"How many funnel cakes dost thou wish to purchase?" asks the maiden with the huge, flabby shelf of cleavage rising forth from her peasant dress. Chuck -- or, as he is known at the Faire, Lothario -- looks down at her hoisted glands, buys a funnel cake and walks on.
From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through May 26. Admission is $6-$10. Call 314-531-7651 or visit www.StlRenFaire.com.
Lothario picks some of the cake from between his teeth, thinking how lucky he is to live in world with toothpaste and dentists, not to mention toilet paper, vaccines and birth control. It sure wasn't like that in the Middle Ages, he thinks. But then, he figures, the modern age is missing a few things, too -- things such as chivalry, feasting halls, dragons and fairies -- and those swell dresses.
He walks near the camp of the sword-maker and tips his cap. The bald, shirtless, sweaty man growls in response and continues to turn his whetstone with a foot pedal, sharpening a blade. That guy's an asshole in real life and an asshole at the Ren Faire, too, thinks Lothario.
He walks down the muddy trail through the woods, passing a small group of men throwing axes at wooden targets. One of them, wearing a Harley-Davidson T-shirt, holds a bratwurst and bun in one hand as he hurls an ax with the other.
Lothario notices a crowd up ahead in a clearing. He stands at its edge and sees that a period wedding is taking place. An obese couple in leather doublets is being married by a real priest dressed as a friar. A small boy carries the wedding rings on a pitention is diverted by a knight in full armor standing near the groom. Lothario looks at the boy and knows what he is thinking: I want to be a knight, too.
After all, that's why everyone comes to Ren Faire.