Quest-f-Scotch-art – 6/19/05
“Quest for Scotch – A Pennsic Tale” by Philippa Ferraria.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 00:24:43 -0400
From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Gender identification was a bunch of stuph- LONG
To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Poor Phlip probably gets gender misidentified more than I do, because of her name and because she likes to do smithing and to butcher animals; to activities not typically thought of as being feminine.
Well, while I feel entirely feminine, and I'm certainly heterosexual (not
that that's necessary, for a woman to be feminine), I learned, long ago,
that gender is completely unimportant. Our language is structured so there
is no polite term for another human being that is gender neutral, and that
causes for more problems than it solves. I've just decided that _I_ know who
I am, and _my friends_ know who I am, so anyone else's opinion, being based
on incomplete data, is just about what it's worth- incomplete and therefore
And, my name is, in fact, quite feminine, but it's unusual, and I got so
tired of people mispronouncing it, I shortened it to Phlip. It's Philippa,
in SCA and out, which is the feminine of Philip, and using "Phlip" as my
nickname is no more unusual than referring to "Roberta" as Bob, or Bobbi or
Bobby, or to "Stephanie" as Steve or Stevi or Stevie, but being an unusual
name, has no commonly comprehended diminutive, so I don't worry about it.
Calling me "Phippy", which was my beloved grandmother's nickname for me (as
mine for her was "Mimi") is grounds for me decking you- that was HER name
for me, and YOU are not Mimi. Understood, Gideanus?
A Pennsic Epiphany
I had thought that I was pretty easygoing in this regard, until Pennsic XXV.
One night, sitting up at Tchukka's camp, we were sitting around, finishing
up a bottle of good single malt Scotch, and a young man, Dave stopped by. He
was a student, at, I believe, a university in Chicago, and had convinced his
profs that he needed to do a study of Pennsic, and had convinced them to
send along a couple of grad students to assist with his studies.
The first one lasted 2 days, the second lasted through Land Grab Week, and
the third, at the time he was discussing this with myself and Tchukka, was
still on site, camped with Great Dark Horde, but every time anything
happened, would pull out his notebook and be a "Studying Anthropologist".
Anyway, somewhere in this melee of freaqued grad students, our friend Dave
had decided that it might be interesting if they had a God to worship, and
upon discussion, Cip became the new God of the Great Dark Horde. Horde being
Horde, they all went along with it, so The Great God Cip, wherever he went,
was greeted by bowing and praying Horde members.
Dave then decided he wanted to be a demigod, so he asked The Great God Cip
how he might attain that desired station. The Great God Cip declared that in
order to do this thing, Dave must learn deviousness, so sent Dave out on a
Quest into the Wilds of Pennsic, at midnight or thereabouts. The Quest was
to find a full bottle of good Scotch.
At this point, Dave arrived at Tzukka's camp, and told us the tale of his
quest, and Tzukka and I looked at each other and said, "Well, we have a
bottle of Scotch..." "Yes, but it is an almost empty bottle of Scotch..."
"Well, we can fix that..." and, after further discussion, we decided that we
needed to refill the empty bottle of good Scotch, so that Dave might fulfill
his Quest, and that in order to do so, he must beg potables from whoever he
encountered in his journey. Further, in order to assure that everything that
went into the bottle was potable, I agreed to become Dave's Guide on his
Quest, since I knew most of the people just down the hill (back side of
Horde Hill), and could be assured that the contents of the bottle remained
potable. Besides, in case you missed it, I was on the outside of half a
bottle of good single malt Scotch, and I figured I could do anything ;-)
Well, we had a start. We had the bottle, and in fact it had a few drops of
good single malt Scotch in it, and obviously that was enough for the Great
God Cip to transform the rest of the contents, once we had them, so we first
passed the bottle to the two other guests at the fire, and one donated some
GoldSchlager, and the other donated some Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. I then
stashed a couple of beers for the journey down the hill (I figured I needed
to sober up a bit, if I were going to be a Guide for a Quest), and off we
The first two camps we approached were empty, and the next camp was our
Now let me digress a bit, and describe the entry way to my camp. There is a
dirt road leading into it, and, right at the entrance, two deep ruts, which
we had named the Classic Swimming Hole, and the Family Swimming Hole, with a
narrow, slippery ridge between them. So far, that Pennsic, every time I had
come into camp after getting a snootful of good Scotch, I had managed to
fall in one or the other- I spent much of that Pennsic during daylight,
doing laundry. This didn't occur when I was drinking beer, or for that
matter, anything else, but every time I got into the Scotch, I fell in
either the Classic or the Family Swimming Holes, so I had determined, to
save my remaining garb, that, henceforth, when Tzukka (or whoever) fed me
good Scotch, I wasn't going home, I'd crash at Tzukka's.
That magical night, I managed to make it into camp without falling into
either Swimming Hole.
When I got there, the only two people there were a couple of Blue Feather
ladies who were camping with us that year, and we presented them with our
Quest. As they were Southerners, and teetotalers, they added some sweet tea
to the good, but empty, bottle of Scotch, and by now, it was not quite so
Since we were in my camp, I also added some stale beer, and some red wine
from my stash, and stocked up again on beer (remember, I had to stay
relatively sober), and we ventured forth again into the night, looking for
more donations for our Quest.
The next camp we went to, the only people home were a couple of young ladies
who were underage, so they quite delightedly, after we told them about the
Quest, added Diet Pepsi to the mix.
Now, I was getting quite concerned, at this point, because most of what we
had acquired recently was of low or no alcohol content, but I needn't have
worried- the next camp we came to provided us with a healthy dollop of
Our next camp was rather interesting. The gentleman who lives there is a
VERY straight arrow, likely as conservative as any SCAdian can possibly be.
It turned out that he was a long time friend of Dave's, and, in the
discussion, Dave pulled up his shirt to show his friend his new nipple
piercings, and I discovered that while Dave was quite male, he had a female
body. Dave's friend donated to the bottle (to this day, he won't tell me
what he put in it, but there after, it smelled rather fruity, and he's a non-
drinker, so no telling) and we went on. I did, however, learn, that he and
Dave had been lovers at some point in the past.
Now, I was getting fairly tired by this point, particularly considering that
I knew that I had to hike back up the bloody hill to Tzukka's, AND I was
running low on beer, so I suggested, that since this was in essence a Water
Quest, if a Fire Water Quest, and since the bottle was getting close to
full, that we finish up at that campfire I could see in the middle of the
Lake, on the Peninsula, where my friends from Mugmort camped. We went out,
and Mugmort added some bourbon to the bottle, but it wasn't quite full.
Dave wanted to continue, but I said the bottle was almost full, and that we
ought to return to Tzukka's, relying on Serendipity to fill the rest of the
bottle. As we walked, we had quite a conversation- Dave was in the process
of changing his physical gender to match his mental and emotional gender, so
since he was the first transgender I'd ever met, it was quite interesting.
As we walked up the Hill, we met some people coming down, and told them of
our Quest, and they invited us back to their camp to finish up the bottle. I
wasn't about to go back down that bloody hill, that I was already halfway
up, so in desperation, I asked if they had ANY potable liquid, with which we
might finish our Quest. As it happened they did- one of them was carrying a
canteen, so we topped the now full bottle of Scotch... with Cooper
We had finished our Quest, I stopped at Tzukka's, and we sent Dave on his
But, the reason for this long tale is this- during our conversation, one
remark Dave had made rather stuck in my mind- He said that he was
Now, admittedly, I was well lubricated at the time, but even the next
morning, when I was quite sober, understanding the English language as I do,
I still couldn't quite figure out, just who would be the same gender as Dave
(other than another transgender). After a while I gave it up.
And that's why, to this day, I really don't care what gender someone else
is, or what gender they think I am. It really isn't very important- Dave was
a nice person, so let's leave it at that.
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 09:00:33 -0400
From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gender identification was a bunch of stuph-
To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
> So did Dave ever become a demi-god?
I'm not quite sure. Next morning, we discovered that The Great God Cip had
accepted that part of the Quest as fulfilled, however, apparently his
transubstantiator was on the fritz, and he presented Dave with Part 2 of the
Quest- to enter a camp where there were people up and awake, and to leave
the bottle within the camp without being caught. As I was not assisting in
this part of the Quest, I can't verify it, but I heard that Dave did, in
fact manage to accomplish it, and left it in Vlad's encampment- and knowing
that crew and the partiers therein, I have no doubt someone drank it.