Q. Dear Attack Laurel: My Local Laurel has asked me to be her apprentice. She already has 400 apprentices, so I don't know if I will get the one-on-one attention and teaching opportunities I desire. What should I do? I want to be a Laurel someday.
signed: Mentorless in Meridies
A. First of all, this isn't about you. Get your head out of the clouds and come down to the real world where no-one cares about your angsty "desires". The practice of Laurels taking apprentices is merely a transparent attempt on the part of the Laurel to gather minions in anticipation of their (the Laurel's) inevitable hostile takeover of their local group, thus consolidating their (again, the Laurel, not the local group, who frankly, couldn't find their way out of a local A&S display) power base. The only option you have now is to decide whether or not your local Laurel has a hope in Hades of succeeding, or whether they will end up banished, and their apprentices scattered to the four winds homeless, master/mistress-less, and mere ghosts of their former selves, and act accordingly. This should not be too difficult, but if you do decide to throw caution to the winds and hitch a ride on the apprentice bus, remember to change your name as soon as your Laurel is banished so no-one associates you with her pitiful attempt at group domination. On the plus side, if the coup actually comes off and your Laurel is the new hot Peer in the Kingdom, the other Laurels are never going to remember which apprentice you are of the many hundreds she has accrued, so it should be simple to take credit for everyone else's work.
Q. Dear A.L.: I really want to be a Laurel. I mean, really, really, really. I'm so ready for it, and yet, even though I've been telling everyone how good I am for months, I don't have one. What should I do? p.s. You are super cool and I think everything you do is awesome.
signed: Anxious in Atenveldt
A. Clever you for sucking up to me, but you didn't tell me what art you practise, if any. I cannot help you when you fail at such basic things as documenting all your imaginary accomplishments in your letter to me. Alas, it looks like that Laurel is not in your immediate future. p.s. Next time, send a large wad of small, unmarked bills with your letter, and we'll talk.
Q. Dearest, dearest, most accomplished and amazing of Attack Laurels, the most wondrous person to have ever graced the halls of the SCA, I want to be a Laurel much, much more than the last person who wrote, so much that I have considered making my friend fight Crown for me so I can award myself a Laurel while I'm Queen, but he's not very good at fighting. Please, please, tell me what I have to do to get a Laurel! p.s. See enclosed cash.
signed: A totally different person from the one above, no really, and a different kindom, too, like, uh, Atlantia. Yes, that's it, Atlantia.
A. Much better. It's a good start you've taken with me, but have you considered also bribing the Laurels in your Kingdom? How about the Royalty? The Kingdom Seneschal? Or, failing that, bribe Laurels in other Kingdoms to write to your Royals and recommend you - I find it's always easier to persuade people who haven't actually seen your work. If that doesn't work either, tell your friends to pretend to be Laurels from other Kingdoms, and make them write recommendation letters for you. If none of that works, try blackmail. p.s. You won't get a recommendation letter from me. Your work stinks.