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Louise, meet Mary. Mary, Louise...
- December, 2000

As is becoming usual in October, this year I did a guest weekend at the lovely Maryland Renaissance Festival, sharing a stage once again with the daringly married Whipflash. And, for the first time anywhere (or at least, in Lousiana), Zoltan and his fine rats adorned a stage at the newly opened Lousiana Renaissance Festival. And there was much rejoicing.

The weekend at Maryland was pretty standard - as you may know, the Boar's Head Tavern was removed this season (if only the many hangovers I earned there could have been so easily removed), as was the Market Stage that comprised the back wall of the Boar's Head. There is a new Market Stage in place, but it had not the grace and grandeur of the old stage. Nonetheless, as always the Maryland crowds were bright and sharp and appreciated fine entertainment when they saw it. They also thought Zoltan was pretty good...

...at least, that's what I tell my girlfriend.
Three inches in, one more to go...
Lousiana was a brand new ball of wax (and when was the last time you got a ball of wax as a gift? Far too long, I betcha...). This was a first year faire, and it was a little rough going, but all the merchants and acts who were there made a real go of it. The management had a lot of heart, and patrons came out, and generally a good time was had by all.

The only downside was the weather - man! did it rain. And rain. And rain, with brief periods of torrential downpour, the monotomy of which was broken up by flooding. Am I being clear here? It was wet.

And yet, we perservered. Everybody gave their all and did the best show they could. One day I did a fire-eating show for an audience of six. On another day I did card tricks for a massive crowd of four. But it can only get better from here. So come out. Especially if you're in a nearby state, like Texas, Arkansas, or Mississippi. Really, what else have you got to do?

For me, the best parts of the LA faire were both the patrons who showed a lot of gumption and dogged determination in spite of the weather, and the other performers whom I hadn't seen in a while, most notably The Tortuga Twins, and the New Riders of the Golden Age (they're the jousting troupe, doncha know). Having the New Riders around is especially fun, since Greg, the lead jouster, is clearly Zoltan's long-lost brother. Look at the mug on this guy!

I'm not Zoltan - see the horse?  Not a rat, right?  Call me Zoltan and die.
Greg Oakley (not Zoltan!), head Jouster
from New Riders of the Golden Age
Actually, Greg gets a little tired of being mistaken for Zoltan, even though it's funny every single time it happens. So next time you see Greg, ask him where his rat is, or how he manages to light his tongue on fire...

Anyway, on the flip side from the raining of biblical proportions, I spent Hallowe'en (hey, whaddaya call a hot dog without the meat? A hollow-weenie!) in New Orleans with about every other damn rennie within a state's radius. Folks had driven in from North Carolina and Texas, just to do Hallowe'en in New Orleans. Brett (of the Commidiots) even flew in from California. And generally, a grand time was had by all. A grand, drunken time...

And now it's the dawn of a new millenium, which means that pretty soon I'll stop whining about that nitpicky point and be on to the next one. But it's my break, and I'll spend it how I want to...

See y'all in 2001,

     signed, Zoltan the Adequate
(Hammer photo by Michael Harris)

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