Hamlet: Sounds like a plan

How may we try it further? (Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2.)

Act 2 Scene 2 (continued). Still in the throne room with Claudius and Gertrude.

Polonius enters. “The ambassadors are back from Norway, sir.”

Claude: “Cool. You are bringing good news.”

Poly: “Only doing my job, Boss. And I think I know what is driving the Prince crazy.”

So what is Claude interested in? He doesn’t want to know what is going on with his relations with a country that might go to war with him. No, he is more concerned with Hamlet, his nephew. Indeed there must be something rotten in Denmark. (I know. We already know that. But I thought it was a good thing to remind us just in case we forgot.)

Claude: “Well, well, tell me.”

Poly is all business. “First things first. Norway and the ambassadors. Then my news.”

Claude: “You do know that I am about to piss my pants waiting to find out your Hamlet news? I’ve waited this long. I guess a little longer won’t matter. But don’t keep me waiting. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way.”

Poly: “Think of my news as dessert.”

Claude: “Then show the ambassadors in. And make it quicksky.”

Poly goes to fetch like the dog he is.

Claude (turning to Gertie) “Gertrude, he says he’s found out the reason for your son’s insanity.”

Amazing. Talk about talking past each other. Gertie has been sitting beside Claude. Is she hard of hearing? If not, why does Claude have to tell her something she already knows. That Poly is about to share why Hamlet has gone off his rocker. I’m afraid Claude has been in the medicine cabinet a little early. Even if Gertie was deaf, I am pretty sure she could have read lips. She’s a smart cookie. And nobody’s trophy wife.

Gertie (states the obvious): “I doubt it’s anything but the obvious reason: his father’s dying and our quick marriage.”

Claude (hiccup): “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

The ambassadors bring good news. Fortinbras Jr. has been chastised. He has been promised Poland if Claude will let him pass through Denmark. That’s okee dokee with Claude. Thing is nobody has asked Poland. Nobody ever asks Poland. Napoleon didn’t ask Poland. The Tsar didn’t ask Poland. Hitler didn’t ask Poland. Stalin didn’t ask Poland. But guess what? God asked Poland and Poland gave Him a pope. It didn’t make up for Napoleon, the Tsar, Stalin and Hitler, but it helped.

The news is good news. It’s good news for Gertie. Claude off at war. She would miss her regular Friday night frolics in the hay. She loved those Friday night frolics.

It is good news for Claude. He doesn’t have to prove that he knows how to ride a horse. He does not have to prove that he can ride into battle and chop off heads like his brother. He always hated that. It got blood all over his royal duds.

It is good news for Poly. He has grown in the king’s estimation.

It is really good news for the peasants. The peasants really hate war. Their taxes wouldn’t go up to pay for a war. It causes such havoc with the family budget. The men wouldn’t be drafted. It means that the womenfolk have to double up on the work since the men are out getting themselves killed. It also means that the peasant men have to miss their Saturday nights down at the pub, doing what they always do. Pubbing.

It’s a win-win-win for everybody.

The ambassadors leave.

Poly: “Your Magnanimousness and Your Majesty, I just want to butter you up and flatter you a little. You both know I would kiss your hineys from here to God knows where if you asked. You are that good of sovereigns. I mean, Your Magnanimousness, you are Julius Caesar, Charlemagne and Queen Elizabeth all rolled into one. The sun rises and the sun sets at your command.”

The rulers smile down upon Poly. They know he’s right and it’s nice to hear someone acknowledge it.

Poly: “That Hamlet is nuts. Crazy. Off his rocker.”

Gertie: “What do you mean?”

Poly: “I have a letter here that he wrote to my dear daughter, Ophelia.”

He hands the queen Hamlet’s letter. She reads it, then Claude reads it.

Poly: “He called her beautified. Can you believe that?”

Gertie gives him a what’s-wrong-with-that-and-you’d-better-have-a-good-answer look.

Poly continues: “Hamlet is a prince. He is not eligible to marry a commoner like Ophelia. It is a matter of state as to whom he shall marry.” (Did you notice Poly used “whom”, the correct grammarical word. The author of this piece is responsible for that. I hate to brag but aren’t you proud of me?)

Gertie shakes her head, agreeing with Poly.

Poly (thinking phew. That was a close call):”I urged her to end her relationship with the prince. So now he is crazy with love for my daughter. That is the reason he is acting so very strange. And I grieve for him.”

Claude (hoping against hope that Poly is right): “Is there a way to prove this?”

Poly: “I can suggest to Ophelia that she speak to the prince on one of his walks. We can spy on him while they talk.”

Claude and Gertie look at each other.

Claude: “Sounds like a plan.”

Poly: “I think I hear him coming. Let me talk to him. I will worm things out of him even if it kills me.”

The two royals leave. Poly calls to Hamlet walking toward him. Hamlet has a book in his hand.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Tough Guy Makes Good

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is

Back in the Very Old School days, there was a stock character. He was the Tough Guy. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood played that role. But there were few actors who could pull off the Jinxed Tough Guy the way Frank Sinatra could. From his performance in “From Here to Eternity” to “Young at Heart” to “Pal Joey”, Sinatra made us feel for this tough guy who could break your heart.

Sure, there were Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Cagney, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. But it was Sinatra who gave us the underside of the tough-guyness. He taught us not to envy those guys, but feel compassion for them.

Few movies capture the vulnerability and the sensitivity of this jinxed character than “Young at Heart”. From the moment that Sinatra shows up at Doris Day’s front door, there is doom and gloom written all over him. There’s no way this guy is good for an All-American girl like Doris. No way you’d let your daughter marry him, much less date him. Sinatra’s Barney Sloan steps through that door and casts his dark shadow over Doris’ sweetness and light for the rest of the movie.

There is one scene that gives the viewer the essence of Frank Sinatra. He is at the piano in a bar, singing “One for my baby”. This is a singer who gives us his loneliness and his vulnerability all in less than three minutes.

When I first saw this scene, I was hooked on Sinatra, and this is the Sinatra I continue to listen to. Nobody has ever given me a definition of loneliness the way Sinatra did in this one scene. In those few minutes, Sinatra can just breaks your heart.

What is the hardest thing about being alone?

Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel

Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine welcoming.
Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine praying.
Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine dying.

Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.
A trinity of threes.

Three saints for the Father,
Three saints for the Son,
Three saints for the Holy Ghost.
Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.

Devil, he come down South to Charleston town,
wearing a mask.
Dylann Storm Roof, the mask on Satan’s face
that Wednesday night.
Spraying out hell from the barrel of a gun,
spraying out hate.

Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.
Nine bullets he fired.

Three shots for the Rebel flag,
Three shots for the K K K,
Three shots for George Zimmerman.
Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.

Nine saints in the Temple of the Lord,
this morning.
Nine saints in the Book of Life,
this morning.
Nine saints at the Feet of Jesus,
this morning.

Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.
Nine names in the Book.

Clementia, Daniel and Ethel Lee,
Tywanza, Depayne and Susie,
Sharonda, Cynthia and Myra.
Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.

Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine welcoming.
Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine praying.
Nine Martyrs in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel,
nine dying.

Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.
Nine Saints in the Arms of Mama Emmanuel.
Oh, Mama. Oh, Mama.
A trinity of threes.

Hamlet: R & G

Hamlet: Why, man, they did make love to this employment. They are not near my conscience. (Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2.)

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 2. Scene 2. Is it Halloween? If not, then why is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern showing up for treat-or-treat? And in those costumes too. They are dressed in white faces, a coxcomb of peacock feathers on their heads, white shirts and red bow ties with purple polka dots, and red and white striped pants. The king and queen had never seen anything like it. It took their breath away.

Bumblers extraordinary. Think Laurel & Hardy or Abbott & Costello. A couple of wild and crazy guys. The Blues Brothers, Jake & Elmo, or Zorro & Sgt. Gonzalez. Crosby & Hope without Dorothy Lamorr. Dumb and Dumber could have taken lessons from these two guys. They were so wild and crazy they got their own play.

One is tall and the other short just like Mutt and Jeff. R & G were the original Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They are inseparable, these two.

The trumpets trumpet. The drums drum. And there they are bowing before King Claude.

Claude is the first to speak. Of course, the king is always the first to speak. “Hey, Dudes.”

“Your Magnanimousness.” We are not sure who speaks. Is it Rosencrantz or is it Guildenstern? No one is ever sure. Not even R & G. It’s like Freddy Mercury sings, “Anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter.” So why should it matter which is Twiddledee and which Tweedledum?

“We are impressed with your court ettiquette,” King speaks his approval of the boys in those costumes.

Queen Gertie giggles, then makes the vote unanimous. Not that Claudius needs any backup. Claude looks over at the queen and gives her one of those looks. You know the kind of look I am talking about.

Just who are R and G which I will refer to as R and G hence. Hence is another way of saying “from now on.” Kind of like etc. They are Witties just like Hamlet. Fraternity brothers at the University of Wittenberg. A couple of fun guys who were the life of the party. No matter the frown on the Hamster’s face, they could always get a chuckle out of him.

“So what brings you two fine fellows to our court?” Claudius asks.

“We got your note,” R answers or it could be G.

“Oh, that’s right,” Claudius pretends to remember. “I must get off that viagara. It is really affecting my memory.”

“If we can grant it, Your Magnanimousness, we shall grant your desire. Not the desire to get off viagara. But the other desire. The one that brought us here in the first place.”

Claudius smiled down upon the two. This was what he liked to hear. It was morning, the birds were singing, and he had two yes-men before him. What more could a king want?

“If you insist,” Claudius said, “I have one teensy weensy favor to ask. I would like you to visit with Hamlet. Find out what he’s feeling so blue about. He won’t tell the queen and I. You’re such good friends with the boy. I know you can get it out of him. You were his boyhood friends.”

“Gladly, Your Magnanimousness.”

“Then go to him. And report everything,” the king says, “to me. Now run along and do your duty. And make your king proud.”

The two bow and back out of the big room.

Uncle Bardie’s Second Blogoversary

I want to thank all the followers and readers of this blog. You are the reason I continue to dance the light fantastic. You are indeed the cat’s pajamas. Thank you. Now for something special. Here’s how my day is going.

As the song says, we’ve come a long way, you and I. It’s been a long and winding road. It’s like we’ve almost made it across the universe. In the beginning, there were those who said, “Let it be”. There are still unbelievers who want me to get back. They are afraid someone is going to crucify me. I keep telling them that I have enough instant karma to make it through the night. Then I give them a high five and ask them to give peace a chance.

I gotta tell you that there are days I am like the Nowhere Man on Penny Lane, heading for Strawberry Fields. There are other days I feel like I am back in the USSR. Instead of getting a Dear John letter, somebody keeps sending me a Dear Prudence message, saying, “I want to hold your hand.” It always ends with “p.s. I love you.” I do want you to know that I work eight days a week, each day a hard day’s night to make this a good blog, one that is entertaining and fun.

I woke up this morning with good morning, good morning ringing in my head as the alarm keeps shouting, “It’s getting better. All the time.” ‘Bout that time, my next door neighbor knocks on my door and sings, “Yer having a birthday.” The phone rings and you’ll never guess who is on the line. Michelle, that’s who. Makes me long for yesterday. Guess it’s going to be just another day in the life.

Go into the kitchen and fix my usual breakfast: a big stack of lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds. Mmmmm, good. While I enjoy the stack, I think about what I am going to do for the benefit of Mr. Kite. After all, I know perfectly well he helped me when I was in need of a little help from my friends. I stack the dishes in the sink, look out the window, and you know what. I can’t believe it. Here comes the sun. It is going to be another good day sunshine.

I walk out to water my octopus’ garden in the shade. I am feeling pretty frisky. That Maxwell’s silver hammer banging in my head has gone away. I look across the road and see Polythene Pam. I want to say something to be neighborly. After all, her majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say. If I wasn’t dating Lovely Rita, maybe I would get up the nerve and ask her out. I hear she is something of a paperback writer.

I return to the inside of my house. There in the living room sits my mother, Julia. “Hey, Jude,” she says to me. She always calls me Jude.

“How did you get in here?”

“I came in through the bathroom window. You know you need to quit being such a fool on the hill.”

“Mom, you keep doing that and you know I am going to have to hire the Taxman.” I say that so she will realize she can’t buy me love.

“Why can’t we just come together?” she asks, giving me that Eleanor Rigby smile of hers.

“Look, I am not going to fake that revolution you keep asking for.”

“If you did,” she says, “you’d have to run for your life.”

“All things must pass,” I assure her.

“All you need is love,” she says.

“Well, baby, you’re a rich man too.”

“When I’m sixty-four, will you still love me?” she asks. Then that is that. The day tripper is out of there, making me dizzy Miss Lizzy. I yell after her, “Hello goodbye.”

I call Doctor Robert. He says, “Don’t bother me.”

“I dig it,” and I hang up.

So I go out and drive my car. Some guy almost swipes me. I yell, “Don’t pass me by.” I come upon some workers fixing a hole. I turn onto Blue Jay Way, looking for some help. Feeling helter skelter, I am wondering who is going to help me carry that weight. Feels like I am…here, there and everywhere.

I pull up to Lovely Rita’s front door and knock, my knock saying, “I got to get you into my life.” She opens the door and smiles. “Hello, little girl,” I say and give her a hug.

She pushes me away. “Honey, don’t.”

“I am the Walrus and I wanna be your man.”

“Well,” she says, “I’m happy just to dance with you.”

“You know you’re such a Lady Madonna. Why don’t you join me on my magical mystery tour?”

“I called you last night and I got no reply,” disappointment on her face.

“Aw c’mon, Sexy Sadie. You’re my honey pie. It’s something in the way you move.”

We go to this little out-of-the-way place called the Glass Onion. Maggie Mae, the waitress, comes by and takes our orders. I order an I-me-mine. They have the best anywhere around.Lovely Rita orders the one-after-909. We laugh. “Oh, darling,” she said, “you do love your I-me-mines, don’t you?”

“It reminds me of the day Mean Mr. Mustard left the neighborhood.”

“He thought he was a Mother Nature’s son, all those goats in his yard.”

The Savoy Truffle step to the stage and do their only hit, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”.

“You know,” she says, “I never really liked that song. It is long, long, long.”

” It’s only a northern song.”

We leave and continue the continuing story of Bungalow Bill. It’s like they say, “Happiness is a warm gun.” Well, obladi-oblada we are watching the yellow submarine at Pepperland. She leans over to my ear and whispers, “I guess we can work it out.”

At the end of the day, the last thing she says to me, “You’ve really got a hold on me.” That’s when I realize that I would not lose that girl.

It’s the end of another day and I’m so tired. So good night one and all. I’m off for some golden slumbers. If you see Rocky Racoon, tell him Uncle Bardie says hey.

The End.