The early ‘90s were a strange time, man. Standout memories include listening to Montell Jordan covertly on my Walkman in the middle of class and interrupting story time to ask my teacher if I could go to lunch. Yet, my most vivid recollection is probably my annual class field trip to a so-called “17th Century Jesuit Mission” called Sainte Marie among the Iroquois. As second and third graders, we basically had no idea what was going on or why we were being taught how to solder metal by a bro dressed as a blacksmith. Regardless, I was totally fascinated by the steadfast insistence by everyone there that it was not 1994. Guys, I have rollerblades and fruit roll-ups in my backpack! I just watched Ghostwriter this morning… on a television! I thought to myself. I initially thought this phenomenon was isolated to Central New York, but then I moved to New England. These places were there, too! Carpenters, cobblers and tanners, just going about their totally fake daily lives. I’m all grown up now, but I still have unanswered questions that I’d love to ask these magical “costumed interpreters” if I ever got to share a dram of brandy with them.
Do you ever wear your costume out to IKEA on the weekends, just to screw with people?
You know…pull a pipe out of your pocket, unlace your boots and chill on a Karlstad for an hour? Maybe freak out some little kids or something?
Have you ever been asked out on the job?
I could see how the whole colonial thing could be hot, in a Dr. Quinn sort of way. Provided that you look like either Sully or Jane Seymour.
Is it weird to go home to your stainless-steel appliances after spending all day making bread in a stone hearth?
You’re probably all, “Preheating? What the hell is preheating? Just throw some more wood in there!”…right?
What happens if you break character?
Come on. There has to have been at least one day when your car (or is it covered wagon?) broke down or you got in a fight with your boo (beloved?), and the last thing you want is to deal with little kids ogling and ostracizing you. “Shut up, dude!” you exclaim. “I mean…um, cease to speak, young child.”
If you could actually go back in time, would you?
Sure, people were dying of dysentery and typhoid fever every other day, but things were simpler back then! I’m guessing that it must be a little depressing to leave a nice, long shift where you’re just livin’ off the land and return to a world of people texting you about Kim Kardashian and tweeting pictures of their sushi. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather see some Instagram-ed horseshoes.
By Kim Windyka
Feature image via.