Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lord and Lady? Why so Snooty? Or, The Origins of the Covingtons

We aren't really, I promise!
It is a bit of an inside joke, or fond reference. We wanted a more egalitarian form of name changing than the usual 'she takes his' mode, and we decided to both change our last name to a third option. There were a couple options on the table, but Covington was a clear outlier because it had already held significance to us both for the greater part of a decade.

The irony is I don't remember why we decided on that name in the first place. I'm sure it was because it sounded properly snooty and English.

You see, once upon a time, in 2003, after having only known each other a few weeks, Lord Covington and I decided to take on the massive project of writing (casting, directing, making props for, etc.) an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.

We were in college, living in the dorms, and near broke.  Our target date was spring break, where a small group of dorm weirdoes, obviously including us and our friends, would get the place 'to ourselves.'  Our cast consisted of equally broke college students, as did our audience/participants. We spent weeks writing and rewriting clues, characters, and designing 'sets' and making props.  We scraped up what we could of our monies and bought refreshments. Dinner consisted of spaghetti and garlic bread which featured in the plot. Because there was a vampire. 

Did I forget to mention that part? Covington was the name we gave to the owners of our haunted, zombie ridden, Victorian mansion. Long ago they were cursed to have a monster born into the family with each generation. The distant family members had been gathered together under pretext, the organizer of the event was to find the monster and kill it.

Usually, at a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, the guests sit down and eat, and watch the play. Ours was different in that there was no static audience. Everyone was an active participant. They all had a character name, a title/descriptor/job, and a special ability they could use three times in the evening. It was basically a simplified LARP without calling it that and scaring people away. The murder mystery was a complete disaster and a roaring success. Nothing went according to our plans.  People moved props that "should" have been too heavy to move, they ignored trap doors. They pretended to mix the potion ingredients instead of actually mixing them. They ignored very important clues but somehow kept meddling through. People who weren't involved at all walked around the corner into our ghost bride and ran away terrified. However, none of the participants knew our plans, and they all had a wonderful time, never noticing when things went slightly wrong. From 8 pm until midnight, they ran around trying to discover clues, escape a mob of zombies, find out who the vampire amongst them was, escape the crazy haunted mansion. It was glorious.

We ran a slightly better version with better props two years later (and again better two or three years after that) but we kept some props from that first murder mystery, even now.  Our favorite, the one that truly embodies the attitude and state of affairs of that first attempt is a crowbar. It was cut out of cardboard, colored with a sharpie borrowed from the front desk of the dorm, and bent to resemble the 's' shape of a crowbar.

We kept that crowbar prominently displayed on our wall throughout many moves, as in inspiration, as proof of what we could do together, and a reminder that even though things don't always go perfectly, it doesn't mean you can't have fun!

I believe that our baby was the first to be called Lord Covington. Since he spent a large chunk of our day with us at work, even when very young, I took every opportunity to dress him in onesies with ties, or in fancy vested suits, jackets, even name tags. Once he started walking "Little Lord Covington' gave way to "Little Lord Toddlesworth."   We plan to introduce you to Toddlesworth on Tuesday, and have Tuesdays be a weekly update of what he has done or how he has developed that week as well as a possible reflection into his short past.

No comments:

Post a Comment