April 23rd, 2006


Iowa State University, where women are women and men aren't supposed to excrete

We spent Saturday in Ames, on the ISU campus for the revived VEISHEA, where we helped man the SCA encampment there, demoing calligraphy, illumination, and music to complement the fighting and other things going on.

Two or three times during the day I was threatened by, shall we say, buffer overflow. The first time, I trudged off in search of facilities in the nearest building. This was a building that seems to be devoted to design, especially of fashion. Three times, once per floor of the building, the following happened:

1. I scoured the floor for rest rooms.
2. I found a rest room.
3. I found said rest room labeled "Women."

Apparently this building is a shrine not to be descrated by male effluvia. In desperation, and since the building was pretty well vacant, I violated convention and used one of the rooms in the building anyway.

The second time, I went for an adjacent building. There was a women's room on each floor...but at the top floor I did find a room labeled "men."

The third time, I set off to the top floor of the second building...but was stopped by a fellow who had been there before, and no doubt been in my condition before as well. (I've read that the Japanese word sensei, usually translated as "teacher" or "doctor", literally means "someone who's been there before," and so I will refer to this kind fellow as "sensei" henceforth.) Sensei told me that there was a nearer rest room in the main entry to the building (or perhaps buildings; I think the two aforementioned buildings may be connected, but didn't confirm that.) I followed sensei's instructions and was rewarded with success, along with a bit of irony or synchronicity or whatever: there in the display case at the entrance was—as Dave Barry says, I'm not making this up—a chainmail dress.

A high point of the day (thank goodness...): we finally got to meet aedifica and the famous Nate in person. Also, the day was a great success for the encampment: we got a goodly amount of traffic, and spread the word about the SCA.
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