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The Feste Chronicles V

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By MichaelRead
September 19, 2006

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The Feste Chronicles V

Anyone with even a passing acquaintance of Shakespeare beyond having to endure high school's attempts to turn off even reading his plays know that Shakespeare didn't write for posterity but to put posteriors on seats at the Globe Theater. That his plays are considered as a wellspring of English literature is because what Shakespeare wrote to put bums on seats still puts bums on seats. I call this the eternal legacy of Shakespeare.

What few point out is that Shakespeare wrote to get paid and only got paid if the house take was sufficient. Tell a tale poorly and renovations at the cottage in Avon were put off; tell a tale well and the family had meat on the barbie. So the pressure on Will was to get bums on the seats and that's why there's gore, stabbings, Lady Macbeth going bonkers, and unfortunate kings. What few these days realize � they are so enmeshed with him being the Bard � is that Bill wrote some of the best sit-coms of his time and did it all without canned laughter.

In researching the works of his worst child, PDQ Bard � the Sot of Avon � I came across several works by the little-known writer on the back of wallpaper squares and was fortunate enough to find several of his writings and one is Tristan and Isolde and Will and Grace, a one-act comedy that unfortunately never ran a full performance and that was because PDQ Bard, trying to make additional income from food sold at the presentation, included small meat pies (called 'Lunar Pies') that induced considerable audience flatulence that drove people from the theater. The London Stage Observer, a trade publication, headlined it as: 'Farce Fails as Farts Fulminate and Fungoers Flee: Patrons say P-U to Play and Pastries'.

However, that aside, this series is in search of the mentions of Feste and PDQ Bard does not dismay. In his play, Tempest in a Tea Pot, Feste wishes to have an extra stall for a horse he has purchased and is arranging a convenient time for the Carpenter Guy to come and make this addition. It is brief but, then again, I am the one who writes scrolly posts; PDQ Bard wrote with sparser word count than I.

Feste: "Canst do the job?"

Carpenter Guy: "Aye, and right well, sire."

Feste: "Then when can I expect the work to be done?"

Carpenter Guy: "I shall be there between dawn and dusk on the tenth or maybe the eleventh but for sure the twelfth."

Feste: "At what time shall I make preparations to greet you and show you where the work is to be done?"

Carpenter Guy: "Afore noon."

Feste: "That means afore noon on the tenth, the eleventh or the twelfth?"

Carpenter Guy: "Canst rightly say, sire. Depends on the wood cutter and the nail maker. Yet, I warn: should you not be there I shall charge for my coming and that will be added to your bill, sire."

Feste: "So I am to remain housebound for three days?"

Carpenter Guy: "Either that or no stable, sire."

And that's why Feste stayed home for three days and eventually got his HDTV: Horse Depository and Trough for Victuals.

More on Feste to come.

MichaelR


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