Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Big Musical, Act 3: Beowulf Meets Last Of The Mohicans Man.

I'm really enjoying spending time with Beowulf. However, I could have skipped that walk in the park when he caught and roasted a squirrel just because I said I felt like a snack. Frankly speaking, his dark age ardor can be a bit much sometimes, but he's so attentive! All the same, I realize my first duty is to help Beowulf and his men get back to the work of inspiring great literature before history is changed forever and the space-time continuum collapses.

Using the now discarded washer-dryer unit, the "cooking box," a wire hanger and a few pine cones, I rig up a rudimentary time portal that I think will do the trick. Much hilarity ensues as the men burn their Jamba Juice uniforms on a makeshift bonfire on the cement slab that is my backyard before donning breeches and armor for the trip home to the frigid north fifteen hundred years ago. Only Beowulf and I stand a little apart, both cognizant of how much has passed between us and that we may never see each other again.

"You could come with us," he sings in a moving solo as the smoke from the Jamba Juice uniforms drifts over the yard. As much as the prospect of living in another time and place has entranced me since my youth, disability checks were not invented until more recently. Also, I try to explain to Beowulf about fifth century psychiatric wards, but he doesn't understand. "It's called burning at the stake." Then he gets it.

"No, Beowulf," I insist softly. "I must remain." We kiss passionately, then one by one, Beowulf's men spring into the eerie blue screen of light that emanates from the device. In fact, the eerie blue screen of light is so blue that it resembles a waterfall. From the cave where I am hiding, I can hear the French soldiers coming. Beowulf (all of his men already through the portal) turns one final time to gaze at me with impossibly blue eyes almost glassy with unshed tears and sings forcefully, "Stay alive! No matter what occurs! I will find you!" Then he too turns and leaps into the eerie blue screen.

I stand in the yard, overcome by the sudden stillness and the fumes of the burning Jamba Juice uniforms. Just five minutes ago, my life had been full of adventure and the sort of men who'd never had the time or inclination to let themselves go. Now, I'm left with a refrigerator full of unidentifiable raw meat and a fire extinguisher.

But then something unexpected happens. (More unexpected than all of the above, of course.) Instead of disappearing, the wavy blue light starts to crackle and turn green. In a sudden explosion that does the props master proud and causes a few screams from the audience, Beowulf and his men tumble wildly out of the gulf followed by. . . Selma! As played by my cat, Gerard Butler (MC,GB) she's resplendent in red gown and cloak and matted, twig-like hair. As the music rolls and the curtain gets ready to fall in preparation for the fourth and final act, Selma sashays her way through the confused mess of bodies and smoke straight towards me and plants a big wet one right on my lips. The music changes. Bom-chick-a-bom-bom. Curtain. Huge applause. Next up: Beowulf, the adult film.

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