Monday, 3 February 2014

The Battle of Waitati

by Mandy Mayhem

During the early afternoon of New Year's Eve 2013 there was a magnificent three-act battle in the coastal township of Waitati. This was a joint production between the McGillicuddy organisation and the Waitati Militia based on the Waitati Militia attacking a castle defended by the Clan McGillicuddies.

Act 1Break down in diplomacy

A disgruntled Pirate Queen marched along Almond Street with the Waitati Militia Band.

Dressed as Boudicca and flanked by her beautiful daughters (as per a previously unperformed script of the Militia's), they were accompanied by angry hordes of 50 or so natives beating upon their shields including the new Aunt Fanny's Sewing Circle (southern-most group). The street scene was surrounded by spectators and a very able troop of tea ladies at the ready.

There was a trade of insults between the Waitati Militia and the castle owners, witnessed by the watchful eyes of many grey gargoyles in the castellation. The Oamaru Harbourside Brownies First Aid Division A and E (aggravate and exacerbate) were on standby.

The assembled mass then dedicated the scene to the memory and honour of their founder Captain Peter Smith aka Eschericia von Coli, who passed away just days earlier.

A choreographed verbal poetry assault ensued with a medley of Charlotte the Harlot, Eskimo Nell (favourites of the captain) and other specially written pieces to bash their ears and the innocent public! The militia then performed a 'tango advance' rapid-fire, unison relay of dancers, hand jiving and doing 'mash potato' on the side. The heavy artillery was rolled out, cannons fired and two mighty catapults were used to shoot soft projectiles at the gargoyles.

At this point the Lord and Lady of the Castle had flogged their poor servant liberally until his wails magically activated the statues to life. The human slingshot, our secret weapon, gave them a sight for sore eyes, then a charge of ropes, ladders and grappling hooks unleashed themselves upon the walls. Much confused and vigorous attacking followed by great clouds of dust and barbaric yawps! Gargoyles descended and fighters engaged.

A secret mission, Team Labyrinth, blasted through a side gate with cannon fire and gained access to the enclave. They gallantly rushed into the unknown, a short enclosed corridor that led them straight into a trap! At the end of the alley all they found was the meter box and an overhead concentration of slime. The gargoyles were waiting in the parapets directly above them. They bid a quick retreat and a timely one at that.

Act 2 - Peace keeping

Tea bell rings and all fighting ceases. An attempt by United Nations accompanied by tea ladies to defuse the situation.

Tim Shadbolt (Mayor of Invercargill) umpire of the match and leader of United Nations Independent State of Waitati Division accompanied by the glorious, delightful and  efficient tea ladies (serving tea and biscuits to the troops, wearing frocks and aprons) rolled out the hot drinks and baking. Some convivialities were exchanged over a nice cuppa.    

Act 3 - More Battling, Scaling of Castle walls and invasion

A mighty siege engine built by Gerry Thompson was manhandled into position through neighbourly access to the castle walls. Lowering its drawbridge above the 'Paul Smith Gateway', the Mayhem Battalion was able to gain entry to the grounds. Surprisingly, once the fighters touched down within the castle walls they found they were operating on gargoyle time ... slow motion!

Full combat continued for some time and one of the Queen's beautiful daughters was taken hostage by the enemy. A warrior champion also managed to invade the castle turret and secure the clan flag from the roof top.

Exhausted by the hot sun, the two parties finally reached a negotiation point and a treaty was formed by way of a 'marriage'. The Pirate Queen agreed for Sarah her daughter to marry the Castle's most loyal subject. And they all lived happily ever after – until the next time.

For those who have any concerns we 'fight' united in mutual camaraderie. Essentially, unarmed combat in accordance with the Melbourne University Arms Limitation Agreement 1972, Alf's Imperial Army (no wood, no metal). One gains membership to the Waitati Militia by giving service in battle.

The aim was to do our best to seize the castle! It was a very successful day enjoyed by all. In all, the battle sequence lasted two hours which was quite a feat in itself. An evening of feasting and music followed at a grand Militia Ball at the local hall.

Special thanks to George Terry for his earthmoving assistance in preparation for the event.



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