Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A bald hero?

Over the holiday weekend I attended the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Fair. I love these sort of people watching events. I’m always looking for facial expressions and subtleties, but at the Ren Fair I got to observe people in period costume. There was great food, e.i. kettle corn, cinnamon-sugar coated pecans, turkey legs, funnels cakes…oh yeah, but there was also lots of vendors selling their wares. The jewelry caught my fancy (several pieces) but I also picked up a new blade—a clawed scabbard with a griffin etched into the hilt.

Now there is more to the Ren Fair than fare and wares, there are “acts”. There’s a trio of trollops who sing these sweet little ditties with hidden lyrics. There are elves, fairies, and a guy who delivers the entire play of Hamlet in under fifteen minutes. What I enjoy the most about the Ren Fair is an all male singing group called the Musical Blades. Not only do these drunken seamen have the voices of angels, they really put on a show. The main rake of this production goes by the name of Capt Patch. He’s bald. But it’s a good bald, ya know. He’s not like balding. From the best I can tell this Capt Patch purposely shaves his head.
PHOTOS from Musical Blades website

Now way back, men who sailed the seas shaved to prevent all manner of infestation and other such disease, but that’s not the case these days. I think something that helps the bald man with his look is that little tuft of hair he grows beneath his bottom lip. Now "my man", Capt Patch, didn’t have this from what I could tell, but if I were to model a character after him, he would. :) Another trait that I found interesting about Capt Patch was his veins. That’s right…his veins. You know when you are reading a story and the hero gets so angry a veins starts to pulse in his neck? Well I’d never really put a lot of thought into those lines until I saw Capt Patch hit an octave that might have been just out of his range. Those veins in his neck bulged I tell you—big, blue, thick, hulk-like veins.

Now I don’t want to diminish from the other blokes in this musical ensemble. There was another I watched with avid interest. I believe they called him Cookie. He was a real showman and the perfect secondary character—full beard, pronounced facial expression, loaded with humor. I love a man with wit and this guy was oozing with it. For me, Cookie stole the show from Capt Patch on more than one occasion.

Back to the topic at hand…I once wrote a hero with a full beard and my critique partner told me she wouldn’t read a romance with a bearded hero, so I shaved him immediately. My questions for you are…Do the beards bother you? Have you ever read a romance where the hero was bald?

I’m still up in the air on this one…

Regardless how you feel about that subject, you have to check out the Musical Blades' tunage:

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