Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pursued by an army of birds in the rain

The three princes are trying to obtain a feather from the tail of the magical bird that bears a remarkable resemblance to a giant pigeon. This is to decide who will inherit their father's kingdom, or win the hand of the princess, or some combination of the two (half the kingdom plus half the princess perhaps; there is room for negotiation about the exact trade-off). None of the princes is wearing any clothes, so this is not your average production of The Firebird. They all have R for Royalty painted on their chest, which is not much help for telling them apart, and the pigeon is marked in the same way. It may be a member of the royal family in its own right, an uncle under a spell or something, so it deserves to marry the princess and inherit the kingdom. I am not sure if Stravinsky's music is going to be appropriate here so we have commissioned an original composition from Michael Nyman.

One of the princes is trying to sneak up on the giant pigeon by mimicking its movements. Another has a bow, but oh dear he hasn't noticed the missing string; this does not speak well of his mental acuity. The third is declaiming epic verse that he has translated himself from the Gaelic. The magic horse should be assisting one of the princes, but it's down there on the bottom right of the picture trampling on a quadrangle, distracted by its hatred of analytical geometry.

In Act II the pigeon looks intact though there may have been a fight and now it's sniffing under its armpit to see if it worked up a sweat. But where are the princes? Have they all been transformed into the folding carpenters' yardsticks above the horse? HA HA YOU'RE ALL RULERS NOW.

In Act III the king sings a moving aria to the effect that he doesn't need an heir now that his quadruple bypass surgery has given him a new lease on life and he's good for at least another 20 years. The princess and the pigeon have a duet asking that the law recognise their special relationship. The magic horse tramples on several more geometrical diagrams. It was nice of Neil Gaiman to write the libretto for us but he does go overboard with the post-modernism sometimes.


fish said...

I notice that the magical horse is also royalty. I believe he has an honorary title bestowed upon him after a brief dalliance with a woman named Catherine (she claimed she was a queen but the opinion of the horse was that she wasn't really that great after all).

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


You're my kind of humorist, S.C.

P.S. What's a metauggu?


Jennifer said...

I knew someone was going to make the Catherine joke. I had assumed it would be Smut.

The horse looks like he got something he can't scrape off. Looks like he needs an Rx more so than an R.

Another Kiwi said...

He's a dancing horse. look at figures 9 - 11 it's got hoof charts for how he does "The Hustle"
Any self respecting king, after the ceremonial pigeon pie, would want to have a dancing horse at court.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I dunno, fish, I think it's Caligula's horse- that stint in the senate went to his head, so he went on his own and conquered a small tribe of Dalmatians and proclaimed himself king.

Smut Clyde said...

a dancing horse at court
I'm staying out of the mosh pit thank you very much.

Substance McGravitas said...

Compasses were really handy back then because you could stab someone with one and the blood flowed North.

Of course nowadays the GPS units have a taser attachment and you hardly have to draw blood at all.

Smut Clyde said...

you could stab someone with one and the blood flowed North.

Not in the Southern Hemisphere!

Substance McGravitas said...

There weren't people there so big deal.

ckc (not kc) said...

I want to know what the difference is between 9 (fancy font implied) and 10 (ffi) and what are M, Z, N, O, X, and P (R being Royalty). Are these just inserted to confuse us? (Which they do, admirably.) Do I have to find a Mason to consult? I'm very confused - where's my speculum (or baculum)?

M. Bouffant said...

You've obviously been taken in, those are assembly instructions for an Ikea bedroom set (or Swedish Pigeon Roaster) that have been distressed.