"You mean you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword and we'll try to kill each other like civilized people?" - Wesley,Princess Bride
A sign at the Ren Faire®. This was in a cane store, where you could buy, umm, a cane. Or a wizard’s staff. Note that they don’t honor Ye Newe Worlde Expresse.
This year we followed our tradition of eschewing the rampaging mobs of bargain shoppers to head to the Texas Renaissance Festival®. By “tradition,” I mean that we have done it once before, and intended to do it again. By “eschewing,” I mean chewing in pumpkin pie in an ‘s’ pattern to get the Thanksgiving turkey from between our teeth after waking from L-tryptophan-induced comas. Besides, being around a group of sword and battle-ax wielding nerds is far safer than being anywhere near Best Buy® on Black Friday.
We loaded into the Wildermobile to head to TexRenFest (that’s what all the cool kids with the +2 swords call it). By loaded, I mean we skillfully smashed four adults and two children into a car that comfortably seats three adults (if one of them is short) and two children. In a pinch, I think you could fit sixteen children under the age of eight in to the car (or even more if you put infants in pet carriers), though the driving might be a touch more erratic when the seven-year-old driver forgot completely about the driving thing in order to wrestle the kid sitting next to him.
Notice that there were two extra adults? The Mrs.’ parents were in town, and we had decided to go to the Ren Fest. The Mrs. has the nicest parents, and it was wonderful having Thanksgiving with them. Thankfully, they were flexible about being extra close during the trip, by which I mean that I finally used a shoehorn to get us all in the car. We took turns breathing.
The loading of the car itself was problematic, since we were leaving in the early morning (it was just after 11AM) and the environment among the people in the car was similar to a bag of tom cats that had been shaken. I just think that the adults were caffeine deprived, and the kids had been nipping into some leftover Cool Whip®. After various iterations of putting kids in the trunk were rejected for various reasons, we finally managed to find a pattern that more or less assured mutual discomfort. After things finally calmed down, we drove the two hours from our home to TexRenFest©. Whataburgers® helped improve the mood significantly.
We finally got to our destination, whereupon we immediately saw the ranks of other people heading into the festival. About one person out of ten was dressed in either some form of velvet dress, leather armor with spiky-things on it that would frighten both the Predator® and the Alien©, someone auditioning to be Johnny Depp®, or just generally wearing flouncy clothing. Most interestingly, I did see a girl dressed in a chain mail bikini, but she was walking (I’m not making this up) staring cross-eyed at a slight head-tilt upwards as if she were taking instructions from a tiny insect god. She was armed.
I don’t know about you, but people taking instructions from tiny insect gods are rarely the kind of person who I feel will give good advice about building a strong portfolio for investment advice. I’m not going to judge and say that those people are weird. But they are.
One of the more distracting things was being called “m’lord.” It’s cute the first time that you hear it, but after that it just grates on me. Being called m’lord after you buy a funnel cake from “Ye Olde Funnele Cakee Shoppe”? Just odd. What exactly am I supposed to call them? Scum? Commoner? Peasant?
Ye olde funnele cakee (commonly called a “funnel cake” which is part sugar, part doughnut dough, part sugar, part cooking oil, and part sugar, and then covered with powdered sugar) introduced a strong streak of sugar-induced idiocy into The Boy. “CanIridethis? Canyoubuymethat? Ohhh,cooool,swords! Oh,Iwantasoda. Murwareweraagh!!!” I had been unaware that Leonardo DaVinci had done most of his work under the influence of funnel cakes, but The Mrs. informed me was indeed the case. After making him run in circles for about 20 minutes, he seemed to calm down a bit.
We eventually made past nearly every store there, and after examining no small number of swords, hats, knives, mugs, chainmail bustiers, and crossbows, we decided once again to head back into the 21st Century. The Mrs. made the note that I never actually purchase anything at the Ren Fests and Faires that we go to, and The Mrs. is right. If I ever want to dress like I’m in character for one of these things, I want to do it right, and not like the guy wearing a flouncy shirt, knee high velvet boots, a sword, a funky hat, and Levi® 501’s. Everyone knows that the medieval guys didn’t wear velvet. Sheesh.
We finally made it out of the maze that is TexRenFest®, but not before battling hordes of Orcs. Oh, wait, no. We just walked on out to the car, though there were plenty of rickshaw drivers willing to take us there for a few shillings and a promise not to beat them too soundly. We made it home in pretty good spirits.
I’m not sure that being called “m’lord” while I’m traipsing around in hiking boots and cargo shorts is very good for my ego. I tried later that afternoon after we got home to get a war party together to storm the manor across the street to increase my holdings and obtain a dowry to marry off the absent Alia S. Wilder, but was thwarted because The Boy and Pugsley had to stop the siege for naptime.
Maybe next year? I think that if I give them funnele cakees first . . .