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A day at Castle Pacifica
It was much ado about nothing
By Malamute, 18 February 2002

The negative enlistment wars are finally resolved, as King Thomas Hansen holds court in Castle Pacifica, with Generals Bellotti, Neuheisel, and Toledo having their day. Honorable and learned men, they churn the humid air with bardolatry, their words as carefully chosen as the Bard would have chosen them himself. At the same time, the Bard slowly turns over in his grave.

Seated high on his throne, King Thomas looks  upon the three generals below. His courtiers (Miller, Withers and Newnham) stand at his side along with his squire, Sir Rodney.


Isaiah Stanback, a highly sought after recruit (Photo courtesy of dawgman.com)
Standing proudly before the king, the three generals are clad in battered armor, with bloodied swords at their sides.   For the past several months, they and their seconds have roamed the country side looking for enlistments to buttress their flagging armies. Along the way, the three of them have crossed swords over potential enlistments, such as Prince Isaiah Stanback (left).

In a practiced manner, General Bellotti holds a firm jaw line to the light, his demeanor full of arrogance and pride. Looking the part of the Roman gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius, he can almost hear the revelry shouting, "Maximus, Maximus, Maximus."

Neuheisel is enervated by long hours and lack of sleep, and Toledo, who still wears his helmet, squirms from side to side as if the innards of his armor were rife with fleas.

Thomas: “Yes, General Nueheisel, you have asked to hold court.”

General Neuheisel is bleeding from superficial cuts about the neck and face; long, golden locks flowing to his shoulders are occasionally stirred by the courtier's fans, which churn the humid air.

Neuheisel: "King Thomas, sire, something is rotten in the state of our kingdom. What used to be fair is now foul and what used to be foul is now fair. I come to you and stand as a man to be counted; otherwise, for the rest of my life, I will grovel at the feet of such men as these."

He looks to his side. Bellotti and Toledo stare straight ahead, as if their necks were welded to iron. 

Thomas: "Go on."

Neuheisel: "I have chosen, sire, to take arms against a sea of troubles."

Fashioning himself an eloquent man, King Thomas quotes from Shakespeare.

Thomas: “So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; they smack of honour both. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man
. Proceed.”

Neuheisel: “I have been badly wronged.”

Thomas: “Howst so, General Neuheisel, thy glib, golden boy from the North?”

The king’s obsequious courtiers smirk, for the king has chosen to use their words.

In unison, the three courtiers whisper to the king.

Courtiers: “Thou canst not trust this man; like a rabbit in heat, he will bolt from his hutch to serve those who offer more booty. In days of yore, Court Pacifica punished his army, commanded then by General James; his lieutenants had rewarded mere privates with baskets of fruit for battles not performed. Do punish him for speaking so boldly; he dishonors you.

Thomas: "Er, hmm. Go on, General Neuheisel."

Neuheisel: “General Toledo has poached upon my enlistments, attempting to steal them away from my army, besmirching my name to all that were present. I submit this parchment, a deposition by a Private Walker, who was born to an arid zone.”

Neuheisel hands the parchment to courtier Miller who relays it to the king. Thomas carefully reads it. At the same time, the flea bitten Toledo--the portly one--squirms about in his ill-fitting armor.

Thomas stares sternly at Toledo.

Thomas: “This part I do not understand, General Toledo. Private Walker quotes you as telling him that ‘General Neuheisel’s army is rife with dawgs' and that you told him, ‘I took by the throat the circumcised dog, And smote him, thus.’”  

Toledo responds, almost inaudibly, in a muffled tone.

Toledo: “Mayest I speak, King Thomas?”

Thomas: "Not til you remove thy helmet. I canst not hear you well for thy words are caught in rusted iron.”

His sword falling to the stone floor, Bellotti helps Toledo with his helmet, tugging on it until it clanks to the floor. The helmet rolls about the floor as if it were a head chopped from a guillotine. Toledo is sweating profusely and Thomas’ courtiers fan the air rapidly.

Toledo: "I have heard General Neuheisel call his legions 'dawgs.' The quote I used in the parchment made reference to the fact that my Bruins are mightier than his dawgs.” Fashioning himself an eloquent man as well, Toledo quotes from the Bard. “When the hurly-burly 's done, When the battle's lost and won, my Bruins stand tall.

Looking annoyed, Thomas clears his throat, and not to be outdone as a bardolater, quotes the same again.

Thomas: “He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle. I do hate a proud man as I do hate the engendering of toads.”

Sensing Thomas’ passion for Shakespeare, Toledo continues in that vein.

Toledo: “Yes, sire. I meant not to be prideful or show avarice, for To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.”

Thomas stares sternly at Toledo, his look of annoyance telling him that he (Toledo) has made his last quote from the Bard.

Thomas: "Er hum. Well spoken. Er hum, General Neuheisel, what are General Bellotti’s offenses?”

Neuheisel: "Mockery, sire. His lieutenants staged a play that mocked me. Each time I was shown on stage another actor feigned to vomit."  

The three courtiers howl in laughter.

Toledo and Bellotti in chorus: “Neuheisel’s lieutenants have mocked us as well, besmirching our good names.

Neuheisel: "They use me as a scapegoat, sire. A staff is quickly found to beat a dog. However, every dog will have his day."

Bellotti: "General Neuheisel’s lieutenants call me a 'lady of the Knight,' as in the play, ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore.’”  

Neuheisel: "Get thee to a nunnery."

The courtiers snicker.

Bellotti: "What doest thou mean by that?"

Thomas: "Brevity is the soul of wit. And thee, General Toledo? How hast thy been wronged?"

Toledo: "His lieutenants mock me in plays as well, portraying my troops on crutches with hands outstretched as beggars—they seeking solace, pity and reward—whilst portraying myself as a buffoon mindless to their greed."

Thomas: And?

Toledo: "Also, they mock my swiftest liege, who they say rides the finest horse of any private in the land--one given to him by a 'sycophantic toad.'"

Thomas lowers his voice a notch, preparing for a soliloquy that will use his finest Shakespearean voice.

Thomas: “When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” 

Toledo: My legions are not beggars, sire."

Thomas: "Do not interrupt me."

Pensively, Thomas carefully chooses his next words. 

Thomas: "When we are born we cry that we are come.. to this great stage of fools. Lord, what fools these mortals be. All of this is ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ My ears are closed to your further rants, much like petals in the darkness. Surgeons tend to their wounds. Armorers close their rivets up...and, er ugh, and someone bathe General Toledo.”

Sir Rodney escorts the three generals from the court, where in the outer chamber they engage themselves in argument.

 

With arms outstretched, Sir Rodney looks to the audience and pleads, “Why can’t we all just get along.”

   

Author's note: 

 

I offer my apology to three excellent football coaches: Rick Neuheisel (Washington), Mike Bellotti (Oregon), and Bob Toledo (UCLA), and to Tom Hansen, Pac-10 Commissioner. Also, to Ted Miller, Bud Withers and Blaine Newnham. Though sometimes irritating to Husky fans, they do a fine job of reporting and commenting on Husky sports. 

 

And finally my apology for this pastiche to the Bard, who would roll over in his grave if he were to read such nonsense. 

 

Hardly a bardolater, I needed some help here. J

References:

Miner, Margaret; Rawsen, Hugh, "A Dictionary of Quotations from Shakespeare," Penguin Books.

Linde, Richard, "It's all about perception," 11 Feb 2002,  http://www.4malamute.com/recruiting.html

 

 

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