If You Think I’m Uncivil

 

A Guillotine has to stay hungry

to keep her competitive edge—

she likes to stay sharp, like she’s stringing a harp

when trimming a neck or a hedge.

 

She breakfasts on kings and on princes

and lunches on bishops and earls

and, finally, dines on whatever she finds—

like dissidents or little girls.

 

The Guillotine likes to stay hungry;

she knows all the right strings to pull—

she gobbles up everyone there in the Square

but never appears to be full.

 

She comes to the party invited

but stays when the other guests go,

and if you request that she help with the mess

she’ll cut you off with a sharp no.

 

The Guillotine’s constantly hungry;

she can’t seem to master the urge.

She’s much too impatient to learn moderation;

it’s always a binge—and a purge.

 

She breakfasts on royals and nobles

and lunches on bishops and priests

and finally dines on whoever opines

that maybe it’s time she should cease.

 

The Queen of Cheese Presents: The True Story of Columbus

In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two

Columbus tried an open shoe

And found a lady living there

With lots of kids (but none to spare).

He called it a discovery

And, therefore, his sole property,

But when he called for golden rocks,

They sent him off with oldish socks

Because (the textbooks won’t tell you)

He was a stinker, through and through.

Green Eggs and Ham meets The Truman Show (as a portal fantasy)

It’s Green Eggs and Ham meets The Truman Show, and it’s a portal fantasy.

A + B = Awesome

 

I do not think I’m on TV

With lots of people watching me.

 

Then can you explain this wizard

And that fire-breathing lizard?

 

But who would put me on TV?

That’s not a show I’d want to see.

 

Would you want to watch the show

If it had a talking crow?

 

I would not want to watch that show,

Not even with a talking crow.

I would not watch me with a wizard

Or a fire-breathing lizard.

I would not watch me on TV,

It just does not appeal to me.

 

If we sent you somewhere scenic

Would you watch you with a phoenix?

 

I would not watch me with a phoenix

Even if the views are scenic.

I would not want to watch that show,

Not even with a talking crow.

I would not watch me with a lizard

Or a fire-breathing wizard.

I would not watch me on TV,

Not even if the channel’s free.

 

Would you watch you on a boat?

Or an island that can float?

 

I would not watch me on a boat

Or an island that can float.

I would not watch me somewhere scenic,

I would not watch me with a phoenix.

I do not want to watch that show,

Not even with a talking crow,

Not with a lizard, not with a wizard,

Nor if it’s free. Put down the TV.

 

Would you watch you on a throne

Carved from a single, monstrous bone?

 

I would not watch what you have shown,

Not even from a throne of bone

Somewhere scenic on a boat

Or an island that can float,

Not with a phoenix or a crow,

I do not want to watch that show,

Not with a lizard, not with a wizard.

Turn off the TV—there’s nothing to see.

 

Would you watch you with a sword

That too easily gets bored?

 

I would not watch me with a sword

That too easily gets bored—

Do you think I’m off my gourd?

Not from a throne crafted from bone,

Not on a boat or an island that floats,

No matter how scenic. Not with a phoenix.

Not with a crow hosting the show,

Not with a wizard, not with a lizard.

Turn off that stuff. I’ve heard enough.

 

Would you watch you in a world

In which space and time are curled?

 

I would not watch me in a world

In which space and time are curled,

I would not watch me in a world

In which space and time are curled,

I would not—have we gotten stuck?

Viewers at home, you’re out of luck.

 

If you would escape this wheel,

I’m sure by now you know the deal:

The only way—you’ve got to know—

Is to sit and watch the show.

 

Fine! If it will set me free,

I will watch me on TV.

 

That’s all I need for you to see.

 

[On TV:

 

I wonder what’s behind this door—

I haven’t seen it here before.

 

Try it, try it, and you’ll see.

(I’ll just rub my hands with glee.)

 

Very well, I’ll try the door.

Ack! Is that a manticore?]

 

Now I’ve watched the show I’m in.

The plots are all absurdly thin,

The sets are cheap, the friends are fake,

The whole thing is a big mistake.

I don’t know why you think I’d feel

That any of this stuff is real.

 

But you were there!

 

But I don’t care.

Now that I have watched my show

I still don’t like it. Can I go?

Queen of Cheese Classics: “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds,” by James McIntyre

We have seen the Queen of cheese,
Laying quietly at your ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze —
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you’ll go
To the great Provincial Show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto.

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees —
Or as the leaves upon the trees —
It did require to make thee please,
And stand unrivalled Queen of Cheese.

May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great World’s show at Paris.

Of the youth — beware of these —
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek; then songs or glees
We could not sing o’ Queen of Cheese.

We’rt thou suspended from baloon,
You’d cast a shade, even at noon;
Folks would think it was the moon
About to fall and crush them soon.

Excerpt From Monty Python and the Club of Fights

TYLER: The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.

ENGLISH PEASANT: Oi, you just did it there.

TYLER: Did what?

ENGLISH PEASANT: Talked about Fight Club.

TYLER: No I didn’t.

ENGLISH PEASANT: Yes you did. You said “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.” That sounds like talking about it to me.

TYLER: You can talk about it when you’re there.

ENGLISH PEASANT: You didn’t say that.

TYLER: What?

ENGLISH PEASANT: You said, “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.” You can’t carve out an exception after the fact. Unless you want to make that the second rule.

TYLER: The second rule?

ENGLISH PEASANT: Well, yes, you could throw in a second rule, beginning with some hoity-toity language like, “Exceptions to the first rule shall include…” or some such.

TYLER: But there already is a second rule.

ENGLISH PEASANT: Are you sure?

TYLER: Yes.

ENGLISH PEASANT: You’re not just making it up to sound clever, are you?

TYLER: No.

ENGLISH PEASANT: Well, let’s have it then.

TYLER: What?

ENGLISH PEASANT: The second rule. What is it?

TYLER: The second rule of Fight club is you do not talk about Fight Club.

ENGLISH PEASANT: Oi, now ’e’s just repeating ’imself. I knew you were making it up.

Queen of Cheese Classics: “Humpty Dumpty: A la Poe” by Thomas Holley Chivers (1809-1858)

As an egg, when broken, never
Can be mended but must ever
Be the same crushed egg forever—
So shall this dark heart of mine
Which, though broken, is still breaking,
And shall nevermore cease aching
For the sleep which has no waking—
For the sleep which is now thine.