I thought I would tell you all about yesterday. I had planned to tweet you, but it’s a bit hard when people keep walking up and saying hello and shaking your hand or bowing or thumping their chests or what ever the greeting is in the culture they are studying.
I think I have mentioned that I don’t even own a 27th century suit. I’ve been so entrenched into the Victorian age, I such don’t feel quite right wearing anything else but Victorian clothes. I’m not unique among Temporal Anthropologists. And now we have them all in one spot. Imagine if you will, over one hundred Temporal Anthropologists running about in attire from various periods.
We try to hold the Ball at a different location every year. This one was held on the RMS Titanic VII, the sixth replica of that ill-fated ship. So far every other Titanic has had an impeccable safety record, since the owners go out of their way to make sure there can be no problems. I don’t think the builders of any of these Titanics ever imagined Egyptians or Celts running about an Edwardian ship.
We are all sent invitations and tickets for ourselves and a guest The second ticket is in hope that we will bring more woman to the ball since, male Temporal Anthropologists outnumber female Temporal Anthropologists. I once again failed this year to help with this lopsided ratio. I brought instead the student who passed last year’s Annual Temporal Anthropologists Candidate Endurance Test. Archibald Cocker actually liked living in a cabin with no running water and thought chopping wood was fun. He’s already gotten a Master’s in history and a bachelor’s in anthropology. He just needs to finish a doctoral in both and then he’ll be eligible to attend the Institute of Time Travel’s training school to acquire his Time Travel License.
I have high hopes for Archie. He’s bright and he’s eager, and somehow he looks right in a Victorian sack suit and a bowler. (He plans to study 19th century Britain, too.) So I brought him to introduce him around. He tried not to stare, but it’s hard when a Cavalier is pumping your hand.
I had fun watching Archie watching the crowd. On deck, the barbarians were having sword fights. They used rattan swords and wore padding to avoid fatal blows, but not bruises. Bit odd watching a Viking fighting a Mongol. Hard to remember all these men have double Ph.D.s when they are hitting each other with sticks.
In the saloon there was another “fight” between a Buddhist monk, a Muslim scholar from Timbuktu, a Byzantine Christian, a pagan from ancient Athens and a Cheyenne shaman as they discussed their beliefs. Pity all religious “wars” aren’t this cordial.
I did run into Dr. Matilda Warwick, dressed in her medieval tunic and veil. She was with Dr. Henry Darrel wearing his usual cowboy outfit. He was happy to finally meet Archie. Archie wants to study the working man like Henry does, only he wants to study the British Industrial Revolution and not the American one. I have a feeling both Henry and I will both be taking Archie out into the Field his first few trips. Archie began plying Henry with all kinds of questions, and Henry was happy to find someone with similar interests. We traded and I took Matilda for a stroll on the deck. She had something she wanted to show me back in her room. We had a very pleasant time.
At lunch they had the “Meeting” which is the Association President getting up and speaking for fifteen minutes on the latest news. We of course will hear all this in emails, but it’s an excuse to get together for lunch. No sense having a real meeting ruin a perfectly good function.
That afternoon Archie attended a class with all the other guests to learn the waltz and other dances that will be featured at the Ball. The female guests did outnumber the male guests this year. I found myself recruited to help rectify the numbers. The ladies all thought it was special to be dancing with someone who had waltzed in Vienna while Johann Strauss played. I rather enjoyed the female company. It was worth the wounded toes.
That evening the ballroom was beautiful. The chandeliers glistened and showed off the decorations. I wore my tuxedo. Everyone else wore their period’s equivalent. Henry was in a sack suit. I asked him why he wasn’t wearing a tuxedo, since he was from the 19th century, too. He said this was as fancy as he got.
Matilda had shed her usual simple brown tunic from a lovely 14th century gown she called a Houppelande. I told her she looked like something out of King Arthur. She reminded me Arthur was from the Dark Ages. I told her she looked like something out of the pre-Raphaelites then. She couldn't argue with that.
Matilda saved a waltz for me. I noticed Henry got the tango. No one asked me to tango. I can tango quite well. It’s Victorian, you know. All my waltzes were filled though, so I shouldn’t complain too much. (Still I am a very good tango dancer!)
The party went on into the wee hours. We Temporal Anthropologists can be a wild bunch. All right, we are a rather tame wild bunch, but we had fun. Rather sorry I had to miss it last year.
Archie survived the culture shock and wants even more to become a Temporal Anthropologist. Nice lad, I do hope he makes it, but I think he will.
So now it’s back to work until the next Annual Assocaition of Temporal Anthropologist Meeting and Ball. I like to think that Dr. Serendipity Brown, the inventor of Time Travel, would be pleased that we chose the 1st of April, the anniversary of her birthday, as the date for the event. Seemed appropriate since none of us would be Temporal Anthropologists without her. Here’s to you, Dr. Brown. You will always be remembered.