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My Ragnarok XXVI Experience

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My Ragnarok XXVI Experience



By David "Hivemind" Haldenwang



OK, sometimes writing is cathartic, so lemme just make a wall o' text and get this out of my system.



Saturday: packing cut short by rain. Took wife out for sushi and a movie. Overall: not terrible, but wtf rain?



Sunday: finished packing in the rain. Started driving, tie-downs broke, shields flew onto I90 and got run over by semi. Kept going, trailer blew a tire in West Seneca. We changed the tire, but thought the trailer was overloaded (mostly with beer) and so unloaded six kegs and a bunch of small but heavy things (cots, camp chairs, etc.) onto the parking lot of a Presbyterian church, left behind some guys to watch it, and continued to Ragnarok. Meanwhile, our advance party from Saturday started driving north in two cars to pick up all the stuff we left behind and the four guys. Everyone finally got on-site about 10 PM - then we started setting up. Overall: absolutely horrible.



Monday: couldn't fight because there was too much stuff to do to get the camp set up because we got such a late start. Poles for my new Viking tent are too short, need new ones, gotta buy those too. A billion things to do at camp that should have been done Sunday. Next year I'm coming down on Saturday to get a jump on all this. Oh, and wife gets sick drinking too much wine at the Kutriguri's party. Overall: I've had much better days.



Tuesday: Get up, see that the guys have already run all my shit through weapons check. We form up in a column of twos and hoof it down to the woods battle, where much fun was had by all. Legion looks good, fights good, no drama, great to see everyone again (finally), and even though our scorched-earth policy went awry for the last scenario, it was epic to have us form our shield wall at the top of a ditch, and see NO ONE engage us - they just went to the left and right of us, and left us watching the fight. Not sure if it was the ditch, or the tower shields, or the scary masks, but it was gratifying. Tuesday night's Beginning Leatherwork class is a great success again, and while the Militia party was "meh", when I returned from that I traded the bass drum for my new little fiber doumbek and got invited down to Asgard's camp to jam with Ishtar for a few hours. Rap and I had a great time learning from their drummer. Slept well that night. Overall: every day should be like this one.



Wednesday: Have a mentioned that our camp bed is a tad too short for me, and that my feet hang over the footboard just a little? This becomes relevant Wednesday morning, because my wife returned from her morning shower and promptly sat down on the end of the bed on top of my foot, crushing it against the oak footboard and bending it down in ways feets are not intended to bend. I sit straight up in bed and yell. Not an auspicious start. I don't get to fight Wednesday, because me and Dirge have to drive to Pittsburgh to pick up the gear for our Undead Rave that night. Pgh is about an hour from Cooper's Lake, we spend an hour at the Guitar Center there picking out gear, drive an hour back, there goes the day. Foot condition steadily deteriorating - I'm noticeably limping after the drive there and back. We get set up for the rave, and by all accounts it's a great success. At one point I counted 200 people dancing, and didn't even bother with people standing around. No complaints came to me from anyone except a few of the people that wanted to night fight and were pissed we weren't turning on the huge floodlights. Overall: no fighting, foot starting to hurt, rave goes well. Meh.



Thursday: wake up to foot hurting like a motherfucker. Clearly this is tendon damage. It gets a little better as the day goes on, but I can't fight again today because Dirge and I have to return the gear to Pittsburgh - three hours shot again. By the time we return, I'm hobbling. I self-medicate with copious amounts of alcohol, then arrange the Wight trial for Monkey, Space Pope, Necrosis and Ten Feets. This goes great, and after being beaten up by an all-star cast of Dagorhir luminaries (and Ugg - how the hell did that happen?) they all get promoted - congrats guys! I decide to drive down to Mardi Gras, since we still have the van right there and I don't wanna limp down with the bass drum. Mardi Gras is a fun time, but some things cannot be unseen, and after about an hour, someone decided they didn't like where I'd parked and threatened to have my vehicle towed. Foot hurts like a bitch anyways, so I limp out, drive back and try unsuccessfully to sleep in pain. This goes poorly, and so begins Friday. Overall: bullshits.



Friday: don't remember a lot about Friday. I remember a lot of pain, and playing some D&D&D that night, and that's about it. Foot hurts nearly unbearably now. Pretty sure this was the day when I won two categories at the Arts & Sciences competition, but I can't really be sure. Overall: Two medals, but still FML


Saturday: Still not able to walk more than a few hundred feet at a stretch. Guys go fight, I perpetuate the confusion between me and Dirge by dressing him in my armor head to tow and arming him with my Wynar sword. I don't go out to the field, but I'm told he played along by communicating solely with curses and his middle finger, and shield charging at every opportunity. Dagorhirrim: if you thought you were killing me on the field Saturday, think again. :) Other than that entertainment, though, the day was full of suck. We had a little inter-unit drama that still needs to be settled, and I went to bed again frustrated and in pain. Overall: no satisfaction in, really, anything. Miserable day. And we ran out of Woodchuck.



Sunday: Everyone is up and moving around by 8:45, which is a fucking miracle - maybe this will be a good day. However, everyone was moving pretty godsdamned slowly and we didn't break camp until noon. We're careful to load the trailer with all the lightest stuff we can this time - empty coolers, empty kegs, shields, etc. and hope all will go well. It's certainly driving better than the trip down. Started driving north, and blew a second tire on the trailer about 20 minutes south of Erie. Fuck this trailer, and fuck these new tires that were put on it. Both "new" tires blew. Now we're stranded on the interstate with a trailer full of gear and no spare tire. We start making calls. Bones finds a Tractor Supply Company that has tires of the correct size, and Huntress finds a UHaul place that has a 14' box truck available. The two of them depart to get the truck and tires. The plan is to unload the trailer onto the truck, then replace both tires on the trailer with new ones, and drive the trailer back empty, since all of us have 0% confidence in it now. Those of us on the road have about a two hour wait. We bust out some camp chairs on the shoulder and bullshit for a couple hours until Diana and Dan return. At some point a PA State Trooper showed up; none of us got tazed. The new tires were $110 for the pair, but the UHaul is FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS. We have no choice, bite the bullet and get the truck. I send Huntress and Ten Feets on ahead in the Fit so she can get to our house and take care of Ivan from her mom, and the rest of us unload the trailer, move it all to the truck, get the new tires on the trailer, and carry on. I'm of no use at all during all this because my foot is still miserable. I do what I can by standing on the white line, waving cars over to the left lane, and making obscene gestures at the ones that refuse to get over. We drive north at 65 MPH in a 3-vehicle convoy: me and Space Pope in the van+empty trailer, Asscrack and Monkey in the UHaul, and Bones and Headshot in his car on rearguard. We stop and get some China buffet, have an impromptu meeting of the Cairnhold Legion OGs (we had a quorum), and finish the drive home, arriving at my house in Whitesboro after midnight. Minimal unpacking, I email my boss to let him know I ain't coming in Monday, and that's a wrap for Sunday. Overall: WORST. DAY. EVER.



Anyway, if you've read this far, you can go cut yourself now. Thanks.

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