mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

June 8, 2004


Filed under: Humor — mlah @ 9:59 pm

i was talking to my project manager today, and for some reason we started talking about renfests. and expectations.

i remembered this story.

i went to the maryland renfest a couple of years ago with a couple of old navy friends. they’re married.

now, the femme, we’ll call her summer, claimed to be a ‘unicorn chick’ when she was younger and was eager to go to the festival. she also makes stained glass windows as a hobby. yeah, she’s crafty like that.

but her husband, and one of my best friends, we’ll call him ‘snap’, had never been to a renfest. and we were worried about how he was going to do.

and it started the minute we stepped out of the car.

so we started the day early and drove out to crownsville, maryland, where the renfest is. they had to drive up from viriginia, so snap was a little cranky from the get go. summer was good to go, she couldn’t wait to get in.

we parked a couple of hundred yards out from the gate, and there it was. some poor guy walking to the gate, just a renfest geek. we all know the type. just some pogue in leotards, the big poofy shirt …. and a tail.

snap wigged. i think he said something like ‘oh my f’in God!’ poor leotard dude moved along quickly. summer and i did emergency damage control. we reminded him that he was going to be seeing an awful lot of dudes wearing leotards on this day.

the smack talking continued.

once inside, we stopped to buy summer one of the little twig and feather crowns that half of the girls wear around for the faire. they kind of look ok really. i gave snap a lot of hell about wasting money. just throwing a little gas on the fire to make things interesting.

summer was in the zone. she kind of didn’t care about the virtual conniption that snap was enduring, brought on by the visage of so many other than normal people walking about.

i offered to stop at one of the renfest clothing stores and get him a little costume of his own. i risked my life when i made that offer. summer liked the idea though. i tried to get her in one as well. but she was happy with her hat.

then we made our way around towards the back of the faire grounds. where the jousting is held, and the funniest thing, this cardinal just walked up and started talking to us.

seems he had noticed snap’s consternation over the vivid apparelworn by many of the guys strolling around…. true to form, he spoke in the old english accent that always made the english girls laugh in europe. (they really do think we sound funny, and most of them could do a passable southern belle). the cardinal made the observation that snap appeared to be a first timer, and he thought that maybe a beer would help soften the edge a bit.

well snap is a pretty funny guy. we immediately started telling eahc other that the cardinal was really hitting on each other. he accused me of being sweet on the cardinal, and i just reminded snap that he looked more like an altar boy than i did. i was a little large at the time.

but the cardinal turned out to be hooking us up. he recommended a little tavern around the corner. and we went. we didn’t really need much prompting. three sailors. beer. close proximity. we were off. summer was driving. so snap and i both got a beer. then two.

then the hookup happened. turns out there was a staged bar fight in our tavern. it was scheduled, and the cardinal steered us over there in an honest attempt to get snap a little less stern.

there was only a mild ruckus. but it was enough. the king and his men at arms soon stopped by and threw the ‘fighters’, who turned out to be ‘pirates’, into stocks.

we had another beer.

then we walked around to the other side of the jousting field, and that’s all that snap really wanted to see was the joust, and they had some knife spear, axe, and star throwing booths.

and get this, if you won, you won free beer.

all of a sudden, snap was having a ball. summer wasn’t. she was still sober, and i think snap and i were having a little over much fun. but come on, how often do you get to throw axes? the spear chunkin was fun too.

so the joust finally started, and snap and i got a little tired of throwing crap. if memory serves, summer threw a couple of axes herself. so we sat and watched the joust. it was ok. the two guys just kind of hit each other on the head with metal polls. then we recommenced shopping.

summer was busily engaged in industrial espionage. she was actively going through all of the stained glass shacks, rating the ‘competition’.

snap and i ate steak on a stake, and cheesebread. i always love the food at renfests. oh, i think i’m going to have to write a post about food in general.

then we watched the obnoxious street theatre that they always have. you just haven’t lived ’til you’ve seen ‘sheakespeare in the mud’.


  1. Oh, just admit it, mlah, you really wanted the leotards and tights to dance around the moon circle during the upcoming summer solstice. The whole “let’s go to the Renfest” was really just a ruse!! 🙂

    Although I can say I’ve never been to one.

    Comment by CJ — June 9, 2004 @ 12:33 am

  2. Don’t forget about the deep fried pickles!!

    Comment by yup — June 9, 2004 @ 8:07 pm

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