Having reached the end of my poor sinner's life, I, brother Vestigial Parameter of the holy order of St. Pamela Sue Anderson, prepare to leave on this parchment my testimony as to the wondrous and terrible events I witnessed in my youth in the year of our Society XXX. May God grant me the wisdom, grace and exemption from Royal prosecution necessary to be the faithful chronicler of the happenings which took place in a remote canton in the dark east of Caid. A canton whose name, even now, prudence dictates I should omit - if it were not for the fact this story is basically nothing more than a shameless attempt to pander to the populace of Poll Na Gainmhe to garner a sizable portion to their world-famous pit roasted carne asada.
The people of Poll Na Gainmhe had chosen the third day of February to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the canton. Little did they know that this day of celebration would be smeared by the dark brush of mystery and stained with the spray paint can of intrigue before being scrubbed with the naptha of investigation and finally thrown on the rag heap of confusion when it was discovered that the canvas of life is not re-usable.
The players in this foul mystery were many. His Majesty, John, the wicked and ruthless King of Caid had traveled to Poll Na Gainmhe with a great entourage to A) recognize the hard work of the talented paople of the canton and reward them generously for their efforts in the Society, and B) to chow down as much carne asada as humanly possible in one 24-hour period.
In the King's retinue was Sir Gavin MacDonald, valiant warrior, defender of the royal personage and suspected artisan, who accompanied the King on his excursion to Poll Na Gainmhe to guard His Majesty from any harm which might befall him in the form of Habaņero chili salsa.
The third player in this tragedy, Baron Guillaume, came to meet the Royal entourage in Poll Na Gainmhe and make the King feel welcome in this remote part of Caid, as well as to assure that His Majesty did not quietly divert any of the canton's tax funds to his own account by convincing the populace they were investing in some sort of "Royal Savings & Loan" fund.
And then there was the victim; the lord who was to meet his tragic and untimely end; the talented fellow who would have been Caid's first triple peer had he nor fallen to an assasin'a blade. I refer, of couse, to Lord Sluggo.
|The celebratory feast began with the traditional Poll Na Gainmhe tortilla carving contest, which originated years ago when Lord Acelin de Renard, a pillar of dignity and decorum in the Calafian community, made a flour tortilla Zorro mask during a banquet. The custom has continued as part of the canton's yearly gila monster fertility ritual.|
Many people at the feast carved their tortillas into spectacular heraldic designs and mythical beasts. Sir Gavin, in a display of artistic talent uncharacteristic of a member of the chivalry, made an astoundingly patriotic rendering of the official irritating weed of Scotland, the thistle.
Baron Guillaume, in a display of artistic talent MUCH MORE representative of members of the chivalry, carved a vaguely recognizable shape out of his tortilla, which might have been a silhouette of the King, or it might have been a relief map of Belize. The only distinguishing featyre of this carving was a gigantic protuberance in front which Guillaume claimed was NOT supposed to be the King's nose, but was merely a large chicken which had coincidentally been standing beside the King's head.
Finally, the long awaited feast was served and the small group of people eagerly devoured hundreds of pounds of carne asada. Afterward, as everyone was stumbling around the hall in a protein-induced stupor, the autocrats (for reasons which to this day are not entirely understood) brought forth a basket containing significant amounts of what was called in the Medieval world: Play-Doh. The purpose of this Play-Doh was, in the words of the autocrat, "To keep the fighters occupied while the servers cleared the tables." Guillaume, John and Gavin might have been offended at this implied limitation of their intellectual capacity, but they were already too busy trying to figure out how to forge a damascus sword out of clay. ("If we fold it here and here ... no, wait, that's not damascus, that's just a mess. Maybe if we roll it up and then cut it? No ...")
Shotely thereafter, Lady Riannon O'Hafn Gath and a "companion" begged leave to approach the head table. Riannon came forward and placed on the table a little white man named Bill who said, in a high, squeaky voice which sounded surprisingly like Lord Ian McEachron: "Hello, Your Majesty, I'd like to perform a song which I wrote for ... Oh, nooooo!"
|And suddenly Sluggo - a giant, scowling green clay head weighing upward of 20 lbs. - came plummeting down on the table to crush Lord Bill into a mass of white goosh. His Majesty, quickly convened a knight's council, which consisted of himself, Gavin and Guillaume - all of whom had eaten enough carne asada to significantly obscure their judgement - and decided that the esteemed Caidan Order of Chivalry would be significantly enriched by the addition of a giant green Play-Doh head.|
The order went out throughout the hall to create Play-Doh symbols of the order: belt, chain and spurs. As Sluggo was sequestered in his vigil, however, it was brought to the King's attention that the knight-candidate, in his graceful leap to squash Lord Bill, had shown considerable artistic talent in the Medieval art of flying across the room. Furthermore, the King was told that in crushing Lord Bill (who was known throughout the realm as a whining little twit) Sluggo had performed significant service to the kingdom.
|Well pleased by these reports - and still somehow not quite realizing the full ramifications of what he was about to do - the King ordered a laurel/pelican medallion to be made by Baroness Felinah so that Sluggo could be dubbed Caid's first triple peer.|
Then vested with the accouterments of his new station, along with many other crowns and tokens of high esteem which had been added by various unruly members of the populce of Poll Na Gainmhe, Sluggo was brought before His Majesty in a most solemn procession to be dubbed Duke Sir Master Master Baron Lord Viscount Grand Jarl Marquis Wingding Hienzaller Sluggo the Great.
At that moment John - with his dinner knife held aloft, ready to give the accolade of knighthood to a green ball of clay named "Sluggo" in full view of the people of Caid - displayed the kind of wisdom and forethought worthy of the greatest monarchs of legend: he panicked. A frenzied look crossed his face as he turned away from the ceremony and said to his assembled knight: "Uh, guys? I'm not exactly 'comfortable' with this. Do you think you could, sort of, 'do something' before the dubbing is complete?"
So, following some grunting and whooping and gnashing of teeth on the part of Guillaume and Gavin, John saw a shadowy figure skulking through the crowd, and he knew (or at least he REALLY hoped) that it was safe to continue with the ceremony.
|"Sluggo, mindful of the wishes of Our people and the great deeds you have achieved, We would create you a knight, laurel, pelican and many other things within Our realm. Therefore," he said, slowly bringing the knife down while glancing expectantly at the cloaked figure, "I am in the process of dubbing you once."|
The shadowy figure made no move, so John slowly raised his knife and said, "I am in the process of dubbing you twice." He looked with redoubled expectation at the shadowy figure, who stood motionless nearby. Finally, with great reluctance and a look on his face which you might expect to see on a man about to eat a live grub, the King raised the knife and said, "I am in the process of dubbing you three -"
Suddenly the assassin leapt forward and plunged his poisened knife to the hilt in the back of Sluggo's green clay head. Unfortunately, Sluggo's admittedly slim chances of surviving the killer's blade were cut (so to speak) short when the King became startled by this foul murder and let slip the Great Dinner Knife of State which, as so often happened in Medieval lore, cleft Sluggo in twain.
And so ended the brief but glorious life of Sir Sluggo, Caid's (almost) first triple peer. With great remorse and sorrow the people of Poll Na Gainmhe stumbled out of the feast hall to hurl their anguished cries of laughter to the night. Now that I am an old, old man, of all the earthly pleasures out of the past, the one of which I have never ceased to dream is the taste of the carne asada. Yet I never knew, nor ever learned ... the recipe.