performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > THE GREEN ROOM > BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-28-06, 01:07 PM   #1
Rachel Peters
Moderator
 
Rachel Peters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Toronto/Hamilton
Posts: 1,396
Butterfly Butterfly Story-Time for Rachel?

Robert, Will you tell us another story?
I'm at work, at the computer, and I'm bored, with not much to do.
Story-time?
Please??
So that I can at least look busy?
Can it be about turnips and Band-Aids?
I eagerly await a reply.
__________________
Well, maybe I WILL just keep telling myself that.

www.rachelpeters.com

Last edited by Rachel Peters; 11-04-06 at 06:34 PM.
Rachel Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-06, 01:59 PM   #2
jayrodin
Senior Member
 
jayrodin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: er-er? really?
Posts: 269
Send a message via AIM to jayrodin
Default

I second this. Less Scot more throwing clubs at cripples!
__________________
myspace.com/jordpeck
jayrodin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 03:53 PM   #3
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Butterfly Tonkah rides again!

Tonkah Truck
by the Butterfly Man


In 1981, my bastard son was born in Santa Cruz, California. His mother was married to a bad-ass Navajo. I, thankfully, never met the guy. She named our little boy “No Nukes.” It always made people laugh.

No Nuke's mom was my coke dealer; she always had the best flake, but never seemed to have much money. She spent all her profits on comic books. She showed me a #1 Donald Duck once, inside a cellophane wrapper, but she wouldn't let me touch it.

She had no car and lived in a dilapidated house. She was teaching our little boy to say “Mercedes, Daddy!” It always made people laugh.

I was no fool (yes, I was); I knew “Mercedes” was going to be too difficult for a baby to pronounce, so I bought her a Morris Minor instead.

Actually, I didn't know what it was. It was just a small shitty truck, in front of a small shitty house, in her small shitty neighborhood. The proverbial beaten, red-headed stepchild, except it was green and already dead.

Useless, yet pathetically cute, it lay dwarfed in the tall grass. Weeds were growing up through the inside floorboard. Rust splotches were bubbling up through what was left of the weathered paint. The fenders and body were riddled with volcanic dings and dents. “Perfect,” I thought, “its perfect!”

“Its a ’59 pickup,” the seller said. “Very rare, and I'm not sellin’ it for less than fifty bucks.”

I’m thinkin’: That’s only half a gram … “SOLD!”

All I had to do, I reasoned, was take the truck apart, clean it up, and put it back together before the coke ran out. I had an eightball and it looked like a small truck, so I borrowed some tools.

I never worked so hard on anything before in my life. Greasy, sweaty, and disgustingly dirty, I spent sometimes up to fourteen hours a day dismantling that thing. I was so high the whole time; I think I saw God on day 3. He looked like a crankshaft.

I was relentless. Every bolt, every nut and every piece that would or could come undone was undone. It all seemed especially frustrating that no wrenches or sockets I had seemed to fit any of the bolts. Many I had to pry off with pliers. What a bitch! Wentworth, my ass.

Eight days later, I ran out of coke. My hands were cut and bruised. I had banged my forehead so many times, it looked like a roadmap. A thin layer of filth had become permanently affixed to my dermis. I was thinking of tattooing WD-40 on my ass.

All my clothes were ruined, and I had never felt that level of frustration before in my life. It was worse than the time I had to learn to masturbate with my left hand.

In front of me, I now had a worthless piece-of-shit truck … literally in pieces.

I got some help and dragged the big pieces (like the engine, fenders, cab) into a dilapidated shed on the side of No Nuke's house. I then put all the little knobs, hinges, and assorted crap into cardboard boxes. Anything electronic-looking I put into plastic garbage bags. I felt no need to label anything; it was all so fresh in my mind.

I drove home to San Francisco.

The following day, I entered Jon Fox's SF Standup Comedy Competition, my first time working indoors, off the street. On my best night I came in sixth … didn't even make the top ten over-all. I wasn't an overnight success, but I did get a helluva lot of work for the next three years.

Fox booked me everywhere (even Canada) … so did NACA (college circuit) … I was touring almost nine months of the year. On those few days with no shows, I’d be on my way from someplace to somewhere. I hated almost every fuckin’ minute of it.

When I did get to return to the Bay Area, I would hurry down to visit No Nukes and, of course, score some more coke. Needless to say, I never did get around to working on that truck again.

In the spring of ’85, I got a call from No Nuke's mom, saying she had moved into a new place. Apparently, the people now living in her old place had thrown everything out of the shed into the weeds behind the house.

I freaked Big! All that hard work … eight days! All that coke, 9 grams! I made a vow, then and there: I’d put that truck back together, even if it was the last line I’d ever do.

I rented a U-Haul and asked my best friend, Patrick, to help pick up the pieces. Patrick was big, around 6’4, 280. How this big, dumb, black motherfucker got to be my best friend, I’ll never know. I met him years ago when he was a bouncer in one of the clubs where I had done some standup. I always picked on him mercilessly. That was almost thirty years ago. Today he is still my best friend, although much fatter and uglier.

We drove back down to Santa Cruz together. My heart was pounding as we pulled up to the shed … there was a strange car in it.

Unannounced, we blatantly walked into the new tenants’ backyard and, amongst the overgrown weeds, started picking up all the rusty pieces. I felt people staring out their windows at us. Patrick single-handily rolled the engine block onto a dolly and lifted it onto the back of the U-Haul. I had nothing to fear.

The cardboard boxes were wet and melted to the touch. Bolts, nuts, and screws fell from soggy paper bags. I picked up all kinds of plastic bags; most of them just had garbage in them. It took several hours, but we loaded up everything we could find that looked like part of a truck.

We drove back to San Francisco.

Over the next six years, I moved around the city three times. After the second move, Patrick told me to go fuck myself. I was forced to make new friends.

Not one of the places I rented had a garage. I kept rusty pieces of metal in all corners of every room. I slept with boxes of greasy, oily thingamabobs everywhere. I'm a Virgo, and the mess was driving me insane.

Thanks to a drug connection, Meridy, the Brownie Lady, I finally found a place of my own in Bernal Heights. Unbelievably, it had its own garage. I know it sounds impossible … my own place in San Francisco with my own garage. It was a dream come true. I paid $800 a month cash to the two Jewish stoners who declared it as a no income-producing property. Score.

I bought a grinder, a Bosch. Someone said it was the best … it was, I still use it today. Between gigs, I started to de-rust, clean, and polish every item I had carried around for the past seven years. Between gigs, it took me almost twenty months.

Being a Virgo, I took every little bit of rust and paint off of each fender … then both doors … then the cab ... the bed and even the frame. Every inch of everything, inside and out. I brought everything down to bare metal. Red dust became a part of my life. My stool looked like downtown Baltimore.

I then bondo’d and fiberglassed all the dents and put a coupla coats of red primer on everything. My lungs felt like I had inhaled Vesuvius. My skin looked like I lost at Wounded Knee.

But it was all clean.

Time to put it all back together.

(Thinking to myself: ) OK, I'm glad I got these new tires … they look great … they must attach to the frame … uh. Oh, I get it … they go on this axle thing first … right? Does that go on top or the bottom? The wheels should go on first, right? What about those circular things? What does that long thing do? This was all jacked up before … it looks different now … shit.

I didn't have a clue.

I called a bunch of British and import car places. Most said their rate was between $60 and $90 an hour. One guy offered to do it for a flat ten grand, if I paid for all the parts (what a guy). Most people, however, didn't bother to call me back.

It was all so depressing, I finally gave up.

I remember trying to sell all the parts to a mechanic for fifty bucks … he thought about it for a second. Then he turned me down.

About a month later, I got a call. Some guy said he heard I might need some help putting a car together. He had a British accent … it was a good sign.

His name was Nigel, but he introduced himself as Jim, which is much easier to type.

He drove over and opened the garage. He looked at all the car parts and pieces and said, “Oh, its a Morris Minor … my father had one of those. It's a pickup as well … quite rare, that is.”

He cautioned me that he charged fifteen bucks an hour.

I was so happy, I almost shit.

On and off, over the next six months, we would meet at 10am and work ‘til 2pm. Every day he'd tell me what to do. At the end of each day, he'd tell me what parts to go get.

I‘d go through junkyards, automotive shops, people’s back yards, anywhere that might have old Morris car parts.

We did it! In 167 days.

In January of 1992, with all my comedian friends around me, I drove it out of that garage.

I had spent exactly $17,253.47. Including the grinder.

This morning I saw some rust starting to bubble the paint on the back fender.

Anybody know where I can score some blow?
__________________
butterflyman.com

Last edited by Butterfly Man; 11-14-06 at 01:09 PM.
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 04:09 PM   #4
jesus
Senior Member
 
jesus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Is Everything
Posts: 417
Send a message via Yahoo to jesus
Default

Quote:
Not since staying at Master Lee’s place had I been so greasy, sweaty and disgustingly dirty.
And from there it only got better!
__________________
Signed
Geoff/Thom/jesus/Whoever

"an honorable and decent human being"
jesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 07:33 PM   #5
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

I want to see a photo.
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:04 PM   #6
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

Here's one.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg before.jpg (38.3 KB, 428 views)
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:05 PM   #7
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default 9 grams later...

the man's handiwork.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 9 grams later.jpg (40.6 KB, 430 views)
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:06 PM   #8
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

process...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jigsaw puzzle.jpg (52.0 KB, 436 views)
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:09 PM   #9
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

cheap labor...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg heave ho.jpg (43.4 KB, 442 views)
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:10 PM   #10
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

And finally,
Attached Images
File Type: jpg after.jpg (43.1 KB, 440 views)
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-06, 11:15 PM   #11
Rachel Peters
Moderator
 
Rachel Peters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Toronto/Hamilton
Posts: 1,396
Default

and finally, finally...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p_tonkagrouchy.jpg (83.1 KB, 479 views)
__________________
Well, maybe I WILL just keep telling myself that.

www.rachelpeters.com
Rachel Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-06, 12:09 PM   #12
martin ewen
Senior Member
 
martin ewen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Trapped-Please send money
Posts: 1,888
Blog Entries: 15
Lurk I was concieved in a morris minor

Thank you bobert, that was a good story. isn't america great!

I have a plan to come and visit soon and i thought it might be a good idea to perhaps revisit our appitites till our hearts exploded.
Oh and hey. I have a green card! The world is again my ulcer.
martin ewen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-06, 12:38 PM   #13
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
New Zealand There's a story in there somewhere ...

In Wellington, NZ, a black dog bit me on the ass while I was juggling fire.

After that show, Martin Ewen said, “You’re lucky it wasn’t a brown dog … I hear they’re poisonous.”
__________________
butterflyman.com
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-06, 03:35 PM   #14
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Guitar Safety 1st

In the early ‘70’s, I moved to Nashville. I was supposed to be a doctor (or at least a dentist) … I ended up being a juggler.

My first shows were at a club called the “Exit Inn”. The place was unique in that the original front door was now in the rear of the stage, it made for easier loading and unloading of band equipment.

Every Wednesday on “Writer's Night”, the Exit showcased young up and coming singer-songwriters. Song publishers and music industry people always packed the house.

Owsley, the manager, thought it might be interesting to occasionally put me (and a young comic named Jim Varney) on between the music sets to break up the monotony.

I did this for over a year, always trying some new trick or prop each time. In those days there were no prop-makers so everything was home made. My pins were glued plastic around a wooden dowel. I also painted, glittered and even rhinestoned a whole slew of tennis balls. I carried every thing around with me in a trombone case.

One fateful day, I got a call from Owsley saying he needed an opening act for Tiny Tim (I shit you not).

He needed 30 minutes but I had never done more than 3.

I panicked but I said I’d do it.

I figured I needed a finale, so I made myself some fire torches.

I was pretty good with clubs already, so after just a couple of days practice with fire, I felt pretty confident. I did learn (quickly) to shake off the excess fuel before lighting; otherwise, I’d get sprayed with gas as they spun around.

The fire didn't last long, only 2 or 3 minutes, so I knew my torches needed to be dipped just before the end of the act. I put the fuel in a giant glass mayonnaise jar; its mouth wide enough to dip all 3 torches at once.

The night of my first show arrived. I remember walking through the crowd with my mayonnaise jar cradled in one hand, my trombone case in the other.

Nervously, I set the jar down on the side of the stage. I sure didn't want to spill any of that gas. “Safety First”, I thought to myself.

The show went going pretty well, considering I was sweating more than a Congressional page getting instant messages from Florida.

I dipped all 3 torches into the wide mouth jar. The fuel overflows, spills down the sides and onto the rug. I smile weakly at the people in the front row. The smell of leaded gas surrounds us.

Taking no chances now, I screw the top back on the mayonnaise jar real tightly. “Safety First,” I thought!

I didn't want to get gas on anybody in the audience, so I walked to the other side of the stage to shake off the excess fuel. Safety First!

The fuel droplets sweep across the stage behind me.

I light the torches. A burst of flame, the audience cheers.

I'm think, “Gee, this sure is a lot of smoke, way more than I'm used to!”

I’d never juggled fire indoors before.

The ceiling's too low for double spins, so I yell, “For my 1st trick … under the leg!"

Easy right? … but I drop.

The torch falls, hits the stage. I watch in slow motion as little blue dots of flame travel across the stage towards the mayonnaise jar.

WHOOSH! The jar turns into a huge fireball!

The rug catches fire underneath it ... the audience gasps.

I rush toward a Big Burning Glass Jar of Gas!

As I pick it up, the words “Molotov Cocktail” echo in my brain.

A soundman rushes onstage. For some unexplained reason he picks up my trombone case.

Simultaneously, we both turn towards the door in the back of the stage.

He gets there 1st and opens the door but can't go though … he is carrying the trombone case sideways.

I have no time to think he's an idiot because my hands are burning.

I throw the jar at the door trying to make it over the back of his head but it's just a little too heavy.

The soundman turns around to see a huge burning glass jar of gas flying towards his face. His eyes bulge in fear.

Luckily, he ducks in time, dropping the trombone case.

A flaming mayonnaise jar flies over his head, out through the door.

It hits the pavement, the glass breaks and a lake of fire and glass spill across the sidewalk.

People are screaming all around me.

Total panic ensues when 33 multicolored tennis balls catch fire and start rolling underneath parked cars.

Someone shrieks, "The car's on fire!"

People are diving for cover all around me.

I run away, thinking, next time for sure,

"SAFETY FIRST!"
__________________
butterflyman.com
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-06, 04:35 PM   #15
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,093
Blog Entries: 6
Default Safety First!

Oh God. That one never gets old. It's funny when you tell it, but this is the first time I've read it. Best fire story, ever. It would make a wicked short film. Or maybe a Miracle Whip commercial.
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-06, 06:42 PM   #16
em
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 249
Default hi baby

Hi B.Fly...
Thanks for the story i needed that!
So you burnt yer rhinstone balls...
Bugger, i bet they glistened in their day...
em is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-06, 01:57 AM   #17
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Piggy edit

edited out
__________________
butterflyman.com

Last edited by Butterfly Man; 08-31-07 at 05:39 PM.
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-06, 02:48 AM   #18
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Piggy Master Lee revealed

Doing the Chinaman's Laundry


I spent almost 30 years as a comic juggler. I wore a jesters costume most of my career and could even imitate a reasonable 16th century British accent. Yet curiously, I had never once performed at a Renaissance Faire.

I first heard about the Northern California Faire when I moved to San Francisco in the late ‘70’s. Several local juggling acts, “Fly-by Night”, “Shawn and Dave” and the infamous “Obscene Juggler”, Greg Dean had just been hired.

Word was, you had to audition for the “Queen”, Phyllis Patterson. Her Northern and Southern California Faires were the beginnings of what soon would be called “the Ren Faire Circuit”. Apparently, she had stolen the idea from the Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare festival. Some of “her people” saw me on the street and invited me to come up to Novato to audition for the “Queen”, herself.

I did … it was horrible.

As soon as “Queen” Phyllis saw my head she said, “Tattoo’s aren’t period … you’ll have to wear a hat”.

I was so shocked I couldn’t think clearly.

Then I heard the words, “Fuck you bitch” come out of my mouth.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the gig.

Flash ahead 22 years… it’s 1999. I’m about to turn 50. Working the streets had taken its toll. My empty calendar stares back at me … I make some calls.

I get in touch with Master Lee in New York City. I met the “Kung Fu Comic” in Washington Square Park the early ‘80’s. He had developed his act alongside the famous asshole, Tony Vera aka “The Fireman”, Thien Phu, a very friendly and skilled Vietnamese juggler and the legendary Charley Barnett, the funniest black motherfucker to ever live (except Richard, of course).

Master Lee suggests I apply to the Baltimore Ren Faire. “Rowbert, I’ll set you up, but first, you wanna rent half my trailer for 200 (quickly adding)… US?”

Good money, cheap rent. Say no more, say no more.

I call the Faire; many of my lifelong friends (and also Gazzo) had already worked there. They offer me a 5-week, no travel, no accommodations deal. I accept, mentioning my plans to rent Master Lee’s trailer. I heard a long pause on the other end of the line. I didn’t think too much of it at the time.

Four festivals and three blown VW engines later, I arrive, at the end of a long arduous summer in Baltimore. Prophetically, during the worst rainstorm they’ve had in 50 years.

I drive into what looks like a cow pasture with a cheap, cereal box cutout castle in the middle. I am surrounded by a moat of filthy, muddy, pierced and tattooed hippie freaks. I guess that Elizabethan cunt I met 22 years ago had relaxed her standards a bit.

My old friends, sword-swallower Johnny Fox and magician Peter Gross, greet me in the muddy lot. Like the legendary “Puke & Snot”, Johnny had grown to be a star in the Ren-Faire world. Besides having an excellent comedy act, he was a master of sleight-of-hand (think Gazzo pre-stroke).

Like Johnny, Peter was (ahem) a good friend too. At least it seemed like he was a good friend because I had allowed him to annoy me for so many years. I’ll admit that if Peter wasn’t trying to molest some prepubescent adolescent, he could be surprisingly entertaining; in an irritating sort of way.

We had all performed together at numerous events together in the past and I never ceased to be amazed at how quickly Johnny could get women to sleep with him. Sort of the antithesis of Peter.

I’ll always be thankful to Peter for showing me how one might easily adapt one’s act to an Elizabethan theme. Evidently, green tights stretched over a pudgy frame do the trick. In all deference to Peter, I must admit, when I first heard his masterful impersonation of a overly enthusiastic, whiney, British Jew in 1563, I was … how can I say it? … awake.

Wet and exhausted, I follow Johnny and Peter to a tree-rutted angular patch of mud next to the Porto-Johns. They point out a 17 year old, 22 foot long corrugated, dried tobacco juice colored tin box on blocks. You can’t imagine my joy at the prospect that this was to be my home for the next 5 weeks. I anticipated being lulled to sleep with the incessant slamming of commode doors while peacefully inhaling the intoxicating aroma of human waste.

Johnny never gets closer than the 10-foot garbage infested walkway and bids us adieu. He had already stopped looking at me and gotten real quiet. I actually think I saw him shudder as he turned to leave.

Peter, however, like a perspiring gazelle, puddle jumps knowingly from mucky clump to muddy cluster of crap. He nimbly leaps over half eaten propane tanks and masterfully negotiates the one of three steps that hasn’t rusted out. He deftly opens a door with no handle, no doorknob and no lock leaving it wide open … calculatingly.

Words alone could never describe the putrid stench that enveloped me. It hit me like an imploded colostomy bag. I wanted to vomit but I couldn’t find a place clean enough.

In the dim light, a truly appalling scene unfolded before me. Filthy duct tape covering broken moldy jalousies made it thankfully hard to distinguish much. I imagined Peter, William and myself with flies in our eyes in Darfur standing behind Sally Struthers. Up to that moment my only real experience living with a pig was when I shared a room at the Denver Buskerfest with Young Raoul. Apparently, not everyone prefers to defecate in private. But, I digress; The Young One is better suited for a story of his own.

The only light came through the cheap little windup skylight in ceiling above. Brittle now, the plastic had crumbled like a used saltine atop what was left of the perforated rusted out screen. Brownish stains encircled the fissure chandelier-like in ever expanding concentric circles. The soaked plasterboard bubbled ominously overhead like a piñata of gunk and goo.

The rain had been pouring in for so many years that the carpet below had rotted away in almost a perfect circle. The mucous laden fiber would simply dissolve to the touch (I imagined). I guess William just walked around those holes like they were homeless people.

Only a ripped, torn, worn to shreds Naugahyde couch adorned the dark & dismal front room. It looked like a ninth grade science project gone bad. It had an oddly velour coating that on closer inspection revealed a layer of growing fur. I never saw multicolored mold before.

There was a can of Raid on the kitchen counter, empty, of course. The only chair, a greasy bucketseat. I half expected to see a NASCAR schedule poster somewhere.

Master Lee had bought the trailer 9 years ago from Johnny’s ex-wife (the 1st one). He had paid her $500 bucks Canadian after his first Halifax experience. Since that day, he had never bothered to fix anything. The electricity worked but nothing else, not even the water. All appliances had died and been left to rot. A corroded grease covered stove was now a nest for a family of mice (one of 5, I found). A hive of wasps lived in the exhaust fan above. Inside the rust pitted refrigerator lay a bug cemetery. They were the lucky ones.
I knew if I stayed in this ecological cesspit very long, I’d die as well. I bolted back to Johnny’s trailer and begged for a one-night stay. He acquiesced, I’ll be forever thankful for that.

For the rest of the evening, I watched in awe as William, Peter and the rest of the indigents slept wherever they fell. Most of these longhaired heathens, I was soon to find out, spent the week drinking and fornicating with whatever could provide friction. Rumor has it, the word “Skank” was coined right there at the Baltimore Re-Faire. It is unclear as to whether the speaker was referring to Master Lee, himself, or to the company he kept.

I had coupla days before shows started, so I blatantly told William my intent to disinfect the dump in lieu of rent. The first thing I did was to tack plastic sheets over the broken, cracked and split, plastic vents in the roof. It sealed the water out but the fetid air in, so I pried, pliered and wrenched the frozen gunk crusted jalousie windows open.

I then tried to focus on anything already decayed and decomposed. Rotting, unrecognizable items were tossed indiscriminately outdoors, simply adding into the already atrocious mess. Bags of garbage were intentionally left open to give anything still alive and ambulatory a chance to escape.

I held my cool pretty good the first night. I initially pondered getting some sleep on the foul mattress in the back, until I found a desiccated condom attached to its headboard. Six open packages littered on the floor around the bed. I never found the other 5.

Instead, I wrapped myself in a plastic parka and sat upright on the recently bleached couch. My eyes stinging from the fumes, I spent hours listening to rustling noises in the dark. Back and forth, up and down, I tried to follow them with my fading flashlight. Mercifully, the rain started pounding down so hard, I heard nothing else.

I was relentless the next few days. I sprayed, brushed, wiped and swept every inch of that hellhole. I even rented a steam cleaner and attacked what was left of the rug. Before I did my first show, I had spent $117 on cleaning products, traps and pesticides. Master Lee, rightly so, never said shit to me about rent.

What the Faire billed as “comic juggler Butterfly Man” became a 4 times a day, one-way vent of my personal frustrations. I simply couldn’t control it. I’d come out both rant barrels blazing. I might have done some juggling in there somewhere but I don’t remember any of that. I’m pretty sure anybody who saw me doesn’t either.

I ranted about mud, muck, rain and mold, all the things I had been swimming in for days. I did a whole show about a piece of pubic hair, peppered soap I found in the one and only shower available for the hundreds of grubby, muddy hippies that lived on-site. I took the audience on a journey uphill, through ankle deep mud, to a stained, non-shower curtained stall of pitted concrete encircled by a mucous membrane of sulfur. I told them what it was like to shower in cold water that was 13% rust, with your shoes on. I was closer to suicide than El Glenno Grande sharing a pitch with Bill Ferguson.

Then, just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore … a goddamn hurricane hits.

Its name was “Floyd”. I don’t think it was named after that goofy barber on the Andy Griffith show. I don’t know anybody who thinks killing 77 people and making disaster areas out of 7 states is “goofy” … except maybe Hilby, but he has the luxury of being German.

Everyone bailed. I was left alone inside that place, alone I say, for three days.

I had to beg for food at what was left of the remaining hippie campsites. Something about being in a disaster brings people together. Either that, or I looked so disgusting and smelled so awful that they took me for one of their own. Their fashion trend seemed to favor grunge with accessories of muck and slime. I swear, neither Peter nor William washed their costumes the whole time I was there. In Master Lee’s case, the word “costume” meant the crusty, black, grimy, fake karate outfit he wore all the time.

Somehow, I survived.

William’s trailer started to become inhabitable by about the end of the third week. Everything had been disinfected, scrubbed, washed or painted. I even got the water going and the gas stove working but, alas, I never did get that goddamn refrigerator to work.

I guess having lost all hope and not giving a fuck any longer does have it’s advantages because my show started getting better and better. Those two days a week were my only outlet.
I remember having a strange experience that I’ve never had onstage before or after. I found myself doing three different shows at once. It seemed tri-leveled in a way. There was my act (to me, the most boring part), then the comments that I made about how I felt about doing it (got the most laughs), then a professional explanation of what I was doing (type of joke, reversal, understatement etc.). Must’ve been interesting, I would’ve liked to have been there.

I was exhausted and exasperated at the end of the run but I felt good about the shows I had done (surprisingly so did the owner). I felt even better that my friends William and Peter would now have a nice clean place to invite sluts over for Sunday brunch.

Master Lee thanked me profusely. To show his deep felt appreciation as a parting gift, he bought me a small amount of cheap marijuana.

The day after I left, I heard he sold the trailer to some hippie chick for $800 … US.
__________________
butterflyman.com

Last edited by Butterfly Man; 08-31-07 at 05:41 PM.
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-06, 06:15 AM   #19
jesus
Senior Member
 
jesus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Is Everything
Posts: 417
Send a message via Yahoo to jesus
Default And the Pulitzer goes to...

Man oh man did that story touch me.
I have roomed with William in Edmonton, Twice!
I have done damn near every ren faire in the country and lived in tents, trailers and hovels at each.
Oh what a world it is unto it self.
You can bet I will be printing this story out for my wife to read, as she also is a survivor of muck, mud and pot luck dinners that are the olde timey world.
(My ex-wife had a fling with Master Lee at the Maryland festival, I wonder if "it" happened in that cozy shack on wheels. Shudder.)
__________________
Signed
Geoff/Thom/jesus/Whoever

"an honorable and decent human being"

Last edited by jesus; 10-11-06 at 06:20 AM.
jesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-06, 07:20 AM   #20
gav
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: zagreb
Posts: 916
Default

those ren faires must sure pay well for you guys to put up with those kinds of conditions.
gav is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.