The other day, I had the unique experience of attending the Dickens Fair(e) at the Cow Palace with my cousins Amanda and John. "What is the Dickens Faire?" you may be asking. Well, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a fair celebrating the works of Charles Dickens. Except not really. Because really, the Dickens Faire is a renaissance/medieval fair for those who wish they could wear corsets, speak in a strained Cockney accent, and drink mead every day, but can't because of societal constraints. For instance, once inside the Cow Palace, I saw, among others: a rough looking chimney sweep with ash and grease all over his face,* a six year old slutty pirate wench, a constable chasing a drunk, and several singing prostitutes.
Initially, I was confused as to what the point of the Dickens Faire was, but now, well...still kinda confused. I mean, there are "shops" where you can buy such practical items as corsets, wooden boxes, assorted spices, hair garlands, and mystical goddess paraphenalia (which was obviously super popular in the Victorian Age), and there were shows happening on various stages, but there was no main(e) event. I suppose the main event for me was probably ye olde pub, where I ordered a hot cider with rum. Yum.
After my cousin John and I got our drinks and Amanda bought some nuts in a paper cone, we went to look for Amanda's friend from work, a performer at the Faire who was the impetus for Amanda's suggestion that we go in the first place. We found her eventually (she was dressed as a singing whore) and she greeted us. The conversation went like this:
Singing whore friend: 'Ello, luv!
Amanda: So, um. Are you having fun?
SWF: Great fun, sweet 'eart! I'm just tickled you could come! Why don't you 'ave a seat righ' over there and watch the show?
Amanda: Oh, uh, okay.
That's right -- Amanda's friend didn't break character even when speaking to her friend and work colleague. Now that's commitment. And exceedingly weird.
We took Amanda's friend's advice and sat by the stage and watched a burlesque show unfold, which involved a fat lady with truly scary cleavage singing a song with a cucumber as a prop. Gross. And there were children in the audience! Kids grow up too fast in ye olde England, I think. After the show ended, we took another spin around the shops, gazed longingly at the meat pies being sold in the back, and then left because Amanda's eyes were red and watery. Her Dickens allergy really acts up this time of year.
Anyway, if you want the official line on the Dickens Faire, check out this link: http://www.dickensfair.com/
Judge for yourself. Cheerio!
*Also could have been a modern day homeless person.