Medieval Fan to his Wife, c. 950 CE

My Moste Belove’d One-

I am deeply saddened to have to do this, but I must tell you that I have decided to leave the corporeal life and become a monk. I know I may not know my St. Malachys from my St. Timothys, but I figure you can learn that stuff. I think you already know why I must leave my family and our land for the church, but I must explain anyways. We both know that Sir Alarath was supposed to win that joust. He was the best jouster this parish has ever seen, and to lose like that, after winning all those other jousts, has thrown me into a crisis of faith.

I mean, look at all the things that needed to go wrong. His helmet had to wobble at the right moment to block his vision for an instant. His horse had to step in that small rut. Sir Farlong had to choose the Weddlemen 3.3 Jousting Lance, the only lance light enough to raise over Sir Alarath’s shield, which had a loosened strap from the joust with Sir Grendel. If any one of these things doesn’t happen, Sir Alarath wins and we’re at ye olde Greasy Rat Tavern finishing off our 12th tankard of celebratory ale.

So it is with a heavy heart that I must turn to the spiritual in these trying times. I must devote my life to God, in that some day, with enough patience, study, and forbearance, the son-of-a-bitch will tell me how exactly he could let such a horrendous miscarriage of all that is holy occur.

Yours moste faithfullie,



In the long history of athletes disappointing their fans, culiminating in the 2011 end-season downward spiral of the Boston Red Sox, there is no story more terrible than that of the great jouster Sir Alarath losing to the coward Sir Farlong. He really phoned those thrusts in.

Perhaps no one suffered more than the proprieter of ye olde Greasy Rat Tavern, who, despite the unfortunate name of his pub, had done quite a good business among the fans of Sir Alarath while the latter was on his winning streak. The owner of the tavern even had to buy more tankards because he couldn’t wash them quickly enough to satisfy those thirsty fans. Rowdiness among jousting fans was a common cause of overturned carriages and religious wars during the Middle Ages.

When Reginald’s commitment to prayer and devotion to God finally paid off in the form of a religious experience where God spoke to him, Reginald was disheartened to learn that God did indeed have his finger in every outcome of every play of every game of every sport and frankly just liked to fuck with people.


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