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?


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


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.

The Queen of Cheese Presents: Excerpt from “The Soiree of the Pig and the ‘Phibian” (in Old Possum’s Practical Puppets)

A pig and a frog do not usually mate,

But once in a while they go on a date–

After all, they’re accustomed to staying up late

From working together on network TV

That anyone raised in the ‘80s might see

(And green’s not the easiest color to be),

So they go to the clubs ‘til a quarter to three,

And they

hop hop hop hop

hop hop HOP HOP

And neither one wishes the evening would stop.

The Queen of Cheese Presents: Shakespeare’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure

by David Sklar
Originally published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency


If meeting three strange ladies in the swamp
Seems ample cause for murthering the king
To take his crown, turn to page 86.

If this seems kind of sketchy, turn to 12.

– – –

If thou slay’st Claudius while he is praying—
A villain kills your father, and, for that,
You, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven, turn the page to 93.

If thou postpon’st the act until such time
As he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th’incestuous pleasure of his bed,
So that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, whereto it goes, turn to page 5.

– – –

If cowards die a thousand times, but thou
Prefer’st to die but once, turn to page 9.

If dying does not bother thee, so long
As thou surviv’st it, turn to 42.

– – –

If, rather than stand prisoner in Rome,
Thou press the venom’d asp against thy breast
Then shalt thou turn the page to 17.

If thou prefer’st to hug a fluffy cat
Then turn instead to page 108.

– – –

If, after being shipwrack’d thou proceed’st
To take thy brother’s name, and don his clothes,
And swagger like a man, turn to page 4.

If trousers please thee not, turn to 16.

– – –

If, having found fair Juliet in her tomb,
Thou dost set up thy everlasting rest,
And take th’apothecary’s lethal draught
To shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From thy world-wearied flesh, turn to page 9.

If thou prefer’st to wait ten minutes, turn
To page 117 instead.

The Queen of Cheese Presents: Before I Kill You: An Arch-Villainelle

Although I’m not particularly vain,

I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,

so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain


my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;

you won’t escape, no matter how you try.

It’s not that I’m particularly vain,


it’s just that after taking all these pains

I would like you to look me in the eye

before I kill you, so I can explain:


a cistern in the mountain gathers rain

through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye

(not that I am particularly vain).


It enters a robotic water main,

which, on command, can self-electrify.

Before I kill you, now, I will explain:


I’ve added some enhancements to my brain—

you’ll nev—What’s that? You’re out? Good grief! Good bye;

good riddance. It’s a good thing I’m not vain;

next time, before I kill you, I’ll explain.


First published in Stone Telling

The Queen of Cheese Presents: The Ballad of Lady Mondegreen

(with apologies to Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Manfred Mann and the Earth Band, Seals and Crofts, Franz Xaver Gruber, Elton John, John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pharrell Williams, Hootie and the Blowfish, Fanny J. Crosby, Bob Dylan, and Anonymous.

Also, Round John Virgin’s loathsome attitudes toward the LGBT community do not even remotely reflect the views of the author. Alas, for the jokes about hearing impairment I have no recourse but to plead fidelity to the source material.)



Ye high lamps, ye low lamps,

Ye bluish hallowgenes,

Have you, miss, heard the story

Of Lady Mondegreen?


If you have heard her story,

You’ve prob’ly heard it wrong.

If you have not, don’t worry;

Feel free to sing along.


She loved the Earl of Moray,

‘E was a ruddy ‘eel.

She said it was electric,

The way ’e made her feel,


But still, she listened poorly

And never asked him why

When he would say, “Excuse me

While I kiss this guy.”


In the blinding light of midnight,

When ladies keep their hearts

Wrapped up like products they employ

To lave their nether parts,


The Earl and Lady Mondegreen

Were strolling in the pines.

A summer breeze was blowing

‘Twixt the jazzmen and the mimes.


The wrathful Round John Virgin

Rode out that silent night,

Burning all the trees up where he rode,

A rocket-man in flight.


Said John, “My Lady Mondegreen,

It cut me like a knife

When you announced that I would find

A fat man on my wife.”


Said she, “I ne’er said aught about

A fat banana knight

But only tried to tell you there’s

A bathroom on the right–


“A place where you can crap alone,

A room without a roof,

To crap alone if you should feel

That happiness is truth.”


Said John, “I want to love you–

The bear says I can’t,

This cross-eyed brute who walks with you

But lays with other men.”


John Virgin drew his rapier

And said, “En garde, you fool.”

Lady Mondegreen said, “Nay,

That is no garden tool,


“And why, sir, do you brandish it

When ladies are about?”

“You brand of WHAT?” Round John was heard

To furiously shout.


And gladly, then, the cross-eyed bear

Stepped up to her defense.

The ants were blowing in the wind,

The ants, they were, my friends.


And Round John Virgin on that night

Was slaughtered by the bear

But not before he’d sliced in half

The Earl of Moray’s ear.


I understand the tale I tell

May sound a little queer,

But every word was verified

By someone who was there.


Ye high lambs, ye low lambs,

Ye sheep of average height,

Did wool get in your ears afore

The tale I told tonight?