Ren Faire: Episode VI

This weekend, as I frolicked with Ewoks on the forest moon of Endor (they are so cute don’t you think? “Eechi wa-wa!”), I was able to explore my feminine side by… SHOPPING! I spent far more money than I should and now have this sort of cool looking fancy getup that makes me look like a clown. Well not quite a clown, but it is loud enough to shake the leaves off of nearby trees. You know those strips that people wear over their pants that hang down? They are called slops! That’s right, I have slops! Let’s get sloppy!

Did a bit more fencing this time around as there were less fencers working. I am sure this will become the norm. At once point I found out that not eating and fencing all day can cause a somewhat dim feeling. Almost a faint feeling if you will. I will endeavor to not let it happen again because it was really harshing my buzz.

The evening festivities included a great dinner of pork loin, followed by a hippy fashion show that we decided to skip. There are only so many ways to wear hemp after all. We strolled into the main court and challenged some people to some liar’s dice. This is a wonderful game if you have not tried it. It’s what they were playing in the second Pirate of the Caribbean movie. I would have to say it is less fun when certain factors of the game are uneven. Perhaps it was the playing surface or the light but there seemed to be a lot of fives on the table.

At this point reality hits home when all my friends go to bed because they are pansies. Soon they will be asking me to prepare them small glasses of warm milk to settle their delicate constitution. My goal this coming weekend will be to install remote controlled electric shock devices inside of their buttocks to keep them from nodding off.

So there I was, alone in the battlefield; just me and Charlie, my trusty flask and three shots to my name. I low crawled through the streets until I happened upon a canteena. The barman looked at me with a wary eye and said, “Try this!” I took what he proffered without breaking eye contact, letting him see the whites of my eyes. I tossed back the liquid, it could have been anything but let’s assume it was a liquid Russian roulette. The creamy butterscotch scent floated on volatile fumes to my nose, fooling into thinking I had not just consumed viscous fire. The raging sting of the poison crawled from my bowels to the tip of my tongue and I cried out, “160 proof!?! Are you trying to kill me?” It took yet another thimble of this corrosive toxic potion to convince me that in fact Charlie had found me, and he was using chemical warfare.

Unrelated to Faire, this Friday I am celebrating my birthday at Britannia Arms. We plan to invade this establishment wearing Ren Faire gear and pirate outfits. Expect debauchery.



Ren Faire: Episode V

Into the fray once more! We arrived Saturday morning this time, only to learn that we missed a fantastic party the previous night in which the hosts had set up an area to recreate the Milk Bar from Clockwork Orange. Well, you can’t go to every party on the planet right?

The day went wonderfully with barking aplenty and many shticks to be had. If you know not what a shtick is, when barking you can’t just say, “Fencing here,” you must in fact have something more compelling to draw the attention of the masses. Comedy works, over-dramatic re-enactments are also a useful tool. Such clever quips as, “You can poke him for a change m’lady,” “marriage counseling,” and “Body piercing!”

The after hours would have been a miss were it not for Gryphon. He managed to go back in time and bring us a bag full of old Laser Tag gear. Remember that game that had parents up in a fit cause their kids were shooting each other with harmless infra-red LEDs? Yeah those. So we ran around the faire mimicking actual military squad formations and hand signals covered in gizmos with flashing lights and the frequent “pew-pew” laser sound. Let me say that I was at first under the impression that this ultra-cool activity would be getting me laid. I am sure that the chance against was slim, but somehow was able to find that elusive nook.

At one point everyone wanted to go back to camp and play poker. You know, that kind of poker where everyone bets pieces of grass or “1000 nothings”. I personally cannot palette such a gross eschewing of a point in this type of game and instead decided to look drunk in public. I ended up talking to a man affectionately called “Gunny”. He was a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps and has since been working security at the faire, still donning that clever cammy hat. Many had heard that he would be retiring and it is true according to his words but really he was just retiring from security and not the faire altogether. So we still get to enjoy his warm company. We talked shop for a while, reminiscing over old times and “the way it was back then”. I enjoyed the conversation, indeed I am so fond of talking to people of great character and this man is one to speak of. Then some guy started talking crazy talk to me and I left because it felt too much like downtown Santa Cruz on a full moon.

At the camp in rudely interrupted the game of “I bet nothing that I have been dealt better random cards than you have.” A simple question brought that game to a quick close and into the breech was loaded a debate that rages to this day, “Who would kick who’s ass: the Millennium Falcon or the Enterprise A?”

I will end on this to let you ponder the implications. I ready myself for the coming weekend, wish me well and may The Force be with you.



Ren Fair: Episode IV

So the first weekend down. Now I am assured that my feet cannot hurt any more the rest of the weekends then they do right now. It’s not so bad really. We had a great time, starting with the toast and ending with a great dinner at the brewery. But I am sure you would like to hear about all the details in between!

Well, the day went pretty normally. A visit from Eugene was a pleasant surprise. He may even have a place to work there as it turns out. Adjusting to the environment and physical labor is always a nice mixture of toil and pleasant soreness that a man of my stature feels all too infrequently. I would like to take this moment to recommend a haughty mixture which I find is just the thing in the morning. Hot chai and whiskey. Nothing quite like it. So the day moves on soberly and true, Mike D and I spend our time barking to the crowd as we have fencers a-plenty who are much more skilled than him or I. A good job of it too and collecting a great menu of shticks to use on the crowd. In the end I would say that a good 20% of the customers are drawn in from barking, which is a good deal considering. A pleasant day full of smiles and laughs.

Now we come to the middle part of this six part epic of posts, where I talk about the after party. It is the reason we prance about in the sun and the dust and foul our voices with an odd accent. We lose more money than we make and for what? This, it is the culmination of faire where the geekiest of the geeks come together after hours and show their true colors. I guess some people go for other reasons, but this is me.

We go to the tents, dress in normal clothes (meaning kilts and pirate socks), put our feet up for a bit and tip a bit of uisce beatha (Gaelic for whiskey). Off to grab some dinner, some cider and then we go to watch Broon do a show on the stage. He did some great comic guitar song type stuff and somehow due to our kilts we got incorporated into the show and dubbed “Kiltie”. Great show, got a CD.

On the way out a very funny thing happened. Keep in mind I couldn’t see all that straight by this time and it is dark. So as we were on our way this female with an outrageously provocative outfit passes me, shaking the ass and all that. It really is a fantastic outfit and I comment on it, “That is great!” Immediately after that, a woman runs up to me and gets in my face and says, “That’s my 15-year-old daughter!” Okay, the entire picture is so obvious to me at that very instant. Obviously her mother somehow approved of, nay instigated her wearing this outfit and it wasn’t just thrown together, it was the type of outfit where every piece of it matches, down to the shoes and handbag. So basically this woman dressed up her daughter and was parading her around fishing for people to make the wrong comment or the wrong look so she could snap at them. So without hesitation I bellow out the most appropriate response I can think of, “Well then, you shouldn’t have made her wear that!” I received no response and the resulting expression was a mixture of shock and shame that I will relish till the day I die.