|Bobbin' in the Mud
(being the autoerotibiography of Bob the Beggar, as ghostwrit by B. H. Lumpyn)
For the last couple of years, the Mud Pit in several established locales has been graced by a notoriously mercurial and chameleonic mug, especially familiar to long-time patrons of the festivals in Illinois and Massachusetts, a man known by many other names in many other performance modes, now known in all his monosyllabic magnificence as: Bob. Yes, Bob, a Faire fellow of 20-plus years experience, a jack-off-all-trades of ribald renown, only recently daubed with mud, but arriving with a resume as long as his wind. In years past and Faires far-flung, he has been engaged as Bob the Pirate, Bob the Swordsman, Bob the Corpse-Hauling Joust Squire, Bob the Gypsy Dancer, Bob the Wacky Funny Guy of 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen,' Bob the Courtier, Bob the King, Bob the Wench Adjuster, Bob the Scenario Writer, Bob the Director, and Bob the Sullen Ticket Tearer. Among others. Hell, how 'bout coming up with a half dozen of your own "Bob the (fill in the blanks)," it's fun and therapeutic.
The bottom line is, this guy was a swaggering funny-man of mighty reputation and fearsome hirsuteness. We men of mud have long known and tolerated him at the old King Richard's Faire (now known as The Bristol Renaissance Festival) and King Richard's New England Faire, and other haunts between. Years ago during the New England festival, when the legendary Legs Akimbo was unexpectedly embroiled in sudden bouts of court-ordered rehab, his partner, Hack Ptui, was inspired to approach Bob the Stunt Guy as a possible mid-show replacement, due to his widely respected comedic gifts and incomparable crowd skills, and because Bob happened to be standing right there at the time. Nothing came of that first flirtation as Legs proved tenacious as head lice, but the seed had been planted, and years later, erupted from the moist soil and burst into fragrant bloom as Bob was tapped to join Billy Billy vonBilly at the rollicking Southern California Pleasure Faire. Since then he has rejuvenated our roster at almost every Festival featuring the Mud Show®. His ready wit, exquisite timing and commendable hygiene has made him the best desperation move payoff in our history.
Known for his constantly changing appearance - hairy one day, bald the next; shirtless with rippling abs at one Faire, lumbering in swollen sumo glory at another, Bob keeps us guessing and thus keeps the show fresh with his utterly unique and indisputably professional approach to the Mud Show®. "He is a joy to work with, on and off-stage," says mud veteran Sparky Maggot, "A gushing geyser of pithy wit
not like Old Faithful, mind you, more like one of those hellish Icelandic geysers that never, ever shut up, er, off." (At press time Mr. Maggot denies ever talking with or even meeting the writer of this article.) "Bob is great," said long-time mud-jumper Big Harry Lumpyn, "Dependable as hell, you know he's got your back, and I'd be proud to say I got his, if it wasn't so disturbingly hairy."
Bob has been an upper-tier performer at Renaissance Festivals for decades, loved and reviled by everyone who counts. From Massachusetts to Texas, he has fleshed out the Show de la Mud in ways that really defy description. Lovable, irascible, incorrigible, interminable, Bob is the best thing to happen to the Mud Show® since dry pants. Rumor has it that paternity suits have been successfully filed and whenever he next appears it will be in his new sleep-deprived and wiser guise of Dad Bob, but mystery swirls about his upright character like swamp gas, so we'll have to leave it to him to answer or correct the stories and innuendoes herein, whenever he can be prodded off his lazy furry ass. Bob - we hug you to our bosom and noogie your bristly head in fraternal adoration
now the public clamors to hear of all things Bob from the source itself. Ladies and gentlementals, we give you: BOB the BEGGAR! (Sorry, no receipt, all sales final.)