The Mud Show ™
        Mud Guy

The Mud Show
 that damn Muddy Rag #5
Summer 1995  
The Officious Newsletter of the Sturdy Beggar™ Appreciation Society

Hey hey, beggar fans.
Well, my goodness! The Faires are about to start. I hope you all had a boring off-season, so you'll all be glad to see us! I really have no idea of how the other beggars spent their extended holidaze. Me? I've been kept busy this past half year, by what I'm not really at liberty to say. Here's a hint: after a large lunch, take a nice long sequester. Anyway, I hope to be there for the opening of the Bristol Renaissance Faire on June 24th. If my secret civic duty threatens to drag on, all I have to do is piss off three more of my fellow panelists, let them know about the book I'm writing, or incite the courtroom to chant "Lance Eat-o Mud!" just one more time. Wish me luck!
Billy Billy vonBilly #293-B

Bristol-ing With Excitement
by Spiney Nodules
Let's say the Bristol Renaissance Faire used to be this big: , well, now it's going to be this big ; almost a third bigger.
The expansion will be noticeable the moment you arrive. Not only will you enter through a beautiful new front gate into acres of pastoral newness, but most importantly, upon entering you will spy to your left a tented Theatre suitable for conducting that premiere of all arena reveries, the Mud Show™. Immediately check for our show times and catch one of the first Mud Shows™ ever to be performed in this state-of-the-art MUDITORIUM.
The comfortable permanent seating installed by Richard Bailey, Mayor of our very own Bristol Towne, has been raked to make every seat a seat to remember. Make sure you thank the mayor personally when you see him. The shade canopy's unique design was executed by master theatrical/technical wiz Steve Geis. We believe this may be the greatest Theatre of Mud on this or any other habitable planet. Spiney, Billy and Figgy will do their best to do their duty to fill this grand new arena with grand old jokes and jests. Be part of this massive excitement!
While at the Bristol Faire, be sure to enjoy all the other exciting 1995 improvements. Lord Randolph's Chain Mail booth is now a Chain Mail CASTLE. The Kid's Kingdom now boasts a Big Boat for the kids to play on. And last but not least, make sure you reserve a special part of your day to haul butt over to where the Mud Pit™ used to be a partake of the brand spanking new FLUSH TOILETS!!!!!

Congrats to Legs Akimbo
who joins the sparse but proud ranks of MUD DADS as of this June. IT'S A GOIL!! Trojans! Trojans! We Will Nev -- oh, never mind...

A Shorte Historie of the Sturdye Beggars
by the Rev. Ikey Noakes (A short Sturdy Beggar)
In the spring of 1978, Damian the Red-Eyed Bastard, then a doctoral candidate at a university on the shores of Lake Michigan, saw an audition notice for King Richard's Faire on the IL/WI border. He called upon his friends Herbantio and Ikey Noakes, and it was agreed that the three would audition for summer jobs as entertainers at the faire. They traveled many miles and auditioned for the notorious John Mills (who was not so notorious at the time).
The audition consisted of some juggling, guitar playing, monkey-rolling and other devil-may-care physical antics, all to the accompaniment of bad Cockney accents. Mr. Mills was delighted with the audition, but had no idea what to do with them - so the trio suggested that they play the role of beggars and stroll about the grounds making mirth (and money) at will. Mills was further delighted (he was generally delighted in those bygone days) and gave the boys wide latitude to "beg, steal, grovel - do whatever you want."
The trio adopted the name "Sturdy Beggars" for the group (see accompanying article). Thus did our Furry Forefathers begin the practice of begging at King Richard's Faire in the summer of 1978. The first weekend netted each beggar a total of $14.00 - and the grimy gold rush was on!
The first outright criminal act perpetrated by a beggar happened on the first weekend when Ikey Noakes actually stole a tart from a strolling vendor, who was shocked to say the least. (Of course, this was well before Rev. Ikey took his vows & earned his divinity degree at the controversial Mud Masses in New York and Minnesota.) There were no mud shows that first year - although long-distance mud-sliding competitions were the order of any rainy day.

The Moderne Era
The next summer, in 1979, Will'm the Poorer and Redbeard joined the troupe and the "moderne era" in begging began. The summer of 1979 was a wet one indeed, and the area just inside the main gate was especially sloppy - and naturally a high-traffic place ideal for lucrative begging. On the first day of their messy endeavors a craftsman, wanting to see what those ragged upstarts were made of, challenged Will'm to eat mud - and he did! Shock waves ran through the crowd. Dollar bills flew from pockets! Women fainted (almost!) A legend was born and The Art of Begging rose to another level. It became a daily ritual for the beggars to make a sloppy spectacle of themselves at the front gate, and boy howdy, did these antics draw the crowds. In fact, when the weather was fair and there was no mud, the beggars would pour great jugs of water on top of each other (for a nominal fee, natch!) and create mud. Thus the mud show developed.
In 1980, the popularity of the rapidly evolving mud show - and the ensuing congestion around the front - made possible the first true mud pit built solely for the purpose of performing the Mud Show™, and it became a regularly-scheduled event. In fact, there were two mud pits that year! (A story Will'm might like to tell you someday... something about naked guys with shovels and many other acts of insubordination and indiscretion...)
Later that year, in Texas, the competition mud show was developed. But that is a story for another time. And another storyteller.

The 1995 Sturdy Beggar™ Season
Well, now that the red, red robin has de-wormed our mud pit, it's time to do the thang with the thang and thang again. Look for us at these mud-friendly habitats, and let 'em know at the gate you're there to see your pals, the Sturdy Beggars™. (Specific rosters subject to change. Your mileage may vary)
The Bristol Renaissance Faire (IL/WI border) 12420 128th St./Kenosha, WI 53142 (708) 395-7773 or (414) 396-4320 6/24 - 8/20 Billy Billy VonBilly, Spiney Nodules, Figgy Pudding
The Oz Park Medieval Festival (Chicago, IL) Located this year in Lincoln Park 7/15 - 7/16 Lutilla Fair Dinkum, Helmut von Mudt
The Iowa Renaissance Festival (Des Moines) Located on the Fair Grounds / (515) 357-5177 9/9-9/10, 9/16-9/17 Lutilla Fair Dinkum, Helmut von Mudt
The Texas Renaissance Festival (Plantersville, TX) Rt. 2, Box 650/Plantersville, TX 77363 (713) 356-2178 or 1-800-458-3435 9/30 - 11/12 Billy Billy vonBilly, Spiney Nodules, Sir Loin of Beef, Wakka Ding Hoy
Yes, the Indiana Renaissance Festival wants us back, but they won't be opened during it's regular season this September '95. It will be back, new & improved, next year, but will take place the 1st three weekends in June, '96. Stay tuned to your overly informative Muddy Rag for updates.
As of this printing, the King Richard's New England Renaissance Faire in Massachusetts has not issued us a contract (big entertainment budget cut or some similar line). We will keep our beloved Northeastern fans up-to-date on developments. P.O. Box 419 / Route 58 / Carver, MA 02330 / (508)866-5391.
No more Maryland Renaissance Festival. P.O. Box 315 / Crownsville, MD 21032 / (301) 266-7304 or (800) 243-7304.
(If you have any questions concerning this season's schedule, write us at SBAS / P.O. Box 581884 / Mpls, MN 55458)

Alert Ye all Recent Recruits (and Olde Tymers who have lost or ruint their previous cards): Here's yer official S. B.A.S. Membership Card! Cut out carefully and LAMINATE IMMEDIATELY!!! Use it as I.D. when pulled over by police and watch the hilarity ensue! Just fine for picking teeth & cleaning muddy fingernails! Proudly flash it at nearby Mud Men and receive a sincere dazed glance and a hearty mud-encrusted handshake, at least! What a sense of Belonging! Yes!
Wurdy Gurdy
Every answer is a pair of rhyming words (like FAT, CAT) that fit in the blanks.
1. ______, ______ Wakka Ding staple
2. ______, ______ Mr. Akimbo's occupation
3. ______, ______ Mr. Nodule's butt
4. ______, ______ goofy mudman
5. ______, ______ loony beggar
6. ______, ______ Figgy's steps
7. ______, ______ Fairdinkum's armadas.
(1.) Hoy Poi (2.) Legs Begs (3.) Tiny Hynee (4.) Silly Billy (5.) Screwy Ptui (6.) Pudding's Footings (7.) Lutilla's Flotillas

Sturm & Drang with your pal Wakka
Hi, folks, Wakka Ding Hoy here, in a waxing philosophic kinda mode. Hey, ever think about change? Sometimes change is so radical and unexpected that it's a shock to your system. Old values are questioned, priorities are challenged, a sea change occurs in the very Zeitgeist (a real German word meaning 'Spirit of the Age') and nothing will ever be the same, like you've caught the Wave of Confusion, you've got to ride it, dude, or else wipe out on the Rocky Shores of Despair! (assuming you don't get clipped by the Coral Reef of Consternation or bit by the Shark of Chagrin on the way in).
Well, my amigos, especially those of you in the Maryland-DC-Virginia area (and you know who you are), I have truly bumming news: Your Sturdy Beggars™ will not be at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this year. Yes, 15 straight years of astounding and delighting you in our own unique and silly way has come to an unfortunate end.
Right about now your blood is boiling, smoke is billowing out your ears, and you're thinking, "how can this be? How can this happen? Was there an unsolvable artistic difference, a contractual snafu, or perhaps Management has simply gone insane?!?" All I can say is, we wanna be there...But, no. You have been denied your right to laugh at us, and we our right to be laughed at by you. No rational explanation could suffice to assuage the needless suffering that you are now experiencing. It is as if Gotterdammerung (real fancy German word meaning 'The Twilight of the Gods') had come prenaturally early, arriving way before its appointed date with destiny (like, try decades, dude), destroying all in its surging wake, leaving behind an empty, soulless void. SIGH.
Despite your mega-hurt, you gotta carry on, be brave, and muddle through, dude. This ain't the total end. Remember, even in their deaths, them clever ol' Germanic god-dudes were planting the seed of rebirth for a new and better world to come. Likewise, we Beggars are planning to re-emerge in your area in 1996. Yessssss! And at that time, we will all experience Elatenstrudelbeggenzbackertz (a real fancy made-up German word meaning 'Rejoice! Eat Strudel! The Beggars are back!'). Keep reading that damn Muddy Rag for all the latest news as it develops. Until that beauty day, hang tough and know that we'll miss you as much as you'll miss us. Gesundheit!

Wakka Ding Hoy, your Hawaiian Poi Boy Pal

An Accurate Accounting of the Appellation Sturdy Beggar™
The term "sturdy beggar" is of late medieval, early renaissance English extraction. It was commonly used in reference to persons who were physically and mentally competent for manual labor but instead used their able bodies and minds for nefarious and questionable employment. Some of these occupations of impropriety were: thief, pickpocket, musician and actor. It was implied that these professions were a disgrace to any who were capable of plowing a field or tending a flock.
This title was appropriated for our troupe by the roadside scholar of our ilk, Ceasar Herbantio. He sat us down and after explicating the terminology, the rest of us unanimously decided that we were too lazy to think up any other names. So the Sturdy Beggars we be. It was our lawyer who added the "™" in 1986 to round out our title.
We have also performed in parts of this county as The Bedlum Beggars™. In definition, a "bedlam beggar" (yes, we deliberately misspell it -- we have our reasons, dammit) is vastly different from a "sturdy beggar," although both terms are valid representations of our ensemble's continence and credo. You see, a "bedlam" is a lunatic asylum, or madhouse. To help keep costs down during the late medieval and renaissance period, these institutions would release inmates who were not considered a threat to the public. Once at large, they were "allowed" to wander the nearby towns and given the "privilege" of begging for their food and clothing. It is very similar to Newt's Proposition 982-53. Hey, what do you know, everything old is new again.

Advice to the Militias: "America, love it or leave it!" A True Patriot from the '60's.

Everybody feel free to write us about anything at all. Personal letters addressed to any of us will be delivered. And please, everyone enter our "How Many Of Us Do You Think There Are?" Contest. Enter on a 21/4 by 31/4 colored index card how many members you think there are in the Sturdy Beggar™ Appreciation Society, and win the beggars' patented and priceless "Secret of Success." One entry per bedroom, void where prohibited. And bear this in mind for your calculations: we Sturdy Beggars™ are not only presidents of this fan club, but we're also members.

that damn Muddy Rag #5 designed & executed by Hack Ptui 6/95 * editorz: Ptui & vonBilly
scribes du jour: B. B. VonBilly, S. Nodules, W. D. Hoy, I. Noakes.
The Mud Show
The Mud Show