Friday, September 26, 2008

That's a fair~


I didn't like King Richard's Faire, but I didn't tell the king when he asked, "Did you have fun?" I said, "Yes. Thank you for the ticket." What would you say to a king on the next yoga mat?

I'm not one who likes dressing up in 16th century garb and talking in a fake English accent, or being called milady by fake lords or whatever they were, and everybody there seemed to like that sort of thing. That's fine. I'm sure they'd find my propensity to wander in the woods with a camera odd, too. To each his own.

Just inside the gates to the fair were three ATMs and the lines were long. Once inside everything was for sale . . . even the "free" shows.

I watched a puppeteer behind a mask fleece his audience. He made his puppet say, "Put your hands in your pockets. Grab some bills. Pull them out. Wave them in the air. I want to see a sea of green." Then the puppet dispersed ushers to collect the money.

Okay, I don't like puppets. I'm no judge of a show involving a skeleton puppet with a fake English accent making lame jokes.


I could see how families would like the atmosphere. The day was beautiful, there were darts to throw, arrows to shoot, rope ladders to climb-- all for a price-- but that's a fair. The food-- turkey legs and chowder-- was expensive, but that's a fair. There was nothing to do that did not cost money-- except to watch the jousting match-- but that's a fair. I would have liked a beer; people wandered all over with them, but I could have bought two six packs for the price of one drink, and yes, that's a fair, but that's not me.

There was a woman, in costume and high above the crowd on stilts who was dressed as a baby. Her purpose was to get suckers to put dollar bills in her pouch. . . . under the guise of entertainment.
She talked baby talk; she had wax over her teeth so it looked like she had baby gums. When a man asked if she drooled, she produced a dribble of spit and let it run down her chin. "I'll do anything for you, daddy," she said, and then kept at him until he put money in her pouch. I stood back and watched the crowd. The adults laughed and gave her money. Money! For being a baby puppet on stilts! Who drooled for money! But the expressions on the children's faces said it all. You can't fool children. She was weird and creepy.

And she became the flavor of the fair for me, somehow-- a way to make money, no particular talent needed, and kind of weird.

That's a fair. Not my thing.
~~~~~
Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don't take anything too seriously, it'll all work out in the end.~David Niven

11 comments:

Bob Sanchez said...

I'm with you, Ruth. I used to hear the "Faire" advertised up in Mass., and it seemed like a waste of time. Look at it this way, though: You did not waste your time with your camera. Great pix, as always.

Ross Eldridge said...

Hi Ruth,

No wonder King Richard gave away "free tickets" ... he had every intention of fleecing the takers once they took advantage of his generosity.

I'm afraid this would have really creeped me out. Faires and Fayres have certainly become cheap plastic replicas, eh? Use a cute spelling and it must be realistic!

Perhaps, one day, a giant theme park. And in this corner of the countryside ... BLACK DEATH WORLD ... packs of stick-on, oozing pustules only $10. Bring the children, and bring out your dead!

How about FIRE WORLD. Relive some of the world's greatest fires. The Fire of London, The Chicago Fire, The Firebombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, the WTC (or is it too soon for that?) Not to be missed ...

The drooling baby on stilts. Ick! To think people slipped it a dollar. Pule Dancing, perhaps? Fools and their money. And fools that took the fools' money!

Crickey!

R.

Pauline said...

maybe we should let kids run the world...

RiverPoet said...

You know, I always had a problem with things like fairs, parades, circuses, and festivals. The bloom wore off those roses quickly for me, as I always saw that there were some pretty seedy folks behind the masks. (I know that's a generalization, but it's how I felt).

Fortunately my kids weren't that into such things either.

However, now that I'm an empty nester? Hubby and I are thinking about going to an Oktoberfest or the Renaissance Festival - just to get out of the house!

Peace - D

Barbara said...

King Richard may have breathed even louder if you had told him the truth! Love the pictures of children's faces.

Janice Thomson said...

The childrens faces mirrored my thoughts exactly. I've only been to a fair once and once was enough. Your keen observations point out the reason why. This one though really went all out to get your money compared to the one I remembered when in my twenties.

Tere said...

I know I am the minority here but I love renaissance fairs. Of course, I have not had the same experience with the money, money, money grubbing. That would turn me off. The shows at the fairs I have attended really were free and the roving characters were not looking for money but yes, the food and beer were outrageous.

I kind of like watching the people involved, trying to figure out what on earth brings them to dress up and talk like that. It's a people watching, brain study kind of thing. I like watching but would not want to participate. Well, not in public anyway ;)

Amy said...

I love Renaissance Faires, too! We have a great one up here in PA, which has a ton of shows to watch which are truly free. We went on a day that was a bit dreary so we got to interact with the actors a lot. So much fun!

Ruth, I'm sorry your fair wasn't as fun. :(

leslie said...

Well, it does seem a bit over the top to charge to get in and then charge for everything you do inside. That woman/baby does seem weird! You have a way with words, Ruth, and a way with the camera!

I had a great day today that was totally FREE...you must come over to see my post about our Rivermania Event!

Deb said...

So true...so true. Once I visited the Renaissance Fair and I have to say it was not for me. Although the garb was interesting, it was the entertainment that left me empty. A wench was selling kisses for a dollar. This large, sweaty, hairy man made her kiss his underarm. My stomach turned1
No thank you!

Lisa said...

Sounds like the Faire has gone downhill from when I went about 10 years ago . . . your stories about weird puppets and "entertainers" are appalling! The things I remember are the animal shows, such as the falcon trainer show, and tiger show.

Well, on the good side, you got some great pictures!