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National Editorials & Columns

I was just hanging around at ye olde Renaissance festival

Trying to dress accordingly to a Renaissance festival only serves to be a frivolous waste of time and energy. Renaissance festival weather is impeccably unpredictable.

Dressing in layers or wearing a pair of cut-off shorts with a mesh tank top will ultimately come back to bite you. Or worse yet, forget to wear your chain mail armor and a dragon will wind up eating you. I’m pretty sure they had dragons back then.

Personally I enjoy feeling cold and miserable at a Renaissance fair because I find it greatly adds to the ambience of the time period. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive in this era of history.

Back then holy factions killed one another, millions were poor and homeless, class warfare ruled the streets and government tyranny reached epidemic levels.

Thankfully so much has changed since then, huh?

Only in America will you find festivals dedicated to terrible living conditions and marks willing enough to pay $17 to endure the journey. And then we sit back and wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

The beverage of choice at a Renaissance festival is mead, which is created by fermenting water and honey. So in other words mead is essentially nothing but a fermented concoction of bee vomit.

As if that’s not bad enough they sell a thimble-sized cup of it for $6. With prices like that it’s no wonder why everyone was so poor back then, especially since nobody can drink just one glass of mead.

Fortunately for me there was an ATM located nearby wedged in between the blacksmith and candle maker’s shop that in no way defused the medieval atmosphere. When I think of the Renaissance I imagine several things and computer chips are definitely one of them.

The ATM and additional disposable income seemed crucial to the entire Renaissance festival operation. Without either how could the fanciful merchants and annoying peddlers that roam the grounds fleece a person of his hard-earned coin?

One particular assertive peddler — dressed as a peasant but looked like a cross between a hobbit and a dirty hippie — attempted to use her gift of gab to goad me into buying a blue flower for $6 for my Christine.

Too bad nobody previously informed the peddler that a choice between a flower and another glass of mead is not really a choice at all.

But alas, she refused to take no for an answer.

“Don’t you want to please your maiden?” she queried again.

“I’m not sure I am being perfectly clear with you so allow me to put it in words you might better recognize,” I said. “Thou dost hast nary an inkling on courtships shared betwixt a knight and his coin. I bid thee dreadful wench adieu.”

I think what I love most about the Renaissance festival is that it is the only place on Earth where an otherwise normal individual considers purchasing an actual battle axe. There is something enchanting about a Renaissance festival that possesses the average person to think, “I want a battle axe — I need a battle axe!”

That life, up until this very moment in time, has been worthless and insignificant by not owning a battle axe. That everything in my life has been leading to the day where I would be in a position to acquire a battle axe.

That the answer to life’s meaning can only be found in a battle axe.

That ...

Or maybe it was the belly full of mead talking.

Either way we all decided that a trip to Ye Olde Porta Potty was well within order and we headed off to the privy (as they called it in those days.) What awaited us was filth and depravity beyond all description.

It was a trailer with a series of metal troughs for men to urinate into. There was evidence that at least one person failed to realize the troughs were for urinating, and just urinating alone.

There was no running water or hand washing stations. Instead there was a man dressed like an anorexic pirate handing the same bar of sanitary lotion to everyone so they could wipe their germs on it and pass it to the next guy.

No thanks, I think that’s how the bubonic plague started.

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