Late in August, (yes, this post is quite late) we took our little minions to a Renaissance Faire.
The Renaissance faire is an interesting animal, thought by some to be the height of a good time (Huzzah! is the cry of those dressed up in period costumes and spinning happily ’round the maypole). To others it is so intensely geeky that anyone who has ever been, even by accident, on the premises of a renaissance faire, shall stinketh of geek forever. In fact, the only stench more geeky than that of a Renaissance Faire aficionado is that of a Civil War Reenactment guy, or anyone with a metal detector.
’Tis a harsh judgement, indeed.
The husband and I differ in our opinion of the thing, and that’s all I shall say, m’lords and ladies.
The dayeth was upon us, and the husband railed his flax-wench of a wife to get ready faster, for late stood the hour (and all the other lords and ladies would be there fi-irst, and we’ll have to wait in li-ine). I scoffed at the idea that there would be so many, up so early, just to put on crappy British accents, and eat various foods impaled upon sticks.
Aye, twas a beautiful day indeed, but color me surprised when we got there (around 11am, as I am not to be rushed), and found that everyone, everyones brother, all their friends and family, and Jesus Christ Himself (not a joke— I have pictures) had the same idea.
Now that’s a deity I can get behind. In fact I think I was behind him, he was in a 1982 Toyota Celica.
Traffic came to a stand still miles from the place. I may have to rethink my position on how the public at large feels about fake British accents and stick food.
We waited, waited, and then waited some more. Then, afterwards, when we thought we were done waiting, we found ourselves waiting. It must have been a parking mirage or something.
Just as my bitching was becoming unbearable for everyone, at precisely the same moment when I had come to accept “t’would be anon” before we parked: we parked.
We got out of the car, squinting at the daylight and sniffing at the fresh air like we’d never before consumed such a thing. We put K in her gigantic stroller and began our walk to the faire. It couldn’t be very far, we were only in lot 3.
They put the faire on top of a mountain.
No one told me they put the faire on top of a mountain.
Why would you put a faire on top of a mountain? Why would you put anything on top of a mountain, and on purpose, at that?
Are they trying to keep fat people out? Because (besides myself), they weren’t doing a very good job. We followed a trail up a steep incline, and Lords and Ladies three times my size were passing my sad, huffing and puffing, ass at twice my speed. It must have been adrenaline, because those speeding fatties were wearing hundreds of pounds of sweaty period costumes. Had I been a betting maiden, I’d have predicted they’d make it steps (from their Moms’ basement) not miles, and there’d have been paramedics every quarter of a mile, just in case anyone (me) might have a heart attack.
After our trek up the mountain, me bitching all the way, (are they trying to hide this place? Do they want to keep it a secret? Jesus Christ — no, dude, not you — this place is worse than all of Halloween for putting the girls on display. There are lusty wenches EVERYWHERE. How much farther is it? How much farther is it NOW?)
Jesus, making the pilgrimage to the top of Mount Renaissance Faire.
Eventually we emerged at the top of
Mount Fucking Everest the mountain, to the longest ticket line I had ever seen, and a bunch of port-a-privies. Thank God I peed before we left, because “Whither be the privies” was not on my list of useful renaissance faire phrases. Anyone who’s followed my blog knows all about that debacle. J and K needed to use the port-a-privies though, so while the husband took them to pee (because I’d never set foot in that ‘maggot pie toad spotted’ disaster), I met this guy:
His own private protest, but when the boobs come a-knockin’, you go.
Somehow, I felt he didn’t fit in… I couldn’t put my finger on it… hmmm… However, I felt immediately that he was a kindred spirit, and soon enough I was proven correct. After he’d kindly consented to the picture above and we’d chatted for a little bit, his girlfriend emerged from the port-a-privvies, all dressed up in long peasant skirt, a thousand pounds of corset and layers of covering, hiding everything except for her ample décolletage.
Immediately, I understood the arrangement.
Banana guy told us that it was pirate weekend.
Ummm… Okay then. I like pirates. Are we talking Johnny Depp Pirates?
No, no we aren’t.
While on line for tickets, we stood behind a family of two knights, what appeared to be a wizard, and a woman who was obviously some sort of lusty wench (I saw rather a lot of lusty wenches). The knights (maybe 8 years old) were arguing over whose magical powers had been upgraded the most this past year, while the wench was calling the wizard a “cheeky marmoset”.
I don’t know what that means. Sounds bad.
Every family is weird in their own way, I suppose. We certainly are, so I put on my tolerant face. Unfortunately, my tolerant face looks a lot like my disbelief/disgust face, so no one was really any better off. Finally, we made it to the front gate.
It was incumbent upon me to make sure the husbands’ weapon was peace wrapped. Heh.
We walked in, got our program of events (here you aaaah, m’lady) and hadn’t walked thirty feet before I met this guy.
It’s 9-5, I suppose there’s that. Maybe it comes with great health benefits.
My dearest Lords and Ladies, meet the guy with the shittiest job in the whole world.
This guy wears a full renaissance ensemble in 90 degree, humid, full on August sun, while he loads children on his dragon boat thingie, then manually pushes it (the thing must weigh a zillion pounds) like a swing. He shoves it higher and higher, working entirely against gravity, till one of the children invariably fails a fortitude save, and horks their partially digested quiche on a stick and chocolate covered bacon all over the dragon’s interior; I’ll let you imagine the physics of the splash. Then he slows the giant thing to a stop, takes the children off one at a time, uses A RAG THAT HE KEEPS IN HIS POCKET to clean the barf from his dragon, and starts again.
This whole experience costs one dollar per child.
Conveniently located next door to Brack the Heaving Dragon. “Yes, he’ll have the quiche, please. We’re about to go over to the ‘Vomit your Victuals Dragon ride'”.
J did not puke, of course, since we didn’t feed him quiche on a stick in 90 degree heat, with chocolate covered bacon on the side, before we put him on “Uncle Ralph’s Dread Dragon of Upchuck”.
She needed a flower hat, and I needed an adorable child. When worlds collide like that… obscenely expensive, crappy, fake flower visors are purchased.
And happy we were, in the 90 degree heat (and humidity) squashed in with every other lord and lady within a 750 mile radius and enjoying the sights. In fact, I was so enamored that I walked directly into this guy. I had bruises for a week. I said (It came out like word vomit before I could stop it):
“Are you positive that Iron man was also a renaissance man?”
Wearing that suit in late August in 90 degrees heat and eight bajillion percent humidity? Now that’s commitment. No wonder he was grouchy.
My son was enthralled with this guy. He really thought Iron Man spends his off days at renaissance faires. Just before J was quite rudely shoved away (from what I gather, Faire regulars are quite sensitive regarding their costumes) he asked really loudly if Iron Man got to the faire by jet pack, and if he, J, could try on his outfit.
I still don’t know who he was supposed to be, but quite obviously, it was not Iron man.
At two o’clock, the birds of prey show was everyone’s choice. EVERYONE. Even Jesus, a disciple AND Mary Magdalene (interestingly, the only woman dressed NOT as a lusty wench) were interested in the falconer.
Mary Magdalene accompanied by a disciple, looking quite modest, what with all the lusty wenches hanging about.
The show was great, the birds were well trained…Mostly. We were sitting on the opposite side of the birds’ flight path, however, there were some not so lucky patrons in the “splash zone” that came out of the show slightly more sticky and white about the head and shoulders than when they went inside. Luckily, Jesus was sitting by us, safely out of range for the falcon’s business end. You don’t want a shit show with Christ in the way. I don’t even know how many Hail Marys and Our Fathers you’d have to do after that mess.
We left the Birds of Prey to do whatever it is that birds of prey do when we’re not watching, and found ourselves at a crossroads. We could see a mime down one road (that’s never good) while the other road was seemingly mime free. It was a no-brainer, we chose the mime free road. J immediately found the face painting booth, hopped in the wooden (IKEA) chair, and said he wanted to be made into iron man. The face painting guy ‘pretendedeth that he did not haveth every single Iron Man movie and comic book at hometh’ (in his Mom’s basementeth). Instead, J got a sun painted on his face for the low low price of a gajillion dollars. I guess paint was more expensive back then.
Whatever, if it’ll help this guy move out of his mom’s basement…
Sun in place, and my purse considerably lighter, we strolled past court jesters juggling sticks, (are you sensing a stick theme?) and tons of patchouli. As we wandered about our mime free road, the children were suddenly taken in by glittery sparkly fairies. They might as well have been holding up signs advertising free candy and puppies. Had I known ahead of time how wretchedly annoying fairies are, we’d have taken the mime road. We must have been there for days while this lady played pantomime (almost as bad as actual mime) and rang little bells. She danced around like… Well, like a fairy, and we stood around while our mesmerized children ooooohed and aaaaaahhhed over her. She blew bubbles and sprinkled my children with glitter that somehow morphed to create a glitter paste that dried onto my children’s bodies, and I’m still peeling off of their various kibbles and bits at bath time.
You think they’re all sweet with their bells and glitter, but they’re really just trying to get your children to follow them into a windowless van.
Once you make it through either mime or fairy, there is a huge area of picnic tables, and small shops selling their various foods on sticks, as well as my personal favorite, the guy who rolls around a barrel of stick pickles yelling “Piiii-CKLES for sale!!!!”, while making various pickle related sexual innuendos. Mmmmm… Stick pickle. The whole area smells like garbage and sweat. Alas, we are hungry, so we wait on the line for stick meat and wench fries. I ordered a chicken pita vegetable thing (on a stick), and it tasted like tzatziki sauce gone bad (mmmm… chunky) poured over yesterday’s falcon (the one that did not impress Jesus) and red bell peppers. It was all terrible; everyone was unimpressed by their expensive stick food. All I can say in it’s favor is that J did not consume his food before he climbed onto “Gak the magic dragon”. Apparently, although there was a scientific and artistic renaissance, a renaissance of the palate was still some years to come. Next time we’ll smuggle in some subs by way of gigantic stroller.
It all left me wanting something… sweet. I spotted a lusty wench at a tiny little stand (that I might not have seen if not for my unhealthy obsession with the pickle guy) who was shouting something I simply could not ignore. It was frozen cheesecake that they dip in chocolate (magic shell) and serve… on a stick. It’s like a crunchy, creamy, cold, yummy, chocolatey orgasm on a stick. Although, to be honest, most of my orgasms come on a stick. (TMI? Nah.)
That’s what my face looked like afterwards, too.
And so I will go back to the ren faire, I’ll even call it the ren faire (like those who frequent these… Reunions), in order to get more cheesecake on a stick. I’ll dress up like a tavern wench, Ill even dance around the maypole, but I will have more cheesecake on a stick.
Oh yes, I will have more cheesecake on a stick.