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Renaissance Festival War Stories: September 18/19, 2022

by Tinka Boudit She/Her 3 months ago in list / love / lgbtq / humor / humanity / friendship / family · updated 2 months ago
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Five dollars, Four legs, Three old cake eaters, Two stuffies found love, One happy deer-lady

Riddle Masters and The Dregs

Photo by Jas Weight

Continued from week four...

September 18/19, 2022

Five Dollars

I have mentioned The Dregs in previous posts. They are a local, legendary renaissance band with nearly as many former members as Spinal Tap and just as many infamous songs. Saturday evening, exclusively for those who have secure camp ground clearance, they perform their show known as 'Dregs After Dark.' Because the festival is work for us and play for everyone else, this is their chance to do a show for those of us who don't get to see them during the run of the season. Last year, I missed it; this year, I didn't want to. Nestor and I head up after supper to catch the show. We were late and, the show had already started, and all the benches were already full. We stood back and enjoyed the show.

The Dregs have certain show reputation, "We will sing any song you request for five bucks, even if we don't know it." During the regular season, lots of their fans or "Droopies" will request their favorite songs and regular tunes, and then they get some off the wall and weird requests. Tim, the band's leader and bodhran player is an extremely talented writer and improvisor. Last weekend, for Bertram's birthday, he requested a song they never had done before, and Tim improvised the lyrics with the exception of the chorus which the whole band sang the chorus of "Ya Ya Ding Dong." (this will come into play later, I swear)

During the 'after dark' show, I got the feeling they get to do the songs they want to do or make them the most money (or at least, they don't have to do songs they don't know.) Neither Nestor nor I brought cash for requests and we were so far back, there was no way our requests our get played. This did not stop Nestor from yelling "Africa," multiple times between songs. Being both his little brother and his mother in this moment, I nag him to save his voice because we still need it for tomorrow and if he does, I'll buy him the song request.

The next morning, The Dregs show up at 9:30 AM for their usual morning song with us as pictured above. After the song is over, I get my five dollars out to give Tim and request "Africa" by Toto. Why Nestor wanted that song so much, I don't know. Tim, Trevor, and Paul hum and haw for a moment while they try to remember the words. Tim starts the song. The look on Nestor's face was great.


What amazed me was the rest of the riddle masters singing along, helping Tim remember the words and we are all laughing. Tim is making up the words as he goes because he doesn't know them all. "This song is really weird...the Serengeti is nowhere near Kilimanjaro." Paul sings the chorus beautifully. Suzie and Molly are 20 feet away looking confused not singing at all. Riddlers pipe in some of the words once in a while to help. I say, "This song might actually be about werewolves." By the time the song is over, maybe about 15% of the song has been correct, and most of that has been the tune itself. All of us are laughing and at least five of us are laughing to the point of tears. Dregs songs are ALWAYS worth five dollars, even if they don't know it.


Four Legs

I've been coming to the Renaissance festival since 2005 or 2006. That first visit is a blur now, the second isn't much better. I've always been a fan of dressing up and costumes. 'Any excuse to wear a costume' as I like to say. There are spectacular costumes out there. There are innovative costumes out there. And then there are costumes that just break me. This weekend. I broke. It was this patron.

I was frozen and speechless

I'm pretty sure I could write a whole doctoral thesis on this costume, but I'll keep it short. The back legs rotated with the wheels, the horse body was a chest cooler, and the gentleman centaur was quite kind and respectful. There is a level of commitment cosplaying requires and he went through the roof with it. Flawless. No notes.


Three Cake Eaters

This is my third season on cast and have made an effort to be inviting to old classmates, friends, and family to come experience the renaissance festival, especially if they never have. While I am not usually able to get out of the Riddle Booth to experience it with them, I want them to see what I have loved for years. I would love for them to see me in my artistic element. This is me turned up to 11.

This weekend I got to see three old class mates from my alma mater - where we were colloquially known as 'cake eaters.'

Aaron ran into me last year and I spotted him this year. We only had a quick hello. Cami and I have known each other since second grade.

Aaron (L) Cami (R)

Chris and I hadn't seen each other since sophomore year when he moved away. We weren't close then, but we often sat near each other in class - alphabetical by last name and all, we were often a row off from each other over the years.

Reunited after nearly 21 years

The passage of time is a weird thing. I am now 36 years old - more than half of my life out of public school. In a few more years, I will have spent more than half my life with my married name. Yet these people still sometimes refer to me as my maiden name, and that's just fine with this old cake eater.


Two Stuffies

Late in the day on Sunday, I get to chatting with a few patrons and I recognize them from last year. They are the ones I told my riddling-out-of-surgery story to last year. We all light up to the memory and remembering each other. Then something catches my eye, one of them has a small stuffed creature in their purse called a WOSH, they named Josh. I am enamored by this stuffy. He is modeled after an art piece. He happens to be very close to the size of my stuffed giant elephant mouse Richard A Boudit. I ask if I can take a picture of the two of them together, 'Flat Stanley-style.' Immediately the narrative is born and I don't know who said what. "It looks like a wedding...they were 'roommates.'...This looks like a wedding I would want to have." Never have two stuffies been so in love at first sight.

Richard A & Josh


One happy deer-lady

The season is flying by. Weekend five is over. I am already banking stories for the lost tales for after the season ends. With two weekends left, I am not ready for it to be over yet. I may feel differently in two weeks, but right now I thrive in this part of my life.

This is the proper way to shoot this deer

See you in weekend six...


About the author

Tinka Boudit She/Her

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The Soundtrack BOI: WA

Bette On It: Puddle, Desks, Door, Gym, Condoms, Couch, Dancers, Graduate.

Purveyor of Metaphorical Hyperbole, Boundless, Ridiculous, Amazing...and Humble.

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Comments (2)

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  • Gideon 6ix3 months ago

    I love the photo of you with the "gentleman centaur". You look so happy and thrilled- joy just radiates from that picture. A fun story- thank you for sharing!

  • Ashley McGee3 months ago

    I love the Renaissance Festival! Maybe this year we'll get to go back to Sherwood Forest!

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