Column Date 2010-02-20

Hey kids! Let's re-enact the Spanish Inquisition!

Tired of re-enacting the Civil War?

Bored by dying again, pretending to be one of the 620,000 soldiers who were killed (more than any war in American history)?

Appalled at the choice of fashion colors for your costume? ("Would you like blue or gray, sir?")

It's time for a change!

Time to re-enact a different event -- something with more colorful costumes, perhaps, or more interesting roles to play.

My suggestion would be a lot more fun for everyone: 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.

Our re-enactment offers thousands of terrific Inquisition roles to pick from, with spectacular costuming opportunities and unusual weapons.

You can participate in dozens of exciting events, from witch hunts to kangaroo courts (accuse your friends of blasphemy, sodomy, and even bigamy!) Or experience the thrill of expelling large groups of people from your country with a wave of your hand.

We'll need thousands of people to play the roles of victims, of course. But remember: you might be one of two lucky re-enactors chosen to dress up as King Ferdinand or Queen Isabella.

The Inquisition, literally, has something for everyone. (As Mel Brooks said: "The Inquisition...yeah, yeah, yeah!")

If you're interested in being part of this event, just fill out the short questionnaire below:

1. I'd like to play the role of (Please give a 1st and a 2nd choice):

   a. Catholic
   b. Untrustworthy Jew
   c. Untrustworthy Muslim
   d. Untrustworthy Protestant
   e. Untrustworthy Other

Note: This will be an Equal Opportunity Inquisition, and qualified applicants will be considered for their roles without regard to age, race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.

(c) 2010 Peter Tannen