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The Mud Show
 that damn Muddy Rag #7
Summer 1996  
The Officious Newsletter of the Sturdy Beggar™ Appreciation Society

A Hey, and a Ho, and a nonny nonny no
from Ol' Virginny! I write this missive on the eve of the last weekend of the highly successful First Annual Virgina Renaissance Faire, which lays on the outskirts of the overtly historic hamlet of Fredericks-burg. This land was first charted by Captain John Smith back when the Elizabethan Renaissance was in full swing in jolly old 1608. The land the Faire is on be just a silver dollar toss from where young G. Washington honestly chopped down the family's pet cherry tree (easy to spot, just across from that McDonalds(r) and those tasty cherry pies). And this is all a simple cannon blast from where the Union army laid down 8,000 lives on the muddy shores of the Rappahannock back in 1862. And if that weren't enough, these past six weeks Spiney, Figgy and I have been quite busy eating up all these historic sites, one mouthful at a time.
It's wonderful to be here, and certainly a thrill to introduce our new Mid-Atlantic members to all our veteran SBASers. (And it sure was sublime to see so many familiar faces from our Maryland days out that first weekend...glad you could make it.) As fanatical fledglings, you are undoubtedly endeavoring to deduce what exactly it is you've stepped in. Well you are not the ony ones quizzically scraping your proverbial shoe. There are, in fact, a total of none of us who have the blurriest idea as to what we are into, and how deep we are in it. The one thing we fathom for sure is: we are a bona fide bunch bonded by the majestic machinations of the one and only original Mud Show(r). The only council I can muster to fortify all you dear devotees is our own personal credo in which I can trust you will rock:
"Nullus Cerebrum, Nullus Capitis Dolor."
And as soon as I learn me some French, I will be happy to let you know what that means.
Billy Billy vonBilly

On The Road Again...the First Tyme
Being the Tale of the First Touring Mud Show
by Grimey Fingers
In the summer of '79, on the first weekend of King Richard's Faire, Figgy Pudding's voice bellowed throughout the village as he strode down the road, announcing, proclaiming, and behaving like the Town Crier he was.
From the balcony of a Cookie Shop, Grimey Fingers, as the Archbishop of Bristol, peddled "Letters of Indulgence" to attorneys and auto dealers, Forgiving All Sin.
By the last weekend of the Faire, Figgy's severe jock itch and blown vocal cords had reduced the Town Crier's routine to a series of long laps, talcum powder, and iced tea... Grimey spent his breaks hoping that God really did have a sense of humor, and that the dark clouds over the cornfield didn't mean he would be struck by lightning during his next shearing of the flock.
Mud and hilarity: we watched the Sturdy Beggars™ create the Mud Show(r). "All the world's a stage, just add water." Figgy and I figured that was where it's at.
Winter of '80 - the "Dickens Faire" in Chicago - Grimey is on the horn to Florida, pitching the act to the entertainment director..."our entertainment budget is already spent, but if you want to beg and pass the hat, O.K.... what's the name of your troupe?" Grimey and Figgy hadn't actually asked Ikey Noakes or Will'm the Poorer or anybody else if they could fly the Sturdy Beggar flag. Think fast, Grimey! "Those Sturdy Beggars, that's our name." Ikey and Will'm graciously said, "go forth and beg well." It was Largo, Florida or bust. The Sturdy Beggars were on the road.
fans were hanging from the trees...The weekends were a beggar's dream; a full day of street begging climaxed by the Mud Show(r). "The Beggar Who Would Be King" was a presentation in which, while the story remained shallow, the mud grew deeper and deeper. Shop owners closed to catch the Mud Show, fans were hanging from the trees, television crews maneuvered for the best shots... it was beggar glory. The weekdays were a vicious cycle of swimming in the Gulf, making sand castles with the Wood Nymph, and sailing with the Barbarian.
Then it was over. With a bonus from the owner, we headed home tanned, rested, and ready for more improvisational outrage.
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Florida... the first Sturdy Beggar Touring Show, and a glorious moment in the sun.

The 1996 Sturdy Beggar™ Season
Ya Hodie! Once again, we Merry Mudmen are slogging your way. Hijinks ensue! Come out and see us at the Festival of yer choice -- Proudly don your official Sturdy Beggar™ T-shirt and wallow in that red carpet treatment! (Specific rosters subject to change. Your mileage may vary)
The Virginia Renaissance Faire (Fredericksburg) 1175 King's Hwy/Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 371-3999 5/4 - 6/16 (incl. Memorial Day) Spiney Nodules, Figgy Pudding, Billy Billy vonBilly
The Bristol Renaissance Faire (IL/WI border) 12420 128th St./Kenosha, WI 53142 (708) 395-7773 or (414) 396-4320 6/29 - 8/25 Spiney Nodules, Figgy Pudding, Billy Billy vonBilly
Oz Fest (Chicago, IL) Located this year in Lincoln Park / (312) 929-TOTO 8/3 - 8/4 Lutilla Fair Dinkum, Helmut von Mudt
The Iowa Renaissance Festival (Des Moines) Located on the Fair Grounds / (515) 357-5177 9/14 & 15, 9/21 & 22 Lutilla Fair Dinkum, Helmut von Mudt
King Richard's New England Faire (Carver, MA) P.O. Box 419/Rt. 58/Carver, MA 02330 (508) 866-5391 8/31 - 10/20 (incl. Labor Day & Columbus Day) Legs Akimbo (8/31-9/2, 10/5-6, 10/19-20), Halfwit Henry (9/7-9/15, 9/28-10/14), Hack Ptui (9/21-29, 10/12-20), Billy Billy vonBilly (8/31-9/22)
The Texas Renaissance Festival (Plantersville, TX) Rt. 2, Box 650/Plantersville, TX 77363 (713) 356-2178 or 1-800-458-3435 10/5 - 11/17 Halfwit Henry, Spiney Nodules, Figgy Pudding, Billy Billy vonBilly

The Muddy Mailbag
Muddy Mailbag StuffWe included a survey of sorts in our last Groundhog Day issue of the Rag, and our crack Distribution Services department is still working overtime to tabulate and interpret the faintly overwhelming response we received. At the end of the quaint li'l questionnaire we asked, "is there any burning question you would like to ask any or all of us beggars, anything at all?" So we gots to reply. In order not to lose any one member of our rank ranks to severe brain cramps, we wrangled a panel of mudmen to handle the heat. And our first caller is...
"Tara the Trojan" Sturn (Smithfield, RI, age 54): "You never answer my questions: (1) Why is it Beggars can't be choosers?"
Billy Billy vonBilly: Why is it beggars can't be Hoosiers? 'Cause any state where the cream of the crop consists of Dan Quale, well, let's just say our standards are a bit higher.
Wakka Ding Hoy: "Choosers," not "Hoosiers"! Because: It Is The Law.
Hack Ptui: And choosy beggars choose Jiff.
Billy: Choosy beggars choose choosy mothers.
Tara the Trojan (cont.) (2) "What the heck do you do the rest of the year?"
Billy: Recuperate.
Lutilla Fair Dinkum: My wife, kids, extended family and concerned friends have wondered the same thing for years, Tara.
Wakka: Hey, is this Tara thing a 'Gone With the Wind' riff, or is it the alliteration you dig?

"Dogcrap!" Obal (Des Plaines, IL, age 24): "What do you do in the winter when the mud is frozen, to make money?"
Legs Akimbo: Flea Markets. Shrewd investments. Off-Track betting.
Billy: Well, I skate with Peggy Phlegming in the Mud Capades™.
Wakka: In a larger sense, dude, the mud is never frozen. Remember, the deeper the strata, the more voluminous the gasses.
"Skanky Pants" Emery (Fall River, MA, age 45): "What color is it when you blow your noses after the show?"
Legs: I've always sworn that it's sort of an umber/ocher with russet sorrel overtones, but if you forced me to narrow it down, Skanky, I'd say we're talking a simple chestnut brown (in wood stains there's a comparable hue found under the name "Puritan Pine"...I shan't mention the brand name.)
Wakka: A nice healthy brownish-yeller with a patina of green.
Hack: All the colors of the wind.
Lutilla: I'd just like to say that the thought of a 45-year-old woman called "Skanky Pants" is quite disturbing.

"Predator" Sorenson (Kingwood, TX, age 12): "How did you guys get so smart?"
Billy: Uh, um, geez, that's a tough one. Hem, haw, you gotta ask us an easier one than that.
Hack: Us am do thunk big smart stuff, huh.
Legs: Could you repeat the first part of the question again?
Lutilla: Quiet observation, reading, and a steady diet of goat milk and beechnuts.
Wakka: Who you calling smart? What are you, a smart guy?!?
"Forgotten" Jackson (Dale City, VA, age 33): "Does your career enhance your date life?"
Billy: No, not really, but it does enhance our shelf life. Must be some preservative in the mud.
Wakka: Hey, I was gonna say that.
Legs: Could you repeat the first part of the question again?

...And so it goes. Everyone shiney and enlightened? Super. Thanks everso to everyone who's written us, and keep those cards and letters coming, kids! See ya at the Pit!

Yee Haw Texans!
After 15 years we are finally getting a Pit facelift! We look forward to seeing all yer shining faces 'neath the new SHADE CANOPY. A beautiful new design by Shannon O'Hare will bring a touch of Greco-Roman grandeur to lovely Plantersville.
Sit down, take a deep breath, and brace's just a simple fact that some beggars have gone off and multiplied.
Progeny of the Pit do exist. So here it is our immense pleasure to feature the absolute first piece submitted by true blue

Spawn of Mud
"A Tale of Two Kiddies"
Well, you knew it was bound to happen sometime. You've heard from practically all of those dirty Sturdy Beggars™, but now you're in for a little treat. You're about to hear from the children of one beggar in particular, Lutilla Fair Dinkum (we promised Mom we wouldn't name names.)
First of all, we'd like to say....It's not our fault!!!!! Don't EVEN blame us!!!!!!!! Our poppy was doing belly-flops in the pit before we even came into this world! Not to say that we're ashamed or anything, no, we're quite proud of our mud-eating dad. (Oh, and contrary to some beliefs, we DO NOT eat mud and will not in the near future. Thank you.) Also, we do live in a house (not a shack) and go the the Faire quite often. We are fairly (get it, Faire-ly) normal people (if running around screaming at the top of our lungs 24 - 7 is considered "normal").
One final note: We'd like to thank the public for helping to put bread (not mud) on our table.
Lotsa Love,
G. Ronimo (14 1/2) & Barnicle (12)

P.S.: Hey, if you want the REAL dirt on the Sturdy Beggars, just give us a buzz sometime.
Editor's Note: I made no such promises. Mom is the lovely Donna of the erstwhile Jongleurs madrigal group.

Why Does My Brain Hurt?
Aim High in Learning, Laugh Long, and Expect ShrinkageScience news about the noggin has go me thinking. Recent studies report that nuns who practice deep thinking are much less likely to suffer from Alzheimers disease than are non-contemplative nuns. It seems that deep brain use means a fitter brain with more options and flexibility.
Another report informs that the brains of men shrink, yes, physically shrink, with age. The primary effect of male brain shrinkage is loss of the sense of humor, which results in crankiness. Ouch! That explains most mornings.
But then, if you think about it a little more deeply, you might just keep ahead of the losses. After all, the Neanderthal Man had a larger brain than we do, and where is he now? I don't know about you, but it's got me working out my sense of humor with a new sense of purpose.
Aim High in Learning, Laugh Long, and Expect Shrinkage.
Spiney Nodules
Merry Muddy Mixer
Sensitive? Understanding? Responsive? You Bet We Are! We beggars are well aware that the Sturdy Beggar™ Appreciation Society is constituted by individuals who all share the joys and ostracism of being unique. And even though being true to one's self is truly the path to true happiness, it can be a lonely road to hoe. Though we enjoy communicating with each and every one of you, it's a shame there is no forum where you can communicate with each and every one of you. (pause for wistful sigh) But never fear, dear SBASers, what would you say to this little scenario: at every Faire, we will designate the First Mud Show(r) of the Second Saturday as the official "Merry Mud Mixer." Any and all conscripts of our configuration curious to convene with co-colleagues of our club should congregate for that circumstance. All you need to do is arrive a tad early and find yourself an attractive "seat" in the center section...then listen and participate attentively as the Mud Show does it's thang. After the mastication of the mulch, there shall then be the singing of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (the reprise) as we march Noah-style to the nearest whistle wettery where everyone may aspirationaly acquaint themselves. Then there is the rest of the day to enjoy the rest of the day with others of our ilk.
(This event is open to all in the SBAS, but if any romances do evolve, and children are spawned, you are required to name one after Figgy.)
Didja ever wonder what happened to that ole beggar legend, Half-Wit Henry? Didja ever notice how much he looks like Wakka Ding Hoy? Didja ever see the two of them together at the same time? DO I HAVE TO DRAW YOU A ROAD MAP?!!??

that damn Muddy Rag #7 designed & executed by Hack Ptui 6/96 / editorz: Ptui & vonBilly
scribes du jour: B. B. VonBilly, G. Fingers, S. Nodules, H. Ptui, G. Ronimo, Barnicle
The Mud Show
The Mud Show