In My Mind I was Going to Kal-a-ma-zoo

Tomorrow morning I’m catching a flight to lovely Kalamazoo, Michigan. What’s in Kalamazoo? you might ask. Well, the Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University, for one. And the 39th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, for another. And, of course, lots of overtime.

I’ve been charged with staffing the Penn Press booth at the conference (we have a disturbingly large list of medieval titles) and assisting my boss, Humanities Editor Jerry Singerman — In Kazoo, he says, “use the full title.” I’m not entirely sure what to expect at a convention of medievalists. Something akin to an anachronistic Meadowlands joust-fest, I suppose. But it’s been ages since I picked up ye olde flail. A few frosty brews, though, and I’m sure it’ll come back to me.

I haven’t had a chance to do much of a background check on Kalamazoo, a town of 75,000, but I did find learn of one interesting local law. Aparently, in Kalamazoo it is against the law to serenade your girlfriend. Oh yeah? Just try and arrest the medievalist lovers, Joe Law. You’ll have me to answer to, and I’m bringing my long sword.

–From the program: “Coming to the Congress this year is a replica of a medieval cart used in England around the years 1320-40. … the cart took more than 900 hours of research, design, and construction.” Time well spent, I say. Can we say, “Overtime for one, overtime for all!”