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Annoying re-enactors interacting with the public...


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After posting my popular "Spectator types you encounter at public events" list, I got to thinking about lunacy from the other side of the display line. Here are a few types of re-enactor behaviors I have noticed at events over the years:

 

The “Bandwagon of Brothers” type: He started doing 2nd Rangers in the fall of 1998, and 506th in the winter of 2001. He started building up a USMC impression last year. It’s all a coincidence in that timing, he’ll tell you.

The Nomenclature Troll: A kid comes up and asks what that bazooka is. This person won’t just say “it’s a bazooka” and leave it at that. No, he launches into the nomenclature and model #s. Like that kid would even care. The sad part is that this re-enactor often won’t even answer the question or tell that kid what that pipe thing was even used for.

The Cold War Warrior: This poor soul served between wars. And he’s never gotten over the fact that he “missed” his chance. He’ll try to shoehorn his boring “laundry service aboard the destroyer I served on in the mid 80s” stories into any time he can. He might know a lot about WW2 and his collection is nice, but you get the feeling he only shows up to talk about his unrelated life.

The “I have the best stuff” guy: This person must show up at events to outdo everyone else. While he probably sells off all his best stuff to buy other cool stuff after people have seen it a few times, you can count on this person to have something incredible and different at each show. Sadly, the items often have NO bearing on the display or the event…

The “thinking of my next impression” guy: Every time you see this person, he’s telling you about the other time periods he’s getting ready to re-enact. The odd part is that you never hear of him actually doing anything with these impressions, but you know at each WW2 event, he’ll pull out a Roman shield, a 3-banded Enfield musket, or a Viet Nam era M-16 and saying how he’s building a new impression off of that.

The Quiet one: He’s not mute, he just doesn’t like talking to you, the other people at the event, or the public. Why he picked this as a hobby baffles everyone.

The “Public? What public?” type: He shows up to hang out with his friends. The problem is, it’s a public display event. He’ll set up a display and spend the weekend joking and smoking with his buddies. Afterward, he can’t tell you if any public even showed up, because he never noticed them.

The Conspiracy Monger: He’ll launch into a diatribe about the Government is gonna git yer guns, you can’t trust people from the other political party and how the country went all to pot ten minutes after VJ day. He probably comes to events only because it’s the one place he goes to that hasn’t banned him… yet.

The “what are you, Stupid? Guy: Someone will ask what that M1919A4 is. In this person’s mind, EVERYONE should know that already. He’s been into this for so long, he’s forgotten that WW2 stuff isn’t everywhere and the public shows up for these shows for that reason. He’s around it all the time so asking how a land mine works is like asking if rain is wet. So, his response usually sounds like, “Well, duh, how do you not know this is a thirty caliber light machine gun?”

The Honor the Vet type: If a vet comes up, he’ll trample a 4-year-old to talk to them. Often, it’s hero worship but can also be trying to weasel his way into the vet’s life to get what little WW2 stuff the vet has left. And he’ll utterly ignore everyone else who paid the same gate admission the vet did. Saddest of all, if the vet wasn’t in a unit this guy thinks was “cool” enough (or didn’t have a movie or TV series made on it), he’ll ignore the vet as well.

 

It’s late and I can’t think of any more at the moment, but I’m sure many of you can, so go for it! :think:

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:lol: I always look forward to these threads, you guys are cleaver as hell :thumbsup: . AND.... somewhere there will always be a personality I recognize from yesterday. :w00t:
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I was SUPER impressed by the portly joker reenacting 101st that bragged about shooting cats with an airsoft machine gun. Made me mad as hell. I had a really cool dirty old scoundrel of a tomcat at the time. Like to have seen him try something with his airsoft gun. I never got into reenacting because of that guy.

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Anders Heintz

"The Scholar Reenactor" - The one who knows everything, and have to do everything by the book, lecturing everyone on how to act and telling them their stitch count on their uniform is wrong. But when it gets a bit cold, wet or hot, they are the first to tuck tail and run towards modern accomodations.

 

 

Though not WWII it's still related. I used to do Civil War Reenacting, and we had this father son 'team' who knew every regulation, every piece of equipment they had was very well researched, probably down to the number of stitches and the length of their brogan's hob nails...everything had to be done by the book, hard core all the way!! Well, that is until we had a bit of a gusher at the national event at Wilson's Creek Battlefield, Mo back in 2000...we were up to mid calf in mud, and they decided to pack it up and go to a hotel...leaving us in charge of their horses...

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The "Rigger Ranger" This is the type that shows up with nothing that is normal issue. Everything he owns has been modified, experimental, or PX purchased; and he can show you a picture of each of his items being worn by some soldier sometime, somewhere.

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CNY Militaria

"The Fast Tracker"--This individual shows up as a senior field grade or general officer, but is either too young or has no clue what he is doing. He has never worked around senior officers, so he does not portray the right personality.

 

"The War Hero" -- This reenactor shows up in dress uniform decked out with ribbons. You noticed that he entered service in WWI and served through the Global War on Terror. He has also earned a number of valor medals and proudly wears them having no idea what they really represent. Of note, he probably never served in the "real" military.

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"The War Hero" -- This reenactor shows up in dress uniform decked out with ribbons. You noticed that he entered service in WWI and served through the Global War on Terror. He has also earned a number of valor medals and proudly wears them having no idea what they really represent. Of note, he probably never served in the "real" military.

 

Wearing unearned valor decorations (or, to a lesser degree even campaign ribbons) irritates me more than just about anything. While some may say they wear these decorations to "honor vets" if they haven't personally earned them, it's little more than stealing someone else's valor.

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Cobrahistorian
Wearing unearned valor decorations (or, to a lesser degree even campaign ribbons) irritates me more than just about anything. While some may say they wear these decorations to "honor vets" if they haven't personally earned them, it's little more than stealing someone else's valor.

 

Absolutely, and it is looked down upon throughout the reenacting community.

 

Man, I've been out of it for too long, nothing's coming to mind...

 

Oh, wait!

 

The Vehicle Nazi - Spends umpteen thousand dollars on his armored car/tank/tank destroyer/halftrack to get it 100% as it would have appeared in 1944, but can't bother to pay the extra hundred bucks for a correct reproduction uniform. As a result, he drives around wearing a tanker jacket and M65 field trousers and Timberland boots.

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Robswashashore

Again, not WWII, but amusing Pilgrim soldier re-enactor encountered at Plimouth Plantation whilst on a field trip with our (then) four-year old son:

 

The Miles Standish with King's English Spends the entire time approaching school kids and saying, "Why, Faith, forsooth! Thou art a strapping lad! Why workest thou not out in the field helping thy father, thou churl?!"

I only put up with him because he said, ""Sblood, a comely wench, indeed!" to me ;)

 

I suppose the WWII equivalent would be the GI reenactor whistling at the ladies and saying, "Hubba, Hubba, getta load of the gams on that one, Joe! Betty Grable!"

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The "Look with your eyes not with your hands guy"-He's loves to show you his restored vehicle, airplane or weapon but has a hissy fit if you get too close, or heaven forbid touch it.

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Wearing unearned valor decorations (or, to a lesser degree even campaign ribbons) irritates me more than just about anything. While some may say they wear these decorations to "honor vets" if they haven't personally earned them, it's little more than stealing someone else's valor.

 

 

As for valor ribbons I agree, UNLESS EARNED DON'T WEAR THEM. As for campaign ribbons if the unit portrayed they may be worn if the individual wishes AND the ribbon was "worn" at the time period portrayed (early war or late). I have seen some people show up with air medals and all that and you ask them about it you get the deer in the headlights look and they have no clue. AND like was stated many have never even served, BUT that is changing, many more vets are coming into the WW2 reenactor area.

 

Scott

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How about the "Modern Warrior Reenactor" who tries to reeanct the period like it is 2010? Carries his Garand like an M4, tries to incorporate bounding overwatch into Hardee's manual for infantry, disappointed he can't call an airstrike on Hessian troops, etc. Every time period I have reenacted in has these.

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How about the "Modern Warrior Reenactor" who tries to reeanct the period like it is 2010? Carries his Garand like an M4, tries to incorporate bounding overwatch into Hardee's manual for infantry, disappointed he can't call an airstrike on Hessian troops, etc. Every time period I have reenacted in has these.

 

 

Oh this drives me nuts! I work REAL HARD to keep from bringing any modern things to the WW2 side. One that REALLY drives me nuts is the ones who ALWAYS use a "modern" style of salute, it looks straight out of the 1980's instead of having a proper 1940's salute.

 

Scott

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"The Cold War Warrior: This poor soul served between wars. And he’s never gotten over the fact that he “missed” his chance. "

I resemble that remark! Even worse, I was in the RESERVES :P

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"The Cold War Warrior: This poor soul served between wars. And he’s never gotten over the fact that he “missed” his chance. "

I resemble that remark! Even worse, I was in the RESERVES :P

 

 

AMEN brother. I did serve from 84 to 2011. I know what your feeling.

 

Scott

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The sad weekenders Usually "mature" and often just a tad overweight. Wander around shows with no affiliation to any bone fide re-enactment group. Tend to wear mis-matched items and appear blissfully unaware of this. For example, a look-alike A2 jacket with repro patches and modern wings. British Army lightweight trousers, Army Green visor hat and black boots. In their mind's eye they're WW2 flyboys!

 

The strutters

These are guys (again, not necessarily affiliated to a group) who favour Nazi officers' uniforms...often SS, particularly with black leather coats...who strut through the crowds in what I can only describe as a superior manner, which I find extremely offensive and irksome! There's one guy I've seen at various airshows (?) who likes to dress up as an Afrika Korps officer and just walks up and down the flightline like a human mannequin...why?!

 

Sabrejet :pinch:

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Afrika Korps officer, I think he was at Waddington of all places. Or one of his copy cats the seam to pop up. :rolleyes:

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The Pervert: Flirts with all the female re-enactors and is of the general opinion they should feel honored he's gifting them with his presence. They also really and truly believe that the gals re-enact to find a man, or because they believe in the values of the time period. They generally wander around an event unattached to a unit using horrific pick-up lines like "wanna se my 45?" or "I'd like to personally inspect the authenticity of your impression" or "Can I see just how those lines go?" Basically just like a regular first rate creeper but in funny clothes.

 

Young'in: a kid under 15 that so badly wants to re-enact they show up at every show in the best kit they could pull together. I was one, my fiance was also one and I have watched some over the years turn into very good re-enactors several of which are even members of this forum. However, every once in a great while there is one that is so annoying that I suggest alternative hobbies to their parents.

 

The sidler: This one gets me every time! You'll be chatting with the public or someone from another unit and all the sudden *WHAM* this socially challenged individual up next to you, way into your personal bubble, interrupting your conversation and you have NO idea where they came from. They always show up when you least expect it. They just seem to appear out of thin air.

 

The Klingon- This person has no unit of origin and gloms onto your unit without asking usually at formation. He just sort of falls in and then hangs around your display and won't go away like he's stuck on your group somehow. Lately I've been seeing Klingons get called out at formation so I am hopeful this annoyance is on the decline.

 

-Sarah

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The Pervert: Flirts with all the female re-enactors and is of the general opinion they should feel honored he's gifting them with his presence. They also really and truly believe that the gals re-enact to find a man, or because they believe in the values of the time period. They generally wander around an event unattached to a unit using horrific pick-up lines like "wanna se my 45?" or "I'd like to personally inspect the authenticity of your impression" or "Can I see just how those lines go?" Basically just like a regular first rate creeper but in funny clothes.

 

Lawd. If I have to hear "Nurse, I think I need medical attention!" "Nurse, I'm not feeling well!" or any other variant thereof ever again, it will be far too soon.

 

I was SUPER impressed by the portly joker reenacting 101st that bragged about shooting cats with an airsoft machine gun. Made me mad as hell. I had a really cool dirty old scoundrel of a tomcat at the time. Like to have seen him try something with his airsoft gun. I never got into reenacting because of that guy.

 

I love animals, and if I overheard this I think I'd have to give that guy a piece of my mind. Yes, shooting cats with an airsoft gun certainly makes you a real man. :rolleyes:

 

The "Look with your eyes not with your hands guy"

 

"The Fast Tracker"

"The War Hero"

 

Is it bad that specific names popped into my head when I read these 3?

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How about "Marine Green" who despite the fact that he's re-enacting WWII Army infantry insists that his cap is a cover, his tie is a scarf and on wearing his uniform in a "squared away" USMC manner. Also tends to frequently "hoorah!" and "Aye Aye" at oddly inappropriate times for a WWII Infantryman.

 

and "camp follower" the wife/girlfreind who isn't really into the history or into the hobby but is too insecure to let her hubby/boyfriend have a weekend away without her. You'll notice her dressed in WAC or Nurse uniform (sometimes GI kit as well) with little clue about who the Wacs were or what Nurses actually did during WWII.

Tom Bowers

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He was a cool tomcat, too. Little dude knew his name, would run back from 300+ yards when called, AND shook hands. Had he not been struck down by a truck while carousing, I am certain that his kittens would have been able to use tools.

 

Lawd. If I have to hear "Nurse, I think I need medical attention!" "Nurse, I'm not feeling well!" or any other variant thereof ever again, it will be far too soon.

I love animals, and if I overheard this I think I'd have to give that guy a piece of my mind. Yes, shooting cats with an airsoft gun certainly makes you a real man. :rolleyes:

Is it bad that specific names popped into my head when I read these 3?

 

On a different note, how should a 40s salute look compared to an 80s salute?

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He was a cool tomcat, too. Little dude knew his name, would run back from 300+ yards when called, AND shook hands. Had he not been struck down by a truck while carousing, I am certain that his kittens would have been able to use tools.

On a different note, how should a 40s salute look compared to an 80s salute?

 

 

I'll PM ya'

 

Scott

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and "camp follower" the wife/girlfreind who isn't really into the history or into the hobby but is too insecure to let her hubby/boyfriend have a weekend away without her. You'll notice her dressed in WAC or Nurse uniform (sometimes GI kit as well) with little clue about who the Wacs were or what Nurses actually did during WWII.

Tom Bowers

 

:) We call those Camp Flowers in my group because all they amount to is unnecessary camp decorations.

 

-Sarah

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