This Friday President Diggory Treningham held his most baffling press conference yet. It commenced with a kingly proclamation and culminated with jugglers hurling torches across the Rose Garden.
It started with a herald emerging from the White House. He wore a feathered cap, a short coat, and tights. He wielded a long horn adorned with a golden banner. When he stepped up to the podium he swatted all the microphones aside. “Hear ye! Hear ye! You sit in the presence of Diggory Greathands of the house Treningham. Rightful heir to a million dollar loan. Rightful heir to his father’s estate. Champion of the electoral college. The protector of Christmas. The builder of walls. The father of birtherism and the jailer of children.”
The herald was flanked by secret service agents in medieval armor. When the president finally arrived he was carried out on a palanquin. As he neared the podium he was fitted with a fur-lined red velvet mantle, a golden crown, and a bejeweled scepter.
President Treningham balled his hands to fists and held them to his chest. “A plague has washed over these lands. And everyone from the highest born lord to the lowliest peasant has had to make concessions. Dining halls, markets, and taverns have shuttered their doors. But there is one institution that is essential for preserving the soul of the realm. The Renaissance Festival.”
President Treningham waved his hands as if to conduct the press corps. “Where else can a woman of easy virtue showcase her cosplay? Where else can a blacksmith premiere his 3D-printed armor? Where else can Star Trek LARPers act as if they’ve stumbled upon an ancient civilization, but the Ren Faire?”
The president found a turkey leg somewhere beneath the podium. He took a bite and spoke with his mouth full. “Where else can a pair of project managers knock each other off a log? Where else can you see an offseason Krampus? Where else can you open carry a crossbow?”
The president brandished his scepter over the press corps. “The wardens of the fifty kingdoms will open their Ren Fairs, from Midsummer Eve through St. Crispin’s Day, lest they wish to be tried for treason.”
Constitutional scholars will be unpacking Treningham’s decree for some time. The area most of them will be focusing on is how it violates the 10th Amendment. The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Treningham’s contradiction already had the press corps riling with questions, but the president was far from done.
He took a swig of something from a tall ceramic stein. “In the realm of America we need more merriment. Not less. We mustn’t let this pestilence cost us our freedom of reverence.”
Treningham stepped out from behind the podium and lorded over the members of the press with no mind for social distancing. “I call upon the bards to aim their lutes at this nation’s ample chested women and cuckhold their husbands through song. I call upon the tavern wenches to brace themselves for backhanded advances from ale-addled tourists. I call upon the puppeteers to raise their theaters, wake Mr. Punch, and give this virus the flogging it so richly deserves.”
Treningham raised a silk glove to his brow. “Look to the covered wagons lining Pennsylvania Ave and you will see a nation of carnies clamoring to return to their craft. It is time for those tarot readers, pickle vendors, and dragon egg sculptors to get back to work.”
And right on que a troop of harlequins vaulted over the hedges and performed a series of backward handsprings across the lawn. Their bells jingled with every movement, forcing the president to shout, “Under the defense production act, I order the nations fripperies to keep those corsets coming. I order our metalsmiths to get those brass unicorns back into production. I order our glassblowers to make sure every man, woman, and child has their very own crystal dragon.”
The sun set as President Treningham rattled off his orders. His final words were emphasized by a row of fire breathers.
“A toast to the people of the realm.” The president raised his beer stein. “May the mead flow freely. May the corn mazes be congested. May the dandy fops show off their sculpted calves. May every Ren Faire across the realm raise their gates to the public. Huzzah!”