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30 August 2011 @ 04:46 pm
Summerfest 2011  
Somehow king_pellinor managed to persuade me that I wanted to help run the Summerfest bar this year. He also similarly convinced ladyofastolat, though since she's married to him I suppose she has some excuse for the folly. Some years ago he persuaded chainmailmaiden that she wanted to nothing more with her summer bank holiday weekend than cook for live roleplayers - she is clearly a lost cause.

Helping to run the bar, it must be said, was pretty good from a doesn't-require-too-much-thought-and-people-are-grateful point of view. It was less good from a my-day-to-day-job-doesn't-require-standing-and-my-feet-legs-and-back-are-in-the-process-of-lodging-a-complaint point of view. We had minions which was a lot of fun. Any time something (mostly washing up) needed to be done we could confidently state "we'll get a minion to do that". We also tended to get minions to mix cocktails which they often opted to do "in character". The Primate of Kharach (god of death for the non-cognoscenti) kept getting distracted by requests that she lay the pork scratchings to rest, however on the Sunday we had a very over-the-top Traldan priest (goddess of luck, thieves, gamblers and prostitutes) who spotted a "Traldan Surprise" cocktail which involved picking two spirits at random. Within about half an hour he had a dice-based system worked out and we proceeded to offer all Traldans a copper off and the opportunity to roll the dice themselves. We sold a surprising number of Tradan Surprises that night. Some of them were even enjoyed by the recipients. I was amused by the following conversation though:

Cocktail Waiter: Try the Traldan Surprise!!! I'll let you roll the dice!! Only a Silver and a Copper!!
Traldan A (to his friend): Don't! I had one last year. It was horrible. It had chilli vodka in it!
Traldan B: I'm not sure.
Cocktail Waiter: You only get chilli vodka on a double six!! Go on, you know you want to.
Traldan A: Just don't.
Traldan B: Doesn't sound like a good idea, no.
ladyofastolat: There are other cocktails. Here's a menu!
Traldan B: This one has both chilli vodka and tabasco sauce in!! I'll have that.
Bar Staff: *bemused confusion*

I was less amused by the procession of people who wandered up the First Aid station at the end of the bar to report that they hadn't eaten or drunk anything in the last 24 hours except six pints of bitter and two extra-strong pain killers and were now feeling a bit funny. The ambulance had to be called six times and the police once (when two rottweilers appeared in the woods and bit another dog walker - who reported it to us).

As with the last Summerfest I attended, there were a lot of old friends to catch up with, and a lot more grey hair between us. Since I was working the bar I only got a hazy idea of the plot but I gathered that the adventurers managed to crown a new King of Ireland despite the objections of the Axirian Empire. As far as I could make out this involved king_pellinor, in his role of Knight Commander, talking polite legalities with powerful Axirians while other people conducted hasty rituals behind his back. Then the stone circle blew over, but I don't think that was intentional. Several people suggested I should play next year but although king_pellinor seems to manage this juggling act, I'm not sure I'd cope well with switching back and forth between managing minor crises involving running out of cups with handles and minor crisis involving dead kings and hordes of undead. If I'm to do it another year I also need to work out a good way to make some down time during the day. On Sunday I worked from about 8am to about 11pm and was pretty shattered by the end of it.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/52850.html.
lukadreaminglukadreaming on August 30th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Blimey, you were brave! The whole thing sounds wonderfully barmy. But I now want minions of my own ...
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on August 30th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
It is pretty barmy!! chainmailmaiden took to baking cakes when there was no immediate need for stew and so there were odd moments when I found myself offering cream teas or lemon drizzle cake to orcs and werewolves.

Minions are great, everyone should have some!
fredbassettfredbassett on August 30th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
It reminds me of the time on holiday we invented a cocktail called the Lesbian Cow!

It all sounds huge fun.
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on August 30th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
It was huge fun, though tiring!
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on August 30th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Moreover, Traldan B was down to his last coins, so opted to spend his entire remaining wordly wealth on a drink that everyone around him was telling him would cause him immense agony. Plus, he voluntarily chose the "YOU WILL DIE!" chilli vodka, over the two slightly milder ones on offer. Ah yes, Traldan Cocktail Hour was definitely the bar's best moment. :-)

I'm in the process of writing a document on what worked well, what we should change for next year etc. etc. It includes a request for a comfortable sit-down area for bar managers, which is out of sight of the customers, so we can have a meal and a sit-down without getting interrupted every two seconds by confused minions who can't find the diet coke.
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on August 30th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
...plus prominently displayed price lists, and clear lists of where things like spare orange juice live, so it will be easier to leave the serving to the minions, supervised by just one of us, while the others have time off.
louisedennislouisedennis on August 30th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
It occurred to me that as well as/instead of blackboards it might be an idea to have just the printed menus laminated up and stuck to a board somewhere to the side of the tent - like restaurants display their menus on the outside. That would let people peruse the options and prices without clogging up the bar, especially at busy times.
fififolle: Primeval - Lyle (drinking)fififolle on August 30th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
I have absolutely no idea what Summerfest is, but that was hugely entertaining to read *g* You must be wrecked, but what fun *g*
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on August 31st, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
I was pretty wrecked. I definitely need to work on pacing myself if I do it another year!
bunnbunn on August 31st, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
This has to be an extreme sport...

Bartending Xtreme!
Catering To the Max!
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on August 31st, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
I don't think it was that Xtreme - no live flambe-ing occurred!! But it was a long day and we had quite a wide range of stuff on offer which did complicate matters a bit.
Delia: Mailchainmailmaiden on August 31st, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for coming to help out!

I realised some time ago I couldn't do all the cooking and run the bar, so it's good to have other reliable people around to do that. I love doing the cooking, though I do miss being down in the bar as I also love making the cocktails. All the cocktails are ones I created, apart from the Peacemaker, which was invented by the chap who did the recipe for the Paragon this year - I think he plays a black knight.
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on August 31st, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
I was a bit dubious about the cocktails at first since they seemed like added complexity for relatively little gain, but they grew on me a lot, especially when I realised how witty a lot of them were!

Thanks for all the food, the beef stew and the scones were particularly revivifying!

EDIT: Oh and the Rocky Road and the Lemon Drizzle cake!

Edited at 2011-08-31 02:06 pm (UTC)
Delia: Mailchainmailmaiden on August 31st, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked the food :-) The cocktails were a way of using up the various weird and wonderful spirits Bacchus had acquired from work. Unfortunately the number of bottles we bring back never seems to go down :-(
king_pellinorking_pellinor on September 1st, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks a million from me too, even if (especially as!) I hardly saw you all weekend.

Glad you enjoyed it - that's the important bit :-)

LadyofAstolat has already presented me with a 5-page list of requirements for next year - from more mugwithahandles to a private withdrawing room/executive lounge - which should make it run better :-)
louisedennis: larplouisedennis on September 1st, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Absolutely more mugwithahandles are badly needed! *g*

I've been mulling over a King Commander's Butler character - then I wouldn't need to change to slip into bar worker mode.
king_pellinorking_pellinor on September 1st, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, now you're talking :-D

It's the logical follow-up to the Personal Custard, after all...