FURTHERMORE GOES THROUGH A STAGE
Furthermore, my Masonic-pet-raven-brother, (Okay. You figure out what to call him!) dropped by the Lodge last night and was really enthralled by Bro. Dan Hake’s description of the staging of the degrees at the recent Scottish Rite reunion in Flagstaff. Furthermore is--as you have probably suspected--quite theatrical at heart. That’s another way of saying he’s a terrible ham. (An interesting thing for a fowl, hmmm.) He is--as you also probably suspected--quite taken with Shakespeare, and has been since I first met him some years ago. He claims he was born to play certain Shakespearian roles. I suggested that Falstaff was appropriate, or perhaps Yorik in Hamlet, or even the one or more of the witches in Macbeth.
He was not amused. He had been thinking more of Hamlet, himself, or perhaps the great Lear. It would not surprise me to discover that Furthermore and Hamlet were old drinking buddies. Or even Lodge brothers.
Anyway, after Lodge, I bludgeoned my way past the hydra, (we’ve thought about letting the hydra petition for the degrees, except with nine heads, he’d be a one-day class all by himself, you know?) only to discover Furthermore wrapped in a long black cape with a startling red silk lining, standing atop his skull on the mantle and gesturing in a most profound manner. Don’t ask me where he got the cape. I still haven’t figured out how he gets TV Guide, Scottish Rite Journal and his monthly editions of the Hulk Hogan Fan Club Magazine delivered.
“All the world’s a stage, and we are but poor players who strut and fret....” he was croaking in his deepest bass tones. A close approximation would be roughly the sound your sewer makes when it backs up. Anyway, at about that point, I began to applaud and shout “Author, author” at the top of my voice. Furthermore was not amused. I accused him of having a really crummy sense of humor.
“You’ve got a really crummy sense of humor,” I told him.
“Not true,” he croaked. “I haven’t heard anything funny lately. Certainly not from you!”
“Ha!” I responded intelligently.
“Right. See what I mean,” Furthermore sighed.
“Okay, birdbrain!” I shot back, “How about this?”
Using my deepest, most resonate bass voice, I hit him with, “IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, then I demand better lighting.” I used the same line on Bro. Dan earlier at Lodge and HE thought it was funny. Well, at least mildly amusing.
“IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, why don't you leave town on it?” the bird shot back.
“IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, maybe you’ll outgrow it,” I responded.
“IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, the director is doing a crummy job,” he croaked.
“IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, it explains why you can't get a speaking role,” I replied, chalking up a couple of points for the old man on our score board.
Furthermore was getting into the spirit of things now. “IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, where does the audience sit?” he chuckled. “IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, why didn't I get a copy of the script? IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, this show's going to have a short run. IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, you can bet it was built with tax money. IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, Phoenix must be the orchestra pit. IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, I think I'll get off at the next rest stop!”
He was obviously having fun.
“IF ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, you couldn't scalp the tickets!” he chortled as he did tight spiral around the gallows post in the center of the room.
I’d heard enough. Even talking to the hydra--always a confusing experience since six of its heads don’t speak English--made more sense, so I slipped away. Overhead, long cape flapping in the wind behind him, Furthermore had now moved on to other great theatrical quotes. I was just boxing the hydra’s 18 ears when I heard him declaim as he soared out of sight, “Okay, punk, make my day! Okay, punk, have a good day! Okay, punk, what a difference a day makes! Okay, punk....”
I willed the rock door shut with a grateful thud as I told him to have a nice day. Oh. I can’t believe I really said that!