Sunday, January 31, 2010

Without malice aforethought I seem to be in an expository (it's not what you think) mode right now. And I know there are some beer-guzzling, hockey-watching young bucks out there - you know who you are - who think that my more recent pieces are a bit, well, high-brau. (And you can surely believe that if I could patent and trademark a sentence it would be that one.) Well, this one's for you.

What I am about to present is an extremely brief excerpt from a play called "The Jew of Malta" by Christopher Marlowe. You don't really need to know anything about the play, but if you're curious it was likely written about 1590. Here's what you need to remember:

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed--
BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country;
And besides, the wench is dead.
So what, you ask? Well, every guy, no matter what the color of his baseball cap, has the odd occasion when he has to step up to the conversational plate. Example:

Drunken Buddy #1: "Dude, didn't you used to boink Betty Jo Bielowski? I can't believe you did that, even now."

You, taking a drink of what I would hope would be your martini but is really a Milwaukee's Best Ice: "Ah, but that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead."

Drunken Buddy #1: "Guh?"

Well, it doesn't sound so great when I type it here, but trust me. It's the conversational equivalent of standing on the center line and making the game-winning basket as the horn sounds. Although as I think about it, Drunken Buddies #1 - #37 may not appreciate it as much as I might wish.

Fine. Here's another scenario: You are standing at the bar trying to make small talk and not stare at the cleavage of the succulent woman next to you.

Her: "Have you ever dated one of your professors before?" [Actually, it could be anything that starts with "Have you ever ____", but I'm assuming you just lied and said you finished college.]

You, taking a manly swig of a microbrew you know nothing about but that sounded lots cooler than an MBI: "Ah, but that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead."

Her: "Guh?"

Well. Okay. I suppose that I have to give up and admit that you can't trot the line out just anywhere. But somewhere, someday, you will be in a position where you need the conversational shot from the center line to win the game, and you will remember this. And use it. And people will say to themselves, "Dang! Nice one!" and buy you a Milwaukee's Best Ice and the cutest among them will drag you home and wreak great sex upon you.

Who do you thank when that happens? If you say "Christopher Marlowe" I'm not letting you read my blog anymore. (I have a monopoly on this blog.) Nope. You thank "Hulles." Although if I happen to be in the crowd at the time you say it, I'm going to chime in with "Hey, nice one, Christoper Marlowe, 'Jew of Malta'. Let's see, what year did he write that? Oh yeah, it was 1589 or 1590, thereabouts." Hey, I could use the sex wreakage myself, let alone the beer.

- Hulles

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