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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Festival, Second Time Around...

Festival, Second Time Around

I could have had a really good time at the Renaissance Festival this year, but I just couldn't seem to get into the spirit. I'm not exactly sure why, but Barry Manilow was wrong about love being lovelier the second time around. Last year the festival was new and fresh but this year it was just the same old, same old.

There were knights in shiny armor to sweep fair maidens away. Somehow the idea of being swept away by a knight seemed a bit silly for an adult, even for a fair maiden like myself. I tried to get into the mood by watching some of the shows, but somehow they all seemed more for the purpose of tips than for entertaining.

The renaissance theme seemed to inspire people to try to talk like they were in a Shakespeare play, "Yes, me lady, " was said with dramatic emphasis, loudly and often Some of the visitors got into the spirit, shouting Old English insults from the audience. Maybe it was because I can't speak Old English, but I spent most of my time trying to figure out where my bottle of water had rolled under the bench.

The actors had correct dress for the period with tights and high boots for the men. I guess maybe I don't go for guys in tights. The girdles, and long dresses that ladies wore wore looked really hot and uncomfortable. I never learned to sweat in a delicate way. There were so many weird people running around that it was hard to tell those just pretending to be weird from those who really were.

Of course, the real spoiler for me was the crafts. I had in mind a particular item similar to something I bought there last year. Alas, it was not to be. There were flashy crystals and zodiac jewelry, but not the pretty, but cheap, glass charms like the year before. I hope someone took note and will take care of this for next year.

I cornered my daughter and made her promise not to let my grandson buy another plastic sword. The good news is he didn't get a plastic sword. The bad news is that he got a wooden one instead.

I could have had my fortune told in the psychic lady's tent, but I wouldn't be able to tell you five minutes later what was said. The strange bird lady was there again too, telling how wonderful falcons and birds of prey are, but I just thought of the buzzards I had seen in the road eating road kill. The knights rode horses and jousted. I wondered if it was for real or just like professional wresting where they simply put on a show.

The tour of the castle was different. It seems that one person's dream was to build a castle of his very own and he has worked a lifetime on the endeavor. A bit odd, to say the least, but it did give a nice anchoring point for the festival. After seeing actual castles in Europe, however, the homemade version was not too impressive. I don't think I would like living in a castle unless it had central air and heating.

I could have bought a tall souvenir glass of beer like the other people who were wandering around, but what do you do with a foot high plastic glass when you get home? I could also have eaten a fried turkey leg but I could find the stand and was overcome by hunger conveniently in front of the fish and chips vendor.

So, another merry month of May, another Renaissance Faire. The best thing I found about the faire was the kettle popcorn. But if it hadn't been for Barry Manilow being so wrong, I could have had a really good time.

Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss

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