This makes two days in a row that I have not run; rest assured, I took my frustration out on Morrissey, my p*ssy-@$$ recumbent exercise bike, riding him — HARD!1! — for 30 minutes or 10 miles, whichever came first; luckily they came at the same time, even though I suspect Ten Miles was faking it. "Yeah, Thirty Minutes, that was grrrrreat ... you really rocked my world ... um, Woo-Hoo? ... Could you hand me my knitting? ... No, no, you were fine, really ... anyway, what truly matters is you're a good provider ..."
Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer so I gotta run no matter what.
I just finished King John — full title: The Life and Death of King John — and have come to conclusion that, just as Dick Cheney's favorite pastime was using quail-hunting as an excuse to shoot people in the face and possibly turn them into food for human consumption1, so English nobles must have loved torturing and/or killing children. Because in KJ2 yet another young claimant to the throne is killed. Okay, okay, technically Arthur kills himself, but that's only after Hubert is sent by King John to kill Arthur and he (Hubert) arrives with two "Executioners", whom Hubert sends away, and then Hubert spends the next hundred lines or so threatening to blind Arthur with red-hot irons and Arthur pleads not to be blinded and the reader is sitting there going, "Blinding? I thought you were there to kill the kid, Hubert? Because you weren't accompanied in this scene by two characters called 'Ophthalmologists' — they are clearly called 'Executioners'."
And here's the scene where Hubert was given his instructions:
KING JOHNSo if you read between the lines, it's pretty clear John wants the kid dead.
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.
And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.
He shall not live.
So why all this talk of blinding? Not that it matters. Hubert doesn't kill (or blind) the boy, but Arthur, thinking that situation could change at any moment, tries to escape and falls to his death.
And the King gets blamed for assassinating the kid anyway. But not without first trying to blame Hubert:
KING JOHNSo ... the king orders Hubert to murder Arthur; Hubert can't do it, but tells John he did; at which point, John, seeing how child-murdering is a bit of a political liability, berates Hubert for doing what he was ordered to do. At which point Hubert, say, "Hey Dickhead! Guess what? I didn't do it!"
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
No had, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?
It is the curse of kings to be attended
By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
To break within the bloody house of life,
And on the winking of authority
To understand a law, to know the meaning
Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
More upon humour than advised respect.
Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Witness against us to damnation!
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Quoted and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind:
But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause
When I spake darkly what I purposed,
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
As bid me tell my tale in express words,
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me:
But thou didst understand me by my signs
And didst in signs again parley with sin;
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And consequently thy rude hand to act
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers:
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Hostility and civil tumult reigns
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.
Arm you against your other enemies,
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd yet
The dreadful motion of a murderous thought;
And you have slander'd nature in my form,
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience!
Then? They discover Arthur's dead body and nobody believes they didn't murder him.
1 With the catchy brand name of Soylent Whittington.
2 Who, by the bye, is the same John as in the Robin Hood legend; ie., John-Teh-Brother-of-Richard-Teh-Lionhearted. King Richard was off fighting a Crusade in the Middle East (because his adviser Richard "Dick-Teh-Pacemaker-Hearted" Cheney claimed the Saracens had Crossbows of Mass Destruction) and left his brother John in charge of the country. He was such a suck-@$$ ruler, according to the legend, that even Errol Flynn wouldn't have sex with him, which is saying a lot.
Of course, this was before John became king and was such a suck-@$$ ruler that his own barons revolted against him and made him sign the Magna Carta (Latin for "MasterCard"), on which they had already, unbeknownst to John. run up thousands and thousands of pounds of charges ordering Internet pr0n, on which charges they only ever paid the minimum so ... surcharges? There were surcharges out the ass!2a
2a Surcharges Out the Ass! being one of the internet pr0n videos that the barons ordered like 57 times because they were into some really freaky stuff; but who could resist the tagline: "See the video where Maid Marian becomes Made Marian"? Which she does courtesy of the Spoonerifically named character "Triar Fuck", who evidently does not take his celibacy vows very seriously. But first? She rejects Little John, For obvious reasons.