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This is my entry for this week of LJ Idol, Season 9. Please check out the entries of my fellow competitors and consider joining the therealljidol community. This week's topic was "In Another Castle."



Me at Spamalot
Me as a French guard in a cut-out
outside Spamalot on Broadway



OPERATOR: (IN A NASAL VOICE) Welcome to "The Other Castle." Please select from the following options: 1 for Fantasy; 2 for Historical Fiction; 3 for Free Verse; 4 for Rhyming Verse and Lyrics; 5 for Personal Essays; 6 for Historical Essays; 7 for Humor; 8 for Meta; or 9 for Other.

(SOUND EFFECT: PHONE BEEPING SEVERAL TIMES)

OPERATOR: (SNORTING LAUGHTER) I hope you're happy with your selection. If you're not, just remember: We're the phone company. We don't care; we don't have to.

NEWBIE CHORUS (SPOKEN AS A SERIES OF OVERLAPPING VOICES: When I first heard the topic was "The Other Castle," I thought about Super Mario Brothers -- my favorite fairytale -- that saying "a man's home is his castle" -- this castle I saw in Scotland -- declaring a bye -- but I decided instead to take a risk and do something I've never done before: a Spenserian sonnet! -- flash fiction about my feet! -- a story from the point-of-view of the villain -- a monkey -- a piece of lint -- (IN UNISON) Here goes! I hope you like it!

SETTING: An empty stage, filled with dancing Players, all whirling around in circles, holding props. Every once in a while, one turns to face the audience and speaks, while the others continue to whirl. On the sidelines, a group of Readers sit in front of computers.

(SOUND EFFECT: The beeping sounds of a 1990s-era video game)

PLAYER 1: (HOLDING A VIDEO-GAME CONTROLLER) (SINGING) I smash and mash the buttons, / I dash and crash around. / I hope that no one guesses / The "twist" that I have found. / I'm not a video gamer / Who's hurling digital knives. / I'm God controlling humans / And playing with your lives!

CHORUS: (SINGING) Your skin breaks out in hives! Ha!

READER 1: (WEARING A T-SHIRT READING D.B. FIRST) (TYPING) Bunk and balderdash! If I wanted to read a drug-infused diatribe, I'd pick up "Go Ask Alice." This concept is so obvious it's like a dog wearing a hat to pretend he's human... and taking a dump on the living room carpet! (PUTS ON HIS HAT) That's my entry. And I'm outta here. Bye! (EXITS STAGE LEFT)

(SOUND EFFECT: Scottish bagpipes, with an eerie echo)

PLAYER 2: (HOLDING AND SHAKING A WHITE SHEET) (IN A GHOSTLY WHISPER) The woman in white flutters down the hall. She disappears through a dark door. Her shape raises goosebumps on my arm. I am certain I've seen her before, lived her life before. In another place, another time. She is the ghostly shade of my dimly remembered past.

READER 2: (TYPING WILDLY) I'm not sure I get it, but I love it! That is sooooo deep!

READER 1: (POKING HIS HEAD IN FROM STAGE LEFT) Why couldn't you have been first? I would have eviscerated that!

READER 2: (PUTS HER FINGERS IN HER EARS) La-la-la-la-la. No one's listening, DBF! Why don't you go collect more pop-cultural references that nobody will get?

(SOUND EFFECT: The beginning strains to a familiar "Monty Python" tune)

PLAYER 3: (HOLDING A TINY FISH) (SINGING AND DANCING WHILST SLAPPING PLAYER 4 WITH THE TINY FISH) We're hacks of the round table. / We parody where we're able. / We steal a line / Wrap it in twine / And claim that it is cable. / We like that Sam-I-Am a lot. / And we eat green eggs and ham a lot! (TAP DANCES ON THE TABLE TO SILLY UPBEAT MUSIC)

PLAYER 4: (HITS PLAYER 3 WITH A GIANT FISH, KNOCKING HER OFF THE TABLE) First?

PLAYER 5: (OFFERING A PLATE CONTAINING A GIANT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE) Have a cookie!

PLAYER 4: (TAKES THE COOKIE OFF THE PLATTER, STEPPING FORWARD ONTO A GIANT WHITE "X") Thank you!

(A GIANT CARDBOARD PROP OF A WEIGHT, READING "16 TONS" ON THE SIDE, FALLS FROM THE CEILING AND COVERS PLAYER 4)

PLAYER 5: (TO PLAYER 4, WHO'S NOW COVERED BY THE WEIGHT) You are dead to me!

(STOCK FOOTAGE OF OLD LADIES APPLAUDING)

PLAYER 5: Thank you, thank you! (BOWS AND EXITS STAGE RIGHT)

(SOUND EFFECT: Ominous music)

CHORUS: (QUICKLY, IN UNISON) The following entry contains triggers for nose picking, swing dancing, crowing like a rooster and adjective abuse. Warning: Spoilers for "Sherlock," "Dr. Who" and "Once Upon a Time"! Anyone still here, please click to read beneath the cut.



PLAYER 6: (WEARING A VIKING HELMET) (CLEARS THROAT) This is my only line.



READER 2: (TYPING) (IN A FLAT, EMOTIONLESS VOICE) LOL. That was hilarious. You are soooo funny. I am dying over here. (TURNS TO FACE AUDIENCE) (SHAKES HEAD AND ROLLS EYES)

(SOUND EFFECT: Horses galloping and adventure music)

PLAYER 7: (HOLDING A SWORD AND SHIELD) Thriangald, the last knight of Palomar, polished his sword. He knew he had to vanquish the evil tyrant Blidiotface in order to reclaim the kingdom for the fair princess, Embelir. As he strode forward across the marshy tundra, he recalled the first 17 years of his woe-befallen life.

CHORUS: (IN UNISON) Five-thousand words later...

PLAYER 7: (ACTING OUT THE ACTION BY PRETENDING TO BE FIRST THE HERO AND THEN THE VILLAIN) Thrusting forward with his sword, Thriangald parried the attack of the sinister Blidiotface. "You can never defeat me," Blidiotface snarled, spraying spit. "By the power of Dynhattor, I can and I will!" Thriangald bellowed as he buried his sword up to its hilt in the globular gut of the nasty Blidiotface. "I have avenged my mother, Tanghais, my father, Tontinad, and the hapless beggar Raesit!" Thriangald exclaimed, as tears poured down his face, raining onto the dust below. His hands still crimsoned, Thriangald rushed to the ox-cart to loose the bonds of Princess Embelir, whose golden tresses cascaded around her tear-stained face. Holding hands and skipping with delight, they entered the castle, once owned by another, and now their new home of wedded bliss.

READER 1: (GROANS LOUDLY FROM OFFSTAGE) (SHOUTING) Make it stop!

READER 3: (TYPING WITH ONE HAND, BRANDISHING A WHIP IN THE OTHER) (LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE AUDIENCE) This entry has now reached 1,027 words. Please wrap it up within 208 words. Thank you.

(SOUND EFFECT: Nature sounds of birds, a waterfall, and in the far distance, dolphins)

READER 8: (GAZING INTO A HANDHELD MIRROR) I am chasing crows for Farmer McCrall / chuffing across a flat landscape: / my daily routine of coffee, laundry, office work / "Oh, the indignity." / The crows won't get away from me this time. / The crows scratch and scuff, cackle and caw. / I bump them off, clickety-clack. / Clickety-clack. / Farmer McCall will be pleased. (SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO THE READERS) This entry was written while watching a "Thomas and Friends" episode as my preschooler kicked my leg.

READER 2: (DIRECTLY TO THE AUDIENCE) No kidding. (TYPING) What a creative approach to the topic. Three exclamation points. Smiley face.

PLAYER 9: (TO READER 3) Hey, chick with the whip, how many words are left?

READER 3: Sixty-one, not counting what I'm saying. Fifty-two.

PLAYER 9: Forty-two more than I need. Here goes: "Ten words cannot do justice to its walls. Two can."

READER 2: (TYPING) Toucan? That's brilliant! I think...

THE COLONEL: (MARCHING ONSTAGE WAVING A RIDING CROP) Stop this! It's too silly! (ONE BY ONE HE PUSHES EVERYONE OFF THE STAGE)

THE END (???)






Thanks to halfshellvenus, who suggested I do something inspired by Spamalot. This Pythonesque creation was the result of that suggestion and my morning headache.

And in case all of this isn't silly enough, my 3-year-old son kfp_rawr's Home Game entry is now up: "The Puffy Castle and the Pot Castle."



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Comments

( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
tatdatcm
Mar. 31st, 2014 03:05 am (UTC)
I was a little wary when I saw the "meta meta meta" cut and saw the way you structured this, but I admit, I got a good giggle out of it.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, good! It is awfully early in the season for meta, but once this idea hit me I couldn't pass it up.
tonithegreat
Mar. 31st, 2014 04:46 am (UTC)
Toucan! That's brilliant! I LOLed. I like the meta and I may not even be catching all of it.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
Don't worry; I'm not even sure that I do. ;) As long as you laughed, that's all that matters.
halfshellvenus
Mar. 31st, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
Much easier to read with the help of boldface and such.

There were a lot more meta references here than I'd realized (some from this particular season!)

And then, of course, there was This entry was written while watching a "Thomas and Friends" episode as my preschooler kicked my leg.

Says it all, really, doesn't it?

I'm so glad you had fun with this idea! Nicely executed, and the picture at the top was a bonus. :D
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
And that part is even more meta, because what happened was that I wanted to write some reflexive serious poetry for that Player (hence the mirror). But then my son really did distract me by kicking my leg, and I ended up borrowing from the narration of the "Thomas & Friends" episode he was watching, just breaking it into lines. I was about to delete it and then said, "No, wait... This is perfect!"

I guess that "Player" is me.

Thanks again, for the idea.
eska818
Mar. 31st, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
This was amazing. Thank you for being unique, hilarious, and just plain awesome.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
*blush* Thank you! Humor is such a subjective thing, which makes it a risk. I'm glad to hear that you found it hilarious.
basric
Mar. 31st, 2014 07:08 am (UTC)
It was really different in a good way.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
That is great to hear, because I knew it was different but wasn't sure how people would take it.

Yet another awesome icon!
witchwife
Mar. 31st, 2014 08:35 am (UTC)
As already mentioned, loved the bit about the Newbie Chorus. Entertaining until the finish.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
At which point it completely fell apart? Yes, I know. ;) Glad you liked it. Sometimes, it's fun to just get a little silly.
beeker121
Mar. 31st, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)

PLAYER 6: (WEARING A VIKING HELMET) (CLEARS THROAT) This is my only line.

That made me lol, while here at work. Thanks for the dose of silliness.
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
Yay! I succeeded! Now, if only you'd been drinking milk and it had come out your nose.

Well, there's always next time.
caile
Mar. 31st, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
This was a riot! Very clever. But is the topic not 'In Another Castle'?
alycewilson
Mar. 31st, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Good catch on the topic, too. I've corrected it in the intro paragraph but let it alone in the entry, because I like "The Other Castle" as the name of this bizarre enterprise.
muchtooarrogant
Apr. 1st, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
Yay meta yay! LOL

Dan
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
*grin* Glad it made you go "yay!"
beautyofgrey
Apr. 1st, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
I really love the chorus. They are quite talented! And bravo, for pulling together such a piece!
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
They are, indeed! I was hoping that everyone would take this in the spirit with which it's intended.
cheshire23
Apr. 1st, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
*giggles* Meta works best when it's funny, I think. :)
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
Hope that means you found this one funny!
i_will_not_say
Apr. 1st, 2014 11:22 am (UTC)
This made me lol, as in actually laugh out loud, audibly.

*\o/* Good job! *\o/*
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yay! That's great to hear. The cheerleaders are awesome, too.
kagomeshuko
Apr. 1st, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
love it!!!
alycewilson
Apr. 1st, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it!
crazed_delusion
Apr. 1st, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
Lots of giggling happening here :)
alycewilson
Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:15 am (UTC)
Yay! Giggling is good.
seakittym
Apr. 2nd, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
I love the style!
alycewilson
Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:15 am (UTC)
Thank you! I thought I'd go for something a little different this time.
jem0000000
Apr. 3rd, 2014 06:49 am (UTC)
I liked this. :)

Why is 1235 the magic number, though? Because it's one over 1234?
alycewilson
Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:14 am (UTC)
I wish I were that clever! No, it's just that I was referring to a Work Room conversation where someone said that anything over 1,000 words ought to be justified and that ideally we should try to keep it under 1,500 words. So that just happened to be the point at which I started to worry it was getting too long and had one of the characters voice my inner feelings about the need to wrap it up. :)
jem0000000
Apr. 7th, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
Ah, I remember that. I've been trying to keep mine under 1,000, so I don't have to worry about justifying it. :)
witches
Apr. 3rd, 2014 09:57 am (UTC)
Hee, this made me chuckle <3

Edited at 2014-04-03 09:58 am (UTC)
alycewilson
Apr. 4th, 2014 06:54 am (UTC)
Glad to hear it! Ehen I'm trying to be funny, it's nice when people laugh.
witches
Apr. 4th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC)
:D

hee, same here!
eternal_ot
Apr. 3rd, 2014 10:56 am (UTC)
LMAO..what a brilliant post! loved it to the core..and i'm all for Newbie chorus, if anytime you are auditioning...;)..:D
alycewilson
Apr. 4th, 2014 07:27 am (UTC)
Thank you! You would definitely be welcome to audition, but I have a feeling there'd be lots of competition.
eternal_ot
Apr. 4th, 2014 11:10 am (UTC)
hehe..i agree..(*groan*)..
roina_arwen
Apr. 3rd, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
(TYPING) What a creative approach to the topic. Three exclamation points. Smiley face.

Yes, this!

Isn't Spamalot fantastic? :)
alycewilson
Apr. 4th, 2014 06:53 am (UTC)
It was! When the topic was suggested to me, I originally thought of just writing about my experiences seeing the show in New York with two friends, but I didn't think there was enough of a story there.
whipchick
Apr. 4th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
Brilliant meta! (BRANDISHING WHIP IN APPROVAL). Made me genuinely laugh, and I love that you were able to be pointed without being mean - such a fun celebration of our quirks!
alycewilson
Apr. 4th, 2014 06:45 am (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! I was hoping you'd discover this without me having to point it out to you. Your comments mean a lot! Humor is very subjective, so I'm glad so many people responded positively.
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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