How I became a Sturdy Beggar
By Lucky 13
and Ahoy! Good Morrow, all you geeky landlubbers!
Gather round, 'cause Lucky wants to tell ya a
story. I started out as a small sperm in my fathers'
left testicle (I have proof), and now I am a member
of the world-famous Sturdy Beggars, the creators
of the original Mud Show®! How could I start
out so small, and end up so big? How could a foul-mouthed,
no good, deceiving, conniving, slippery little
rat like myself end up in such a respectable organization?
What is this itchy rash, and why doesn't it go
away? So many questions, but I have answers for
First of all, you must know that I am a gambler. No guts, no glory; and if you cheat, the odds are in your favor. I have no qualms about betting it all, laying it all down on the line, even if losing means sleeping in the dumpster one more time. So I have taken some rather spectacular risks in my life... My parents took one look at the evil glimmer in my eye when I was born and left me on the steps at a large cathedral. A kindly religious family, who had managed to produce 17 girls on their own but no boys, took me in. My adopted family was convinced I would be a religious leader someday (yeah, ROIT), and promptly enrolled me in a seminary to study for the priesthood. Unfortunately, the priests decided that it was obvious I would not hold up their high standards. They decided, much to the horror of my family, that I did not possess the minimum amount of "goodness" in me to pursue a theological career, and politely but firmly asked me not to return. Ever. I didn't.
Dismayed by my apparent setback, I set about what would be the adventure of my lifetime. For the next 22 years I drifted in and out of cities and consciousness. I boozed it up, smoked it all, gambled everything I had, seduced every floozy, and generally tested the boundaries of every moral dilemma you could imagine. One day, I woke in the middle of the street with no recollection of the previous' nights events, but my wallet was empty, a lawyer was forcing me to sign documents, a police officer was reading me my rights, my house was being dragged away by an army of slaves, and Larry King was asking for an interview. During a brief pause in the chaos, I slunk away like a bat out of hell and snuck onto a boat near the docks while the crew was busy. I fell asleep behind some barrels, only to be awakened by the crashing of waves. The boat had set sail, and a brutal storm had hit! I rushed out on deck to find the crew in a panic, some jumping overboard, others already dead on the deck. I was then launched into the churning sea by a crashing wave. As I sputtered and flailed about in the rabid sea, my whole life passed before my eyes. It was then a huge hand grabbed hold of my jacket, and I was hoisted back aboard the ship.
When I came to, an ugly old puss with a wart and an eye patch was staring at me right in the face. "Aarrrggg! Ya made it, ye devil! What are ye doin' on my ship? I'll tells ya, ye sure are lucky. I lost 27 damn good pirates in that storm, so YOU gets ta be my NEWEST pirate, gots it? I would throw ye overboard now, but I need a pair of hands, so I'll calls ye Lucky. Lucky to be alive, I tells ye! Now swab this deck!" I nodded with enthusiasm, as apparently I had become a real pirate. I became the faithful servant of Captain Fruitbat. We sailed to all the continents over the years, stealing the richest of bounties, and generally causing great havoc in our wake. Pillaging was my favorite. Now I didn't have to work hard, and I could afford anything I wanted! This is what everyone wants out of life! I was in heaven, except I really hated the fact there were no women pirates. The other guys didn't seem to mind
All that came crashing to a horrible end 6 years ago. A huge creature of legend savagely attacked our ship one bright afternoon. It had huge floppy ears, gruesome buck-tooth fangs, a hideously pink nose, and a mighty basket full of brightly colored eggs. It pummeled the ship with its furry paws, and batted us around with its huge cotton-ball tail. The ship exploded into splinters, and we washed ashore on the sandy beaches of Minnesota. I crawled up to Captain Fruitbat lying on the deserted shores, who was gasping his last breath. I placed my ear near his mouth to listen to his dying words. "That sucked," he said. And then he gently passed away.
I decided then and there to retire from being a pirate, so I wandered into the Shire of Shakopee, where I witnessed a Festival taking place. I was simply overwhelmed. It was an exhibition of pure debauchery! Wonderful and humorous theatrical presentations, food and drink everywhere, and PLENTY of women! I decided to stay. I introduced myself to a wench named Virgo who lived in the gutter next to me, and we decided to develop a theatrical presentation of our own. Pulanami Puppets® was born. We rounded up all the orphan street children we could as puppeteers and set out to offend every Barney-loving family we could with our adult brand of puppetry
but there was trouble a-brewing.
The King's minions approached me after the inevitable demise of the Puppet show and asked if I wanted to star in a new show that the Festival was going to produce. I said "Sure!" (without knowing the exact details, of course). Well, it turned out they wanted a comedy show with mud, but not the Mud Show®. Seems that the brilliant guys who invented the modern-day Mud Show® copyrighted the name, so we couldn't call it that, no no. We should have called it "Cheap Anachronistic Rip-off Comedy Show with Smelly Mud Flung About While Patrons Run Away." Written and rehearsed in one week, it was a disaster. The King's minions didn't know the difference between black dirt and peat moss, which is organic and decomposes after time. Decomposition has a very distinct stench. The audience was so repelled by the pungent smell that the first five rows were always empty, and the "Demons from Hell" we portrayed were so vile that only three or four people would be left by the end of the show.
The next year, I was contacted to write and perform another cheap knockoff show with mud (not the cheap knockoff we did earlier because, well, that would be plagiarism, and we wouldn't want to step on any artistic or legal toes, would we?) Not wanting to commit the same sin twice, and after much soul-searching, I decided to travel to the distant land of Bristol. It was there that I met true beggars, the Sturdy Beggars; men who had devoted their lives to spreading the mirth and wit of the original Mud Show® to the masses for over 23 years. I watched the audience howl with laughter, clap and chant in rhythm, participate and even ENJOY the show. I was in awe. I cautiously approached Billy Billy vonBilly and bowed before him, humbled by the Mud Show I had just witnessed, and proceeded to beg forgiveness for my cheap attempt to replicate a true piece of art. I cowered under his garlic-heavy breath, while he raised an eyebrow in my direction. "Minnesota?" he finally belched. "Yeah, we have a beggar that lives there. Go talk to Hack Ptui." He then scratched his crotch in a nonchalant manner and began to pull chunks of dried mud from his encrusted Amish beard. I wept openly. It was what I never dared imagine come true, as simple as thrusting your pinkies up into your nasal cavity and as right as cold, wet earth down your pants.
Hack wasn't as easily impressed. "Puppet show? Demons from Hell? Peat moss? Do you have ANY relevant experience all??"
"Well, I was a roadie for Marilyn Manson for awhile, I used to light my farts on fire for the Jim Rose Circus, and I can do this cool trick where I pat my head, chew gum, and rub my tummy AT THE SAME TIME!"
"Pathetic," he said thoughtfully. We got to work.
Needless to say, we brought the joy of the original Mud Show® to the throngs at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 2001, and they loved us. And that is how I became a Sturdy Beggar, and how I became to be known as Lucky 13. I'm not telling you what the "13" is for. It would be bad luck.