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The Mud Show
 that damn Muddy Rag #2
Groundhog Day 1994  
The Officious Newsletter of the Sturdy Beggar™ Appreciation Society

Well Howdy and Happy Groundhog Day!
What better day for us to say "thank you" for joining the Sturdy Beggar
™ Appreciation Society? We are ever so glad that you not only took time out of your busy schedules to have actually come on out to a Renaissance Faire to play with us at our Mud Pit™, but you then took the time to snatch up one of our pre-approved application forms. Not only that, but you shelled out at least 19¢ for a stamp and then put in that extra effort of mailing it on off to us. (And let's all give a prayer of thanks to Mr. Postman for deciding to deliver your application instead of opening fire on his fellow postal workers).
Anyway, that's what I'd like to talk to you about, this oh so special bond that has developed between us, you our fans and us your beggars. Since 1979, when I first put mud in my mouth at the urging of you, our fans, I knew we had a sacred union, a sacred union that most performers have never attained with their gallery. You know, over the years professionals and auteurs alike have stopped me after witnessing the Mud Show and asked me, "Why do you do it?" and, with tears in my eyes, I point to you, my devoted little votary, and declare, "They made me!" And you have. You have made us what we are today. The jury is still out on exactly what 'it' is we are, but whatever 'it' is we are, we are proud to be 'it.' Proud to be 'it' for you. Because.... We are your fan. There, I wrote it! We are your fan. All of you's fan. The grandma, the toddler, the biker, all the hot mamas. We are your fan! We think you're great, no matter what anyone else says. And if we ever heard anyone put you down, we would immediately come to your defense and passively resist them.
Anyway, the point I am gushingly trying to make is that we are grateful to you for joining us in our little club because if you weren't there, believe you me, I wouldn't be writing any of this. Thanks a lot.
Billy Billy VonBilly


FLASH
Dateline: Shorewood, IL

One day after enjoying a day with his family at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, one David Burnes, age 11, told his sister Elizabeth, age 13, to get into her 'grungiest clothes,' saying "I've made some mud and we're gonna do a Mud Show™ just like the Sturdy Beggars™!" Luckily, Mom intervened in time to prevent an infringement of anyone's intellectual property. When pressed she admitted that the prospect of 2 muddy children running around the house also played a role in motivating her to negotiate with her son. David's personal back-yard Mud Hole still exists and he returned to it often during the rest of the summer to enjoy and develop material of his own. His sister has not yet joined in these earth studies.


A Child's Groundhog Day In Oahu
Hey! What's shakin'? Wakka Ding Hoy here. These fellas asked me to reminisce about my boyhood Groundhog Days in Hawaii, but, like, I don't remember it being such a biggie seeing as there ain't many groundhogs in Hawaii. Like, try none, dude. Ain't much winter there, either, dude, so like hey, who would notice six more weeks of it? Heh heh, pretty crazy, dude! Hey, like we do have some righteous surfing and loads of poi. Guess we musta surfed and eaten poi on Groundhog Day! 'Course we did that every day, so like I told them fellas, dude, there ain't a whole lot to say about Groundhog Day in Oahu and I just said it! Later, Bro!


Wakka Ding Hoy, Your Hawaiin Poi-Boy Pal
Who the Heck Are You?
You may know us, but we were a little curious as to whom we are writing to. Here's a little quiz that you can't fail. Just answer these easy to read questions. (Editor's note - This questionaire is reproduced for archival purposes only!) You could be the driving force in this fan club's brave new direction.
If you need more room to answer feel free to add scads of your own stationery until you feel purged of any and all sentiment you may have towards us, our relationship, or towards the world in general.

  1. Have you heard any good jokes lately?
  2. If so, what are they?
  3. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience, other than going to the bathroom?
  4. How may times have you seen the Mud Show™?
  5. What's your second favorite act at the Faire?
  6. How far do you travel to be at the Mud Show™?
  7. Would you like to have the Mud Show™ performed at your party and/or event? When, where, phone#
  8. Do you have a video of the Mud Show™?____ would you like to own one?___
  9. Would you be interested in collecting Sturdy Beggar™ Trading Cards? T-shirt?____ Button?____ Bumper sticker?____ Poster?____ Action Figures?____ Cap?____ Autographed 8x10 B&W glossy?____ anything else you can think of?___
  10. Do you happen to belong to any electronic highway and/or bulletin board? If so, which ones?
  11. Would you like to be awarded the distinguished honor of penning your very own Pulitzer Prize winning column in this, our highly acclaimed Rag?
  12. Is there any burning question you would like to ask any or all of us beggars? Any thing at all?

A Boy and His Dogs
Long time beggar fans may recall that begging legend, Half-Wit Henry, and his fun-loving collection of stuffed canines. Yes, that shabby, dim-witted but lovably steadfast fellow, Half-Wit Henry, who used to bring smiles to the kiddies' faces and bucks to his pocket by acting as barker for the antics of some truly talented pooches of yore. What a sight! this tattered and raggedy man, clutching his tattered raggedy doll of a dog, stopping a patron on the street to ask, "Excuse me sir, could you spare some change for a man whose dog lost it's ear in the war?", paving the way for the merriment of an impromptu dog street performance!
Kippy the Wad Dog!Who can forget his first dog, the undeniable Kippy the Wad Dog! A dog who could do it all, from burlesque to grand opera, vaudeville to legitimate theatre (Chicagoland critics still speak in awe of his peerless performance as the Infant Jesus in Beggar's Holiday). Playing dead, imitating Jack Benny, and of course his wondrously unique ability to fly, were all just gears in his transmission of entertainment. The founder of the grand old game of Dog-Ball, and as good a road companion as any lonesome beggar could ever want, the Kipster was truly a dog for the ages! And when he mysteriously vanished in the Amazon rain forest in 1984, we lost more than a dog, we lost about 9 yards of material.
Luckily for audiences everywhere, Kippy had one last legacy to bequeath to the world - his son, Bofus Mustafas Mohammed Ali X Leroy Roosevelt Jones, or Bofus for short. Bofus had inherited all his father's talents and more! Bofus could not only fly, he could hover!! And so Half-Wit Henry was able to keep it going, bringing the excitement and gaiety of dog shows to another generation of action-seekers.
Sadly, Bofus did not share his dad's calm temperament, and like his soulmate, James Dean, it was too much too soon. Bofus became obsessed with speed...not satisfied with hovering, but wishing to orbit as well, going faster and faster until that tragic cold and rainy day at the Maryland Festival, when Mach 5 proved much too fast an approach speed for an ice-slicked runway. Failing to get his flaps down in time, Bofus hit the runway all wrong, skidding out of control and colliding with the base of an old oak tree. The good creature went to sleep, never to wake in our world again.
The loss of two such boon companions might have driven another beggar out of the stuffed animal biz, but not our Half-Wit. He rallied with the aid of another compelling canine, Angus McNasty, Last of the Scottish Plaids (the tweed suit manufacturers having thinned out the herd years ago). Both survivors, the last of their kind, their bond as strong as any that ever existed between man and pet, they entertained Ren Faire audiences for only another year, before fate took them both away from us.
Oh, where are they now, my friend? Whither goest Half-Wit and his pooches? They say on nights when the sky is as clear as your head, you can see them amongst the stars, flying, laughing, rolling over and playing dead -- Half-Wit Henry! Kippy! Bofus! Angus! All together in a doggie show extravaganza fit for the gods! And they say, should a mortal ever glimpse this sight it means ---6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!
W.D. Hoy

The Studious Beggar Reading List
It's wintertime...time that we beggars hibernate, wait for the soil to thaw, and then, like the flowers, spring out of our beggar beds. As we dig into our little lairs, we earthworms become bookworms. Here's some reading that we beggars highly recommend. Please feel free to send in some of your favorite folios.
Spiney Nodules: The Milagro Beanfield War, (trilogy), John Nichols ; Tortilla Flat, John Steinbeck ; The Flounder, Günter Grass ; The War with the Newts, Karel Capek
Hack Ptui: A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving ; Any Old Iron, Anthony Burgess ; Julian, Gore Vidal ; Bone (ongoing B&W comic book series), Jeff Smith
Legs Akimbo: The Wayward Bus, John Steinbeck ; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain ; All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren ; Code of the Woosters, P.G. Woodhouse
Figgy Pudding: The Days Are Just Packed, (Calvin & Hobbes anthology), Bill Waterson ; The Dubliners, James Joyce ; Glory of Their Times, Lawrence Ritter ; Everybody's Asshole in the World and Mine, Charles Bukowski
Wakka Ding Hoy: Cats Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut ; Groucho, Harpo, Chico & Sometimes Zeppo, Joe Adamson ; Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women, Ricky Jay ; Crowds & Power, Elias Canetti
Billy Billy VonBilly: Any of the writings and lectures by Joseph Campbell ; Geek Love, Katherine Dunn ; The Sneeches, Dr. Seuss ; Notes From Undergound, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
New Simon LESlime Mud Pit Debuts in New England
A new Mud Pit stage was unveiled at King Richard's New England Ren Faire last fall. Legs Akimbo, Spiney Nodules & Hack Ptui were prominently proud to pose and plummet pitward performing their popular pranks of poverty in the platform's prestigious premiere. Beggars raised blisters helping develop the new pit, which offers improved seating and viewing. Come on by! In honor of our departed mud brother, since he'd performed some of his greastest shows there, it was christened the Simon LeSlime Mud Pit. Sparta and Troy salute Mr. LeSlime (1960 - 1993)
Begging You to Think of Others
We'd like to remind you this winter that there are many needs in the world. We all have many gifts to share with those who need help. Please remember not to cast shame upon the needy and to help out others in whatever way you can. We hope that generosity's graces are with you all in 1994.

that damn Muddy Rag #2 designed, edited & executed by Hack Ptui 1/94
scribes du jour: B. B. VonBilly, S. Nodules, W. D. Hoy
The Mud Show
The Mud Show