This weekend I managed to ride a nine thousand pound elephant while holding both my kids without incident, but spent four hours in an urgent care facility due to a half inch long splinter of wood. I'm sure there's some scriptural application about a jot and a tittle or a beam and a mote to be made here, but I'm too worn out to make the logic work. Suffice it to say, everyone is fine and (mostly) whole. But I'll get to that soon enough. For now, let's work backward and you can enjoy this photo essay which will help you to enjoy a day at the boob faire I mean, Renaissance Festival.

Let's begin.

When you go to the Ren Fest, you simply have to fit in. That means you either wear a costume,

or you head to the hair braiding booth to get your hair done right away.

My plan for next year is to wear a costume, but a costume that's completely inappropriate for this event... like Tony the Tiger, or Giant Hot Dog and then just feign ignorance when people question it. It's a least as appropriate at those devil horns or rainbow fox tails.

Be sure and find some
piratey things to amuse your obsessed parents, who I swear didn't plan the birth of their fourth child to fall on any special day at all.

Then notice that other people are way fancier than you and insist on some facial decoration.

Be sure everyone is looking at you while you are the center of attention.

Remember to be on your best behavior, lest you be thrown into the stocks,

and labeled as the sot you are.

Which you may not enjoy.

Or maybe you'll find it's tolerable.

Fun, even. It really depends on the type of person you are.

But be very careful. You could be tried as a witch while you are there.

If that happens,

it's good to know the king.

Enjoy the various food choices available to you:

Tip: you will enjoy them much more if you have the sense of humor of a thirteen year old boy:

But if not, then just enjoy the leavings of others after they are finished eating.

An orange peel here,

a corn cob there,

will get your belly full and countenance happy. So you will then be ready to slide down this slide.

Just don't give Daddy the camera because this is the best picture he'll take of that adventure.

But then he will wow everyone with his feats of strength,

and win you several ridiculously pathetic necklaces made from a strand of yarn. So you will forgive him.

Next, take a ride on the Renaissance Elephant.

While you are up there, do not answer your mobile phone when it rings because you are RIDING ON AN ELEPHANT.

Then when you are getting off the elephant and your mother calls your husband's mobile phone because you didn't answer your mobile phone, say, "I couldn't come to the phone because I was RIDING ON AN ELEPHANT."

Do not be concerned if that elephant turns out to be substandard. (Seriously, we know some folks who work at this event and were told that one of the elephants has a leg that's shorter than the other and limps slightly. The day before, one of the patrons wanted his money back because he had been put on a "substandard elephant." I tried to joke about this with the handler, but apparently it was just too soon.) Just go find a better mode of transportation.

Maybe a pony is more your style.

But remember that yelling, "Giddyup, giddyup, giddyup," while bouncing up and down to get the pony to go will result in your face looking like this in pictures.

If the pony refuses to take you where you want to go, find a better means of travel.

Or, if not "better," simply, "cheaper." (You're gonna have to embiggen this photo and look at the facial expressions for the full effect.)

Before you leave, make sure you get serenaded with a hey nonny nonny.

Then go home and take a rest. You've earned it.

Stay tuned for Labor Day Weekend, Part II: To Live and Die in Urgent Care.