Terrouge E-zine Archives
It was a clear March morning in the mountains of Montana. I perched at the top of a ridge, skis not quite pointing down the slope. Probably because I was too chicken to actually USE the skis. In fact, I would probably still be up there had a word not welled up inside of me and expelled itself with great force and fervor. "Eulalia!!!!" And I shot down that slope like an otter off a riverbank. (Well, actually, my powerful war-cry turned into more of an "AAAAAAAAAHHH!" as I heroically slammed into some upstart tree, but that's not the point.)
Welcome to the world of Redwall Mannerisms.
Have you ever gotten a particularly nasty test grade and cursed, "By the fang!"? Have you ever cheered on your school's lacrosse team with, "Give 'em blood and vinegar!!"? Have you ever noticed all the eyebrows raised in your direction? Of course! But you don't care. Most people think you're a little out there anyway, even respect you for it. The trouble comes when you get carried away. You can yell "Eulalia" all you want and still be considered marginally sane. However, if you decide to scream THIS in the middle of a pep rally, "I am that is, two mice within Redwall . . . " you'll be hard put to avoid looking like some kind of alien. Oh well. Your obsession probably shows up in other areas besides screamable phrases. If you like hordebeasts, you can have entirely too much fun destroying the English language and upsetting grammer picky friends. ("I don't care if that's how Cheesethief said it! It's just not proper.") You can learn how to laugh like a maniacal mole ("Hurr, hurr, hurr.") You can even add a whole list of character terms to your vocabulary . . . which no one but a fellow fanatic will understand. ("Oh, she's such a Lantur." "Nah, you give her too much credit. She's more of a Fortunata.") And let's not forget the ever adaptable Redwall insult.
You should not get the impression that all Redwall mannerisms spur from mere quoting. You need only look at the great online debates for more ammo for your fanaticism. Oh, the satisfaction of crying out in the middle of Philosophy, "Vermin aren't born evil! Anyone wanna contradict me on that?" Other fun debates to draw from: Do Redwall animals have human bodies or just stand on their hind legs? Rose - great romantic figure or wimpy annoyance? Beavers or no beavers, horses or no horses, and finally, can an RPer REALLY dodge a crossbow? Redwall mannerisms extend to art as well. Many a time has my mother sighed in exasperation upon seeing yet another polecat with a sword. In fact, when the Redwall artist does finally get into people, those people might look just a tad odd. To the Redwall ethete, slit eyes, whiskers, and even claws look rather attractive on humans. And even when that artist's pictures finally lose the animal features, the drawings may look more like models from Corsairs Weekly than Vogue.
Where normality is conformed to too rigidly, where styles are set in stone and cliques engraved in marble, you'd be surprised how refreshed people are by a weirdo like you. You're a Redwaller, you're obsessed with animals, and you're secure in what you are. You have to be to yell your identity out so loudly. Of course, you have other interests and other sides to yourself. Your Redwall set of mannerisms is just fun, one of the vast number of tricks you have in your satchel (which you carry at all times). And by pulling out those tricks, whichever works in whichever situation, you are unique, you are fun, you are quirky, you are strange. Ain't it great?