As I described in a couple previous episodes of Tales from the Workplace, I used to work at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. I did this for 11 years, and during those years, I worked in several capacities: running games, managing food booths, serving wine, and, finally, selling hats. This tale spans several years and, therefore, a couple of jobs.
The Ritual began during one of the years I worked at the wine booth. It was the final Saturday night of the Festival’s run that year. This means that it was THE NIGHT TO GET THE PARTY ON (whoop whoop). The Festival grounds on the final Saturday night were usually bursting with celebratory Fest-workers, many of them running around with a non-zero blood alcohol level.
I was hanging out with my two wine booth coworkers. As I recall, we were sitting on the bar of the wine booth, relaxing, tipping with cider into our leather mugs.
One of my fellow bartenders told a story about pouring a bottle of dish soap into a fountain. Apparently, one standard bottle of dish soap can produce a lot of suds.
The four of us contemplated the glory of this for a moment. Gears turned at an alcohol-lubricated rate.
Wine Booth Manager: “You know, there’s that moat around the playground area. It has a fountain.”
Gears turned faster.
Wine Booth Coworker: “I bet we could convince [our area supervisor] to pull one of those almost-empty five-gallon pails of hand soap out of the latrines. They need to replace it anyway.”
There was a pause. Then we launched ourselves off the bar and scurried to the area supervisor’s trailer.
My coworker and I stood behind our manager quietly as he made the request for the soap. We were probably grinning a bit too widely, judging from the askance look we got from the area supervisor.
But it worked. Our area supervisor handed over a five-gallon bucket of soap (which contained about a gallon’s worth of soap). He then said, “I don’t want to know,” and sent us on our way.
We giggled all the way to the Ye Olde Renaissance Festival playground area, which was basically a big sandbox, jungle gym, and kid-sized castle placed in the middle of a moat. Under the cloak of darkness, we stood on the wooden bridge of the moat and rid ourselves of the soap. The fountain had been turned off for the night, so we simply watched the pink hand soap slide into the blackness of the water.
Giggling, we slunk away, wondering what sort of sudsy mayhem would happen when the fountain was turned on the next day. Continue Reading →