Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hurry up! The portal's about to close!

Tor.com has a post up about what you'd bring if you had half an hour to pack for a trip to fantasyland. It's a fun little exercise, and the comments are especially fun to read. Here's my take on it.

Okay, so first of all, I never can find anything when I need it. I also no longer have any camping gear, so no frame packs or sleeping bags or the like for me. I've got a black leather backpack I've had since college, and I know where it is. So everything I take with me would have to fit in that backpack.

First step, then: find the backpack and dump out all the stuff that's probably in it now. Second step: rush around in a tizzy yelling "fugfugfug don't I own a pocketknife?" No, I don't own a pocketknife. So you already know I'm screwed. Third step: dig around in the boxes under my bed, where I'm pretty sure I have a compass. Yes, it's a compass set in the back of a wooden crab with boingy legs, but a compass is a compass.

After that, clothes. I'm wearing jeans and a big green T-shirt right now, not exactly period clothing for Fantasyland, not for a woman. I'd better shuck the jeans and T-shirt and put on my white cotton nightgown, which will do as a chemise and doubles as a, well, nightgown. Then the longest skirt I own, a pretty green and black one made of some sort of polyblend fabric, which at least will keep it from being all wrinkly. No, wait, I have nothing that goes with it (which is why I never wear that skirt). Okay, I'll change into the long black dress I haven't worn in a few years--oof, it's a little small these days, and hard to zip up by myself, and the nightgown shows at the collar (yes, I'm actually changing clothes here--why not?). On the other hand, it does look good. So I'll pack the nightgown instead of wearing it, wear the dress and black leather ballet flats, and tie my hiking boots to the outside of my backpack.

That took about ten minutes, and I'm overdressed for fantasyland.

So, okay, I'll tell everyone I'm the widow of a lord from a faraway land, and I was only able to grab a few fripperies on my escape from the marauding orc hordes storming the keep. Or whatever. That'll explain my lack of a knife and the fact that I'm wearing a dress that really requires a lady's maid to get on. Oh, and my husband's name was Jansport. I have his backpack, obviously.

I plan to ditch the dress for something more comfortable at the first market I come to.

I'm a widow, so I need to cover my hair. The silk scarf my grandmother gave me will work great, and I can sell it if I have to. Empty the jewelry box into the pocket of the backpack, check. Grab that nice bar of oatmeal soap I found while looking for a knife, also grab a hairbrush, antibiotic ointment, toothbrush, toothpaste, tampons (gonna miss those when I run out), facecloth, small towel, wool socks, the wool Shaw tartan scarf on my dresser, underclothes.

Now I've only got fifteen minutes left max and my backpack is getting full. I don't know where my Schacht two-ounce drop spindle is, and even if I could find it I don't think it would be very useful (I'm a lady, supposedly, so what am I doing spinning on a drop spindle like a peasant?), but I'll grab my cloth penroll full of crochet hooks and knitting needles! There's a new pair of scissors in there too. I can sell the scissors, and teaching people to crochet will make me useful--crocheting is a fairly recent art, so fantasyland residents aren't likely to know how. Gotta grab some wool yarn from the living room too.

Ten minutes left. Raid the spice cabinet. Pepper, IODIZED SALT because lordie, no one wants a goiter, paprika, cloves, and all that other good stuff that'll help make fantasyland stew palatable or will be worth good money. Grab anything edible without cooking that's in a package I can get into without special utensils--crackers, almonds if there are any left, and so forth. Let's hope the portal takes me to a town, because otherwise I'll starve.

Only a few minutes left, just enough time to rush back upstairs and grab one or two paperbacks, ones I love and don't mind rereading a lot. And a notebook and a few pens, since of course I want to record my experiences in fantasyland. And after that I'm out the door and through the portal to fantasyland!

Where I will immediately be eaten by a grue.

6 comments:

Jameson T. Caine said...

I think I still have my old renaissance fair costume around here. Plus, I collect swords, so I'd grab one of those. Then the usuals: hygiene stuff and basic survival gear.

And cheese puffs. Can't forget those.

K.C. Shaw said...

I wouldn't know what to do with a sword (beyond the obvious "the pointy bit goes in the other person" part), so it's probably a good thing I don't have one.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I'd enter fantasyland pale (check), skinny (erm, that might take some work) and in a gorgeous 11th/12th century dress and there would most definitely be a knight on a horse waiting for me...

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, do I get a knight too?

Nina said...

Jansport! This made me lol! I followed your comment over from tordotcom and I loved this post. I think a lot of us commenters (and admittedly, why my roomate and I thought of this in the first place) have a lot of out-of-the-ordinary fantasy-ish things in our flat. Thinking about what to do when you don't have a complete renaissance-faire costume wardrobe is much more scary to contemplate!

K.C. Shaw said...

I admit, I had a blast thinking this over. And I also admit it'll probably shape my next clothes purchases, which is pretty sad. But I believe in being prepared. :)