my Favorite Fans,
season is upon us. Soon we will be dipping our toes into
the moistened earth to test the dirts and waters for Mud
Show, 1994. And in case you didn't know, this year
will mark our debutante coming out gala, commemorating
our sweet sixteenth season of Sturdy Beggar Mud Shows
on this or any other planet. That's right, we've been
performing our patented picaresque pageant of pomp since
way back in the summer of '79. Where was your mind in
'79? My good friend Jimmy was President, gasoline was
a little over a dollar, and the jitterbug was all the
rage. Wow, sixteen years, do you know what that means?
The Mud Show can now legally drive in every state, except
But more important than our remarkable reign of ribald
renaissance regalement, is the warm fact that soon we
will be able to see all of your smiling faces once again.
This past spring we have truly enjoyed getting to know
all of you through the overwhelming avalanche of questionnaires
that flooded back to us. Though we found all your answers
and ideas very entertaining and endearing, it was that
extra information that we were able to excrete from your
dispatches that excited us the most.
before we read them, your freshly posted opinion polls
were whisked off to my laboratory at the University, where
under my watchful instruction, my team of highly-trained
scientists put them through a battery of tests and experiments.
You would be amazed at the data that sprang to life just
by pouring a simple solution of deoxyribonucleic acid
over the salivary remnants extracted from the backs of
your postage stamps. I can now safely state with 100%
accuracy that none of the beggars are any of your parents,
or for that matter, any of your children. Which is great,
'cause that means we can all date. Although a lot of you
(and I mean a lot of you) are second cousins.
it was the handwriting analysis that proved to be the
most enlightening and perplexing. None of the perscrutators
on my staff could believe the results, so we swiftly dispatched
all our samples to the Bicstix Graphology Institute in
Leadtown, PA, where, at great expense, our findings were
confirmed: over 86% of you can actually write! I won't
even go into what we learned after our forensic friends
down at the crime lab went over the fingerprints.
thoroughly researching your returned questionnaires, I
can safely say we now know more about you than you know
about yourselves. But don't you worry, your habitual and
genetic secrets are safe with us.
you see, we realize that it is precisely these various
"faults" that make you, our fans, such strong
individualists, the kind of free-thinking nonconformists
who are able to appreciate all that we do. We salute you.
Our hats off to all you mavericks and flintstones, marching
to the beat of your own bongo. We look forward to having
you all greet us after the Mud Show, so that we
fellow renegades may embrace in solidarity, and give each
other a hale and hearty congratulatory slap on the back
for just being us. (P.S.: Wear white if you desire a more
dramatic expression of our appreciation of your support)
STUMP THE BEGGARS
Here's a smattering of inquiries we found in the olde
mail bag. We answered a few to the best of our limited
abilities, but, as you know, some questions are better
left unanswered. Ahem.
Q: "What's it like being a beggar?" Yuk, age
12, Brockton, MA
A: Well, Yuk, words can't express what it's like, it's
like nothing we have ever known. (Oh, by the way, Yuk,
sorry we weren't able to make it to Brockton this past
April; we all hibernated a little long this year.)
Q: "You're in a vehicle traveling at the speed of
light and you flip the headlights on. Does anything happen?"
Wazmo Django & Bubbles in the Mud, Crystal Lake, IL
A: Yes, our windshield wipers come on. Don't ask me why,
I've taken it in to the garage several times, and there
never seems to be a problem when they take it out for
a test drive.
Q: "Did you ever think of having a female mud beggar?"
Norma, age 42, Weymouth, MA
A: Oh, yes, we have. In fact, we have had several fine
and outstanding women beggars in our ilk. Daphne, Queen
of Everything (aka Crazed Katie) was with us from '80
to '85 and did much to shape and design the entertainment
that is our show today. Bridget, Namrock Nell, Iggy Slop,
Molly Bloom and others all graced our Mud Pits with their
charm, wit and unconventional vision. Why there aren't
any with us today is simple: Girls are smarter than boys.
Q: "What's your favorite type of mud? Explain taste,
texture, bouquet, etc." Sir Freddy the Freeloader,
age 30, Houston, TX
A: Good question, Freddy. You know a lot of your fellow
Society members were also curious about our mud. First
off, you don't want any sandy soil. It's uncomfortable
down the pants and is too rough on tooth enamel. Clay
and silt make for too hard a landing pad. We want something
soft and gooey, a muck that sticks to the skin and clothes,
so that the dramatic color contrast is apparent throughout
our show, and lets you know we're working. That is why
we beggars have found our best mud to be good old-fashioned
bean dip. Tastes good, too. Oh, but please don't tell
anyone, let's just keep it our little secret, okay? And
next time you come by the Dip Pit, could you bring
some chips and salsa? Oh, and some margaritas, if you
think of it, frozen, no salt, and light on the sour mix.
Q: "How can you be sure you're not eating any snot
in that mud?" Messy Mary, age 32, Chicago, IL
A: The same way you can be sure there's no disgruntled
employee snot in your Big Mac's secret sauce.
Q: "Does Spiney and/or Figgy need a date?" Slippery
Wench, age 35, Milwaukee, WI
A: Why not ask them in person this summer? I'm sure they
would love to go out with an intelligent woman like yourself.
The kind of intelligent woman who is kind enough to send
her beggar buddies a little something for the judge's
hat through the courtesy of the postal service. Although,
in the future, we recommend to all our fans who would
like to have the pleasure of giving us a little something
extra in the off-season, to be safe, please don't send
cash, send checks and money orders. We do take credit
cards (we take 'em for about 2 weeks).
Q: "How do you get a job at the Faire?" Cass-Master,
age 12, Feeding Hills, MA
A: For anyone interested in getting involved with the
faires, try calling the phone numbers you'll find listed
in our 1994 itinerary section in this newsletter.
Q: "How old are you guys and are any of you married?"
Maria, age 25, Franklin, MA
" Are any of you married?" Loony Bin, age 25,
Crystal Lake, IL
"Are any of you married, and if so, who?" Terra
Firma, Cary, IL
A: Why do people keep asking if we beggars are married?!?
Once and for all, we beggars are just good friends!
Q: "Can I ever write letters to you?" Wheezy
Cheesy & Cookoo DaDa, ages 9 & 6, Union Grove,
A: Of course you can, Wheezy and Cookoo. In fact, anyone
can write a personal letter to any one of their favorite
beggars just by mailing to our home office in Minneapolis,
MN. Our crackerjack staff will make darn sure that your
letter will be opened personally by whomever you send
it to. And I am fairly certain that since we are using
the U.S. Postal Service you will receive a prompt reply
within one calendar year , if it doesn't end up in some
Chicago postal worker's crawlspace or garage. But hey,
why not give it a try, ya can't win if ya don't play.
Q: "How did the idea of the Mud Show originate?"
Sue, age 31, Sheboygan, WI
"What were some of the reasons in which you all decided
to perform the Mud Show?" Cathy, age 15, Calgary,
"Where did the Mud Show idea come from?"
Theresa, age 31, Medford, MA
A: Great minds think alike, eh? By the way, love your
clever beggar nicknames. How did this Mud Show thang develop?
Well, that's a long story that should be told by the old
wise one himself, The More Than Most Reverend Ikey Noakes.
We are trying to encourage our olden one to bless us with
piece on the origins of the Mud Show for our next
newsletter, and maybe complement it with observations
from the other originals, Caesar (recently daddyfied),
Wil'm the Poorer (Billy to you), Damien and Red-beard...wherever
Well, that's all we have room for this time around, but
keep those cards and letters coming. And thanks to everyone
who sent in all those nice photos. (like "Mud Woman"
of Helotes, TX: Great shot! Mud becomes ya, gals).
1994 Sturdy Beggar Season
nigh Faire time! Hey, let 'em know at the gate that you've
come to see the Sturdy Beggars. It really helps keep us
in the woods and out of your neighborhoods. (Specific
rosters subject to change. Your mileage may vary)
Bristol Renaissance Faire (IL/WI border) 6/25 - 8/21 (708)
395-7773 or (414) 396-4320
Billy Billy VonBilly, Spiney Nodules, Figgy Pudding
Oz Park Medieval Festival (Chicago, IL) 8/6 - 8/7 Lutilla
Fair Dinkum, Helmut von Mudt
Maryland Renaissance Festival (Annapolis, MD) 8/27 - 10/16
(incl. Labor Day) (310) 266-7304 or 1-800-243-7304
Wakka Ding Hoy, Gonzo DiMedicci, Privy LaPew, Billy Billy
Indiana Renaissance Faire (Lebanon, IN) 9/3 - 9/18 (incl.
Labor Day) (708) 599-2106 Billy Billy vonBilly, Figgy
Iowa Renaissance & Harvest Faire (Des Moines) 9/10
- 9/18 (515) 357-5177 Lutilla Fair Dinkum, Helmut von
Richard's New England Faire (Carver, MA) 9/3 - 10/24 (incl.
Labor Day & Columbus Day) (612) 922-0777 or (508)
866-5391 Legs Akimbo, Spiney Nodules, Hack Ptui
Texas Renaissance Festival (Plantersville, TX) 10/1 -
11/13 (713) 356-2178 or 1-800-458-3435 Billy Billy vonBilly,
Spiney Nodules, Sir Loin of Beef
Attend All! Here's yer official S. B.A.S. Membership
Card! Good for all sorts of nonsense, we're relatively sure!
Cut out carefully and LAMINATE IMMEDIATELY!!! Proudly flash
it at nearby Mud Men and receive a sincere dazed glance
and a hearty mud-encrusted handshake, at least! Further
Wear It With Pride!
The polling results are in! It's T-Shirts you want! (followed
closely by bumper stickers & 8 x 10 autographed glossies).
Rest assured, as sure as you're reading this, someone somewhere
is doing something so that sometime soon someone like you
can own a somewhat treasured, wholly unique Sturdy Beggars'
T-shirt. Ask at the front gate if they have 'em yet.
Beggar Video pix
Summertime at last! We know that everyone is saving their
money for the Faire, as a good days frolic at a Festival
can indeed decimate the family budget. Alas, these are the
times we live and grovel in. So how can you keep costs down
and have good fun on a budget in the meantime? We suggest
popping a video in the ol' VCR and plopping on the couch
like a good Mud Spud. Here's some of our top recommendations
for video rentals. (by the by, we enjoyed your book selections...thanks,
Ragger, Slippery Wench and Terra Firma)
Lutilla Fair Dinkum: Brave Little Toaster ('87) /
Duck Soup ('33) / The Bank Dick ('40) / A Christmas Story
Spiney Nodules: Little Big Man / Tempest (P. Mazursky)
/ The Wicker Man / The New Beggar Video (available for X-mas)
Helmut von Mudt: Touch of Evil (O. Welles) / Aguirre,
Wrath of God (W. Herzog) / Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Billy Billy VonBilly: A Hard Day's Night / Music
Man (now available in envelope screen) / Sherman's March
Hack Ptui: The Princess Bride / Strictly Ballroom
/ Matinee / Bedazzled
Wakka Ding Hoy: Eight Million Ways To Die / One False
Move / Enter The Dragon
Legs Akimbo: Manchurian Candidate (Franky's finest
missed moment / The Searchers (O, whutta oater / Apocalypse
Now/Hearts of Darkness (If you like that sort of thing)
/ 35 Up (For those who don't wanna grow up)
Figgy Pudding: Enchanted April / Days of Wine and
Roses / The Natural / The Secret Garden ('49)
And while you're at it, why not rent "Troll" and
see if you can spot the former Sturdy Beggar (hint - he
romps through the fields with the lovely Elaine of "Seinfield").
Bag o' Fun
Q: "Why do seagulls hang by the sea, and not by the
A: "If they hung by the bay, they'd be bagels."
Mud Maiden, age 111/2, Newport, RI
Q: "What do you call a vegetarian with diarrhea?"
A: "A salad shooter."
Tonya, age 26, Lodi, WI
"A small, poor parish decided that their little church
needed a paint job, so they took up a special collection
and bought some paint. The whole congregation volunteered
to help. But, as they were painting, they realized they
hadn't bought enough paint. So they thinned out what they
had and continued painting. When they were about halfway
done, they were running low on paint again, so they thinned
it some more. They continued painting and thinning as needed
to finish the building. But, just as they were cleaning
up, a thunderstorm rolled in, washing all the new paint
off the building.
Now, the parish was devastated. They gathered inside the
church and prayed for God to tell them what to do. They'd
spent all their money on that paint - what could they do?
Suddenly a voice boomed from the rafters of the church:
"REPAINT, REPAINT, AND THIN NO MORE!"
Looney Bin, age 25, Crystal Lake, IL
yo mud muses
Our survey results indicate that a few of you would like
to try writing something for us. Well, goody for you! If
you wanna, send in your own interesting, thought-provoking
and entertaining column for that damn Muddy Rag, keep it
to 300 words or less, and hey nonny nonny, the winner(s)
will actually be published in our next edition! Don't mention
it, it's the least we can do for the perspiring writers
among our fans.
that damn Muddy Rag #3 designed, edited & executed by
Hack Ptui 6/94 scribe du jour: B. B. VonBilly, pretty much,