October 16, 2007

Playing King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

I was so thrilled to feature a lost gem in this week's Cartoon TV Rama. Surely you guys remember watching King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table on IBC 13?! It was actually called Prince Arthur then. Man, I loved that show! Whenever summertime came around and school was over, I would spend the entire day at the neighbor's house. The show would come on in the afternoon, and we'd all sit around the living room and watch the show while eating some Fruitella or Sugus candy snacks. When the show was over, it was time to play play King Arthur!

The show was so popular that there was so much Prince Arthur bootleg merchandise in circulation. I had a Prince Arthur t-shirt my mom got me from Unimart which was one of my favorite t-shirts at the time. The most popular merchandise that was sold wherever you went, was of course Prince Arthur swords! I remember you could buy these Prince Arthur bootleg toy swords from Divisoria. There were all kinds of swords you could buy. The most popular one was a plastic sword that had a gold grip or hilt, and a red plastic gemstone at the end of the pommel. The most expensive Prince Arthur sword set actually came with a shield and a helmet. The helmet had wings on the sides just like Arthur's in the tv show! God I wanted that so much... although I never got it for Christmas or my birthday. My mother always made sure that I wouldn't be playing with toys that advocated violence. Little did she know that my playmates and I were busy making our own little armory out of Legos!

We made our own swords out of Lego pieces. It was I that suggested making swords out of Legos to make our sword fights more interesting. My reasoning for this was that if your sword wasn't made well, it would break or shatter into small pieces, just like what Arthur's sword would do to his enemies' swords in the cartoon! Even as young children we were already conscious of inserting drama into the battle scenes we would reenact in detail. You had to be quick making your sword, because everyone fought for the flat Lego pieces. You had to use the flat pieces to make a strong sword. I always felt sorry for the guy who ended up with bricks. He would always have his sword shatter into tiny little pieces once his challenger swung his sword at him. We'd all burst into laughter (including the guy that just lost his sword) as it was quite a funny sight for five year olds.

I was the best sword maker out of the bunch. I always took the best flat pieces to fashion a strong but aesthetically cool looking sword. The strongest sword I'd make would obviously be called Excalibur. One of the cousins of my neighbor would always pretend to be the lady of the lake, and it was her duty to guard Excalibur. Whoever played Arthur that day would always have to find the lady of the lake. Just like the cartoon, it was a mini-quest to find her and the sword. She'd go hide, and we'd all try to find her, whether she was hiding inside the house, or she was somewhere out in the yard. They had a pretty big house that had what seemed like a million places to hide. The quest didn't easily end once we found her, as we would all dramatically reenact the scene when Arthur takes a boat to the middle of the lake to claim Excalibur. Avoiding the monster whirlpool that would easily swallow his tiny rowboat, he would try to steer his boat away from it and try to reach for the sword. We would all be watching from shore cheering on for Arthur to get to the sword. Shore was naturally on top of the sofa, as the entire living room floor was dark lake water.

We were all directors and actors at the same time, always perfecting scenes. Whenever my neighbor's younger brother would sneeze, or go for a pee break, the older brother would get so mad, just as a genius director would with some imbecile who just ruined a scene that was being filmed.

The maids would be furious with us kids as we'd always use blankets as our capes, and we'd run around the backyard getting them all dirty. I always pretended to be Lancelot. I always thought he was the coolest one for using his harp to launch his arrows. I would always be sitting on the windowsill that leads to the roof of my neighbor's house. That was our watchtower, the highest point of our fortress. And like Lancelot perched on the highest turret, it was my duty to let everyone know if Camelot was being invaded. Of course it was being invaded every ten minutes.

I'd yell out "Invaders from the East!", and the other knights outside geared for battle would start yelling and charging at the hordes of invisible foes that wanted to claim our castle. Mind you that his bloody battle was happening as one of the maids tried her best to concentrate on her cooking in the outdoor grilling shed, while listening to the day's hits on AM radio.

The knights would usually yell for my help whenever they were outnumbered, but usually I would coolly stroke the strings of my harp, playing a sweet tune, just as Lancelot did in the cartoon.

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Totoy Time Machine said...

Pinabasa ko kaagad sa anak ko ang article na ito. Sabi ko, ganito kami maglaro nuon, mas imaginative, mas creative, mas active, mas...mas...mas...

Anonymous said...

Hey Lancelot!

I vaguely remember... did I play King Arthur?


Nostalgia Manila said...

Willie Boy,

Sometimes you were Prince Arthur but usually you liked playing Galahad cos he was big and strong. Jowel would play Prince Arthur, and Crisamar was the princess.



Totoy Time Machine said...

Uy! Nagkita ang mga playmates! Sali naman ako!

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