An Unexpected Day

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My ticket stub.

My friends from Dallas, Leza and Betty, had been in Tucson helping a friend of Betty’s.  They finished Friday morning, March 1st.  Since Leza retired from the media world she has been enjoying participating in Renaissance Faires around the country by singing to the accompaniment of her guitar. She calls herself The Moor of Dundee and she has costumes to carry out that theme.  So early Friday afternoon she called someone in charge of the Renaissance Faire out east of Gold Canyon and was happily accepted to play and sing the following afternoon, March 2nd.  Only one day because she and Betty had to drive to Santa Fe, New Mexico the next day, March 3rd.  Betty then texted me and we made arrangements to meet near the front gate in the morning.

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This was a group of visitors who unfolded themselves from the van that parked next to me.  Perhaps at least a third of the visitors were dressed in costume.

Leza had a very enjoyable several hours singing just outside the door to the exhibit of “The Sea Fairies – The Living Mermaids.”  The line of people waiting to go inside the building was roped off and snaked back and forth.  Leza sang to the end of the line as it was moving horizontally alongside the building.

Adults enjoyed her songs and children were so entranced by some of her songs and by the guitar that she stepped up against the rope and let the children “play” her guitar while she sang songs she knew they would enjoy.  By the time she finished a short repertoire the people who had been listening had gone in the building and Leza began again with a new crew of listeners.  They all had a blast.  It was a joy to watch her happiness in performing.

But before the hour set for Leza to begin singing we three wandered around,

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We met some interesting visitors to the Faire who were not part of the entertainment crew.

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I am on the left end and Leza on the right.

then took in a couple of shows.  The second one was “Hey Nunnie Nunnie!  Silly Songs of Counseling.”  Two women, dressed as nuns, started the show with jokes about constipation.  One that I was able to jot down was:

  1. What do you get when you mix holy water and prunes?
  2. A holy movement behind.

They sang a song about some constipated Biblical men.  Each verse began with “There were five constipated men in the Bible….”  And continued: “The first was Cain.  He was not Abel.”  “The third was Solomon.  He sat for forty years on the throne.”  “The fourth was Noah.  He nearly filled the ark.”  “The fifth was Balaam.  He could not move his ass.”

They mentioned that there was only one constipated woman in the Bible.  It was Eve.  “She passed the apple.”

The ”nuns” have performed their show many, many times as they have toured the country following Renaissance Faires.  Their timing was done to perfection, and the show was hilarious.

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Betty and I left Leza as she started her wonderful hours of singing and strumming to an audience and we went to see “Cirque du Sewer ―Cats, Rats & an Acro-Human.”  The woman performing was an amazing acrobat.  She did part of her performance on a half-inch rope.  The animals interacted with some of her acrobatic skills.  For instance, when trying to convince a small rat to leap from one stool to another one several feet away she did a head stand then opened her legs into a split with each foot almost touching a stool.  The rat quickly ran across her legs because it knew there was a food treat waiting on the other stool.

The rats were delightful although they had no idea they were performing.  The cats were rescues.  Two of them were not yet full-grown, but they did some performances in response to the woman’s hand gestures along with treats she held in her fingers.  She fed them a treat after the successful completion of each action.

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All three of us attended the first show of choice.  You thought I had left out the first show by accident, didn’t you?  But I saved it til last because I was one of the performers!  At “The Ded Bob Sho” we sat about six rows down from the stage.  Ded Bob was a dummy, a very white skeleton.  The ventriloquist worn a monk’s tan cassock with cowl.  A dark brown net veil hung down from the cassock in front of the man’s face.  The ventriloquist could see out fairly well but we could not see his face.

Ded Bob had quite a spiel.  He harangued the audience and at times picked on specific people.   He had three rules for the audience, one of which was “Pay Attention.”  He explained each rule fully and delightfully.

During one of his harangues he picked on a slim, pretty, young woman.  I forgot what he was “upset” about.  He stood in front of her, told her to stand up, then told her to repeat after him:  “I am a Bobster,” which she repeated.  Followed by “I am a Bobster Zombie,” which she repeated.  I did not quite catch the third sentence but the young woman repeated it, then covered her mouth with her hand and got a look of horror on her face.  Ded Bob chuckled.  Ded Bob told the young woman to accompany him onto the stage.  Ded Bob brought out a huge maul (paper filled with something extremely lightweight) and bopped the young woman on the head.  He asked her to do a few things, then told her to sit on a bench that was at a back edge of the stage.

Ded Bob accosted a young man (late 20s or early 30s; great physique and face was not bad looking).  He asked the man to repeat “I am a Bobster” and “I am a Zombie Bobster.”  I don’t remember the third question he posed to the young man, but it was not the one he had asked the young woman.  On the stage he bopped the young man on the head, had the young man do a few things, then told him to join the young woman on the bench.

A couple people got up and left.  I wondered what time the next show on our list started and how far it was from this show to the next one.  I picked up the brochure, unfolded it… and in my peripheral vision I saw Ded Bob coming up the aisle we were sitting next to.  I looked up to see what was going to happen next and Ded Bob was thrust towards my face:  “You were reading, weren’t you?”  I nodded in affirmation and stared boldly at him.  Ded Bob asked me to stand up and repeat “I am a Bobster” and “I am a Zombie Bobster,” which I did.  He then studied me intently for a moment and did not ask a third question (there are times when having a lot of age-related wrinkles on my face comes in handy), but he did tell me to accompany him to the stage.

On the stage, Ded Bob produced the maul and bopped me three times on the head, then said, “Now behind.”

Aa foto by Chern-Hughes

I quickly covered my butt with my hands, more quickly than Ded Bob could get the maul that low.  Ded Bob made some remark and ditched that bop.  I don’t remember the few things he asked me to do on the stage before he told me to sit on the bench with the other two.

I do pretty much remember what took place after he gave several more minutes’ worth of spiel.  He told the audience he was now going to use us to tell a story.  He told the young woman and young man to stand to his right.

Ded Bob then told me to join them on stage.  I stood to the right of the young couple.  Ded Bob said, “No! Stand here on this side of the couple!”  Well, the ventriloquist was standing next to the couple; there was no room in between; so I walked over and stood behind the ventriloquist.  It seemed to take the ventriloquist a few seconds to realize where I was then he half-turned and Ded Bob told me to stand at his left, which I did.

The story began with the young man adoring the young woman, but she spurned him.  The couple acted out Ded Bob’s words.  The young woman turned her back on the young man and strutted back to the bench where she sat down.

The ventriloquist then stepped away from being between the young man and me and said the young man now turned his affections to the other woman.  The young man made some appropriate motions.  Ded Bob said the woman did a sexy dance and indicated I was to improvise something.  Now, I have two left feet.  I have taken ballroom dance lessons but never “graduated.”  However, on this day I did some slight shimmying that I remembered from 1930s movies while I took short steps to the left, and at the same time I did modern, vertical, shoulder-led arm up-and-down movements.  To my surprise, the young man followed alongside and imitated me.

Ded Bob brought out the huge maul and told me to bop the young man on the head.  Ded Bob then said the young man fell to the floor, unconscious.  The young man obligingly fell and lay flat on his back.  Ded Bob told me to rifle the young man’s pockets.  I knelt beside the man and patted the pocket nearest to me, then looked up at Ded Bob.  Ded Bob told me to rifle through the “middle pocket.”  I stayed quite still and wondered what the young man was thinking and expecting.  Ded Bob said there was a roll of dimes in the third pocket but I still stayed motionless.  Ded Bob gave a short spiel, in which he said the middle pocket was now holding a roll of quarters, then told me to return to the bench, and told the young man to wake up and go sit on the bench.

Ded Bob made a few more funny remarks to the audience, during which I heard him say we zombies were finished now we no longer were zombies.  I thought he was dismissing us so I stood up and started across the stage to the stairs I had come up earlier. (It pays to have a slight hearing loss which is not fully cured by hearing aids.)  The ventriloquist stepped in my way and Ded Bob said, “She’s trying to escape!”  He shoved three poles in my hands and told me to go sit on the bench.

I sat on the bench holding the poles.  Each pole had a jester’s hat with an elongated tail.  Ded Bob finished his show then said we three would walk thru the crowd and hold the jester-looking hats out so people could put their dollars in them.  We went out among the crowd.  People reacted pleasantly towards me.  I was surprised they wanted to interact, briefly, with me.  I said “thank you” as they stuffed their dollars in the “hat.”

To go back some ten minutes or so — when I got up on the stage and looked out at the hundred or so folks sitting and standing and looking at the stage I was not frightened nor ill at ease.  I was glad for the years of history walks and history talks I had given at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and for the two recent talks about the arboretum that I gave to a couple of organizations off the arboretum grounds.  And for the fact that when I do those talks I move around to some extent in front of the people.

After the Sewer Cat show Betty and I collected Leza.  Leza was ready to take a break.  We walked past several of the exhibits with Leza moving at a slow pace so she could study and appreciate the wares on exhibit and for sale.  One thing that stopped us for a minute or two was a very tall, talking tree.  Inside the tree was a man on stilts.

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Leza bought herself a lunch then went back to sing some more.  Betty had eaten a huge bagel earlier and I had snacks in my daypack.

Leza had so much fun she may decide to come to this Renaissance Faire every year from now on.

 

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7 thoughts on “An Unexpected Day

  1. It appears you had a great day at the Festival and that makes me happy. As a citizen of Gold Canyon for 19 years, I am absolutely fed up with the traffic and disruption that this Festival creates every year. Like all of my neighbors, we have nothing polite to say about this nonsensical money grab as they entertain the masses with absurdity. I really wish they would just move on. The participants spend their weekends “entertaining” and then spend the rest of the week weirding out the local citizens and shoplifting. There is no positive economic impact to our community and I wish the entire operation would simply go away. Bobbi

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    1. Bobbi has pointed out a problem with many venues, — the traffic congestion that prevents residents from being able to drive out of their communities to run necessary errands or for pleasurable ends of their own. In the past there have been times when I have gotten caught in the stop-more-than-go Renaissance Faire traffic. It would take me an hour or an hour and a half on US 60 to drive between the Rennaissance Faire entrance and the west edge of Gold Canyon. A drive that normally takes me about 25 minutes. This traffic jam takes place approximately from 8:30 or 9 am to perhaps 11:30 am (jam of traffic heading east on US 60) and again from about 3:30 pm to perhaps 7:30 pm. (jam of traffic heading west to go back home).

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