Earlier this summer, my friend Juli, who is a Bristol Renaissance Faire enthusiast and the author of both Life on Wry and Raising Cane over there on the right, took her jewelry business — Mockingbird Studio, go buy something — to the St. Louis Renaissance Faire in hopes of expansion. This put me in mind of a little tune (“My Summer Vacation”) from an old album of which I am fond (“Death Certificate”) wherein the protagonist and his associates take their nascent business to St. Louis for the summer, and describe in riveting detail their entrepreneurial highs and lows. Subsequently this little rewrite, which is awfully obscure even by my standards, has been rolling around in my head more or less all summer:
Damn, J, this spot’s gettin’ hot
So how’m I s’posed to sell a Celtic knot?
Faire’s lookin’ at vendors like we goan get rough
In Bristol everybody and they mama sell stuff
Dressed like a hobbit
So what the fuck can I do to make a profit?
Catch a flight to St. Louie
Das cool, ’cause nobody knew me.
I stepped off the plane
Amped up hella, professional cane-sella
Ready to make some bling sell
Drove to the Ren Faire, checked in a mo-tel.
Unpacked and I grabbed a three-eighty
‘Cause where we going, Rennies look shady.
But they can’t fade tha Bristol,
‘Cause my jerkin hide my pistol
Scopin’ out every spot close,
See which one will sell most.
Yeah this is the place no doubt,
Bust a U kid,and let’s clear these weenies out.
Now clearin’ ’em out meant casualties
Still had the Bristol mentality
Bust a cap, and outta there in a hurry
Whaddaya know, a drive-by in Missouri.
Them weenies got popped
Took they corner spot and set up shop
And it’s better than sellin in Wisconsin
Triple the profit, makin more on each stick pin.
Marking up stuff like half no double
Saint Louis weenies don’t want trouble
And I ain’t on edge when I sell jewels
No competition fo the tourists from the MO fools
Getting richer, and they can’t stand me
Two-thousand-and-six Louis Tiff-a-ny
Now the shit’s like a war
Of Faire violence, which ain’t ever been seen before
Pixies flee when my gun spit
Four goofy-hat minstrels kickin’ up fit
But some of them done gather up they wit
Recognize that Bristol is all the shit
Giving up much love
Dying for a Faire that they never heard of
But goofy-hat minstrels wanna stand strong
So you know what’s up, once again it’s on!
My homey got shot, he’s a goner, Mac
St. Louis weenies want they Ren Faire back
Shootin’ in summer weather
Tourist-fleecin’ bidness, Rennies still can’t get together
Fuckin’ police got the 411
That Bristol ain’t all songs and sun
But we ain’t thinkin’ bout the blues
Feudin’ like Capulets and Montagues
Now the shit’s getting goofy
Hard to pull yo gat if you sleeves be poofy
Damn, the spot’s gettin hot from this battle
About to pack up and find a Faire in Seattle
But the cops raid about nine in the day, mate
Try to get us at the open of the gate
Put they guns in my face as I rub it,
Went to jail in my motherfuckin’ doublet
Bein’ tried by a jury of peers
Face’ll be fulla tattooed tears
It’s the same old story and the same old Rennie stuck
With the public defender not giving a fuck
Don’t know Faire jargon
But talking about a “double-life plea bargain”
You got to deal with the Fairies and the Sprites by hand, brah
Plus the goofy-hat minstrel Mafia
Man sells Crystal
Don’t like Bristol
And I got to face him down without no pistol?
No parole or probation.
This was my Ren Faire summer vacation.
No chance for repatriation
Cause look at the motherfuckin years that I’m facin
Ima end it like this ’cause you know what’s up
Forsooth, I’m fucked.
(Lyrics and music by O. Jackson, additional lyrics by B. Thunder)