’t just for Tolkien fans; many of the cloaked participants are mild-mannered folks who enjoy a good escape from the daily grind, and a few others are meatheads who simply like to hit people.
I never got the whole D&D thing or Lord of the Rings, so maybe I’m just too uneducated to really appreciate this group’s brand of absurd ritual. But, I suppose it is like pretty much any other sporting event, as long said sporting event uses a Nerf™ brand sport ball.
I find the whole “very athletic” thing odd, because when we would come upon these Ogre battles, it was often a mix of morbidly-obese and pencil-thin combatants, moving in a grotesque ballet of flying foam swords and cellulite. On the other hand, they did wear the heavy costumes in the heat of summer, which has to help shed the pounds.
I’ll go ahead and save Brittney the trouble and make this point: at least it’s better than real war!
Here are your White Trash Wednesday bloggers….