Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Christopher Wren is a Douchebagg

As we open the proceedings to-day, I have turned the duties over to my Assistant. We are in situ at the bar, and I will now enter the scene, in medias res, so to speak.

"You write my column today, Assistant. The last one on currency fluctuations was well received," I said, and took a short pull on my ale.

"T'is true, t'was received nicely," said My Assistant, "save I fear your Editore noticed the lapse in style."

I grumboled. "You mean you put in too many big words and spelled them correctly. You need a shorter, less authoritative dictionary, and a rustier quill." I handed him one of mine. "Take that, Assistant," I said

"You may call me Scribble, Sir," he said

"Why would I do that?" I asked.

"It is my name, Sir. I have only just now remembered it. Yesterday I was known as 'His Assistant'. And before that I was a gleam in the Editore's eye. He created you, Sir Finknottle, and shortly after, he created me to assist you."

"Fascinating. Scribble, can I call you Scrib?" I inquired.

"Ooh, Sir, a Nick-Name! Are you giving me a nick-name?" he asked.

"A what?" I wanted to know.

"A familiarization of my name!" he screeched.

I was still fuzzy. "Hey?" I said.

"A diminutive form of the root name, Sir," he elaborated.

"Oh, I thought you were complaining about the ale," I replied. "They can't get the good hops because the Enemy have cut off supply."

"Who, Sir? The Austro-Hungarians?"

"No, you nitwit, the Farmers."

"You need to answer your mail, Sir." he said.

"Fine, read them to me and I will dictate the answer. Include this bit where I'm talking to you, it adds.. what do you call it?" I looked up, as if the word I wanted were written on the ceiling.

"Verisimilitude, Sir?"

"Yes. Proceed with the qwestions," I said.

"First Qwestion, Sir, from the Empire of Japan: 'Hey, Funknobber, Stocks, bonds, or CD’s?'. It is signed Jeremy Stokes, Okoboji, Iowa."

"I've never heard of the Prefecture of Iowa, dear boy, but let not that stay us from responding to his earnest querie. Hmm, put this: 'Stocks are quite handy for holding cattle, bonds do well with restraining servants and what do you suppose are 'see-dees', Assistant Scribble?"

"I couldn't say, Sir."

"Well, you'd better say, this is your column and the author of the qwestion needs our help. Make something up."

"How about this, Sir, 'I reccommend CD's whole-heartedly.'" said Scribble.

"Promising start," I encouraged, "Now pick up the pace."

"Indulge in CD's to youre heart's content, so long as they are of goode quality, and not too ripe," he read.

"Good. Next qwestion, Scribble." I drained my ale and looked around for another.

"The second qwestion begins: 'Dear Mr. Finknottle, A year ago, I encouraged my husband to lose some weight for health reasons. He finally took up a workout program and lost 60 pounds. The problem is, he now likes to show off his new physique at our friends’ dinner parties. It’s embarrassing. What should I do?' and it is signed, 'Lee Ann Maywicke, Athens, Georgia'."

"Very good. Let's see. I myself am in perfect physical form, and I feel for the Protagonist in this little dyad. Or do I mean 'Antagonist'?"

"I am not a linguist, Sir."

"And I am not a Horticulturist! Nevre mind. Write as follows: 'Dear Lee Ann, are you the Protagonist in the situ. or the Antagonist? Sincerely Finknottle.' I'm out of ale again, do you want some while I'm up, lad?"

"Sir, there's no need to determine the logical status of the people in the question in order to answer it. I reckon we may proceed without that information."

"So you don't want more ale?"

"Sir, Please!"

"Yes, yes, all right. Hmm, skip this one and put it at the bottom of the pile."

"Yes, Sir. Next qwestion, Sir. Are you up for this, Sir, you are looking green."

"I am not."

"I forget, does turning green indicate the opium has worn off or is increasing in effect, Sir?"

"Read, young Assistant."

He read. "'Finkpuddle, I have an unusual sort of painfull swelling in my groin areas, it is a bothersome trouble the like I have never had before. I am inclined to a variety of odd behaviors to make this swelling go down, but yet it always returns. Are there any liniments or aspics which may provide a cure? Sincerely, Sir Fullstaff Longfellow.'"

I said, "Ah, yes, I believe it was Chekov who said, 'When there are many treatments for an illness, you may be sure there is no Cure.' "

"Well put, Sir, do I attribute this to Chekov now or wait and look it up?" Scribble held his quill aloft, ready for my instruction.

"Attribute it to me, you ninny," I barked.

"Next qwestion, sir, " Scribble said and looked down at his notes, "It is unsigned."

"Then ignore it." I waved a hand.

"'Punknottle, How do I know which beer is right for me? I am visiting a nearby tavern.'"

"You'll drink whatever the waitress brings you and you'll always be full, so goes the song, dear boy," I said.

"No, sir that was the question."

"I see. Ask him what tavern is currently surrounding him, this is pertinent to the reply," I said, and took out a menthol cigarillo and lit it from the fireplace.

Scribble looked confused. "Sir, I cannot ask him a question, he's not.." he began.

I saw the path through the thicket and jumped in, "Never mind, Scribble," I said, "It is The King's Cross, I'll wager. Or the Dog and Duck. Either one has a good smelly Stout. If it's the Happy Clam, then recommend he slither out and go next door to the Hole in the Floor. Much better ambiance. There he is free to sample all their wares, but stay away from the brine-soaked animal parts. They look appetizing, but have been known to cause blindness. Hmm.. The Gilded Daftwaddel is a little out of the way, I don't suspect our visitor is there. I know, tell him to order a stout, and if they have it, order three more. If they don't, it is grounds to leave. And bring me some tobacco."


"Write it!"

"Yes, sir."

"Are we almost done, Scribble, my glass is empty."

"One more, Sir."

"Well, begin, young Scribble. Time is of the essence," I said and tried to signal a serving-wench.

"It's rather personal, Sir, perhaps not intended for the official mailbag, Sir," squeeked Scribble.

"Nonsense," I said nonchalantly, "Dispense the words of the Vox Populi with all speed."

"Sir. It reads, 'Oh, Finkie,'" Scribble stammered.

"Steady on, Scribble," I said.

He continued, "'You can pretend it's all a blur and that you were "sleeping one off". But I know the truth. And those past 3 (4? 12?) days and (even better) nights are none that I'll regret. Come on Finkie, don't you remember any of the fun we had most recently? You called me beautiful and..'"

"And what, Scrib?" I asked, "please keep the narrative flowing."

"Yes, Sir, sorry, Sir. 'You called me beautiful and ran your fingers through my mass of thick red hair. Or perhaps you're protecting my virtue (ha!) by pretending to remember nothing of our adventures. Ah, but I remember, my sweet, talented Finkie. I remember...
Until next time (when you can scrape another 27 pence together to enjoy my company - but hurry, rates are going up!)'
and it is signed, 'your Sassy Wench '. Is she an aquaintance of yours, Sir Finknottle?"

"I've never met the woman," I said weakly.

"She is taking a very familiar mode sir, are you sure you don't know her?" Scribble prodded me.

I contemplated this. "I am contemplating this, be sure to put that!" I yelled.

"Finknottle pretended to contemplate this," said Scribble, writing furiously.

I made as if to think, muttering, "Perchance I do, perchance... perchance to sleep perchance to dream... Aha!"

"Sir? You've remembered?" asked Scribble hopefully.

"No, I'm out of ale," I replied. I needed time to think. I walked up to the bar alone, (but how is this being written without my assistant taking dictation? Perhaps I am writing this on my sleeve and will slip it into publication later.) What does the poor boy know of doomed love? He's only a pup. He only heard his own name today! The Sassy Wench and I shared more than I cared to admit, but there were some rather large Jovian-type planets betwixt us and happiness. These constituted, reading from left to right: her husband.

I returned to the boothe where Scribble was... scribbling, and read carefully over his shoulder. The top of the page read, "Symptomes" and there were entries about Self and descriptions of various types. 'Drunken, de-hydrated, Greenish pallor, &c.'

I roared, "What's that? Are you spying on me for my editore? What's his game? Tell me!"

Scribble shrugged and said plainly, "He wants to have you declared insane so he can ruin you and take your property."

I calmed down. This was not as bad as I had feared. "Oh is that all," I said and slumped into the boothe.

"Isn't that bad?"

I shook the head. "No, no. The Editore-slash-Advice-Columnist relationship is strong and can survive any needling problems..." Just then I caught sight of a news-paper lying open on the table. "Slander! He's suing me for slander!"

"Five times, Sir, this month alone."

"Five MORE times? TEN slander cases?" I was baffled.

"No, no," Scribble said quickly, "Five, total of five. Five total."

Scribble seemed nervous at my outbursts, and spoke, hoping to distract me. "We need a name for the column, Sir. How about, 'Sir Finknottle answers his mail?'"

"No we've used that one," I said. I thought about the matter and replied, "Better go with 'Christopher Wren is a Douchebagg'."

"Ahhh, see Sir, my version, while prosaic, is not technically Slander."

I allowed this was true. I tried again. "How about 'Christopher Wren is a Slanderer'," I offered.

"Clever, Sir, clever! But still slander, I fear."

"I don't see how."

Scribble coffed slightly. "You falsely acused him of a crime, Sir."

"What crime?"

"Falsely Accusing People of Crimes, Sir."

"That's a crime?!"

"Yes, Sir, Slander, Sir, and, dash it now I'm out of ale."

"Mary, Mingo and Mitch, it's about time." I pushed my glass over to his and picked them both up.

"Could you take over dictating, Sir, I'm going to step outside and see if Aspirin's been invented yet."

"Stout fellow," I said, "and ask about chewable opium supplements while you're at it."

"You have one in your mouth currently, Sir," Scribble whined.

I grinned, "Not the sour kind, I don't."


1 comment:

Editor said...

Charlie Parsley said...

"When there are many treatments for an illness, you may be sure there is no Cure."

That is so sad because it is so true. And enlightening.

11:09 AM
Anonymous londoner with taste said...

Obviously, Finknoodle, you've never stood outside Saint Paul's Cathedral on a moonlit eve taking in its magical beauty. I, on the other hand, have. Therefore, I can say that YOU are the douchebagg (sic), not Wren.

12:15 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, FigNewton, are you saying you can't be with the redhead because you're more interested in her husband? I'm confused.

8:03 PM
Anonymous Admirer of Christopher Wren said...

It's uncouth to besmirch the character of a great architect you smelly tyrd. And with nothing to back it up at that! For shame, Punkmuzzle, for shame.

6:35 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm loving this blog - whoever writes it is totally twisted! It makes my day everytime I read it.

7:11 AM
Anonymous suzanne said...

So you're saying there's a lot of hot air (Jovian-type planets) keeping you and the Sassy Wench apart? Sounds like you're making a big deal out of nothing. Have some fun - she sounds like she's into you (lord knows why, you seem a bit wierd)

9:58 AM