Late Night Court Jester

By: David Martin

Good evening and welcome to the castle. I’m your host, Ethelbert the Court Jester, and we’ve got a great show for you tonight.

Joining us tonight is Grimbold the Court Juggler, Oswold the Lute Player and, from the castle over the hill, Merlin the Amazing Sorcerer. And because it’s Tuesday, we’ll once again be playing “Stump the Alchemist.”

It’s great to be here. Actually, it’s great to be anywhere considering the death rate from the plague. Boy, that stuff’s a downer. They’re not kidding when they call it the Black Death.

I want to thank those of you who had to stand in line for two hours to get in. What with the heat and the flies and the pox, I’m sure it was no fun.

How hot was it, you may ask? It was so hot that the dead body collector had to make both his rounds after sunset. It was so hot that the castle guards on the catwalk didn’t have to boil their vats of oil. It was so hot that even the fiery hell of eternal damnation was looking like a good place to cool off.

I just walked in from the village on the outskirts of the castle near the brook by the meadow and boy are my feet tired.

For those of you who came here tonight by ox cart, is that path from the village to the castle crowded or what? My brother Ethelred got so confused that he missed the off-ramp for the castle and the last I heard he was half way to Nottinghamshire!

And what about those crazy ox cart drivers? I’m not saying they’re terrible drivers but if you have to buy a new ox every other week, it’s time to take a few lessons.

Say, did you read about the King’s latest proclamation? No? Well, I guess with a literacy rate of five per cent, it’s surprising anyone read it.

Speaking of reading, I can barely make out the cue cards. I guess that’s what happens when you hire some young kid who speaks this fancy new Middle English. I’m not saying my English is old but I still read Beowulf in the original version.

But if you like the new Middle English, you ought to check out this Geoffrey Chaucer fellow. He was here at the castle last week and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind taking a Bath with his wife.

We have some of our knights here tonight. Could you fellows stand up and take a bow? Oh, apparently they can’t. I guess that’s what happens when you wear your armor 24/7. I don’t even want to know what they use for underwear!

How many of you read about this item in the news? Well, actually, I’m guessing none of you did. As I said, with a five per cent literacy rate, it’s not like anyone’s carrying a library card – whatever the heck that is.

But maybe you heard it from the town crier. Yesterday Jon Sawyer, the inventor of the sawmill, died at the age of 82. Sadly, Jon got caught in his own invention and will be buried at 2, 4 and 6 o’clock. Smithy, could I get a rapid beating of the drums for that one?

How’s that for irony? Our drums player is named Smithy and the castle blacksmith is named Drumsman. Really folks, you can’t make this kind of stuff up.

Anyway, we’ve got a really great show tonight. We’ll be right back with Grimbold the Juggler, Oswold the Lute Player and a special appearance from Joan of Rivers. But first a word from our sponsor, the great folks at your local Grog & Mead drive-thru. Please give it up for Anonymous and the castle’s Limited Ensemble of String and Wind Instruments.


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