Sunday, January 3, 2021

Fortress Party 2018 Retrospective, Part 1A: The Wren Faire (Entrance, The Grizzly Beak, Madame Crow-many)

The Wren Faire was a series of small rooms that took up most of the basement at Fortress Party 2018. It was the avian version of all things you would find at a Renaissance Faire... period costumes, bawdy theatrics, musical acts, games, and beer. 

This bridge, which was borrowed from the local Boy Scouts chapter, was making its second appearance, after straddling the canal in Carnevale de Venezia in 2016. Ironically, it was not used in the actual Boy Scouts room in 2017. 

This symbol appeared on signs directing guests to the Wren Faire. 

There was a bar called The Grizzly Beak. The owner of the Grizzly Peak, the brew pub for which this was named, donated beer for the occasion. 

We also served Wild TurkeyThe Famous Grouse, Grey Goose, and a mixed drink called Tequila Mockingbird.

At nine pm, we opened up the room Madame Crow-many, the fortune teller. 

A zigzag of PVC pipe held little plastic Easter eggs, so that one would be dispensed at a time. The eggs could be opened, and each contained a slip of paper with a bird-themed fortune on it, one for each guest. For posterity (and because it took a long time to write all of these), here is the complete list of fortunes. 
  • While there’s no shame in admitting you don’t know everything, there’s actually quite a lot of shame in admitting you can’t figure out how to eat birdseed.
  • You’ll continue to spend your days covered in feathers and bird poop, proving that being dressed by birds every morning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 
  • There are some kinds of pain that never go away, but after all these years you’d think they’d come up with a way to get that lobster to let go of your beak.
  • You will never be able to explain to anyone’s satisfaction how all those storks could just appear out of nowhere.
  • You and your nest will be whisked away to a remote island by a wealthy sportsman who has waited all his life to hunt the Least Dangerous Game.
  • Traveling the world for five years certainly taught you things you’d never have learned otherwise, but you wish someone had told you the worm was on a string tied to a stick on your hat.
  • The early bird gets the worm. It’s the middle of the night, and you’re not going to get jack.
  • This week will teach you that there are certain things that really can’t be faked, such as love, respect, and laying eggs.
  • Don’t beat up your chicks. That would be do-NEST-ic violence.
  • Venus rising in your sign indicates trouble getting your eggs fertilized, which is problematic because, for astronomical reasons, Venus going to be rising in your sign for the next 87 years.
  • Only one major thing will happen to you in the nest this week. After that, however, it won’t really be possible for anything to ever happen to you again.
  • You will prove true an old adage: If flamingos stood on NO legs, they’d fall down.
  • Thinking about cock fighting? Violence never solves anything. However, it’s just fine for a quick temporary fix in many situations.
  • You’ll wake up in a New Orleans brothel between a dead Big Bird and a duffel bag full of cash, but unfortunately, it’s all easily explained and is cleared up within minutes.
  • You’re getting better at figuring out what your dreams really mean. However, all that stuff that happens when you’re awake is still pretty baffling, because you’re a duck.
  • The stars say that you will have a decent week but will rely too much on dried straw in your nest construction. Seriously, there are around 200 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, and some of them can be pretty specific.
  • You’re not the kind of individual who can wear those stylish strappy heels, mostly because you’re too stupid to figure out how to put shoes on your webbed feet.
  • Remember: The patient raindrops can eventually wear away even the hardest stone. Don’t let them touch your feathers if you value your life.
  • They say it’s never too late to do something meaningful with your life, which is a nice idea, but you actually have about nine days before you’re shot by one of those Duck Dynasty guys.
  • For the last time: Once your first hatchling is dead, the next one in line does not automatically become your firstborn, so cool it with all the sacrifices.
  • Pluto rising in your sign this week indicates vast trouble ahead, as even an eagle really shouldn’t be able to see Pluto with the naked eye like that.
  • Your ravenous hunger for mice will be quashed when you find out how it’s made and how much artificial crap is in it.
  • Darkwing Duck will appear to you in a dream and explain to you at embarrassing length why you’re not quite good enough for Donald Duck to appear in your dreams.
  • It’s unclear whether you’re going to murder baby chickens or if you’re a baby chicken who murders people, but the stars are pretty certain you’re going to be known as the Baby Chicken Murderer.
  • You’ve succeeded in breeding penguins in captivity, but the hard part will be getting them to breed with each other.
  • Sometimes you just have to push the baby birds out of the nest and see if they fly. Other times, you have to push them into a volcano to see if they melt.
  • Apus is a small constellation in the southern hemisphere. It represents a bird-of-paradise, and its name means “without feet” in Greek, because the Ancient Greeks thought it was rude to look under a bird to check for feet.
  • You should avoid making any financial decisions next week, as the pain you’ll be in from being defeathered and broiled will probably affect your judgment.
  • When the stork brings a baby to your doorstep, it’s time to confront your husband about cheating on you with a stork.
  • The stars predict that you would not be able to run around with no head for as long as a chicken can. The stars also believe in using the scientific method to test their predictions.
  • Don’t worry: There is nothing wrong with you that emergency gizzard surgery within the next 90 minutes won’t solve.
  • A regular routine can provide much-needed structure, but you might be better off if you didn’t start every day with a guy trying to saw your wings off.
  • You’ll be saddened when it turns out that all those people who only like you for your eggs turn out not to be very good friends.
  • Love, wisdom, and luck are all strong in your zodiac sign this week, providing further proof that zodiac signs don’t apply to geese.
  • You will soon be judged by a jury of your peers, which is a good thing, as anyone who isn’t a self-centered screeching seagull would probably want you dead.
  • You’ll become embroiled in a vicious conflict between those who feel the Eagles are overrated and those who want control of the cocaine trade on the Eastern Seaboard.
  • You are about to embark on a great journey across an infinite ocean of possibilities, the most likely of which is ending up as a 4-piece order of McNuggets.
  • The stars have nothing to say to you this week, as they’re trying to work on their own future for once, if you don’t mind.
  • Lead with your heart, and you will find yourself at the front of the flying V.
  • You have a big ugly dewlap.
  • If you want to be the one Thanksgiving turkey that The President pardons, you better not rat him out to the media.
  • On the first Day of Christmas, someone will put you in a pear tree and give you to their true love.
  • Don’t forget to get your avian flu shot this year. It sucks, but it’s better than avian flu.
  • Toni Morrison was pretty smart, but she if she realized how much you like showtunes, she could have also figured out WHAT the caged bird sings.
  • One of you in the hand is worth two of you in the bush.
  • True love will careen into your life without warning next week, spin you around, take your breath away, dislocate your beak, shatter your brittle wing bones, and move on without having noticed you.
  • If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, you should find out if it’s single.
  • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In both cases, the answer is a swift death before they poop all over the athletic field.
  • You have always been a proud and beautiful peacock, but you will achieve lasting glory when you are killed and stuffed so that the people drawing the NBC logo have some inspiration.
  • Why not kill two birds with one stone? If you do, do not, under any circumstances, let the cops find the stone.
  • Your talons look gorgeous tonight, darling! You must tell me where you had them done!
  • Sometimes, it feels like you’re just flapping and flapping and never really get anywhere.
  • When you’re a cardinal, it seems like people have a lot of rules pertaining just to you.
  • You will try to replace the baby’s diaper with a clean one, but it’s as free as a bird, and this bird you cannot change.
  • If you got really good at jazz saxophone, they might give you the nickname, “Person.”
  • Quoth The Raven, “Stop quothing me without proper attribution.”
  • You will soon discover that you are not a duckling after all, but even among swans, you will still be considered ugly.
  • You are literally the albatross around someone’s neck.
  • You are neither a loon nor a cuckoo, but you are crazy as a jaybird.
  • That thing you just did? That’s so Raven.
  • Your name will soon be added to a list alongside the carrier pigeon, the dodo, and great auk.
  • Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
  • Like our nation’s emblematic bird, you are rare, majestic, and completely bald.
  • There are some things you just can’t unpeck.
  • Seek out opportunities to get together with friends on a telephone wire this week.
  • You are bird-brained. Own it.
  • Nobody wants to be a canary in a coal mine, but it’s better than being a canary on a landmine.
  • Take some time to get in touch with your spiritual side and go to a place of public worship, like a bird sanctuary.
  • Get out there on the dance floor and shake a tailfeather.
  • The chickens are coming home to roost. You should get customized family reunion T-shirts printed.

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