Ever since watching Matthew Broderick and Jim Carrey barbarically feast on meat shanks at the Medieval Times restaurant in the 1996 movie "The Cable Guy," I have always wanted to relive the experience.
I finally got a chance last weekend on the last day of the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn.
I had never been to a medieval fair before, so I didn't know what to expect or what to wear. Unfortunately, I left my tunic at home, so I took what I had: a shirt I had bought the week before with the words, "I am McLovin" on the front. The phrase is from the 2007 movie, "Superbad," a ridiculous (and hilarious) adventure about three high school guys trying to impress girls by bringing alcohol to a house party.
I also had on an interesting hat I had just bought with a bottle cap opener stitched into the brim. I had no idea that these two items would make me a marked man.
After hitting 'Ye Olde ATM' for some cash, and grabbing a huge smoked turkey leg (which was actually ham wrapped around a turkey bone, to my disappointment), I ventured into the Barely Balanced Acrobatic Comedy Show.
On the way there, I noticed my shirt was already getting me a lot of attention. By the time I sat down, one of the performers had already taken a picture with me. When I took my seat in the middle of the crowd, the acrobats started juggling, balancing each other in crazy positions, and bending in ways I haven't been able to since I was 10 years old.
I had no idea, however, that it was an interactive show. The lady of the trio walked through the crowd and picked me out of an audience of 300 people to help them perform their next stunt.
I was flattered this very attractive, very limber woman wanted to stand on my shoulders, but that was all part of the act. Before I knew it, a hairy, 5'10" man was climbing on top of me.
Eventually, the man was standing completely vertical on top of my shoulders. The female acrobat stood on top of another male acrobat's shoulders and started juggling bowling pins to the guy standing on top of me.
Afterward, everybody in the audience cheered, and for the rest of the day, people who saw me on stage would come up to me and say, "Hey McLovin, great job," or "McLovin, strongest guy at the fair."
It was pretty cool to be picked out of an audience to perform a stunt like that, but I thought, it was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, which couldn't possibly happen twice in the same day. I was so wrong.
Later in the afternoon, I made my way to the Washing Well Wenches show. I was planning on watching a gypsy band perform, but I figured anything with wenches must be pretty entertaining.
This time, I was sitting pretty far back on the left side of the audience. This, however, was also an interactive show.
The two wenches, dressed in pigtails, shabby rags, and blackened teeth roamed through the audience, trying to stir up the crowd. One of the ladies spotted my hat, and it was all over from there.
The two used me in some very suggestive comedy routines, and eventually brought me to the stage as a prop in a "damsel-in-distress" play, in which I was the damsel.
Somehow, over the course of the farce, I had the side of my face licked from chin to ear. I was soaking wet, and I was wearing two pillows fashioned to look like a triple G bra.
It was all in good fun, but the lesson to be gleaned from this is that, if you plan to go to the Renaissance Fair "dressed funny," just make sure you look funny like everybody else.
Joel Hall covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.