Having just passed safely through the crucible of being the judge at a camera club competition night – by dint of fast talking and an open path to the door – I can relax and look upon other sorts of society meetings I attend and see if the same rules apply.
Now the medievalist’s club I belong to is certainly competitive – they beat at each other with steel swords and spears and in large groups too. But as they are reluctant to bleed they also wear steel armour and do their stabbing and hacking to a set of strict stylised rules. A few teeth have been cracked but no-one has died. And it is a club that has feasts as well as knife fights – indeed they do both things at the same time.
The toy model collector’s club members may be less likely to bite, but I think they can probably spit poison pretty well. It is all involved with the collector’s mentality – the acquisition/sell/reacquire frame of mind that sees conquest mixed with profit as a motive. They are quite different from the toy model builders – builders have keen competitive instincts too but these can be made to dissolve when they see really good things done by their club-mates. Skill is rewarded with admiration when people build. Of course they can always argue about what to make and how to make it but once done, all is well.
The military collector’s club seems pretty peaceable. Armed to the teeth and bedizened with every medal that a chest ever wore, they could fall upon each other in the car park and settle their differences like men. But they generally just do it with their price lists and websites. I secretly think they are all spies and secret agents but have had to join the old webbing and bayonet club as the mayhem season is slow.
I cannot speak for the doll house ladies. They are all smiles and cups of tea when you meet them but that might just be on the surface. Underneath they may be a seething whirlpool of passion and malice. Perhaps they assassinate each other to prevent competition. There may be blood on the tiny little settees and miniature rocking chairs. I just keep myself to the centre of the aisle at the doll house show and don’t make eye contact. I have been pricing kevlar jackets at the military show and they may be a good idea…