Chaos Attraction

Dickens Fair 2

2015-12-19, 8:48 p.m.

Saturday was a busy day and night. During the day we went to here. We didn’t do much in the way of shows--caught “All’s Well That Ends Badly” again and that was about it for time--but we did make it through the whole thing, had two meals--clam chowder and crepes, both recommended--saw some cool outfits, bought some cool outfits, and met some interesting people. I’m probably not going to get around to doing a photo album of this (I’m already way behind), but I didn’t take that many photos anyway. Or shall I say, that came out with the interesting lighting and camera issues I had going on. I did see a cool TARDIS hat and a girl with a ruffled skirt and one of the ruffles of layers had lightsabers on it, and there was a Belle and a Rapunzel wandering around, and a set of ladies in Dalek and TARDIS dresses.

At one point we hung out at the inventor’s shack and heard some interesting stories about the strange creatures they’d encountered, like the turtle that poisons you with lead and then that makes it drop its prey to the bottom of the ocean for the wife to eat. My favorite was the story of the jackalope, which was turning invisible because people weren’t seeing them. So what do you think would be a good idea? A jackalope circus, perhaps? Sure, that sounds great! Have you heard of a jackalope circus? No. Why not? Turned out to be a terrible idea--the jackalopes ran each other through with their horns on the trapeze and in the clown car, and during the lion taming act, caused the lion to vomit. In other news, Mom tried on some corsets just for kicks, and we met a fellow who’s been dancing at Fezziwig’s for 35 years. He told us how he went to Mad Sal’s (the ah....darkside of Dickens Fair, where the prostitute’s hang out) and tipped a lady by putting the money down her cleavage. She reported him for being inappropriate and according to him, she got fired for being out of character at Mad Sal’s. Uh-huh.... We also watched a telegraph being delivered, to the cringing embarrassment of the girl who received it. I also saw a delivery boy screaming a girl’s name somewhere else, and I thought, geez, how hard must it be to find one random person around here who isn’t say, working at a booth in one place?

I didn’t do any shopping last year, but this year I did more. I found a Swedish goat ornament (which you know I was delighted to find) and had to get it, and I bought earrings for Mom and a hair clip for Angelica. And as for myself, I ended up getting another pocket belt from a vendor I patronize. I had stupidly forgotten to pack one for the weekend (when you’re wearing pants due to rain on Friday and Sunday, you will forget such things) and thus had to improvise one with my scarf to go on me to hold my gadgets as I ran around in a skirt at Dickens Fair. So I was relieved to find the belt vendor, and as I was musing to the lady I was talking to that what I really needed was a pastel belt to go with my pink and yellow outfits (belts generally come in darker colors with all vendors), I spotted a pale pink one with purple pockets in my size! “MINE,” I said, instantly bought it, and felt all right again with my super awesome pockets on.

As for Christmas shopping on Mom’s end, she bought Angelica some housewarming presents and then bought me some outfits as my Christmas presents--she picked me out an overskirt that can be worn in two ways over other skirts, a blue velvet skirt to go under it, and later a blue blouse-jacket that I think we’ll end up sharing since we both liked it and there was only one in that color. However, trying on clothes over all of your winter clothes turns out to be misleading, as I tried them on the next day and both skirts were....kinda big at the waist. I’ll have to pin them up.

I think I need to work on some kind of outfit for Dickens Fair next year-- at least that blouse will qualify. I’m not gonna go full hoop skirt--I shudder to think what those chicks had to do in the bathroom--but I’m going to look into doing something that’s more Dickens-y than my “Bah Humbug” sweater and Santa hat. Maybe do something like my steampunk costume for Halloween--knit a bunch of things to put together into an outfit. (Though frankly, I don’t think my steampunk outfit would have too much I could re-use.)

After that, we left to go see Potted Potter, a parody of the Harry Potter books in which they condense all seven plots into seventy minutes. (Plus about twenty of pre-game chatter, really.) I was figuring that it’d be the equivalent of the Reduced Shakespeare Company doing The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), but...not quite. The gag of the show is that one of the two guys doing it, Jeff, has actually read the books. The other fellow, Dan, supposedly has not and is a total idiot even though you seriously couldn’t do the show without knowing jack shit about them, so that doesn’t make too much sense. I pretty much think the conceit of one of them being totally dumb is what put me off of it. This is not to say it’s not funny in bits, but I kept thinking of how they want you to play smart in improv, and this wasn’t playing smart. Like supposedly Dan is so dumb he blew the set and hiring budget on a stuffed dragon, a wardrobe out of Narnia, a plywood board that says “Keep Out Forbidden Forest” (which is painted like an island), and a coffin marked “Spooky.” He also eats stuff off the floor. I did enjoy the crazy wigs being whipped off and on to briefly portray different characters very incorrectly, that there was a Nimbus 2000 vacuum cleaner, and a Dobby puppet. On the other hand, I wanted to roll my eyes at the expectation that Dan was somehow going to read all of book seven during the course of the show, while he’s performing. Yeah, right.

Probably the best moments of the night were:

(a) The giant Quidditch game. Well, sorta. Two people are pulled out of the audience to be Seekers and look for the Snitch (which is eventually revealed to be Jeff in a gold bling barrel sort of thing), while an inflatable globe is thrown into the audience to attempt to throw it into two giant rings above the seats that nobody could possibly reach. People pretty much just played volleyball, except for one girl who got up and attempted to run with it to get a little closer to the hoops. Meanwhile, after the Snitch is revealed, the kids are basically told to catch it and take it down. The Gryffindor girl seriously TOOK HIM PHYSICALLY DOWN, which was awesome for the audience and apparently terrifying for Jeff and super amusing for Dan, who kept making fun of how Jeff was taken down by a little girl for the rest of the show. He also is all, “you got taken down by a girl with Hogwarts on her legs” (she had on Hogwarts castle leggings) and she was all, “Didn’t you say you didn’t know what Hogwarts looked like earlier?” Uh-HUH. Dan was all, “yes, the ONE inconsistency in our show!”

(b) The “I Won’t Survive” musical number that finishes out the show, sung by various characters that Dan is playing, mostly Voldemort.

(c) Dan ranting during book six that Harry is boring and the only way to make him more boring is to freeze him in place and make him invisible.

But overall, I wasn’t in love, and I think my other seat neighbor (besides Mom, who always does it) fell asleep. It was...okay, I guess. Maybe it was more for kids than for the likes of me or something like that.

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