Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Invasion of the Faire Or Hayley reaps the whirlwind

With East Region Playoffs behind us, Dread and I had been looking for an outlet to slap off the dust of the flat track and relax with friends. Dread had been hankering to go back to King Richard's Faire ever since we went with Mike, PeeJay, and Hayley. I appreciated her desire, but hadn't we just been there? No. It was over two years ago. Thus, an open invitation was sent out to our dear friends. We would be relaxing in a world of fun spectacle, great costumes, conflicting egos, and large crowds. What was missing?

Skates.

The opening ceremony in front of the gates was entertaining. I had forgotten about the opening presentation, and the "new" Richard was on top of his game. I had wished Lady O had made it, as I couldn't help but make comparisons between what they were doing and what we do. Except we're serious people (ha).

Derek, Dread and I wanted to start our  day with a bang. We found it in the Torture Show.
He made us leave our seats to spit that fireball.
Hayley arrived in the middle of the show, right after Ses Carny (that's his surname) had performed his human blockhead routine. She arrived just in time to see him insert fish hooks into his orbital sockets. Carny's act was refreshing, and though it had been around for a while, I can't recall ever seeing it. Hayley, at this point, began texting on her phone. I imagined she was relaying the disgusting scene to those who had yet to arrive, but it was more likely she was "supping dudes."

After Dread and Derek browsed longingly at the series of warhammers in the weaponsmith's booth, I ran into May B. Knotty and Mr. Knotty as I gnawed on my giant turkey leg. The Cirque De Sewer, a circus performed by trained rats, was going on not fifty feet away. Vermin that close to my food enhanced the illusion of the park.  Hayley continued to text. Goddamn it.

More friends arrived. Crash Daily snuck up on us, as he has a habit of doing. Our running crew was nearly assembled in time for the first joust. All we needed was the Bomber family, who arrived in much the same manner as Crash. We took our seats on the "bad guy" side this year.

Ready to heckle some hobo and a dude with a dragon shield. Those guys suck.
Sir James is the man!
The workers were unprepared for our noise. There's an art to cheering or jeering in a crowd. If you go too far, you're just a loud douche. However, if you're keeping with the spirit of it, not picking on people around you, or interrupting the action to appear cool, you're fine. This rule doesn't apply to stand-up comedy, literary readings, or eulogies. If you're not performing any of those, you need to keep quiet.

Our knight, Sir James, was a pretty shady dude. He was rude, crude, and likely slept in the nude. I liked him. We got his attention with our chants, and he flashed us the devil horns. Huzzah! We had made our mark. Hayley began to text again. We punished her.

Which she quickly told people, via text.
Dread was having a great time. Crash and Hayley tried their hands at the Throwing Axe booth. Out of the seven participants, only Crash successfully got his axes to stick into his targets. Thus, he earned an honorary knighthood.

If this were a stained glass window, that water bottle would look wonderful!
I hadn't tried any of the booths in ten years. So, I tried to scale the ladder. How hard could it be?

Hard.

Covered in hay, my mishap brought a huge smile to Dread's face. A five-year-old girl dressed as a fairy ran into the center of our circle of friends, smiled at all of us, and tossed pebbles into the air, hitting a few of us in the head. Her mother did nothing. It's moments like this that you wonder why it's always the good kids that go missing. I appreciate that those heartless monsters who prey on kids like to make it easy for us to hate them, but come on. Take one for the team and get a few shitty kids once in a while. If that offends you, be a better parent.

Dread sees the best sight in the world. We missed Pepper at this point.
As the day wore on, we saw plenty of cool things. If you kept your eyes open and listened, the drama and comedy wasn't just coming from the staff, but the other people. I mean....What the---


Goddamn it.

Here's where we had some fun. The herald of Sir Joseph (we won't hold that against him), helped us dispense justice upon Dame Hayley and confront her with her witchcraft. Never mind that he posed for the photo.

Pictured: Comeuppance.
Hayley-face, a medical condition that renders its victims with a case of permanent sour puss, is well documented in the Boston area. However, my little sister's a huge supporter of taking the piss out of people, and she played along. Surprisingly, she stopped texting, too (UPDATE: no, no she didn't).

With mere moments before the final joust, we assembled at our chosen seating place and prepared for the lack of chivalry and honor that Sir James rained on the crowd. The cheering section for the "heroes" tried to outshout us, but no one can yell over Crash and Derek. Our chants of "Hail Sir James, Kill and Maim!" and "Crush Kill Destroy!" echoed over the tourney field. The chant leaders of all sides looked at us, many of them laughing. However, two little boys that resembled Curly Howard started yelling directly at Crash.

Crash, bathing in their hatred and returning their taunts a hundred fold.
Click on this picture, it's animated.
Their father gave us the thumbs up as these kids insulted our knight, our clothes, and said things that ten-year-old kids shouldn't know about. Crash played along. When Sir James smacked around their chosen knight, he would point at them and cheer.

Sir James. Hair and Sword by the Kurgan, loved by loud derby folk everywhere.

He set his sword on fire. It's like he knew us!

Sir James fought with the power of a thousand rabid tigers, but was defeated by Sir Joseph who looked like the type of dude who does tai chi at a dance club to appear suave. When they decapitated Sir James for his crimes against the realm, Bell Air Bomber's youngest asked, "How did they do that?" I couldn't love her family more.

At the end, the knights saluted the crowd and thanked everyone for coming. We kept chanting for James. When he came out to sign autographs, he pointed at us and nodded. He knew where the real fans were. It was a great time in ye olden days.

Attending King Richard's this year was special. For a few years, it was almost boring. But the staff pulled out all the stops to entertain, my friends were ready to ham it up, and we just let ourselves get lost in the illusion...if only text people outside of the park about things that don't even matter when we're home. Hayley.

The rest of our photos can be found here.

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