Hamlet puts on a play, nyah nyah nyah

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…
As You Like It. Act 2 Scene 7.

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

Act 3 Scene 2 (continued).

ELSINORE TOWN CRYER

Dear Reader, I know you have been anxious to hear all the news at the Castle. Your Auntie Yorick is Johnny-on-the-spotsky with the latest. Last night there was a murder. A real live murder. It was the piece de resistance “The Murder of Gonzago”, and that play was something else. And I’m talking a capital Something and a capital Else.

Over the years, I’ve seen all the plays. “A Spanish Tragedy” by Tommy Kyd. Chris Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus”. (That was a really good’un.) Romeo and Juliet by that guy from Stratford. I never can remember his name but he’s written some great ones. Anyway R&G has a real bummer of an ending.

I must tell you the prince himself directed this one. That Hamlet, he is turning into to a man with many talents. Now he’s given us this play, and wow. I mean, double wow. And the actors. I got to tell you the players in this “Gonzago” were almost as good as our own Richard Burbage and his gang of Chamberlain’s Men. If actors ever strutted their stuff on stage, these players had stuff they knew how to strut. Boy, did they ever.

Both their Magnanimousnesses were in attendance. They entered with the trumpets trumpeting a root-a-toot-toot. The king’s wear was designed by none other than Giorgio Armani. His Magnanimousness wore the finest purple with gold and scarlet trim from his itsy bitsy toesies to his fur-lined hat reaching for the ceiling. The colors were so bright they would blind a person if one looked at him straight-on.

There was only one person who upstaged the king. Queen Gertrude. She wore a black Azzaro Couture gown revealing enough queenly skin to make everybody blush. The glass slippers alone were a revelation. The skirt to her dress was so transparent that you could get a gander on her long, thin legs. The top on her dress had an oval opening that showed a belly-button button of solid gold. The top draped over the queen and unbuttoned, barely covering her bosoms. The crown on the tippy top of her head was bejeweled in jewels that would make the crown jewels in the Tower of London envious.

Normally their Magnanimousnesses would have sat on their royal tushes on the royal furniture. Not this time. I was informed that, if they sat, their clothes would break. Then the emperor would have no clothes. So they chose to stand. As they stood their stand, they were dignified in their standing as royals are wont to do.

I have to say that it was good to see the Prince back with the lovely Ophelia. She wore a simple white country dress, covered in bouquets of flowers. Hamlet, as usual, showed no fashion sense at all. He was in regular black. He may be a prince, but his fashion-sense is downright serf. While the couple watched the play, they were like two turtledoves, turtledoving as if turtledoving was going out of style.

The play opens with a prologue in pantomime. A murder occurs. A king is poisoned. The murderer takes his place beside the king’s bride. Then the play begins. During the performance, the prince kept talking over the actors’ lines. I guess he was throwing out his jokes to impress his ladylove. He sure had her laughing. Sometimes it was hard to hear the players’ words over the prince’s jabs. But he kept coming out with the funniest lines. That Prince Hamlet, he’s a riot sometimes.

Just as the play was getting interesting, the king’s man, Polonius, interrupted and threw the lights on. The king had displeasure written all over his face. He did one of his world class trumpisms, made a lewd comment about immigration and left the performance. Could it be that his feet were hurting in those tight pointy shoes on his feet? One thing is for sure. Those shoes squeaked as the king waddled out of the hall, an unpleasant frown on his face.

As she followed the king in his exit, Queen Gertrude threw Hamlet a face that said, “Just what are you up to?” I have to tell you it was not a nice face. I do hope that the prince will be forgiven for his rudeness during the play. He has had a rough time of things since his daddy died.

Since they irked king’s displeasure, will the players get paid? I hope so. They performed their performance of murder so well, so realistic. They deserve a bonus in addition to the equity they normally receive.

The king ran through the castle halls, calling out, “Lights, lights.” It was as if he were in some interminable darkness. I love that word “interminable”. Always wanted to use it in a column. One of my New Year’s resolutions. Now I can lay it to rest.

‘Til next time.
Your Auntie Yorick.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: The Haunting of Miss Tina

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 “The Lost Moment” (1947):

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According to Wikipedia: This is a poster for The Lost Moment. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. It is used only to provide a review of the film. There were no decent trailers of the movie. So all I can provide is the poster and this German trailer. The film is in English. It can be found on Amazon.com.

I had seen the film a long time ago. I could not remember its name or any of the actors or even the story. Scenes from the film kept appearing in my dreams. For quite some time I searched for it on IMDB, Amazon, Turner Classic Movies and the New York Times website. I haunted flea markets and used book stores and used movie sellers, thinking it was in one of their bins. I spent hours and hours at this obsession and still no results. Until a week ago…

I was out driving in my car with no particular destination. It was one of those kinds of Sunday drives we make to get the worries out of our systems. I found myself in an area I didn’t remember visiting before. I came upon this old used bookstore in an out-of-way place on the side of a dirt road. Not the friendliest sort of place, but still I was desperate to find the film. I had to see this movie. Otherwise…well, let’s just say, otherwise.

I pulled into the parking lot beside the lone car. I crossed my fingers hoping the store in the old dilapidated building was open. I went to the door and turned the knob. Yes, it did appear the store was open it. As I entered the store, a bell above the door rang.

Across the floor of the store, there were dozens of wooden bins, webs falling from beneath each. Dust was everywhere. The paint peeling from the walls.  The ceiling in places crumbling. The floor squeaked as I crossed it. The store seemed as haunted as my dreams.

Behind the counter, there was an elderly pale man, his hair gone white and his eyes a kind of gray that might be expected from one who was a ghost. He nodded to me. I nodded to him. Then he went back to what he had been doing before I came into the store.

Every bone in my body said leave. This was no place I wanted to be. Yet something had led me to this place. So I was determined to try to find the film here.

I began my search, hungry for the treasure. After hours of searching bin after bin, no luck. Outside the light was fading and the night was closing in. Finally I went to the counter to thank the old man for his time. He came from the office behind the counter. With tears in my eyes, I explained my dilemma. He shook his head. He seemed just as disappointed. I turned to go. Then I saw it. Well, I wasn’t sure that it was it. But I saw a DVD case in one of the displays. On its cover was a drawing of the ancient hand of a woman and her finger wore a large ring. “The Lost Moment” the case said.

I flipped the case over and there were three black-and-white photos. The first one had a man and a priest standing over a woman. Yes, that was my dream. This was the movie that had haunted my dreams for years.

Famous Biblical Quotes (You’ve Never Heard)

Adam to God (after seeing Eve): Man, I love what you do with ribs.

It was a Tuesday afternoon when Noah got the call, I believe. Sometime between two and three in the afternoon. He took the call. He knew it must be from God. In this god-awful weather.
God (to Noah): Oops, the ark just sprang a leak.Noah
Noah (to God): Oh, no.
God (to Noah): Just kidding.
Noah (to God): Well, I forgot the dove.
God (to Noah): Nothing up my sleeve. What is this in my hat?

God to Abraham: Let your pee pee go.

Moses: It wasn’t the Red Sea I had so much trouble with. It was that burning bush. I tried everything–fire extinguisher, water, you name it–I just couldn’t get the fire quenched. And it was such a nice bush too.

Moses (to God): I am not playing with snakes.
God (to Moses): How many plagues is that?
Moses (to God): Can’t you count?
God: Yes, but, if I have to count the toes on more than one foot, it’s higher math.

Joshua (to his trumpeters): Somebody is off key here.
God (to Joshua): One thing is for sure. These guys are no Miles Davis.

Samson to Delilah: I don’t care if you are going to Cosmetology School, you cannot cut my hair.
Delilah starts to cry.
Samson: Don’t cry, Baby. I was just kidding. Of course, you can cut my hair.

David and GoliathDavid to Goliath: Everybody must get stoned.

Jonah’s Whale: Burp.

King Herod to Salome (after her dance): You’ve got heads rolling in the aisles.

Peter to Jesus (after Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes); I don’t care much for fish sandwiches without the mayonnaise.
Jesus (to Peter); If you don’t like it, go out and open up your own restaurant.

Jesus to Lazarus: A little smelly there, Laz.

God to St. John: We’re going to have a revelation.

By the way, no Biblical characters were injured in the preparation of this post.

Hamlet: A Comedy Tonight

And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
‘Twixt his stretch’d footing and the scaffoldage.
Troilus and Cressida Act 1 Scene 3.

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

Act 3 Scene 2 (continued). Hamlet wanted to be king. Since he couldn’t have that, he’d settle for director. Director of a little play called “The Murder of Gonzago”.

You’d think that would be enough. But, no, he’d produce it too. Claudius didn’t know it yet but Hamlet was using his uncle’s money. First Elsinore, then maybe Broadway. Soon he’d be a famous Broadway producer.

The Hamster could see the Broadway marquee. There it was. “The Murder of Gonzago” all lit up. Then maybe a movie. Before anybody knew it, he would be up for an Oscar. He liked the sound of “Academy-Award-winning director”.

Hamlet wanted to do a musical but the actors couldn’t sing. Not a note. So he settled for a mousetrap play.

Not only did Hamlet think he could direct and produce, he thought he could write as well. He’d gone and rewritten the darn thing. But things weren’t working out the way he’d planned. Hamlet had gotten himself into a pickle. A real deal pickle.

The actors were perfectly happy doing “The Murder of Gonzago”. Hamlet put a ghost in the new version.

“There’s no ghost in that play,” Rufus yelled. Ghosts were old school. A fifteenth century superstition. Their Elizabethan audience would laugh them off the stage. The entire troupe ixnayed that idea right out of existence.

Hamlet overheard Jack Pierre, “I’ll never remember my lines.” Hamlet had a cure for that. He’d turn the play into a pantomime.

J P may not have been a royal but he  was royally p.o.ed. “What do you mean? I don’t get to speak? I don’t think so. It specifically says in my contract that I get at least seven lines. I didn’t spend years developing my wonderful voice to allow some pipsqueak to take out my lines.” Hamlet lost that battle too.

The actress Brunhilda came to Hamlet, “I am not going on in this dress. It makes me look fat.”

Rufus wanted to know, “So what is my motivation?”

Dealing with actors was worse than a room full of theologians. He hadn’t been this frustrated since he had taken on Martin Luther in a debate back in Wittenburg U. He had lost that one and he was about to lose this one too. Here he had this play, “The Murder of Gonzago”, going on tonight. The actors were not playing nice. In fact, they were driving him bananas, and this was before anyone knew what a banana was. They knew what a chiquita was but not a banana.

Only goes to prove that Robbie Burns was right when he wrote,” The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy.”

Xtra! Xtra! An Announcement: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Gonna Be

Been thunking about it for awhile. I went and dood it. I have signed up to write a Nanowrimo this year. If you want to join me, sign-up and log-in. My moniker is LBardie. It’s going to be a hoot.

For those of you who are not in the know, the nanowrimo is the National Novel Writing Month. The mission is for a brave soul to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. That is 1700 words per day. A bunch of writers participated last year. If you convert that bunch into a number, it’s over 200,000.

Some awesome things about nanowrimo are: You can right a really crappy first draft and no one, but no one, will care. They won’t see it. Secondly you can write any genre you want. It’s a great way to test your wheels. Maybe you’ve been wanting to give your hand a try at memoir. Take a chance and write that memoir. If you’ve been writing romance, this might be a good opportunity to write a mystery. It was how I discovered that I can write a reasonable facsimile of humor. (Some of you might not think it is humor, but then again you don’t count. Not. Of course, you count. I’m sure there are three of you out there I haven’t made laugh. Yet.)

This will be my fifth try. My previous titles (all packed away and hidden in my closet) were:
“Secrets of the Fourth Lithuanian” (2004). It was a novel about family and family secrets. There were no Lithuanians in the novel.
“The Absolutely Unbelievable Extraordinary Adventures of Lady Wimpleseed Prissypotte” (2009). It was humorous and historical fantasy. There were no Lithuanians in this one either.
“The Chesterwood Poems” (2010). Thirty poems (a poem a day) that tell the story of Adam and Eve after the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t a true nanowrimo but I dood it anyway. Still no Lithuanians.
“Six-Foot-One and Five-Foot-Eight: A Romance” (2011). And I am sure that you can guess that there were no Lithuanians in this one either.
What do I have against Lithuanians? Absolutely nothing. If I knew a Lithuanian, I probably would like them. No, I’m sure I would like them.

Each year there is a blank slate and I get to start anew. Like baseball at the beginning of each spring. Last year’s goofs are not held against me. The novel I am writing is “Joe A(fter) D(eath)”. It’s title tells the reader exactly what it’s about. It will tell the story of what happens to Joe Schmidt after he dies. I will create at least 50,000 words of an 80,000-word novel. I plan on finishing it in December. Currently I am spending October, planning it. (And no, I am not spending October, researching what happens when we die. It will all be made up.)

Anything I write this month will be subtracted from the words I create in November. So far I have 3184 words. So I will be going for 55,000 words, I will have to write 55,000 in novel to fulfill my part of the bargain. ‘Nuff said. If you’re interested, here’s the nanowrimo link.

So c’mon in. The water is fine. It may be a little chilly. But it will get that writer’s blood flowing.

Now comes the big hairy question. Will I continue to post as often on Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such during November? Absolutimoeso. You bet your sweet booties I will. So you can breathe easy and pretend you are entertained by my insanity.