All that glistens is not gold. Merchant of Venice.
Act 1. Scene 3.
Dear Auntie Yorick:
Are we going to have another bout of the plague. I mean, another bout of the you-know-what?
Stock up on cats and you should be okay.
Dear Aunitie Yorick:
I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know what to do. First I get it from Laertes. He’s my big brother. Avoid Hamlet like the plague. Then he takes off for Paris where he can do what the damned well he pleases. Excuse my “damned”. But damn it. Then my daddy tells me to avoid Hamlet like Henry VIII avoided Catherine of Aragon. What’s a girl to do?
Hamlet is so dreamy I just gush all over myself when he comes into the room. I mean he is a prince and all and the closest thing to Elvis this side of Graceland. If that ain’t enough, he’s the only eligible bachelor in the castle. Of course, I could go after Horatio. Only he’s such a commoner. Dirt poor too. If he wasn’t Hamlet’s buddy, he wouldn’t even get in the castle. And the clothes he wears. Ewwww.
I know. I know. Daddy and Laertes say I ain’t got a shot with my Ham. You know, he calls me his Eggs. Together we do make a nice Omelette. That’s French, by the way, for Ham and Eggs.
Hamlet will be king someday and he has to marry some prune faced princess from LaLaLand to keep the peace. Well, I am sorry. I just don’t believe it. Hamlet has told me he loves me big time. And we did do the—oops, almost spilled the beans. Anyway I think I would make an awesome Kate Middleton, don’t you think?
On the one hand, Dahling, y’all can follow your head and do what Daddy says. On the other hand, y’all can follow your heart and elope with your prince. Looks like it’s a lose-lose situation. You are caught between the proverbial Iraq and a hard place. Only one thing to do. Follow the advice of Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Just be careful or ya”ll will turn this into another “Romeo and Juliet”. We wouldn’t want that, now would we? Richard Burbage has already insisted he won’t play Romeo ever again.
Perhaps the best advice is to get thee to a nunnery.
Dear Auntie Yorick:
What am I going to do? Normally I am as loyal and obedient as any father could want his son to be. After all my name is Laertes. I tried to walk the straight and narrow. But how was I ‘sposed to act. I get to Paree and it’s spring. You know what spring is like in Paree I’m sure. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Not London. Not Moscow. Not even Rome. And definitely not Elsinore which rhymes with snore.
I was at this party, see. I met this girl. She said to me, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime. We could parlez vous francais, if you know what I mean, Big Boy.” So I did and yadda yadda yadda. Before I knew what happened, I woke up, tied all spread-eagled across a bed. She stole all my money. I just couldn’t resist her. It was the Big Boy that did it.
So here I am in Paree without a dime to my name. I am afraid to ask Daddy for more cash. But these guys are pounding on my door, threatening to break my legs if I don’t give them the cash I lost at the races. What should I do?
To thine own self be true but neither a borrower nor a lender be. Better yet. Follow the Bard’s advice from ” All’s Well That Ends Well”: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” That seems to be a winner.
Now a word from our sponsor:
Next month Auntie Yorick is leaving the nest and going on tour. She may be coming to a town near you. So get your tickets. And expect some unexpected guests. I am not saying who but one of them has the initials W S.
I can’t get no respect. I mean, c’mon. I go and get His Magnanimousness elected king. I raise two kids so that they grow up to be decent human beings. Their mother had to run off with a door-to-door salesman. Left a note saying that I was such a bore. Here I was working my fingers to the bone to put meat on the table. At least, I did end up with two wonderful kids, Laertes and Ophelia.
The problem is that those kids won’t listen to me. It isn’t like it used to be. In my father’s day, you put a chastity belt on your daughter and that did the trick. No, kids today won’t listen.
My Ophelia wants to date that no-good bum of a prince. Always sitting thinking. He’s not done a day’s work in his entire existence. His mama has done nothing but mollycoddle that boy since the day he was born. All he does is sit around and feel sorry for himself. Sure wish I could set her up with that Young Fortinbras. Now that would be a match made in heaven.
On top of that, Laertes goes and gets in trouble in Paris. Paree, he calls it. Can you believe that? Wants more money. That boy is going to bankrupt me before he’s done. What should I do?
Damned if I know. All I can say is one man’s Paris is another man’s Paree.