Recently we went to the Renaissance Faire at Lake Anna near Fredericksburg, Virginia. I would like to tell you about our day. We had started out our day at the Renaissance Faire with a demonstration lecture on archery. How arrows can be lethal and how a person dies of blood loss from a wound. The injury isn’t when the arrow goes in but when it’s pulled back out. Most arrows were barbed in some wicked way.
The presenter told that the shaft was the most valuable part of the arrow because that had to be hand made – no shaft grew that straight in nature, and because of this in war, the soldiers and archers would often go through the dead men and retrieve their shafts, pulling or pushing the arrows through body parts as needed. The tip could be reused, too, though not as hard to reproduce as the shaft.
The presenter, a large woman dressed in a dirty white long skirt and a blouse with a leather belt with hatchet hanging from it was very entertaining being both witty and honest.
We wandered around to the Tavern and got a beer for me and an ale for husb. Sitting down in the next tent over, we saw a man dressed up as an Arab. He was telling us his tricks with gambling. He got people from the audience to play with him. The first game with a silver chain was called “fast and loose”. He showed how you could loose all your pay check on this. He’d been learning the game for thirty five years and there was no way to win.
Next game he taught was “Three Cards Monty”. It was really about how a team of con men can jip you of your next months rent. The main player pretended to be the only player while he had lookouts to yell “watch out, here come the police”.The people who said this were part of the con, and a person who gave the player money to bet on “Three Cards Monty” to show that it was not actually a con game and could be won were also part of the plot. That last person of course got the player’s confidence by giving him his money to bet for him.
Then the sucker would give his month’s rent to play the game “Three Card Monty”, also called “find the lady (the queen)”. As soon as he lost the lookouts would yell “here come the police” and everyone would split leaving the sucker alone with the three cards. The final team member, a smooth talker would come up and say, “oh you poor man, you lost all your money – you better take this $5.00 and leave since the police are coming and they’ll arrest you because gambling is illegal and you’re here with the cards”.
So the guy, the sucker, would take the five for taxis or a phone call and leave. And all the team would come back and start all over again.This whole game was shown using the audience watching the show so it was quite fun what with all the participation.
The Arab’s last trick was a magic trick, with a rope and metal vase. He showed how the marble was in his hand and the rope was in the vase while he held the vase up with the rope. Then he took the marble out and then held the vase upside down showing there was nothing else in there. So how did the rope hold the vase up? It was clever. We enjoyed it.
After eating an ice cream for me and a hot dog for husb we watched a teen do circus tricks with juggling. First he used swords. Progressing through tricks of using hulas of increasingly huge tubes to juggling with torches and doing back flips off a huge pogo stick. The fun part was that he worked up the audience to cheer for him as he finessed the tricks. He also used a sucker from the audience to fail at using a small pogo stick so that when he used the huge pogo stick it really seemed like he had mastered something.
All in all it was a fun time and a pleasant way to spend a summer day.
What summer fun have you been having? Ever go to a Renaissance Faire?
- Can I? (myperceptionoflife.wordpress.com)
- Jennifer Straglatella, 26, juggler (allstripes.wordpress.com)