Once upon a time, long ago, when television was still black and white and the number of programs was small. The broadcast of the carnival show "mainz bleibt mainz" belongs to the same people for little franz besold one of the absolute high points of the year. He was allowed to stay up late, was fascinated by the performances of the garden and butter speakers – and one day said: "I want to do that too".
Decades later: in the sales room of franz besold’s confectionery in weismain, 80 carnival medals dangle from a long pole above the counter. Rough, small, colorful and glittering. Next door in the cafe hang another 20. "But that’s not all I have", says the 59-year-old today. He has long since made his childhood dream of carnival come true. For 35 years, besold has been "till a central figure in the weismain carnival.
Franz besold, who already tried his hand at little rhymes as a schoolchild, has followed in the footsteps of his father berthold as a buttery orator. For years, he has written the butt speeches for the weismain carnival – even though he has never performed himself. He slowly grew into it, says the son today, and then became active in the mainleuser carnival club. He learned from experience. "A lot of people think the rhyme is the challenge when writing a butt speech. But the rhyme is not the problem. It is important to get to the point in four or eight lines."
And franz besold gets to the point: every year in the role of till, who is at the gaudiwurm (this year on 3. March) and at the cellar meeting in his hometown, he glosses over local politics with a sharp tongue – and in a wide variety of roles far beyond upper franconia.
Digging in the dirt
In this session, he’s on the road as a cellar assassin. "The cellar ace", so besold explains "rooting around in the mud a bit. And in the process, she unearths all kinds of things that people would rather have hidden away." Thematically, a wide field opens up. Politicians, show people, other celebrities: they all get their fat off. Besold knows no taboo. Almost none. "I don’t make jokes that go below the belt", he says. "I also did not attack anyone personally. Private matters should remain private. Also as a fool one must still be able to look at oneself in the mirror."
Even if franz besold assures us that after ash wednesday he will "erase the hard drive in his head", so all the rhymes, tips and punch lines are banished to the back of the brain, so that you don’t have to think about it: after the carnival is before the carnival for him. In the late summer "stands the new figure, into which he will change in the carnival. It can be a food inspector, a bird handler – or even the cellar rat. Then besold collects his themes. "Of course, they always have to fit the current figure."
The text of the buttenrede develops. "It works constantly in me", says besold.
For the start of carnival on 11.11. Stands then the speech. At the first gigs, there’s a bit of trial and error, one or two things are smoothed out, improved or exchanged. "The computer comes very handy. There one is very variable."
This is how besold ensures that his speeches remain current. "If I see something on television on friday, I can respond to it in the butt on saturday."
Performances and friendships
Besold’s contributions are topical and punchy. This has brought him a certain fame in the carnival scene – and engagements, for example, with the renowned "mombacher bohnenbeitel" and at many carnival societies in lower franconia. For the weismainer, this means that he spends a lot of time in the car during carnival time, usually accompanied by his wife barbara.
Meanwhile, the domestic business has to keep going. "That is every year our personal health check", smiles barbara besold. "As long as we get home from a gig at half past three in the morning and can be back in the bakery at seven o’clock, everything fits."
On one sunday a year the store and cafe are closed. Otherwise the besolds have to come to terms with their two passions. Just like their staff does, and even the guests. "Our regular guests know about our passion for carnival."
In franz besold’s opinion, it’s a good thing that carnival falls in winter, a time when things are a little quieter around weismain and in his own company as well. "God must be a carnival lover to have laid it out like this."
And maybe that’s why the celestial carnival friend has not only given franz besold a rough passion that he wants to pursue as long as he somehow can, but also many, many good friendships over the years. And they are for the "till the best thing about carnival ever.