Being Beatrice, Chapter One: An Excess of Spirits

Printer-friendly version

Chapter One: An Excess of Spirits

“You’d make a pretty girl, with these lashes,” ChristinA told me, as she made up my face. The “stars” were all ready to go, so the make-up crew was getting around to the rest of us.

No, it’s NOT a typo. She capitalizes the terminal “a.” Why? I don’t know. She’s an artist. They’re all like that.

ChristinA wasn’t attempting to belittle my masculinity; it wouldn’t even have occurred to her. I don’t rate that much attention. I don’t get worked up about that sort of thing, anyway. I got over being a skinny, scrawny guy a long time ago. It’s whatever, you know?

Besides, I already know damned well I’ve got a pretty face, given how many people have seen fit to mention it over the years. I’d even worn makeup before, to find out for myself just how pretty. So – just for starters, and picking the comparator completely at random – I know I’m better looking than the complete Ho they picked to play the female lead.

I have the added advantage of being able to remember my entrances.

“Chrissssssy!!! Hey girlfriend! I need a touch-up here! Me an’ Dirk were practicing our hot scene!”

Aaaaaand . . . speak of the devil. Except, the devil would probably not need a prompter quite so often. Although even Lazy Lynette could probably manage to remember “go to hell.”

Long as it was her only line.

“Lynette!! Jeeeeesus! Get over here, get in this chair, and don’t freakin’ move a muscle ‘til I tell you too!” ChristinA did not like to have people mess with her make-up.

Sorry. Her “artistry.” Whatever. I rolled my eyes, then rolled my body out of the chair. “No-one’s going to notice if the idiot Messenger is washed out, I suppose.”

Keesha, our stage manager, was dashing around as usual. She paused just long enough to say, “Probably not. C’mon, stop bitching, Dijon — curtain’s up in three!”

I ground my teeth, but said nothing. I hadn’t focused on the potential for nickname abuse when I decided to try to start using my middle name. Dad was a nice enough guy, I suppose — I mean, people have told me so, anyhow. But it takes a sadist to saddle your son with “Diocletian” even if you are a professor of ancient history. Anyway, it took about two hours for “D. Jon Manser” to become . . . .

You get the point. Should’ve stuck with frickin’ Diocletian. Try to make a nickname out of that, motherfuckers!

Keesha had already buzzed off to deliver her message of good cheer to the others who appeared in Act I, Scene 1, so she didn’t hear ChristinA hiss, “Jeeeesus, Lynette! How’m I supposed to fix your stupid face? I haven’t smelled alcohol breath this bad since the last time Pops was in a coma!”

“So, twelve hours ago, right?” I snarked.

“Eight,” she growled at me. “Not that it’s any business of yours!”

“It was just a couple beers,” Lynette whined, feeling terribly put upon. The only reason I knew she wasn’t acting was because she can’t.

“What kind of beer?” ChristinA asked skeptically, as she tried to finish her emergency repairs.

“Captain Morgan,” Lynette replied, giggling.

“Jeeeeesus!” ChristinA groaned.

“Okay, people! Places!” Keesha again.

“Come on, princess, you’re up!” ChristinA said.

Lynette giggled some more. “Give me a hand, would ya?”

“Stage! Now!!!”

Lynette somehow managed to regain her feet and set off in a stride that was just a little too forceful.

“Lynette,” I said mildly. “It’s this way.”

“It’s my way, mustard face!”

I decided she was someone else’s problem.

Muttering curses, ChristinA managed to get Lynette pointed in the direction of the stage, and she somehow got there without running into something or falling on her ass. But she didn’t exactly look ready for feats of witty banter.

Which would be fine, except our Artistic Director— which is to say, our drama professor— had cast her as “Beatrice” in Much Ado About Nothing, and Beatrice is all about witty banter. Lynette, on the other hand . . . .

Lynette is all about Lynette.

Alright . . . Leonato, Hero and the somewhat Loopy Lynette were all in place. Up goes the curtain. Smattering of applause from the audience. Showtime!

I strode on stage and moved purposefully toward Leonato, dropping to one knee when I reached him and handing him an envelope. I rose as he opened it and fished out a pince-nez.

Yeah, you read that right. The professor— excuse me: “Artistic Director” — decided that the costumes would be from the 1920s. As opposed to Elizabethan England or anything Italian. Leonato is supposed to be the governor of Messina, for Chrissake, not Messina Springs! And why 1920s? Who. Knows.


“I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.” Our Leonato has a good voice, and ChristinA’d done a nice job making a skateboard jock like Kit look like an old man. She’s really good at her shit, if she does say so herself. Which she does. She so does.

Well, my turn. “He is very near by this, he was not three leagues off when I left him.”

We go back and forth, while Julianne clings lightly to Kit’s elbow. At least there’s no mystery why Dr. J was cast as Hero. Her looks will be opening doors she can’t even imagine yet, as far down the road as the eye can see.

We finish our discussion of Count Claudio’s surpassing skill at slaughtering other people from different parts of Italy and his father’s joy at the same, and it’s time for Lynette to join the conversation. I find myself holding my breath.

She looks in my general direction and belts out, “I pay you, is Senior Monsanto return’d with the warts. Or, uh, no?” Twelve words and only four flat-out errors, including a possible trade-mark infringement. It could be worse.

The fact that it likely would be shortly tended to temper my enthusiasm.

“I know none of that name, lady,” I reply, suppressing the urge to say “lady” with the inflection of a Boston traffic cop. “There was none such in the army of any sort.”

“What is he that you ask for, niece?” Kit does befuddled really well, which . . . isn’t actually all that surprising. He is truly amazing — on a skateboard.

“My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.” Julianne’s voice is just as exquisite as everything else about her, of course. If only Hero were the female lead, we might survive the evening. It wouldn’t even matter what she said.

“O, he’s return’d, and as pleasant as ever he was.” As per our Director’s instructions, I played the line straight, even though I’m positive that Shakespeare himself would never have done so. Whatever.

But this was where the fertilizer would start to feed into the ventilator at scale. Beatrice had to string together four sentences, and the first one was a doozy.

She took a deep breath, as though preparing to swim the Sea of Cortez under water. “He set up . . . bills? . . . here in Messina, and challeng’d Cupid at the fight, and . . . and my uncle’s foo’, reading the challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challeng’d him at . . . at . . .”

Down in the pit, our prompter was waving a card and mouthing the word, but she wasn’t looking his way.

I decided I’d better try a rescue. “At the burbolt, my lady?”

“Yeah. That,” she replied. “Anyhooo . . . how many hath he kill’d and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he kill’d? For I promis’d to eat all of his killing.” She muttered “gross” and looked at me expectantly, relieved to be momentarily under no obligation to say anything.

Of course, I wasn’t up; Leonato’s line was next.

What am I doing here? I just needed three more humanities credits. Just three more! Dad, of course, had urged me to take history, but I had no intention of warping my mind to the point where I might give innocent children names like Demosthenes or Agrippina the Younger.

“Oh, take drama, honey,” Mom had pleaded. “You’re so good with voices” — by which she meant, I’m a truly vicious mimic — “and you’ll meet people. Maybe even girls!” I looked at the good ship Lynette, holed under the waterline and going down fast. Welp. Mission accomplished, Mom. Lucky fucking me.

We managed— how, I don’t know — to stumble through our relatively tame exchanges. I only had to find ways to feed Lynette two more of her lines. But when we were joined by Dirk and Toby, playing Benedick and Claudio, respectively, things drifted further from the established sea lanes.

“What, dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?” At a guess, Dirk had helped Lynette with the Captain Morgan, but he had to out-mass her two-to-one. At worst, his barque was a bit loose in the stays. In normal seas he’d be fine, and as always, he looked the part. Rugged, but somehow still refined.

Too bad this weatherman was predicting seas so rough that even Davy Jones would lose his cookies.

“Is it possible disdain should dine with such neat food as senior Benedick?” Lascivious Lynette managed to deliver her mangled line with an unmaidenly leer, and forgot her second line altogether.

After pausing half a beat, Dirk realized she wasn’t going to say anything more, and delivered his riposte anyway, even though the setup had been ruined. “Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am lov’d of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none.”

Lynette giggled. “Uh huh. Well . . . a dear happiness to women, they would else have been snuggled with a pernicious suit. I thank God and my cold Bud, I am of your good humor for that. Ida rather hear my dad bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.”

The problem is that Lynette was so far off the character of Beatrice — never mind the lines — that it was funny. Really funny. She was getting plenty of laughs from the audience, and Much Ado is a comedy, so her response was to just loosen up. I mean, loosen up even more.

Dirk, however, was desperately trying to get through the scene while staying in character, and ad libbing wasn’t in him. There was a hint of downright panic in his eyes, and he clung to the script like a drowning man clings to an anchor.

Which is to say, fiercely, foolishly, and fatally.

“God keep your ladyship still in that mind,” he said woodenly. “So some gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratched face.”

“Scratching couldn’t make it worse,” she purred, reaching up to run her fingers teasingly across his gold beard. “Such a face!”

“Well,” he squeezed. “Ah . . . You’re a rare parrot-teacher.”

She looked dumbfounded. “Ima what?”

Dirk plowed on, unable to devise another strategy on the fly. “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer. But keep your way a’ God’s name, I have done.”

“Huh?” She shook her head. “Uhh . . . Look. I know you’re old. Like, way old.” She smiled as her audience burst into laughter, then turned to give them a wobbly curtsy.

Dirk closed his eyes, probably hoping the world would vanish if he did.

But alas.

Mercifully, that was Beatrice’s last line in the scene, and shortly after everyone but Dirk and Toby got to exit, stage left.

Lynette was, at this point, having so much fun that “Leonato” Kit had to put a fair bit of pressure on her elbow to induce her to seed the spotlight. As soon as we got into the wings though, she let out a bellow that would certainly carry to the back of the auditorium. “GOD!!! I need to piss!” She took off for backstage at a shambolic run.

I looked at Kit.

He looked at me. “Ho. Lee. Fuck.”

Jim Bridges — our Dogberry— had been watching from the wing we used to exit. “Shit, guys, the slapstick’s supposed to be my gig.”

“Tell me about it,” I said. All of us went backstage, following in the haphazard wake of the S.S. Lynette.

Kit shook his head. “I begged my folks to let me take drama. Begged them. Had to convince them that this program was legit. And they’re out there, right now.”

“Bruh!” I said, commiserating. Not that my parents were in attendance tonight. I had more sense than to invite them, and they had more sense than to show up.

Julianne put a gentle hand on Kit’s arm. “I’m so sorry. I don’t think any of us will be putting this one on our stage credits.”

Keesha joined us. “We are so hosed!”

“Guys,” I said placatingly. “It’ll be okay. This is San Bernardino, not Broadway. People want laughs and they’re getting them. And besides, what with the understudies’ COVID party, it’s not like we’ve got a choice.”

All of the girls who had either minor roles or no roles, but were understudies, had decided it would be a great idea to get together for a pity party. All of them — every damned one — had acquired the latest COVID variant. They were all vaxxed and boosted, and all of them were doing just ducky. But they were also out for the count, and we were flying without a net tonight. Indeed, Hero’s “ladies in waiting” were just a couple guys who were only “waiting” to get out of their dresses.

Professor Hedrick was standing in front of the door to the ladies’, knocking softly. “Lynette? Lynette, honey? Are you okay in there?”

The sounds of retching were the only response he received. Ruh roh! Looks like the early start caught up with her.

“Oh, Christ!” he groaned. “Jenny Sue’s going to kill me!”

“She’ll have to take a number,” I muttered.

Keesha said, “Professor?”

He looked at her distractedly.

“Professor, what do you want us to do?” she asked.


“Yeah. ‘Do.’ You know, with the play?” Her disgust was evident.

He waved her off. “We’ve got to get Lynette up again. Just give me a couple.”

More retching from inside, followed by a moan. “Fuuuuuck! I wanna die!!!!”

The professor returned his attention to the door, his voice becoming more urgent still. “Lynette, sweetie! You’ve got to let us help you! If your mother finds you like this . . . .”

"Fuck Mom!”

“I really don’t think she should encourage him,” Kit murmured.

Keesha looked furious. Near as I could tell, she was about to start hitting the man who’d gotten us all into this mess. Not that I blamed her — like, at all. I’d buy tickets, bring popcorn, and pop a cold one. But she didn’t need to get suspended.

Hedrick was as useless as I’d always suspected. There were a lot of people who’d put in months of effort to put this cluster fuck of a play on the stage, and it wasn’t right that he was going to let it come apart. Screw him.

“Come on,” I said, pulling Keesha away from Hedrick and towards the makeup station. “I can do Beatrice. She’s not on until Act Two, so we’ve got just enough time to get me ready.”

“Wait, what?” Keesha said, startled. “You’re the understudy for Don Pedro and Don John!”

“Both of whom appear to be clean, healthy, and sober tonight. The little things, right?”

“Yeah, but you don’t know the part!”

“I’m the frickin’ Messenger, Keesha. I’ve got, like, twelve lines and I just did ten of them. But I’ve been here every day, for every rehearsal, with nothing to do. I know the whole damned play.”

“But . . . “

I gave her my best Lynette imitation — which, just sayin’, is one hundred percent on fleek. “But what? You got a better idea?”

Her eyes popped, then narrowed in sudden calculation.

Julianne and Kit had followed us. “Keesh, he’s right,” Julianne said. “He’s helped all of us with our lines. Maybe he can pull it off. It’s just for today.”

The sound of renewed retching behind us helped Keesha make a snap decision. “Okay, fine! Just . . . Jesus! Don’t fuck up, okay? And . . . crap! What do we do about the Messenger?”

“You cover it!”

Keesha suddenly looked terrified. “Me! I can’t go on stage!”

Frickin’ artists!

“Fine. The Messenger isn’t back on stage until Act Three, Scene Five. You’ll figure it out by then. ChristinA!”

She was at her chair, and it looked like she’d been crying. “What?”

“Here’s your chance. Make me beautiful. Or at least, make me look like Lynette.”

“Seriously?” She gave me an incredulous look, then — seeing my expression— grinned like a maniac. “Fuck, yeah!” Turning to Keesha, she said, “Get Tanya over here with the wardrobe stuff. And, ah . . . tell her to bring some foundation garments, if you know what I mean.”

ChristinA’s comment made Keesha smile like a wolf. “Yeah, gotcha!” She loped off.

“Okay, then.” ChristinA gave me a conspiratorial look. “Quick now – we need you ready for the opening of Act II. Strip down to your briefs and I’ll get started.”

I moved fast. I probably should have been self-conscious, but the advantage of being physically unimpressive is that after a while you just don’t give a shit. Before I knew it I was naked but for a pretty tight pair of Italian style briefs.

“Alright, this’ll hurt some. Suck it up, Princess,” ChristinA’s grin was positively evil. She spread depilatory cream on my legs, arms and pits. While it was doing what it does, she started working on my face. Fast.

Ten minutes later I was devoid of the fine hair that had taken me frickin’ years to grow, and she was well on her way to reconstructing my face. Or whatever they call it. Keesha came back with Tanya, both bearing clothes.

“I’m afraid the dress and the wig are going to smell a bit like Lynette’s breakfast,” Keesha said. “But we couldn’t think of another way.”

“What did she have? No, don’t tell me. How’d you get in?”

“That idiot Hedrick hadn’t even tried the frickin’ door nob. Of course Lynette didn’t lock it; it’s a wonder she was able to close it.”

“Is she back on her feet?” Maybe she could do this after all. God knows, she was making them laugh . . . .

Keesha snorted. “Yeah, no. She’s back on her back. But this time, unable to do anything interesting.” Lateral Lynette.

“Okay then,” I said. “Plan B it is.”

“You’ll do for now,” ChristinA said. “I’ll do some more later, when you don’t need to be on for a bit.”

Tanya said, “Okay, Dijon. We’ll all turn around, but dump your briefs, tuck yourself back and get this girdle on. It’ll hold you in place.”

I did as instructed, pulling the tight spandex material up until it covered the area from the bottom of my ribcage to mid-thigh. Tanya hooked me into a push-up bra with a bit of foam padding, then handed me an old-fashioned full slip. Despite myself — despite the pressure and the rush and my focus — the feeling of the silky material settling against my skin was startling. It felt feminine, and suddenly, so did I.

Whoa, Jonnie! Grab holda your horses!

The dress was next. Sleeveless, straight, with a broad u-shaped neckline that exposed a whole lot of pale skin on my upper chest and back, it was an extraordinary confection of beadwork over ivory silk. The tassels at the knee-length hem danced as I moved.

Tanya started fussing with the wig.

I might have a pretty face, but there were a few other areas of concern. . . . “I’m flat as a board,” I observed.

“No shit,” said Keesha. “I guess it’s lucky Hedrick stuck us in the 1920’s. For some reason, no one had boobs back then. It’s like there was a law against ‘em.”

“Didn’t men have the right to vote?”

“Yeah, point.”

Tanya got the wig fixed. Suddenly, Jim breezed over. “What . . . Oh! Hey, that’s . . . pretty ingenious. Tell me you’re gonna play her straight, though, right?”

“Where are we at out there?” Keesha asked him, concerned that she hadn’t been able to do her usual job.

He was able to reassure her. “Don John and his boys are just finishing up.”

“How did Dirk do with the rest of Scene One?”

“He was fine. Good, even,” Jim said. “Once it was just him and Toby, they got right back on track.”

Julianne gave me a look that was both kind and thoughtful. “You’re good, Jon? Really?”

I nodded. “I can do it, J.”

“Okay, then. Let’s go!”

“Keesha,” I said, “Make sure Dirk knows, will you? He doesn’t need any more surprises.”

“Fuckin’ A, he doesn’t!” she agreed fervently.

We went to the wings, my shoes clacking strangely on the hardwood floor.

“Short steps, now. And plant your toes first, okay?” Julianne’s voice was barely a murmur.

“Gotcha,” I said. This part would be more challenging. I knew the part and I looked the part. But could I move convincingly? It’s just more mimicry, I told myself firmly.

The evil prince and his henchmen departed the stage and the curtain closed.

Julianne squeezed my hand and looked me right in the eyes. “You are my dear friend and cousin Beatrice, and I’m your Hero. You’ll be great.”

I modulated my voice to match Lynette’s — a sober, Lucid Lynette — being light and playful. “And if not, I’ll just drink myself into greatness!”

She giggled. “Showtime, girlfriend!” We took our places on stage with Kit, Denis (the guy who was playing Leonato’s brother Antonio), and two “ladies in waiting.”

The curtain went up on Act II.

The conclusion of this story will be posted Monday. God willin'.

114 users have voted.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos! Click the "Thumbs Up!" button above to leave a Kudos


This was absolutely wonderful……

D. Eden's picture

And I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the lines, let alone the antics of the drunken Lynette.

Looking forward to the conclusion.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Lynette was really fun to write!

Thanks, Dallas.


Thank you

Dee Sylvan's picture

You picked the only Shakespearean play I’ve ever seen, although I’m sure Lynnette could’ve butchered any of them with equal alacrity. Are we going to see Dijon save the day? Is the audience going to wonder what why the drunken slapstick actress they laughed at is now turning in the performance of a lifetime? I can’t wait for the amazing conclusion Emma dear. :DD


Much Ado

Emma Anne Tate's picture

It’s a great play, and I expect your expedition earlier in the summer was in the back of my mind. The movie with Keneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson is superb— so great it makes me weep that they divorced!

Thanks, Dee Dee. Tomorrow may bring some surprises. . . .


Great film in many ways

The closing shot is my all-time favorite piece of cinematography.

Amazing soundtrack, too

Emma Anne Tate's picture

And the opening sequence was also an extraordinary piece of cinematography.


This was a delightful

Sunflowerchan's picture

This a delightful morning read. You have this wonderful gift of convaying feeling into your scenes, and setting the tone. I felt like I was their watching the play being perforformed. That is how genuine the characters actions were. Thank you for giving me something to brighten my morning and give me something to chuckle about for the rest of the day. I await the next part with baited breath!

Thank you, Sunflower!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

It’s been a long time since I was backstage anywhere, but I hope I was able to capture a bit of the madhouse flavor. It’s an experience, for sure!



Well, it looks like this play has gone more retro with at least one boy playing a girl's part.

They should advertise that as making it more authentic.

75% retro!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

With Diocletian filling Lynette’s lacuna, I think Julianne is the only GG on the stage. Good thing it’s happening in SoCal — I think it might be banned in Florida!


This has all the signs of your proven literary ability

and is (obviously ) going to be great!
Unfortunately it is 60 years since I was in the stage crew for our university's "Much ado . . ." when in consequence I was almost as conversant with the words as 'Dijon', but time is the greatest cause of forgetfulness. So now, to fully appreciate the magnitude displayed by you of the mangling of Beatrice's lines, I must reacquaint myself with my heavily marked up copy of Shakespear. (My degree was in what would now be called environmental sciences, so the original acquaintance though deep, was not thereafter reinforced).
Needless to say, I am really looking forward to your promised conclusion, though the time gap, if it matches your promise will be too short because of other liabilities between now and then for me to rectify the lacuna.
Very best wishes

Public service post

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Thanks, Dave! I am delighted that you are enjoying the story thus far. Let me save you a bit of research, since naturally I already did it to write the scene. Here are the specifically quoted lines Lynette mangled:

  • I pray you, is Signior Mountanto return’d from the wars or no?
  • He set up his bills here in Messina, and challeng’d Cupid at the flight, and my uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challeng’d him at the burbolt. I pray you, how many hath he kill’d and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he kill’d? For indeed I promis’d to eat all of his killing.
  • Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
  • A dear happiness to women, they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humor for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
  • Scratching could not make it worse, and ’twere such a face as yours were.
  • A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours. (Lynette: “Ima what?”
  • )

  • You always end with a jade’s trick, I know you of old.


Haven't seen or read Much Ado

but perhaps I need to in order to just how badly Lynette has messed it up!

Your muse still seems to be hyperactive, long may it continue :) Lots of fun, and no doubt Dijon will save the day with a spectacular performance.


Can sobriety compete?

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Can sobriety outperform Lynette’s drunken antics? We’ll see! As for brushing up — see my last response!


How To Murder The Bard

joannebarbarella's picture

You had me rolling in the aisles, so to speak. I don't know how that would have played in Stratford, but I could envisage it in Peoria.

San Bernardino

Emma Anne Tate's picture

San Bernardino is where you go when Peoria proves to be too exciting. :)

Glad you liked it, woman!


Seed the spotlight

with Roundup-ready seed, of course.


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Missed that one!


Next episode Monday

Well I for one am glad it is coming so soon.

I for one don't want to wait one moment longer to see if Dijon can cut the mustard :P


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Proper pun-ishment!



Erisian's picture

This was a lot of fun, cheering up a somewhat otherwise dreary morning. Thanks, Emma!

Emma's Witt is Beyond Measure

BarbieLee's picture

Someone who even knows a Shakespeare play, much less turn the presentation of same into a disaster, into a comedy, obviously has lost her own hold on sanity. I thought when she brought two old professors whose job was to teach classes on something society was losing if not already lost, together with aliens was a classic in it's own right. Keeping in mind the aliens didn't have a hard lock on the English language and it's nuances themselves.
If one reads Emma's tales it is best to let the imagination follow blindly for she paints with words a scene better than if we are watching a movie. Curtain! Stage setting! Action! Dialog! I was laughing out loud as I watched this Train Wreck of a play unfold. Emma wrote a sub story into the story and it's the thoughts of the Characters as she spun this tale. Call it the icing on the cake or the pudding in the Twinkies it was pure magic.
Hugs Emma beautifully written
Life is a gift, don't waste it wishing. Those who never try for fear of failing have failed before they began.

Oklahoma born and raised cowgirl

Twinkie Pudding

Emma Anne Tate's picture

You know, I think I could write a whole series about Twinkie pudding. It’s even better than Ding Dong Cream or the foam rubber they use to make Peeps!

Thanks, Barb. You’ve done made me blush!


There are…

Robertlouis's picture

…several theatre companies in the UK these days who specialise in off key Shakespeare, whether it’s at high speed - Hamlet in 30 minutes, anyone?; played for laughs and slapstick; or where the cast get completely pissed beforehand and perform the piece drunk.

I’ve seen them all. No, really, I have. But none of them have made me laugh quite as much as your description of this hapless and so far hopeless Much Ado, Ms Tate.

It was so real that I could even smell Lynette’s vomit. And kudos for inventing a new way of euphemising the brown stuff colliding with the whirlybird thing. Bravo. I really could see and hear everything. Your powers of description were at full tilt throughout. I laughed out loud several times. Can’t wait for the second act.


Think of a gravelly voice saying . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

. . . “I love the smell of vomit in the morning. It reminds me of Shakespeare.”

There. Firmly in your mind? Good.

Welcome to my world . . . I hear voices like that All. The. Time. :)


Just wonderful

So skillfully told, I enjoyed every bit of this. Looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks for sharing this with us.

>>> Kay

Thank you, Kay.

Emma Anne Tate's picture

What a lovely comment!



RachelMnM's picture

What would generally be cookie-cutter rigid, rehearsed to the nth degree, and a serious production - has had a playful twist put on it and is just freaking fun. Dijon isn't all up in his head as the other characters - who have great quirks that pull ya in. What a fun story! Loving this!


Rachel M. Moore...

It’s a comedy

Emma Anne Tate's picture

One way or another! So glad you are enjoying it, Rachel. :)


How nice

I've been traveling in a camper for the last two months and Internet has been spotty. What a great thing it is to find a new Emma story with a solid connection. I just wish I knew Shakespeare a little better to appreciate the mangled lines.

Hey, Ricky!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

So glad you could stop in! I think you’ll find the information you are looking for in my response to Dave the Outsider, so I can spare you flipping through the folio version of Shakespeare that you always carry in your glove compartment. :)

I mean, doesn’t everyone?



It could have been worse: he could have been named "Nero", "Caligula" or "Hannibal". :-p
And a nickname from Diocletian? Hmm, Cleo comes to mind. ;-)

Thx for a nice chapter^^

2 beers

or not 2 beers...
So 2 bottles of Captain Morgan? And Lynette's still alive? o.O Maybe the cast should make sure she's not a zombie.


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Dio also works, I guess, though it’s maybe a bit presumptuous!

So glad you are enjoying the story — this one was a lot of fun to write!