Monday, December 5, 2011

Keeping up with the Krampuses, or, Won't Someone Think of the Children, A Play In One-Half Act

Miss Prunella Vulgaris, The Duchess of Hammer-on-Dulcimer, esteemed member of the Peonage
Juan, The Earl of Valdez, less esteemed member of the Peonage
Good King Wenceslas, Duke, not King, of Bohemia 
Zardoz, freshly served serf who in fact wasn't eaten by Bear but your humble playwright is too lazy to retcon an explanation 
Erich Zann, noted viol player, concert master, & lunatic 
Zombie Johannes Brahms, famous composer & corpse
Zombie Clara Schumann, famous pianist, keeper of the mad, & corpse
Krampus, legendary dread purloiner of joy & stuff various & valuable not that your still humble playwright is saying that joy isn't valuable only that it's fleeting & you shouldn't get too attached 
Children, children
Bear, bait, & lovable ursine scamp 

Non-library, interior, daytime perhaps but it's difficult to tell because all the windows are wreathed with leafy green wreaths & slithering lights of red & white because it's the most wonderful time of the year & the Museum of Palimpsest Oddities is closed because DUCHESS and EARL (and ZARDOZ too) are helping GOOD KING WENCESLAS think about the CHILDREN won't someone please think about the CHILDREN someone is so shut up already.


EARL: What's the matter?

DUKE, NOT KING: This Christmas charity concert was a wonderful idea!

DUCHESS: We live to give.

CHILDREN: Can we watch TV?

ZARDOZ (creepily): Someone will live to give -- to me!

EARL: Shouldn't you be putting out the sheet music? Can't have a concert for the children without sheet music.

DUKE, NOT KING: Yes, serf, hop to.

ZARDOZ (even creepily-er): Yes, sheet music.

Laughing one of those ominous supervillain laughs, ZARDOZ exits.

DUCHESS: Now that that is settled, Good King, where did you find this band on such short notice?

DUKE, NOT KING: Craigslist, dear lady.

CHILDREN: Can we watch TV?

EARL: You remember the last time you used Craigslist.

DUCHESS: A riot worse than when New World constables hot peppered those industrialized Luddites.

ERICH ZANN enters.

DUKE, NOT KING: Good people, I assure you -- oh, 'tis about to begin?

ERICH ZANN: Ja wohl! Eyes uppen zie hier!

A clanging cacophony of cymbals clatter over symbols on the page masquerading as notes because they are but they're also not if you follow & if you don't you soon will, even ERICH ZANN is like, whoa, that's not music.

ERICH ZANN: Das ist eine kleine nachtmusik nein!

ERICH ZANN exits whilst smiling one of those ominous supervillain smiles, did you catch that?

DUKE, NOT KING: Egads, most precious Baby Jesus, what is that racket?

ZARDOZ (from offstage):  Racket! It is the cry of love!

CHILDREN: Can we watch TV?

EARL: If Hendrix was alive, he'd be spinning in his grave.

DUCHESS rolls her eyes with such force that everyone can see even those in the cheap seats & now she'll need to see an optometrist. ZARDOZ enters.

ZARDOZ: Oh, a grave is spinning, I assure you of that!

A cacophony with more clang than the last clatters eardrums, drumming them into motionless submission as, from the shadows, a motion-full shadow also clangs, but it's a ghostly clang of rattling chains, you've all seen a movie version of A Christmas Carol so you know what I'm talking about. ZOMBIE CLARA SCHUMANN enters.

DUKE, NOT KING, DUCHESS and EARL: Zombie Clara Schumann!

ZARDOZ: My love, I have loved you from afar, but now you are near, so I may love you here!


ZOMBIE JOHANNES BRAHMS: Save the weak ass rhymes for yo mama!

CHILDREN: Can we watch TV?

ZARDOZ (incredulous): But, how?


ZOMBIE JOHANNES BRAHMS: We are here in Bohemia, where das Craigslist Konzertmeister secretly replaced the pablum they usually serve with something different but similar enough. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference, that's right, no one could especially a certain serf!

ZARDOZ (flustered): Oh, it doesn't matter! She's mine, beardo!


A symphony of crying children, flying fisticuffs of fury, scattered necromancy, & rigor mortis clatters even louder than the previous two cacophonies & thus sets some kind of record but because GOOD KING WENCESLAS doesn't care about records, only winning, he calls in his guards who promptly arrest ZARDOZ, rebury ZOMBIE CLARA SCHUMANN & ZOMBIE JOHANNES BRAHMS &, as ERICH ZANN disappears screaming into some extradimensional vortex, GOOD KING WENCESLAS wonders aloud about the existential dilemmas that plague mankind no matter which century it is.

DUKE, NOT KING: Dear friends, three questions: how did the composer Brahms appear in the first if the serf himself didn't raise him? Who is this Hendrix?

DUCHESS: Let us not waste our good cheer on the many, many plot holes, such as why you only asked two questions.

EARL: Joy to the world.

DUCHESS: All the boys & girls -- wait, in aftermath of all this unprecedented tomfoolery, where are they?

KRAMPUS enters on his sleigh.

KRAMPUS: Where you aren't!

DUKE, NOT KING, DUCHESS and EARL (beyond incredulous): Krampus!

BEAR enters.

BEAR: *growl*

KRAMPUS: There will be no ursus ex machina this time!


To be continued...


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That Krampus looks sinister.

He's not connected to Jerry Sandusky, is he?

Beach Bum said...

Ahh, Craig's List, good times.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Here's another Krampus.

Randal Graves said...

if, sheesh, Krampus doesn't diddle, just devour and that's no Krampus.

Krampus scares the bejeezus out of people which is why he looks more like me & less like a noir babe in her boudoir.

BB, if is the best interwebs site, this one isn't far behind.

MRMacrum said...

A noble tale with all the good stuff included. Scattered Necromancy and growling bears. Excellent.

Demeur said...

You can't fool me. You stole this plot line from a Marx brothers movie. But the embellishments were good.

Randal Graves said...

mrmacrum, stay tuned sometime in the next week to six months when I get around to penning the exciting conclusion that ends in global thermonuclear war.

demeur, that's bullshit. I stole Malcolm McDowell's time machine, went on a roadtrip & Groucho stole from me.

Tom Harper said...

"Won't someone think of the children?"

Nah. They've already been born. Who needs 'em?

thatgirl said...


Who, if not Bear, can save us now?

S.W. Anderson said...

A jive-talking Brahms and zombies in a Christmas-type tale.

Randal, as some people mature they have all the creativity and imagination ground out of them. This opus is further proof you came through with both amazingly intact. Mangled, but intact.

Now, excuse me while I disappear screaming into some extradimensional vortex. :)

susan said...

What do you mean 'to be continued'? Did Shakespeare pen that phrase after he'd concocted Hamlet? Nay, he retired to his chamber with a nice hot toddy. Perhaps thou ought to emulate the Bard and returneth anon whenst thy pate hath cleared.

Randal Graves said...

tom, um, the army. And fast food joints. Duh.

thatgirl, tune in next week, true believer!

SWA, growing up's for chumps, you know, people with Ambition.

Come back, Erich Zann, teach us those interstellar cosmic chords!

susan, if the Bard were alive today, he would, making his money on either teevee or the silver screen. Verily, good Canadienne, I shud hath shewn such a frase moderne à la latin?

TheCunningRunt said...

You had me at "beardo."

I usually don't read this kind of pedantic bullshittery, but you have that certain je ne sais quo that makes my pants just sorta fall off...

Randal Graves said...

Come now, this isn't pedantry, but merely a series of inside jokes.