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Tales from The Fair of Mud
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:02 AM
LadyofArc LadyofArc is offline
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Default Tales from The Fair of Mud

Just came back from one of three medieval fairs I do each year and boy howdy was it a fun one. I'm part of a re-enactor club that specialises in archery and as part of this event, we run an archery range. It was probably the smoothest one we have done so far, so that's a bonus. The only major downside was that it was so muddy and swampy due to the weather.

Having said that, there were a few minor instances of suck both here and at another event the club had done interstate recently, so read on my fellow forumers!

No, they did actually have stuff other than that...
This happened at the interstate event. I didn't go, but heard about this from everyone else.

While we do get queries about what the diet was like for our era (14C) from time to time, this lady took the cake. She kept insisting to all of us that they ONLY drank mulled wine and wouldn't have had mead or beer during that era because "it was such a waste of good honey/other ingredients." The reason why we all found this funny rather than sucky though, was that she had this screechy/raspy voice which made her sound more like a witch than anything else, and she may or may not have been absolutely plastered at 9am.

That's one way to stop free entrygoers...

This year, we FINALLY got an excellent location for our archery range. Part of the issue we have with this particular campground is that we need a very large dead zone for stray arrows. Well, luckily this year, they organised it so that we had that space, which was just outside the main boundary fence and bordered by the train line on one side, a metal gate behind us, the campground on the other side and then a long hessian fence (giant shadecloth zip-tied to poles) down the other end. We did stick "Caution: Archery Range" signs along that fence and THOUGHT that was enough.

Turns out it apparently wasn't, because shortly after the start of Day 2, I had to call "Hold" because some idiots found a decent-sized gap in the hessian fence and thought they could sneak through it to avoid having to pay entry fees. Once I yelled out "Live Archery Range!" they took the hint and went the intended way.

Fortunately, that was the ONLY time we had to make a "Hold" call all weekend apart from our safety spiel, which was a bonus compared to last year (when we were calling "hold" every few minutes or so because campgoers/HEMA guys were using our dead zone as a shortcut to the bathroom)


Gee thanks flight doctors...

Speaking of HEMA guys, we didn't even get into an hour of opening on day 1 when one of them went down hard, requiring an ambulance on site (we do have medics on-site for events in general, but they are limited in what they can do). When it turned out that the reason for the guy going down hard was a suspected head injury (basically guy was wearing a loaner helmet, helmet was not as padded in a couple of parts, weapon hit one of those weaker parts resulting in fractured skull and a gash to the back of the head), they had to airlift the guy to a nearby hospital (he was fine enough to walk to the ambulance and then the helicopter). The guys in the chopper were part of a separate group, who then posted about the event online.

Unfortunately, the way that they posted it made it sound worse than it actually was, resulting in the media then blowing it out of proportion even further (the various news outlets portrayed it as everything from "an axe-wielding maniac attacking member sof the public," through to "helmet was shattered," then "helmet got penetrated," and "sword went under helm and hit back of head). Yeah...the poor HEMA guys got stuck fielding queries all weekend.

We did get regular updates on his condition throughout the event though - the guy was fine by the end of the first day, then on the second day, he was asking to come BACK to the event (the response to that was "No, you f*cking dumbass, you need to recover." ) and will be discharged in the next couple of days. Family were not happy to hear the news though, as they only found out through the media.

Wait your goddamn turn

For various safety reasons, we restrict the range to six people at a time, with maybe a couple of extras allowed in if they're accompanying people and are there to take photos or help supervise their kids (we allow kids from 10+ on the range). One particular group however, decided the rules did not apply to them and decided to walk straight in while we were still mid-demo, resulting in two of us having to play security and tell them to wait their goddamn turn. It was clarified shortly after that despite having been told by our money-taker to wait until they're called forward, they ignored the warning and just went straight in. The suck continued on the range, when they got pissy because they weren't hitting the bullseyes and were insisting that "This is why they shoot compound." (Compound bows are far more accurate in general)


Stupid questions
We only got the "Is that real food?" question once for the entire event, not counting instances where we were all trolling each other or other camps.

But, there were a few other dumb questions, including:

"What is that for?" (asked while pointing to a helmet or chest plate. Not so sucky if it was something like armguards or a chain shirt, but for ones where it was obvious...)

"How much for the firepit?" (we got this about three times - our firepit was custom made)

"Do you sell these?" (asked about the weapons - again.)
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:36 AM
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Quoth LadyofArc View Post
While we do get queries about what the diet was like for our era (14C) from time to time, this lady took the cake. She kept insisting to all of us that they ONLY drank mulled wine and wouldn't have had mead or beer during that era because "it was such a waste of good honey/other ingredients."
Yikes. Reminds me of that old saw that circulated the internet, full of "facts" (read: utter nonsense!) about life in the Middle Ages. You can always tell who read and believed these stupid things, and thought it made them look so very smart. I'd say this lady was one of them.
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"Do you sell these?" (asked about the weapons - again.)
"No, we're actually buying them! Got any medieval weaponry you want to sell?"
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:55 AM
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"I'm sorry, we cannot by law sell weapons to anyone who fails our common sense test"
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:21 PM
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"I'm sorry, we cannot by law sell weapons to anyone who fails does not survive our common sense test"
Fixed that for you.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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If you just shot one or two trespassers it might set an example for the rest. You could even make some extra money by having the honest patrons place bets.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:15 AM
LadyofArc LadyofArc is offline
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Quoth XCashier View Post
Yikes. Reminds me of that old saw that circulated the internet, full of "facts" (read: utter nonsense!) about life in the Middle Ages. You can always tell who read and believed these stupid things, and thought it made them look so very smart. I'd say this lady was one of them.
There's a possibility that was the case, but it was more likely that she was absolutely wasted. On mulled wine.

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If you just shot one or two trespassers it might set an example for the rest. You could even make some extra money by having the honest patrons place bets.
It has been very tempting. One of the other groups has a dummy that they've stuffed and covered in blood which gets used as part of their medicine display. I've asked about if we can string it up with arrows in our archery range. They've said no.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:33 PM
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You just need to make your own displays to fill with arrows. Bonus points if you have some 'chump-who-walked-out-downrange' with an arrow sticking out of him, moaning a bit and "Ohgod, don't TOUCH it!". Might even arrange for the guy to be transported to the period's medical area for a little showing there as well.

Still, I'd be one to acquire a few bits of armor that the fighters like to wear, and display a few with some rather effective-looking arrows sticking through them. Might get the attention of some of the clanking idiots who think themselves immune to pointy things flying. Even the worst 'metal head' would think twice when he sees better looking gear than his own looking like a pincushion. And it's more than fair game to stick the practice arrows and 'mostly harmess' stuff through visor slits and any other gaps in the armor.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:11 PM
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"You'll be fine sir, after all it's just a small arrow. We should be able to save the rest of the limb..."
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:59 PM
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... should be able to save the rest of the limb..."
"However, the carcass the limb was attached to is a total loss."
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2019, 03:06 AM
LadyofArc LadyofArc is offline
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Still, I'd be one to acquire a few bits of armor that the fighters like to wear, and display a few with some rather effective-looking arrows sticking through them. Might get the attention of some of the clanking idiots who think themselves immune to pointy things flying.
Funny you mention this - part of our show at the Big Major Medieval Faire (not this one) involves 3-4 of our members with warbows shooting at a piece of plate armour from about 10m (with watermelon and hay bales behind it). That piece of armour ends up in our weapons display and I like to refer to it as "Armour of Swiss Cheese." Sadly no arrows actually in it, but I do tend to grab one of the arrows we have on display and stick it through the holes to show that we're not making this up.

That piece of plate also has a few larger holes from warhammer blows as part of our show also involves this.

The HEMA guys this year were actually far better overall - no instances of suck that I was aware of.
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