Today I ended up in conversation with a couple of the grad students about when I first started attending the Congress, as an undergrad (1990).
They called me an old fart. o_O
I regaled them with Back In The Day tales that included that of a thrice-dammed full-sized traction trebuchet I was conscripted to help assemble and demonstrate, and the infamous dance, as it had been (held in a cafeteria, open bar, Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball).
And I told them of the first time I had attended the dance… it was 1992, a few months before Nine Inch Nails’ Broken came out.
This is important.
You see, I walked into that dimly-lit cafeteria (but the academics inside were already well-lit, I assure you) to see two nuns (Remember, these are medievalists—there are members of many of the orders present every year… in fact, there are staff members who persist in the idea that we’re a Renaissance Festival because they see monks walking around. Rly. Srsly.) on the outskirts of the dance floor (such as it was) dancing—you know, the classic stand-and-sway while moving the arms in a vaguely robot-fashion kind of dancing—to NIN’s Sin.
I turned around and walked out of that cafeteria.
Despite how very much I needed that open bar at that moment (you can imagine how my brain and soul cried for blessed oblivion), I just couldn’t take one more step forward.
I was so very happy when Broken was released—I hadn’t been able to listen to PHM (since that moment in May when my brain broke) without going into blink-blink-shudder-AAAaaaagh every time that song came on.
So I leave you with the cognitively dissonant image of nuns doing the white-people-boogie to the voice of Trent Reznor.