Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zombies bring wholesome family fun to the Ren Faire

For some reason my brothers and I have always found something inherently amusing about Sansabelt slacks. We have a similar attitude toward dickeys, to the point that my brothers sometimes wear one, Cousin Eddie-style, at Christmas, just to amuse themselves.

One holiday season I discovered
there was a Sansabelt shop in Woodfield mall, and I decided to visit while we were doing our Christmas shopping. My brother John and I walked through the door and were almost immediately struck with what can only be described as the giggles. We were rendered nearly speechless within moments of walking into the shop, and when a smiling young woman approached and asked if she could help us we just lost it. I mean, lost it--trying desperately to maintain control, I managed to croak out a "no, thank you" in a voice that sounded very much like Squeaky-voiced Teen from the Simpsons. John started shaking and snorting, and we wheeled about and practically ran out of the store. Once we cleared the exit we fell apart, punching each other and laughing like loons.

I mention this because I discovered this is nearly the same reaction I have when I walk through the gates of the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Within moments of arriving at the Faire, before I even had a beer in hand, I became giddy to the point of stupidity. At first I thought it was all the cleavage on display. I know that always has an effect on me. But it was so much more than that. The heady combination of sights and smells, walking around in the sun, the flesh on display, the sheer exuberant hokiness of it all...

It turns out I really enjoy visiting the RenFaire. There. I said it.

Of course, I had an excuse for visiting. The only reason we were there in the center of that den of iniquity was that our eldest was helping out at Plague Day, the first zombie event held at Bristol. Nora was helping out with makeup for people attending the event who hadn't zombie-fied themselves in advance. Her friend Geoff, the man behind Kitty Zombie, organized the event.

And what an event it was. I'll just get right to the pictures from the day. MizBubs kept me out of trouble by preventing me from approaching anyone sporting a combination of near-nudity and chain mail, so these pictures are all SFW.

One of the things I love about the RenFaire is the people who show up with random bits of fantasy wear--I saw fur tails attached to several ample rear ends, bondage gear, Weimar cabaret costumes, gladiators and Orcs. Last year I saw a group of Klingons visiting, but they must have gone to the Dells instead this year. I half expected a group of Civil War reenactors to show up in uniform, claiming a professional courtesy discount.

This guy decided to wear some vaguely SWAT-ish vest, black jeans and musketeer boots:

There were acrobats


Living statues

And living statues with obnoxious shirtless drunks

There was a disturbing moment when the Royal Court roamed the grounds, seeking a suitable male child to take away with them and raise as one of their own

On to the zombies.

There was a fine collection of living dead at the Faire yesterday. I am especially impressed with people willing to put in freaky contact lenses to complete the undead effect:

Nora, horror's girl next door, stayed busy making up the not-yet undead

Kitty Zombie is seen here working out costume contest details with Lord Bedlington-Fop (not his actual name--I just like saying "Lord Bedlington-Fop". The actor did a fine job of announcing the contest, and was quite funny.)

There was a costume contest. The medieval tranny zombie did quite well and made it to the finals. See if you can spot her.

And a zombie pinup contest. I have to say that some of these gals were more goth and steam punk than they were medieval, but I still enjoyed the show.

It was a good day.

I found an article in my email this morning, sent to me by my friend Bawb the Revelator. You will want to remember this formula:

Want to know why? Because that formula is the mathematical formula for surviving a zombie attack:
“An outbreak of zombies is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead,” the authors wrote. “It is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble...

“Only sufficiently frequent attacks, with increasing force, will result in eradication, assuming the available resources can be mustered in time,” they concluded.

And if we don’t act fast enough?

“If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead,” they wrote. “This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert.”

How fast do we need to deal with the outbreak? Here’s the equation they used, where S = susceptibles, Z = zombies and R = removed. If an infection breaks out in a city of 500,000 people, the zombies will outnumber the susceptibles in about three days.

We are now working on committing this equation to memory, in between target practice and alphabetizing our canned goods stockpile.

Hope y'all had a good weekend!


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

The giant smart ass in me wants to mock all that stuff but he's being beaten out by the giant nerd in me who is sad he did not get to go to that great American event.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I just love that Nora was on hand to help zombie-fy the newbies. You are such a supportive dad!

Johnny Yen said...

Okay, I hold you responsible for this: after a lifetime of never having had a dream involving zombies (my childhood was filled with Wolfman dreams), I had a zombie dream a week or so ago. I was with other people preparing an estate for an anticipated nighttime zombie attack. When I woke, I realized that I should have called you for help.

Mnmom said...

I'm glad someone likes the Ren Fest because it sure ain't me! I'm not going again until someone comes up with a more imaginative phrase than "buxom wench". OK, I admit, I like the turkey legs. But the participants make me want to tell them to knock it off already.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I wonder if Plague Day is going to make its way to the Ren Faires out here.

Ordinary Jill said...

One of those zombies looks more like an Orion slave girl.

SkylersDad said...

Klingons and SWAT guys at the Ren fest? What is the world coming to?

Randal Graves said...

So, wait, all the zombies are going to dress like Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn?

Bubs said...

Randal, many of them did. You know, there's no aristocracy like dead aristocracy.

SkylersDad, it was sublime.

Jill, thanks for visiting! Welcome! And you're correct, there was lots of weird hybrid costumes.

Kirby, we can only hope.

MnMom, I feel you. my family considers it a small miracle every time I go there and don't punch anyone in the face just because.

Sorry Mr. Yen. I have much to be blamed for.

GKL, it is a treat.


Carl said...

For enjoy a bondage gear
you don't need go to Faire.

Bubs said...

Carl, I thought we had an agreement that you wouldn't visit here.

Christa M. Miller said...

I went to a RenFaire once and have to say I enjoyed it, even though it was hot and the mosquitoes were biting and there were no zombies...

Speaking of which, that formula? Makes you an even bigger zombie geek than my husband, which I did not think was possible, since he spent whole summers planning his escape from the city of Bridgeport....