Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.



How did you spend your Saturday night?

Ah — never mind. Really, you know, all that beery tomfoolery and picking up on babes you like is for teenagers and monkeys. Myself, as a sophisticated bon vivant and connoissuer of the finest programs cable television has to offer, I decided to opt for the high road and stay in with Becca and Jack Stillwell, feasting our senses and, lo, even our very minds on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, which on this night happily featured not one, but two Metal Church videos, as well as a compelling melange of image and sound expressing the innermost thoughts and feelings of the artist Danzig.


Jack modeled for us the gift our friend Mark brought him back from his honeymoon in Rome and — what? Relax, it's just underpants, imported underpants at that, and — work safe? My good man, these particular underpants boast a representation of Michelangelo's David! Recognized worldwide — by critic and layperson both — as one of the finest works of art ever created! Images of this masterpiece have been reproduced in children's textbooks, in — what? What? Where are you going?


Yeah, I know. It was funnier last year. But I’m hellaciously, feverishly focused on finishing up this bad boy and thusly not inclined for trying anything new. Well, except this year I slipped my friend Becca a little GHB and convinced her to go. Me at the Renaissance Faire with a girl — that’s actually pretty novel.


The inside of my disgusting truck. Leaves, dirt, cookie crumbs. And this is what it looks like after I clean it. I’m totally going to make Becca sit in it, though, as revenge for when she yanked on my chest pimple. Of course, looking at the big picture, all boys secretly yearn for revenge on all girls, in general, because they won’t strip down and dance naked for us upon our command. So there's that. Wait, did I just say that out loud?


And holy balls, look at my stupid head. Why does losing my hair have to be so comical? Why can I not age with manly dignity? Is this the dark legacy of Bozo the Clown, or something deeper? Why does anyone, much less Becca, even talk to me? Why do I bother to leave the house?


I get to Becca’s house and she’s got on dirty sweatpants and a weird ball cap with shiny bits all over it. Why?


She’s also listening to an Air Supply record. As preparation for the Faire, I find all this mysterious and inappropriate.

“So is this going to be the Renaissance Faire or the Medieval Faire?” she asks.

“Is this the... Wait, what?” Man, that’s a stumper.

“Is this the Renaissance Faire or the Medieval Faire? Is there a difference?”

“Is there a... Look, Becca, the Faire combines many ostensibly disparate eras, including the Renaissance, Medieval times, the days of yore, the days of Conan, the Dark Ages, the Pirates of the Caribbean, albums by Tool and the Insane Clown Posse, the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of programming, World of Warcraft, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, the Legend of Zelda, shitty new age Celtic music, the bleachers at a NASCAR race and, finally, all those attention whores in your high school drama club. You can’t be all hung up on authenticity or classification. You just have to wander through the crowds, wide-eyed and innocent, enjoying the swirling, festive mélange of totally made-up cultures. And also you have to eat one of those giant turkey legs, so I can take a picture and use it to make jokes on the Internet.”

“Well, do they spell it with a E? Like F-A-I-R-E?”

“Shit. If they don’t, motherfuckers better knock like five bucks off the ticket.”


After milady changes out of those gross sweatpants, the carriage departs and we're on our way. Becca tries to prove to me that she’s actually excited to be going, that it’s not just the GHB talking. She even wrote it down in her planner. Planner? Like, for plans? What the fuck? Girls are so weird.


Check it out, Becca drew a turkey leg in there. "Yum!" Or at least she says it’s a turkey leg, I couldn’t tell. What the hell, though, this ain’t art class. And she’s a vegetarian! Supposedly. Anyway, she is so going to eat a turkey leg today, and it is going to be awesome. Ha ha, vegetarians.


We arrive. Ah, Ye Blooming Onion, I’ve thought of you often over the past year.


Civil War reenactor? Frontier Santa? Just taking a break from working in the garden? Oh, who cares — if you got a beard and a big fat stomach and you like to bellow out inane bullshit in an annoying loud voice, put on any old thing and go down to the Faire and get you a damn turkey leg. This is your home.


The Earl of Overcompensation demonstrates how they handled a mid-life crisis back in the olden days, back before they had Grecian Formula and Hummers.




What you got right there ain’t no regular mullet, no sir. That right there is one of your rare genie mullets. Well, rare everywhere except comic-book stores and Renaissance faires. An alternate name for this hairstyle is the NIN.


Like you need the Renaissance Faire to combine that. “Yes, but usually the one comes before the other one,” Becca says. Whatever. She’s the expert I guess.


Children beware! Lady Omelet Head uses enchantment to snare you in her nets.


I know I poke fun, but one of the things I really, sincerely dig about the Faire is seeing all the awkward teenagers get the chance to express themselves and flirt with each other without fear of getting pummeled by the jocks or cool kids. I know it’s hard to believe, what with me being so well adjusted and having such a rich, rewarding lifeas an adult, but I was once an awkward teenager, navigating my way through a treacherous, lonely world of bullies and shame and wedgies during the day and losing myself in magical worlds, role-playing games and science-fiction books after school. I can still remember feeling the excitement, the sweet rush of freedom that comes from entering a place of safety, of fantasy, a place of color and imagination where my poor social skills would be overlooked and I wouldn’t be judged for my quirks or odd interests, but appreciated. I’ll be honest — I often wish I had a place like that now. So if my admittedly cheap shots here sometimes seem a little cruel, keep in mind that just underneath the surface I feel a real kinship with all these lovable, geeky kids. Well, except for this one, waving around his fag crystal ball like that. Ha ha, what a loser.


After building up sufficient resentment toward shitty British accents, you could waltz over to this one place and blow off a little steam by thwacking Medieval dudes in ye noggin with these disappointingly blunt arrows.


Fierce Becca, white-knuckled with battle-lust while anticipating the coming bloodbath. Hm, maybe when she runs out of arrows she’ll drop those shades and shoot a motherfucker with her mutant laser eyes.


A helpful serf explains how this all works to Becca. Good thing, too — us college-educated visitors from the future only know how to figure out automobiles and computers, certainly not anything as complicated and difficult as a fucking bow and arrow.


Yeah, yeah, aim it at the knight. I think we figured that much out ourselves.

The knights were supposed to be taunting you while you shot at them, but the guy me and Becca got was totally phoning it in. He was all, “Missed! But a valiant effort nonetheless, milord.” Meanwhile down the way I heard another knight really upset someone by just out-and-out calling her a fat goth chick. Man. Getting paid to heckle people to the point of violence... I may have missed my calling.


Little witch-ass midget never saw it coming, ha ha.


This year the ads made a big deal out of the old-timey rides you could go on. Maybe I’m just used to the modern stuff they got at Six Flags or something, because they looked kinda lame to me.


Let me guess: mothballs, egg salad and desperation, with a hint of Ben Gay.


You are not a dragon. That is not a cave.


Another one of the things I really dig about the Faire is seeing all the white people just go nuts with the outfits and accoutrements and shit. Everywhere you look, people are just letting it all hang out, even if they aren’t working or performing, just randomly accessorizing their 1989 Jeans West collarless denim shirt with a fuckin’ Robin Hood hat or wearing every pattern in the world and ending up looking like an Aztec Trapper Keeper folder. I also heartily approve of 13-year-olds being allowed to openly stroll around with awesome, deadly stuff like ninja swords.


This guy, though — look at this guy! This guy totally pulls it off — puffy shirt, gauntlets, ye olde fanny packe, tankard... The bold, masculine angle of the hilt of his sword. I... I... I would so follow this guy into battle. And fall asleep in his tent during those cold, cold nights in the forest, huddled together for warmth, rakish beard tickling the back of my neck. Especially if he puts on the gloves.


Never mind. Thy tambourine goblin hath banished my glove-boner to a bleak, distant and foreboding realm.


So I guess back in Renaissance days something you had to do was dance around while swinging little balls of fire on the end of a chain. Huh.


And also you had to paint your face like Mike Tyson, and keep a root beer or something handy in case of accidents or maybe refreshment.


And also while doing all this you had to get a jolly pirate to play a tune on the bongos.


And also while doing all this you had to wear teeny tiny gym shorts.



Snowy, thy grandchildren beseech thee — forsake the eldritch charms of your dragon mistress! Return to your homeland and reclaim sleeves.


I reckon I could use me about five more of those arrows right now.


Ah, zee music of zee flute... Eet is zee only theeng that soothes zee garlicky fire in Von Baldo’s heart.


Obviously high on ale, the Sergeant can’t quite locate the target, the top half of his legs or a good copy editor.


Didn't I defeat you? To get to Level 4?


Alright Becca, meet flavor. Your moment of truth has arrived.


The vegetarian cautiously approaches the leg of turkey. Careful, everyone! No sudden movement. We don’t want to spook her.


Ahhhhh yessss, my child. You draw strength from the darkness, do you not? Drink deep.


“Um, this doesn't taste very good,” Becca says, simultaneously recoiling in horror and scorching the turkey with a defensive blast from her heat vision. “I’m not sure it's cooked all the way.”


Doesn’t taste very good? Give me that! Cooking is for hippies. I’ll finish it off man-style and... Ugh.


What the fuck? Are you sure this even came from a turkey?


Hey, what’s that — oh no... Ohhh no. They couldn’t, could they? I... I... Best not to think about it.


I hate to waste food, but better safe than sorry. I suspect an evil mage may have ensorcelled it or something.


I know! We’ll counteract the poisons with a little taste of something good from the mead vendor! And once again experience one of my least favorite aspects of the Faire, the fact that every merchant somehow feels compelled to constantly yell throughout the entire transaction: "MEAD! AH YES, MEAD! THIS GENTLEMAN WOULD LIKE A MEAD! ONE MEAD FOR THIS FINE GENTLEMAN ON THIS SUNNY MORN. ONE MEAD COMING RIGHT UP. YES, A FINE LORD SUCH AS YOURSELF MUST WORK UP A MIGHTY THIRST! NO DOUBT YOU'LL SOON ENJOY QUENCHING YON THIRST WITH MEAD. HERE YOU ARE, SIR! HERE BE YOUR MEAD! GOOD DAY, SIR! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SQUIRE!"


So, what do you know. Mead sucks. And, uhh... Look, I can't take any more merchant bellowing. Methinks it’s time to get the hell out of here.




It is good to be king.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?