Zelophehad’s Daughters

The Camelot Convention

Posted by Lynnette

Setting: Camelot Commons

Elayne: I can’t wait for the Camelot Convention next month! I’m going to get in line for the Round Table session.

Percival: If you do that, there won’t be room for the hordes of men who want to attend.

Elayne: But I never have understood why women can’t be Round Table Squires.

Agravayne: Come, now. Everyone knows that women have a very special role. They sew favors for the men, and rejoice in their femininity, the divine adornment of Round Table Squires.

Percival: And don’t forget that women have their own meeting. The fact that a man sits at the head of their table should in no way detract from the flowered tablecloth.

Ygraine (via letter): If you feel you must attend, please stand in the zone for Pacifists, anti-Arthurians, and other Lunatics.

Elayne: But I’m not anti-Arthur. In fact, I have a deep belief in and commitment to the Round Table.

Pellanor: I don’t understand why you don’t use proper channels. Talk to your local reeve, who will take the concern to the local knight or lord, who can bring it up with one of Arthur’s chamberlains, who can bring it to Arthur.

Elayne: My sisters and I have been trying this for decades, but Arthur and his chamberlains never respond. They won’t even meet with us.

Ygraine: Please note that this letter is on Official Arthurian Letterhead.

Melliagaunce: Hooray! The fact that this letter is on Official Arthurian Letterhead means that we should feel free to send Elayne vicious messages and death threats and write hit pieces on her in the Arthurian Times.

Morgan le Fey: Just for that, I am cursing any and all funeral potatoes which you may encounter in the future. Yea, and jello salad also. Beware of funerals and potlucks. Beware!

Bouncer: Calm down, everyone. Please limit death threats and curses to one per five lines of dialogue.

Agravayne: Here’s the thing. Either you believe in the legitimacy of the Round Table, or you don’t. If you do, you will stop this nonsense. If you don’t, you will find a Table of a different shape.

Elayne: Once again, I’m not anti-Arthur, and I believe in the Round Table. Leaving isn’t an option for me.

Agravayne: You don’t really believe. I’ve created a Round Table Orthodoxy Test, and by my calculations, you get an A (for Apostate).

Elayne: I’m not sure why the Agravayne Orthodoxy Test should be the ultimate arbiter of who gets to be a real believer.

Agravayne: All the Real Believers I know passed the test with flying colors. That’s how I knew they were Real Believers.

Elayne: Hmmm.

Percival: According to the vows of chivalry and the Round Table, one must never traffic with traitors, never give evil counsel to a lady, observe all fasts and abstinences, and every day hear mass. This makes no sense for a woman, unless she is trying to be a man. Are you?

Elayne: No. I don’t quite follow your logic.

Melliagaunce: I’ve dug into Elayne’s mysterious past and discovered that as a child, she pretended to be a knight.

Morgan le Fay: I’ve dug into Melliagaunce’s mysterious past and discovered that as a child, he pretended to be a fair maiden.

Pellanor: The fact that going through the proper channels hasn’t ever been effective doesn’t mean that it isn’t the best means of communication with Arthur and his chamberlains.

Ygraine: You’re detracting from the dialogue.

Elayne: What dialogue is that, exactly?

Ygraine: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

Percival: You should also note that 90 percent of women aren’t interested in being Round Table Squires.

Elayne: Does that mean that it would be 90 percent wrong for a woman to be a Round Table Squire?

Agravayne: Right and wrong are not a matter of majority vote. Except for when they are.

Percival: I’ve seen no evidence that you would use your place at the Round Table to serve others. Are you sure you aren’t just lusting after the prestige and power of the Round Table?

Elayne: Do you ask that of 12-year-old Round Table apprentices?

Morgan le Fay: Give me the Round Table or give me death!

Melliagaunce: I would rather die than see a woman preside!

Pellanor: Proper channels!!

Agravayne: You either pass my orthodoxy test, or you don’t!!

Bouncer: Another gentle request to calm down, and a reminder that I preside over all death threats and orthodoxy tests here.

Percival: Don’t you think that storming the castle is a bit excessive?

Elayne: All I’m going to do is stand politely in line, as befits a citizen of Britain.

Percival: I still don’t understand why you don’t find a Table that better fits your needs.

Elayne: It’s because I believe in the truth of this Table that I want to be a full member of it.

Agravayne: If women become Round Table Squires, the men will just lounge about and watch jousting contests.

Melliagaunce: Agreed. Plus, women are naturally so spiritual that it would be foolish to bring them down to the level of the Round Table.

Morgan le Fay: What, they would float right through it?

Pellanor: Let me remind you of the scripture: ” . . . whether through the voice of Arthur, or his chamberlains, or his official PR spokesperson, it is the same.”

Elayne: Exactly what book of scripture are you quoting from?

Pellanor: The New and Improved Book of Arthurian Doctrine, as Revised by Correlation.

Percival: I must hasten away to a very important Round Table meeting. But let me express my hope that you make the right decision.

Elayne: I will do as my conscience dictates.

20 Responses to “The Camelot Convention”

  1. 1.

    LOL, Lynnette! This is excellent!

  2. 2.

    The Bouncer is forever! He hasn’t aged a day!

  3. 3.

    There must be a flaw in this analogy somewhere — I have my own super-sensitive Mockery Orthodoxy Test, after all — but I’m laughing too hard to look for it.

  4. 4.

    Merlin: You whippersnappers. I’m old enough to remember when Scotsmen weren’t even allowed on the Round Table.

    Percival: Yes, but that wasn’t real chivalric code, just policy!

    Merlin: I’m not sure that difference was totally clear while the Round Table ban was in place.

    Agravayne: Well, the Real Believers know that it was policy, not chivalry.

    Elayne: Hmmm. Did all the Real Believers know it at the time?

    Agravayne: Well, they know it retroactively.

  5. 5.

    Elayne: I will do as my conscience dictates.

    Ygrayne (via letter): Yes, we know. Your conscience is a dictator. A non-negotiable dictator. It’s that little non-negotiable dictator (that universally wills, overriding all other wills) that makes it impossible to have a dialogue with you.

    Elayne: But isn’t your policy also non-negotiable?

    Ygraine (via echochamber): As it currently stands.

    Morgan le Fay: Doesn’t anyone remember the radical roots of the circle?! This means we should immediately install Ladies on the Round Table …

    Gildas (muffled from under the floorboards): Excuse me, but there never was a Round Table in the beginning. In fact, there was never even an Arthur!

    T. H. White: Yes! And bring in multiple spouses and animal priesthood …

    Morgan le Fay: … then immediately calcify the structure … wait, what?

    T. H. White (timidly): Introduce polygamy and animal priesthood?

    Morgan le Fay: Call the bouncer! Silence him!

    Bertilak: Wouldn’t we then just be mirroring the oppressive structures we’re seeking to change?

    Bouncer: Bertilak, as per arbitrary and entitled rational structure 42, “Privilege of the Oppressed,” we will deem any turning of the mirror to show us Ladies our own reflection as a “personal attack” and ask you in the unnecessary menacing language of authoritarian force to be silent. We alone are keepers of the mirror. Please knock it off.

    Mallory: If Ladies want to bore and be bored by the excessively long tales told around the table, why not let them on. This is a contingent table. Correlation is just patchwork gone amok anyway.

  6. 6.

    This is why ZD is my favourite Mormon website. Love this. (I also love Melyngoch’s continuation).

  7. 7.

    “They knew it retroactively.” Best. Line. Ever.

  8. 8.

    I ZD. Can we create a kickstarter campaign to create videos of these skits? Too bad Disney just purchased Maker Studios …

  9. 9.

    Ooops, there’s supposed to be a heart between I and ZD

  10. 10.

    Proper channels!! Proper channels!!

  11. 11.

    This is wonderful. But if Elayne is a citizen of Britain, she would surely “queue,” rather than “stand in line.” :-)

  12. 12.

    Mike #11
    Definitely queue.

    Hilarious btw.

  13. 13.

    Ha! Good point about queue. I stand corrected. Elayne would surely never “line up.”

  14. 14.

    Hilarious!

  15. 15.

    Ah, the subtleties of language… In fact we do line up to form a queue, or so teachers instruct pupils in the playground (school yard?). But standing in (a) line is a side by side line, rather than a one behind the other line (a queue).

    But I’m now digressing from the topic. Sorry.

    Nice to see TH White get a mention SC #5.

  16. 16.

    Three cheers: Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

  17. 17.

    The flaw in the analogy is that the table is not round. Though just artistry, all pictures of the last supper show Christ at a rectangular table. And though he chastised some for wanting to sit at the head (because their motives weren’t pure), he nonetheless ordained 12 apostles, and there was an order of authority. I don’t know that we’ll ever have a time where someone, even if it’s Christ himself, will not preside over the kingdom. And though we may inherit all that the Father has, still, I don’t believe we will ever be on equal footing with Christ or Heavenly Father. Hence, no round tables in the kingdom of God.

  18. 18.

    In other words, IDIAT, all are alike unto me, but some are more alike than others? I regret that you have “roundly” criticized Lynnette’s post :)

    But more seriously, if we acknowledge some sort of hierarchy, at least on this earth, for some reason only men constitute that hierarchy, only men surround the rectangular table. The women, in contrast, sit at the kiddy table, hoping that in the administration of the kingdom some of the men will condescend to hear them.

    Perhaps this is how heaven works, but I don’t believe it, which is why I’m skeptical that our current earthly organization has reached its paradiasical glory.

  19. 19.

    Antigwyn: but why JOIN the round table when a Lady can BE an end table? Those divine auxiliary pedestals, holders up of lit lamps and parchment musings? Stalwart guardians of silken drapery cords, they preserve the dimly lit room in its purity till the Arthurized hand may reach forth, draw back the tapestry, and flood the room in noon-day sun!

    End tables are incredible!

  20. 20.

    Agravayne: So true, Antigwyn. So true. Who can find a virtuous end table? Its worth is far above chalices.

Leave a Reply