02 July 2001

You know it's gonna be a fun year when the first quote of the season's quote list is "Morth Ragbone, you take that frog out of your pants and put it in your mouth where it belongs!"

Opening week-end rocked beyond the telling of it. Saturday was wickedly hot, it's true—I'd forgotten how much my face hurts after a day of sweating and sunscreen and dust. But the show was great! I saw my first opening gate scene ever, and the crowd was so thick it practically touched the stage outside. It's a wonder the cast could get to the stage, but they did, and the gates were thrown open and in we all went. Next I caught Jim Owczarski and Greg Larsen's 10:30 Conversation with Sir Edward Coke show on the newly backed (with sins) Lord Mayor's Forum, where the 21st century went head to head with the 16th (woooooosh!).

Missy and Todd were there, as was the Nicole, who got woo'd. After Heath and Randall's fight, I headed over to the Duck for Court of Common Pleas, which we discovered has been moved up to 11:30am. Which means, sadly, no Heath and no Vuch, since they (along with Randall, Greg, Glick, and the rest of the Midsummer cast have a 45 minute call). But Jared (my backflip boy), as Oswald, was there as Court Waylayer and I got to check him as a weapon when he called "Weapons check!" and thus participated in my first bit of the season. Eric Fredrickson guest-starred as the voice of the Phantom Plunder (this year's McGuffin), and Maurice tried (and failed) to exorcise the box. After Court, I went to my very first Parade call (amazing how I participated more in the last two days than the last 4 years combined. So this is what Faire is like when you're not chained to the Duck! More, please!).

They have llamas!

Parade swung by Midsummer just as it was closing, and I got my first peek at Vuch in his leaves. Then we had lunch at the Duck, and then I helped spot some fights until the Reign of Terror. I was too warm in my garb and bailed for Patron Togs in time to catch 4:30 Scenario on the Chase. I enjoyed it tremendously, missed brass cues and all :) It's about damn time the spotlight shone on Bardolph and Jack Bottoms! Yay, Jack! I grinned ear to ear all the way through, and then my sweetie changed out into his nifty new black doublet and we got baked potatoes and meat onna stick.

We got chocolate covered cherries, and then sang Bring on the Starlight and I managed to convince Jared that giving Vuch the stuffed frog for Parade really is the right thing to do. Since I was in patron togs, I saw closing gate from the other side, and about died, watching Alan whap Joe on top the head with François (whom he had in his mouth). Used my Barbie-pink guest pass to get back inside, and grabbed up my stuff from the Punishment Place.

Went out to dinner with the gang, stayed out every very late, and despite plans to catch up on missed Farscape at the wonderful Jennie's, completely passed out when we got home. I forget what 12 hours running around outside in the sun on only 5 hours of sleep is like. Got up Sunday and discovered to my astonishment and delight that it was too cold out for me to wear my patron togs and so I went in garb again. In fact, I forwent opening gate and bought new skirts to augment the patron-y cotton gauze ones I was wearing.

It was English weather. I was in heaven.

Of course, according to the diminishing law of attractions (If it is 80 degrees or cooler, families stay inside and watch TV. If it is 100 degrees or hotter, dad says "Honey, grab the kids! We're going to Great America!") the crowds weren't as large as Saturday's. But the stunningly lovely weather more than made up for it. Spotted Randall and Heath's fight at Tuscany, caught the last 10 minutes of Jim and Greg's show. At the Duck, Dawn as Seadog Meg was used by Fredrickson and Ferdandez as a human battering ram to try and open the Phantom Plunder (to no avail of course).

This time, when I checked my "husband" as a weapon, I came up behind him, tapped him on the shoulder, and then when he turned around, picked him up in a fireman's carry and dumped him on the carpet. 'Cause the only thing funnier than a woman carrying her man around like a sack of potatoes is puppets. And the puppets were nekkid, so they didn't make any appearances. Fredrickson once again provided the voice of the Plunder, only this time, he wasn't under the table, but was out in front, being possessed (tip: Alka-Seltzer makes for some great foaming at the mouth) by the demon inside the box--noneother than Roger Coke, Coke's daddy. Afterward, Patch Padfoot (a shaky vet of the Queen's military who now works in Kid's Kingdom, played by MacMillan) was called to the stand. I don't remember why, now, but it got laughs, and he was waylaid. Which also got laughs.

After Court, I took off to catch Midsummer and the crowd was HUGE, as it should be. The show was awesome and Vuch rocked as Oberon. I was impressed and entertained and surprised by how much he can resemble Kevin Smith (Ares, not Silent Bob). I was also tickled pink by Heath as Wall in the Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, and the Fabulous Susan was Fabulous as her maj, Queen Titania. Snagged the backflip boy's arm when parade came through, and spotted for the Queen's entrance. Some greybeard tried to buy me from Karen, thinking I was a reveller. No dice. I am so the backflip boy's! Had soup at the Duck. Was transfixed and horrified and entertained to watch Vuch eat an entire Bloomin' Onion in 4 bites on a bet. I'm not gonna tell you how he did it. Just that he did, and it was gross, and it was also damned funny.

Spotted some more fights, visited some more shops (everybody check out Kiri's GORGEOUS jewellery at Brigid's Charms, around the corner from the Chase on your way down towards the Glade), and spotted the Reign of Terror. According to Jim, some Reveller is a hero for snatching a Tommy Turkeyleg (small oblivious child who wanders directly into street fights) from the jaws of certain death. Just picked the kid up and set him back down on the outside of the circle. Huzzah, spotters! My backflip boy and Greg were nifty, as always, and even more so with the new phrases in the fight. Oooohs and Aaaahs all around as they beat the crap out of each other (and this year, added a nice ouch of realism by acting hurt after each blow). Afterwards, snagged a seat for 4:30 scene. Afterwards, grabbed some more meat onna stick (this time from the Duck) and got cheese cake onna sick, and then sang in the Duckyard with Jim O, visiting Angel (who will be back from culinary school again for 6th week-end), and the remaining BASS rabble. It was of the good. Next time, Avril and Liz and I are going to sing Sorry the Day I was Married. Honest.

The coolest thing in the universe happened while we were singing. Two little boys were spotted directly across from us, far enough away that we couldn't hear them but close enough that we could see 'em clearly, trying their damndest to run up a tree. The backflip boy beamed for the rest of the night, and will probably hold that moment in his heart until his dying day.

Couches on parade were sighted on the horizon, so we headed over to the Midsummer Stage for Starlight. Was treated to Jim translating Latin on the fly for Mr. Vuchichevich who can now say "Get out of my way, or I'll kill and eat you," in a dead language. Yay, Jim! Sang to the crowd, got changed, hugged Marc Lepescu who looked snug as a bug in a rug in his afghan in the Punishment Place, then headed out with the rabble for eats. Despite Vuch ending up wearing McLean's drink, and Jared and I being seriously short on cash, dinner was fab and the backflip boy drove me home to Chicago. We fell asleep for two solid hours, and then I woke him up and sent him home. I was late to work today, and am sporting some entertaining tan lines, but all in all, I had a faboo time and look forward to doing it all over again this coming week-end.

P.S. Wave to Brian, the new Bad Guy. He's mucho nifty. Wave to Dawn, the new Sea Dog. She's tres nifty. And occasionally sparkly. And special wave to David, who went from huggy Bad Guy to huggy Sea Dog this season.

In the immortal words of Patch Padfoot, "Here. Have some."

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