I'd rather rent a serf (or a peon)
July 28, 2004 10:19 AM   Subscribe

There are peasants who come from a simpler time and are willing to entertain you at your next corporate event.
posted by Stynxno (13 comments total)
link via my buddy, cynicaloptimist
posted by Stynxno at 10:21 AM on July 28, 2004

The Peasants are suitably humble and will gladly consider slightly unusual requests

Prepare to be burninated!
posted by turaho at 10:33 AM on July 28, 2004

I'm missing the carefully hidden disclaimer that this is all a spoof. Where is it?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:44 AM on July 28, 2004

Nothing says "peasants from a simpler time" quite like a company website.
posted by cortex at 11:04 AM on July 28, 2004

Those aren't real peasants. Their clothes are clean and they look well-scrubbed.

Real peasants work to live. They can't be prancing around in white all day - they have shit to shovel and dirt to grub around in : weeding, ploughing, seeding harvesting....

Those are Disneypeasants, made from plastic and nylon.
posted by troutfishing at 11:07 AM on July 28, 2004

There are also Elvis impersonators who are willing to entertain you at your next corporate event.

And strippers too.

If only I could find some strippers who come from a simpler time....
posted by spilon at 11:13 AM on July 28, 2004

I like the part where they're infested with the plague, covered in scabs and filth, and burning each other at the stake.
Do they cater too?
posted by freebird at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2004

freebird: yes

Paul was a professional chef and so is available to cater for private parties. We have provided banquets for a local Viking society, a Roman Banquet for a Golden Wedding Party, a Feast Through Time for the official opening of the Archaeology Department in Durham and a Tudor Banquet for a Ph.D. graduation party.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2004

Rent a Peasant can provide costumed historical interpreters for events spanning the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Medieval and Tudor periods. We then jump to the late Victorians/Edwardians

So effectively I'm screwed if I want a peasant from the Stuart period?

Thanks for nothing!
posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:11 PM on July 28, 2004

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:22 PM on July 28, 2004

Peasants from the Stuart period turned into proto-bourgeois puritans inclined to overthrow the established order. The arse has fallen out of that particular market.
posted by vbfg at 2:31 PM on July 28, 2004

So where are the pitchforks and torches?
posted by dg at 12:47 AM on July 29, 2004

I think this is terrific - it's not Disneyfied at all. They may not be covered in scabs or plague ridden (in fact, considering that their characters seems to be the better sort of peasants - like lay brethren, yeomen farmers, etc, it's a good chance that they were not that unhealthy or dirty), but they do know their history, and they are showing adults and children how life really went back then for people who had to spin wool rather than joust. They burn tapers and animal fat tallow candles to show how smoky it was, and talk about how people made food and clothes. (Very important stuff for understanding life in the past but which is left out of many history classes). They are not presenting the darkest moments of life - sickness and death - but a peasant's life had much variety. They do seem very much like the people in these paintings by Bruegel (sixteenth century).

Actually, there is a historical debate on the existence of English peasants in the seventeenth century - some say that there has already been a divide in rural society to one of capitalist farmers and landless labourers (so vbfg is right for some of the peasants - while the rest were prolitarianised by their lack of land). But other historians that peasant patterns of land holding may have lasted until the enclosure movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. (Though the fact that they skipped the seventeenth century is probably more to do with the school curriculum or a lack of costumes). Personally, I think that a) region (where in the country - like south versus north) matters more than most have discussed, and that b) "peasant" is a very poorly defined term. These people have interpreted it widely as meaning rural people below the gentry level, which is probably the best choice for educational purposes. By portraying well to do peasants, they also can be more accurate, since historians known much more about the lives of those who left wills and probate inventories than the very poor.
posted by jb at 10:10 AM on July 29, 2004

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