Our country is in a re-enactment rut, and I think it’s time for a change.
I mean, how many times can you re-enact the Civil War?
Doesn’t it get boring being shot once again, pretending to be one of the 750,000 soldiers who died (more than in any war in American history)?
Isn’t it exasperating to play dead for hours, sprawled out in the hot sun in full uniform, until the battle is officially declared over?
And then there’s the appalling choice of fashion colors available. (“Would you like blue or gray, sir?”)
But what, you may ask, is left to re-enact?
Washington crossing the Delaware in winter?
Fuggedaboudit. The Bay of Pigs? No way. The invasion of Granada? You must be joking.
We obviously need an exciting, new event—something with more colorful costumes, more interesting roles to play, and certainly better food and wine.
So here’s an idea with something for everyone: Let’s re-enact the Spanish Inquisition!
The Inquisition, you may remember, was started in 1478 to make sure that people who had converted to Catholicism stayed converted. Especially the Jews and Muslims.
The result was more than 300 years of intrigue, murder, torture and mass revolt. Some citizens were even accused of being (Gasp!) Protestants.
What great material to work with!
Our re-enactment offers hundreds of fascinating Inquisition roles to pick from, each with spectacular costuming opportunities and great-looking weapons.
Not to mention the chance to enjoy the beautiful Spanish countryside, wonderful Rioja wines, and a wide variety of tapas offered by comely Andalusian señoritas.
You can take part in dozens of thrilling events, including secretly spying on your neighbors, hunting for witches, and going door-to-door to ferret out citizens who have relapsed into heresy.
Imagine the thrill of accusing your friends of blasphemy, sodomy or (even worse in those days) bigamy!
Join angry crowds as heretics are burned at the stake! (Note: Simulation only.)
Think of wielding absolute power and banishing thousands of people from your country with a dismissive wave of your hand!
And in the evening, there’s nothing like retiring to your luxurious hacienda to enjoy a troupe of Flamenco dancers, have a sip of Amontillado sherry and then doze off comfortably under a down quilt.
Not only that, but the first 100 re-enactors to sign up will enjoy a private tour of the largest dungeon in Spain and see true-to-life demonstrations of The Rack, The Head Crusher and The Knee Splitter.
We’ll need thousands of people to play the roles of victims and jailors, of course. But remember: There are plenty of openings for Princes, Dukes and Caballeros.
And you might be one of two lucky re-enactors chosen by lottery to play the roles of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. (No experience necessary.)
If you’re interested in becoming part of this ground-breaking re-enactment, just fill out the short questionnaire below.
1. I’d like to play the role of
(please give a 1st and a 2nd
a. Roman Catholic
b. Untrustworthy Jew
c. Untrustworthy Muslim
d. Untrustworthy Protestant
e. Untrustworthy Other
2. I’ve been a victim all my life.
I’d prefer to be:
e. Friar Tomás de Torquemada
This is an Equal-Opportunity Inquisition. Applicants will be considered for their roles without regard to age, color, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, family history, genetic information or veteran status.
Peter Tannen is a humor writer who has won multiple awards from the National Press Club (Washington, D.C.), the Press Club of Long Island and the Florida Press Association. His columns can also be heard on select Public Radio stations across the U.S. He also has a website: www.tannenweekly.com