Sherwood Forest Faire opening weekend 2012: A Tale of Terror
I went camping this last weekend with Ed and 2 friends, Ally & Ross, for the opening weekend of the Sherwood Forest Faire.
It's Friday night and we're settled in, freezing our butts off from lack of fire because we don't have a raised fire pit and in-ground fires aren't allowed. So we all go to bed fairly early (well, early for a festival). At about 3am, a neighboring set of tents that set up some time after we went to bed starts yelling "Gimme a dollar!" sporadically. This continues until about 7am. Meanwhile, campers from those tents are wondering around the camp grounds, and several tripped over our tent, specifically the corner by our heads. By now, Ed is thoroughly pissed off and ready to tackle someone. Somehow (a miracle, I’m sure), I manage to get him to put away the 9mm and soothe him back to sleep, though the “Gimme a dollar!” crap continues. Ally later said she was commenting to Ross that Ed must have been pissed and was surprised we didn’t hear her. Ally also deduced from their conversation that they were probably underage, drinking, and high on shrooms and that the “Gimme a dollar!” yelling was a rudimentary mating call (that we later found out worked, much to our disappointment).
We manage to sleep a wee bit before finally dragging ourselves out from our tent to get ready for opening day. It’s about 9 or 10am, when someone shouts “Gimme a dollar!” Ed snaps, grabs the hatchet, and storms over to the offending tents and starts yelling at the first face he sees. (Meanwhile, Ross is a few steps behind Ed hoping he doesn’t have to get involved in a fight, and Ally and I are hiding in our campsite and I’m trying not to hyperventilate.) To be honest, I don’t really recall exactly what was said, but I know that Ed yelled at them about all the yelling and tripping over our tent and that they were being giant assholes to all the neighboring campers.
Later that afternoon (after we retired early from the faire, missing a show we really wanted to see, because we were all too friggin tired from lack of sleep), the camper Ed yelled at stopped by our site to apologize. He said his name was Road Kill, they call themselves the Bum Camp (hence, “Gimme a dollar!”), this was their first Ren Faire, and they’d heard that faires were basically non-stop parties. Ed had scared him half to death, and he was telling his camp mates about the incident (some didn’t believe him about the angry man with the hatchet) and encouraging them to keep the noise down. Some had moved to another part of the campground already. Ally talked to Road Kill some, explained camp site etiquette (basically, be good neighbors even if there are no set quiet hours and follow the tone of the camp ground – if everyone around you is quiet, it’s best to not yell and shout and trip over tents).
For the rest of the weekend, Ed was known as “Angry Ax Man.” At least Saturday night was quiet.
Ah, but all was not well in the Bum Camp! Apparently, Road Kill was harshing on someone’s groove by trying to get them to be good neighbors and not get kicked out of the camp site. He was nearly abandoned at the camp site with no way to get back to Houston, but managed to find a ride. Two of him comrades, Tommy and Bat Man(?) were not so lucky and came to our campsite to 1) make nice and 2) beg for a ride.
Though our car was full to bursting, we could have asked Ross & Ally to carry some of our gear in their truck to make room in our back seat. But since Ed didn’t offer it up, I figured he was still pissed and was not interested being that generous. Ross and Ally, being much more forgiving than Ed, let them ride in the back of their truck all the way from Paige (just east of Austin) back to Houston in the cold. To their credit, Tommy and Bat Man helped break camp and change a flat on Ross’ truck.
I can only hope that Tommy, Road Kill, and Bat Man take Ally’s suggestion to re-evaluate their friends.