Man could Mayhem throw a caber. I've personally witnessed him throw a perfect twelve
. It was a sight to see.
He stood six foot one if he stood an inch, and was built like a football player. However, he was a master of the caber
, and when it rained he favored cabbage
. I remember him standing tall wearing a regimental kilt
in his family colors, a big puffy shirt
that was usually either white or woodland green, a floppy hat, and he always had a beard. Wait, no I think I remember one time when he was clean-shaven
but that was very brief. Yeah. Mayhem
was meant to wear a beard
Born in 1964, Jeff Thompson was best known among people who frequented Renaissance Faire
s as "Mayhem MacGregor." His role at Scarborough Faire was fictional, and he was one of the escorts and protectors to the King and Queen. However, he also took the role very seriously in a very real sense, and on many occasions coordinated with actual security detail at the faire to insure safety for both the cast and the guests. Mayhem was a character
name he chose in order to participate with the faire's performing company
as well as many others on the circuit. It also became a nickname of sorts. Mayhem often dressed up in Scottish attire, proud of his heritage
. He loved the faire, and anyone who loved the faire grew to love him. He rarely suffered idiots, and browbeat anyone who lived up to less than their potential.
Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson was known by many as a gentle giant
, and women often described him as a very large teddy bear
. His very nature throughout his life was one of a hero
. In ren faires, oftentimes it takes a quiet but firm hand to keep a potentially violent situation from escalating. Whether he was facing a faire patron who'd had a bit too much to drink, or an impending storm that threatened people's temporary shelters in a campsite, Mayhem was dependable
. He'd come up with a plan and put it into action. He wasn't afraid to take the lead when necessary. He could also follow without taking a blow to his ego.
Mayhem could read people. He could look at you and know if you were trouble
. He was often looked up to not only due to his tall stature, but because he could tell you something about yourself, or people whom you suspected as trouble. He knew how to diagnose a potentially violent situation between people, and defuse it before it blew up in everybody's faces. If that wasn't sufficient, he knew how to take a man down with necessary force and minimal extraneous damage. If he promised he'd take a blow for you, there was no hesitation in your faith: he'd stand between you and the blow if he was physically capable. That was a certainty. It's just who he was.
At Scarborough Faire
, Waxahachie, Texas
in the mid to late 1990s, Mayhem was instrumental in the generation and direction of the Scottish Highland Games
being held annually at that ren faire. He generated interest, juggled the politics and engineering aspects of the project, he found the necessary equipment and made it all happen. When others came and went in their participation, Mayhem remained. He was proud of that accomplishment as well he should have been. I humbly accepted the honor of participating on the dias in my role of vicar of Scarborough Faire at the time. I got to bless
the games. I approached it informally, but while my goal was to entertain, it was an honor and an experience I keep fondly.
Mayhem was considerate, fun-loving, and a very giving person. I remember spring Sunday mornings at the campsite just outside Scarborough Faire. I'd wake up and unzip my tent flap, and Mayhem would already be walking the grounds, sharing his box of kolaches
with whomever asked.
Most recently, Mayhem had taken a job as security detail for "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott
and Vinnie Paul Abbott
. He was effectively one of their bodyguard
s. On a night club in Columbus Ohio
on Wednesday, December 8, 2004
, some gunman entered the club and started shooting at the band, then the crowd. After this violent tragedy, Jeff Thompson was found among the dead. Actual reporting of events is sketchy, but it is not out of the question to assume that Jeff Thompson died in the line of duty
, taking a bullet for those he had sworn to protect. Jeff Thompson died trying to protect members of the band DamagePlan
. Dimebag Darrell didn't survive the night, but others most likely did because of Jeff Thompson's actions. Mayhem wasn't as well known perhaps as Dimebag, and yet he deserves to be remembered no less.
I don't want to remember him with tears, though at the moment that's what threatens to blur my vision as I type these words. He loved life and lived it to its fullest. He wouldn't want people to mourn him. He'd want people to smile at the thought of him and enjoy life as best they can. Mayhem died as he lived. He lived to protect people. He lived to help people. He lived to ensure
others had a good time without fear or danger. Mayhem died a hero, and that is how I'll remember him.