Welcome to our historic castle! We are so glad you joined us today. I hope you’re ready for thirty minutes of excitement, because it’s about to get medieval up in here! Get it? Like in Pulp Fiction. It means it’s about to get violent and barbaric, which is not actually what I mean. I’m using it as a quirky play on words because this is a medieval castle. There will be no violence here today. That I can assure you m’ladies and gents. Unless, of course, anyone tries to skinny dip in the moat. That is strictly forbidden, and violators will be forcefully removed.
Let’s begin the tour!
Our first stop: The stables! In medieval times, horses were used as an important mode of transportation, in battle, and to draw and quarter vagrants caught skinny dipping in the moat. Well, that’s if the alligators didn’t get them first. Just kidding! There were no alligators. That’s an urban legend, but the thing about the horses is definitely true. Imagine for a moment all these stalls filled with magnificent steeds! You wouldn’t have found magnificent steeds here in the Middle Ages, but wouldn’t that have been an incredible sight? All those majestic beasts lined up, doing horse things! However, much like tomatoes and apples, in medieval times horses were tiny. Barely taller than people, who were also tiny. And they were very snappy, like little horse chihuahuas. It was a real nightmare.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the castle keep. What deep, dark secrets and magnificent treasures were safeguarded here? Actually, it was less glamorous than you might expect. Think of it as an attic, but with some extra stones protecting it. Mostly storage for knick-knacks like tiny chew toys for the horse chihuahuas, the refuge of last resort if the castle was attacked, and a place to keep the grizzly remains of dismembered moat swimmers. What’s that I hear? The sound of intruders? Do I hear splashing coming from the moat? No, this isn’t a bit. I really think I heard something. If it’s some pervert skinny dipping, I swear I’m going to lose it. And if it’s Gavin and Sam from my middle school summer camp who told me swimming naked in the lake was what the cool kids did, I’m going to doubly lose it!
Nope. All clear, everyone! It was just ducks. Which reminds me of a fun medieval fact! In the Middle Ages, there were no ducks, but the pigeons could swim, so it was kind of the same. Can you imagine a pigeon swimming? I bet even those nasty, winged rats kept their feathers on when they went for a dip. Unlike some filthy creatures I know!
Next up are the kitchens and great hall. One thing you’ll notice about the great hall is the unique chairs. Please take pictures because they are very funky looking. You’ll want to share those later on Instagram with the hashtag WeirdChairs. Otherwise, the kitchen and hall area is rather unremarkable. No granite countertops or stainless-steel appliances. Haha. There is a murder hole over here by the entrance though. That’s a fun idea. I’d love to see those HGTV people incorporate a murder hole into their home renovations. Then maybe try it out on that Chip Gaines guy anytime he takes his shirt off?
Finally, let’s have a look at the outer wall before we head back to the gatehouse. You’ll notice how thick and sturdy it is. A truly magnificent feat of engineering considering that all they had at their disposal were tiny, high-strung chihuahua horses and lots of slaves. Of course, these days many people claim that walls don’t work, so you might ask what was the point? The answer is: There really wasn’t one. The castle walls were breached, and the castle changed hands at least twenty-seven times. Plus, skinny dipping was rampant, which really has nothing to do with the wall because the moat was outside, but I have it on the brain right now and every moment since that one fateful morning in the summer of 1997 when the girls from Camp Peeper just happened to be canoeing by with binoculars and air horns!
Which brings us to our last stop, the gatehouse and moat. Seriously, sir, why are your pants off. Sir! SIR! I don’t care if you read that medieval people skinny dipped in the moat, we’re not doing it now. This is the twenty first century. Do you know what else medieval people did? Caught the plague and died. Would you like to partake in that as well? Because it can be arranged! Oh Canterbury Tales! You really jumped in. Unbelievable! OK, that’s it! What I didn’t tell you is WE HAVE A MAKESHIFT BIOHAZARD FACILITY IN THE KEEP AND IT HOUSES A LIVE COLONY OF YERSINIA PESTIS! Did you hear me? YERSINIA PESTIS! YES! THAT’S WHAT I SAID! No, I’m not joking. I’m deadly serious. WITH THE EMPHASIS ON DEADLY! I’m not at liberty to say why we grow and maintain plague here, but one reason could be to use as a deterrent for would-be moat skinny dippers. Is it working? Hmmm. Well it appears you are out now, so maybe? Sorry, we do not have towels. Skinny dippers in medieval times dried themselves with tiny horse tails, so have at it! Please fill out our feedback cards on your way out and let us know how we did. Hey. And could you spread the word on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and at your local Renaissance Fair? I hope everyone had a wonderful time and we can’t wait to see you back again. Fully clothed!
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Andrew is a writer from Orlando whose work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Cafe.com, Robot Butt, The Higgs Weldon, Parent.co, Scary Mommy, Mock Mom, and HuffPost. His first book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available now. For more, visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.