Monday, May 3, 2010

Cry, Baby ... Cry?

If "Cry, Baby, Cry" had first been written by John as a short story, I imagine it would have gone something like this ...


I wasn't the one who drove her batty, you know, although certainly we did oft-times make the attempt, what with all the sudden smashing of antique calendars and scratching up the bird-tents that never once asked for a hand or two.

It was, of course, or so the rumor goes, the crying child that finally did her in when the time had come.  Sighing, she said out loud, to no one in particular, "sigh, and again, sigh".  Sometimes it was one sighs too small, and no one in the round world could have blamed her any better than she did.  She was old enough, after all.

Marigold was a place of no small accountants, and the saying goes that one needs to break a few promises now and again to make a promise omelet.  That was just what the king had set out to do, in fact, puttering about the kitchen with the pots and pans, trying to finish what he could of the queen's breakfast and hoping to match the forks with the spoonerisms.

Ah, but where was the queen in all of this mess?  They say she was in the parlor, practicing parleys and pronouncing the popular parlance, which was only too becoming for a person of her station.  "Shall we have a wilting tune on the old ebony and ivory?"  Little much she understood about all that nonsense, for she was not a woman well-acquainted with tuning forks of whatever size, much less an entire fork-lift.  Somehow or other, no one understood the everybits of the nothingmuch she so often whispered.  It's common enough.

"Rancid day, so to speak", uttered the king with no small amount of flair.  Flamboyant he was, though this did nothing to increase the accuracy of his back-stroke.  "There's no time like the present when there's flowers to be picketed and pocketed, what-what!"  It's no mystery why they did him in eventually.  But for now, while king and friend had their fifteen seconds of flame in the garden variety way, the queen had long-since given up on the facade of musicality, and had gotten herself skin-deep into an artistic fit.  "It's for the children, so it is", and not even she believed that this was true, for she was a chronological liar of habit.  It had ever-so been, and would ever-much continue, if you please (or even if you don't).

When the duchess finally arrived from the distant land of Kircaldy, she had just got through with another portrait-taking (although she would always claim she'd only borrowed it), and had found that her smile was quite properly stuck exactly where it was (halfway between the stairs and the hallway).  This made it increasingly difficult to convey other emotions, and she had become annoyed at having to climb trees and hang upside-downy when she felt like a good frown.  Naturally, she arrived too late for tea, which put the duke in quite a bad tempest (having just climbed out from the kettle-pot himself), a situation for which he found no suitable remedy, except to enlist the help of the posh birds (who always got everything wrong) and the buzzing bees (for they were at all times flying high).  Try as they might, they were unable to get the message delivered, and so had to settle for a low-key massage instead.

The stage having thus been quite-well settled, the noon meeting could commence itself without further ado or don't, however you like it.  Darkness spread like darkness does, and the children entertained themselves (for they were back from holiday now) by interjecting words where they didn't quite belong (especially in the hamper).  It was all for a lark, but the king would have none of it, being a bit put-out as he was by the duchess, who had left just now and bequeathed him naught but a lukewarm pot of tea.  From that sad state, he contemplated nothing in general, and everything in particular, and wondered (more often than he would like to admit) if anywhere there was an anyone who would take him back from whence he'd been (less often than he claimed).

In the end, all was as well as it couldn't have otherwise been suggested, for these were different times than the ones before, and everyone agreed that such things should scarcely be mentioned, if there was ever to be a sequel.

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