This week’s writing challenge at the Daily Post is to pick a favorite writer and imitate his/her style for a blog post. Since I had a Hamlet moment at a dinner recently when my friend’s plan to trick me into eating something gross backfired, I thought I’d pick The Bard as my inspiration for this post.
I have to admit, Shakespeare isn’t exactly my favorite writer in the world and I didn’t really like being made to study his plays in high school. I felt that the language was unnecessarily complicated, and the plots always ended with everyone dying. At the time, I couldn’t understand why Shakespeare was still being taught instead of newer writers.
But as I grew older, these plays grew on me and I’ve come to realize that his love of tragedy has really influenced the way my favorite TV shows are written (why couldn’t they let Angel get together with Cordelia?). The flowery and poetic language, while extremely exaggerated and unnatural, was just his style – much the same way Quentin Tarantino likes to pepper his writing with more pop culture references and cuss-words than would appear in a regular conversation.
While I might not rate him as one of my favorite writers ever, I do respect his work for the impact it has over modern literature… and besides, it’s always fun to speak with a bit of Shakespearean flair. It also tends to impresses people when you cordially quote Shakespeare in a conversation – even if you’ve secretly never completed reading Henry V or fully understood A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
So without further adieu, here’s what happened at that ill-fated dinner:
Scene II – A buffet restaurant
DEXIAN, QIAN, and NATASHA are seated at a dinner table.
Have thou seen what is o’er at the Indian food counter?
Nay. Do speak, I pray thee. Is it a delicious curry?
Oh I do very well crave some spices to heat my chilled bones.
Even better, friend Dexian. It is a roti prata laced with durian!
(Sparknote: roti prata is a type of Indian bread, similar to a thin pizza base)
Durian? But that is a disgusting fruit that is foul and most unnatural.
Why, its scent is no better than a pestilent congregation of vapors!
I beseech thee, Qian. Why dost thou speak of this dish with such excitement?
Know thee not that our friend Drew detests durian?
The very thought of it makes him so affrighted.
Indeed, good sirs, ’tis true.
I have seen it with mine own eyes.
Remember my Christmas party? Oh, how he retch’d upon the taste
of durian cupcake like it was a venomous
arrow from Lady Vashj’s bow!
Thinketh thee what I’m thinking, friend Dexian?
Tis a prank most mischievous, good Qian.
We must perform it!
Then I shall haste to fetch the food most foul!
My lord, I fear this plan go’st too far.
Prithee, love, wouldst thou not reconsider?
Spare me your sympathies.
Frailty, thy name is woman!
Get thee to a nunnery if thou canst not
bear to see our friend suffer in jest!
Here he comes.
DREW enters bearing a plate of food.
Dear friends, something is rotten in the Indian food counter.
I have beheld durian roti prata!
What madness, indeed! Dost these chefs mean to poison us?
NATASHA is silent.
‘Tis a stroke of fortune that our table be place’d far from
the Indian counter, for I fear my weak constitution
cannot bear the stench.
QIAN returns with a plate of roti prata and a bowl of curry.
Roti prata? Is this the sort laced with durian, foul friend?
Yes, our friend Drew speaks tales of roti prata soil’d by the
vile taint of durian.
(Aside) He knows! But I must be strong in my resolve.
(to Drew) Nay, good friend. You wax paranoia with imagination.
‘Tis but the plain sort, free of exotic flavors and tastes.
I admit I didst plan to trick you into partaking of durian, but
I was sway’d by the goodness in my heart, and our everlasting friendship.
I thank thee for thy honesty, good sir, but
I already have much food on my plate.
Then I shall have some prata. The curry calls out to me!
My lord, perhaps thou shouldst not.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Good Qian has already admitted to the fail’d ploy.
Besides, smell thee the stench of durian? Nay, ’tis but
the sweet scent of curry.
He takes a piece of roti prata with a fork.
(Aside) It is the durian’d prata! Shouldst I warn him?
Nay! Neither a friend nor a victim shall I be.
I wouldst not be denied of my pleasure.
Didst thou say something, friend Qian?
Nay, methinks thou heard a ghost, perchance?
Surely you jest, sirrah!
Well then, I will eat, my dear;
pray you pardon me.
He eats, and immediately retches.
What treachery is this? The roti prata,
it is befouled with durian! O, I am poison’d by my own ruse!
What a folly did I commit!
What shame, what sorrow
To suffer the slings and arrows
of outrageous bowel movements upon death!
My lord! It cannot be!
O cruel fate, why didst thou take my love from me?
Qian! Qian’s to blame!
Thou contemptuous, murderous, damned douchebag!
She stabs him with the soiled fork.
The other guests in the restaurant create a commotion.
O! What a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Defend me, friend Drew! I am hurt!
Villain! Dare thee speak of friendship after committing
your wicked scheme? You, who taketh with such dexterity
to vile deeds and actions!
HORATIO, a policeman, enters the restaurant.
My lady, I beseech thee! Stop
and put down the fork!
NATASHA looks at HORATIO, and then looks at QIAN.
Follow my boyfriend!
She stabs him again and QIAN dies.
It is with a heavy heart that I bid thee good night, sweet princess.
HORATIO shoots NATASHA, and she slumps onto the table.
O good Drew, what a wounded name,
If thou couldst ever forgive us, I beseech you,
Tell our story. Tell our friends of Qian’s douchery.
Let them not speak of my lord and I with terrible words.
I will, my lady.
And now I die, I sleep.
Now cracks a noble heart. Alas, how shouldst I proceed?
How canst I tell this lurid tale?
A blog post! A blog post’s the thing!
Okay, maybe my friends didn’t all die in true Shakespearean fashion… but seriously, Qian is a complete douchebag who conspired with Dexian to poison me with durian, and then held his tongue when Dexian unknowingly took the poisoned prata – and laughed as Dexian coughed out that food most foul!
In case you’re not familiar with the ending of Hamlet, which strongly inspired this post, here is Mel Gibson’s rendition of it.
And now, an epilogue: