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Mead starts to shed its wenches-and-jousting image

Photo courtesy The Washington Post

Photo courtesy The Washington Post

“The source of my bias was a Renaissance festival I attended years ago. I expected to love it; after all, I’d read “The Chronicles of Narnia” at least five times. I can wench with the best of them. When we went, my friends and I bought cups of mead and “medieval” food (crusaders apparently got around on funnel cake and Ye Olde Empanadas) and wandered about taking it all in: the jousts, the bearded men in velvet pantaloons smithying various weapons.

Giddy from the mead, I paid extra to see a creature billed as “The World’s Littlest Unicorn,” which turned out to be a goat in a jacket. No one had even bothered to stick a fake horn on it. When the little girl ahead of me said plaintively, “That’s not a unicorn!,” The World’s Jerkiest Carny told her she was right: “And do you know why it’s not a unicorn? Because children don’t believe in unicorns anymore.””

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As mead sheds its wenches-and-jousting image, I’ve started to come around