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Re: On outlandish foreign customs

Poster: Wynn Klosky <klosky@meeker.UCAR.EDU>

Greetings unto all whom these words do reach, far-spread as the
pollen carried by the bee as it kisses each patient flower waiting
its turn, from Branwynn Ottersby, currently Outlandish.

I would speak as I was taught in the wise bosom of Black Diamond
many years ago, which applies even now where I dwell, "Carry not
those things into court when you are called that require the use 
of one or more of your hands to steady, lest you poke someone when you 
faint. Ask your neighbour to hold it safely for your return. Disturb not 
the assembly with gropings upon your person for knives they did not know 
to be there in the first place; what they don't know will never hurt them.
If you happen to be in armour when you are called into court, remove
your helm. And ABOVE ALL, kneel on the cushion."

As for being escorted into court, if you don't wish to be escorted, (just
a helpful hint for those of you who might not have given it any thought) it
is far better to meet the eye of the person who has jumped up to escort
you and say a quiet, but firm and polite, "No, thank you," than to ignore
the escort-hopeful. Outlands is very much an escorting kingdom, with some
royals more firm on that point than others (there is the famous tale
of a lady who politely declined escort into court, and then was forced to 
have accompaniment when the king jumped down from the dais to escort her 
himself. She gave over at that point.) (And, no, Henry, it wasn't me.)

I currently serve on the Queen's Guard out here, and have done my share
of escorting. From what I can understand of the sentiments behind the
practice here, it is certainly not that a lady (or lord ;^) (Yes, Henry,
I DO) *NEEDS* such an escort for whatever reason, but that it is meant
as a welcoming and reassuring gesture for those who may be treading
that carpet for the first time. It is also practical if someone faints
or has problems getting up or down or a guard-type has been sent to get
them from some other part of the site or whatever. And I suppose there
is the line of thinking that it adds panache.

Personally, I just nod and smile when folks say that, do as I'm told
as a Guard, and very politely decline escort. 

I don't bow to furniture, either. I get to set it up. The *crowns*,

trying to keep otters' feet out of her mouth
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