When I was eight, Autumn of 1990, my family took an Epic family vacation. The biggest ever from my childhood which involved Disneyland, staying at the Disneyland hotel, Catalina Island, and flying into Las Vegas, my first plane flight.
A special treat during the Las Vegas portion was staying at the newly built, three-month old Excalibur hotel and Casino. Before then the only kid friendly place on the Vegas strip was Circus Circus, but Excalibur was different. There was magic. There were knights. I got to stay in a castle!
It was a childhood dream realized.
And in the basement there is an arcade where the "Ancient Electronic Crossbow" lies. It's like those old western like shooters where there's a large room and you aim at targets, trying to get this or that to move, light up, make sounds, etc. There's one tucked away in Frontierland at Disneyland (hint: shooting at the Bank at night is really fun.) The one at Excalibur, obviously, has a medieval theme.
Growing up I've always been a really good shot. While exploring Excalibur, my entire family lined up at the Ancient Electronic Crossbow counter, deposited quarters, and had some fun. I noticed that I was getting quite a high score, but paid no mind.
Suddenly there were trumpets, and around the corner came a caravan of medieval clad knights, maidens, servants, and the King and Queen. The King then spoke in a strong voice, asking who the brave knight was that got so-and-so score (I can no longer remember said score), and when I looked up at my station I realized it was me. Me! And suddenly I became the center of attention when King Arthur (I assume that's who he was playing) presented me was a certificate, a "Here Ye, Here Ye," and said I was to be called "Sir" within the castle walls.
I wish the memory was clearer. It's a little foggy now, and I vaguely remember heading towards the sound of the procession before running back to tell my parents what I saw, but it's one of those memories I'll never forget. I really wonder if they knew a kid scored that high, and it was something they only did for kids. How often did they award certificates with a medieval procession? Do they still give out this certificate? Do the crossbows still exist in the Excalibur basement?
Regardless, it was really, really cool.