Beyond The Seals Behind The Desk

IMG_0363This year the Beyond the Beyond The Seals LARP held a completely new experience for me: Dishing out a local rainbow press four-page paper every day with only two people.
I spent most of my days in the publisher’s hut, taking ads, bargaining with customers and informants and, of course, writing. I went as Noio who now owns land in the small town of Woodbridge and might become editor-in-chief or CEO sometime soon. It just happened (the old editor-in-chief became the new village judge), I’m still a bit overwhelmed, too.IMG_0352We even stayed awake until six in the morning for our Friday edition but over time doubled the pages to eight instead of four (after the editor-in-chief pulled an all-nighter and I took over in the morning).IMG_0370Things I learned doing that:

  • writing deliberately ignorant, stupid things is much, much harder than doing actual research and writing something good
  • printing a parody paper is a thankless job as in that a lot of people will tell you that it’s rubbish, not being aware how much work actually goes into it
  • people will offer you alcohol to go away when you try to sell them your paper which is incredibly depressing and infuriating when you had to build up courage for a while to come to them in the first place (but it’s hardly their fault)
  • I’m really not good at selling papers
  • you can still make a lot of money with it somehow
  • how to use Corel to set a paper
  • a two-person editorial staff is NOT ENOUGH

IMG_0321I made it into the tub on three consecutive days and in the end these times were what made the whole thing bearable.
The last one was the best: Thanks to switching appointments with another group we got a jug of free Gin Tonic (the earlier appointments are less popular and due to other commitments the other group couldn’t make that one). When we were already in the tub the bath master told us that he was terribly sorry but there was a group of bards that had confused their appointment – and couldn’t get into the tub later because of the concert they were about to play in the bath yard – so we were asked if we couldn’t get into the tub later.
Which might seem unfair and inconvenient if it weren’t for the little detail that we were invited to wait the hour until we were to bathe in the tub’s sauna area. Isn’t the sauna wagon cute?IMG_0330We had three pourings, one orange and frankincense (my favourite), one lime and one pine. I even jumped over my shadow and went into the icy water barrel. AND we got the big (eight person) instead of the small (six person) tub in the end, too (for four people, which is awesome).IMG_0323Things I learned from doing that:

  • sometimes little compromises can lead to triple upgrades.
  • a hot bath before bed is the best way not to freeze to death at night in a tent at 2°C outside temperature
  • the best spot in the tub is near the oven so you can sit in the corner and put your feet on the bench – that is if you’re as short as I am
  • you can meet the most interesting people during very spontaneous bath sessions
  • the bath master actually knows me now
  • there are very few things that beat the feeling of soaking in the tub while looking up through the opening in the tent into the starry night sky

IMG_0355IMG_0354I didn’t get outside the hut much, really. I took a walk in the forest at some point to have a bit of a break, and I did a bit of leisure shopping done after our last edition was out on Saturday but I didn’t see much of the plot. There was a masked ball going on (we got that covered thanks to one of our informants) and rituals and many other things, but in the end I got the most entertainment I could get from the boxing matches at the arena (to get the results for the sports section).IMG_0334“That sounds rubbish”, you might think now. Well, I don’t exactly beg to differ. I was glad to meet all my friends again before we go on the big Summer campaign again and I met really nice new people. But work was too much, way too much stress for the fun we go out of it. We’ll either need more staff or I’m probably out again already which would be sad because writing about working street lamps and town gossip while blatantly ignoring the big political things going on around is actually pretty fun. I’m a bit quite torn when it comes to my personal verdict.It was fun but too annoying and taxing but I’d probably do everything again, but mainly because I’m a fairly nice person who thinks that a small town needs a local paper (and not just the competition with their fancy global, seal-centered quality journalism).IMG_0319Just by the way: We made the jump from “almost Winter with snow last week” to “definitely Summer” in the five days at Beyond the Seals. During the first two nights it was chilly as if hell had frozen over – I’m usually quite cold resistant at night but this was even more than I am comfortable with – but it became gradually warmer and in the end we got sunburns while taking down camp.

I hope your week was less stressful but at least as fun as mine.


2 thoughts on “Beyond The Seals Behind The Desk

  1. LARPING as a newspaper sounds fascinating! Thanks for telling us all about it! It does sound as if you need more staff. I like the idea of writing about the silly stuff and ignoring the big issues. The world is a bit bleak at the moment!

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