Hello, computer, whatcha knowin'?
Can you see my sore throat glowin'?
Got a ragin' earache today
Okay, okay, I'll quit. But it's true. I'm feelin' puny today. That's what my Monster calls it. Feelin' puny. I was feelin' puny yesterday, but I feel punier today. The earache, see. It started last night, and the sore throat's a little worse today. I'm a whiny brat today. Aren't you glad you're not here? But whenever someone wanders in my office and says, "Faith! How ya doin'?" I perk right up and say, "Great! How you doin'?" all nice-like. I'm only a whiny brat with my friends and family. Don't you feel privileged?
So I'm going to the doctor to get it checked out. I'm prone to upper respiratory infections, and I really don't have time to be sick. But if I'm going to be sick, I need to get it out of the way before February 19th. Hence the doctor visit. When I called this morning, he had exactly one appointment left. 10:45. That works. I'm hoping that he'll tell me that I need to go straight home and get in bed and get plenty of rest and liquids. Of course, that never happens when I want it to. It only happens when I'm so sick that it's patently obvious that I need to be in bed getting plenty of rest and liquids. Never when I just want to be lazy and read a lot.
Changing subject now.
Yesterday I was reading Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog (linky goodness to the right). From there you can find more linky goodness to all kinds of cool tee-shirts and stuff. I found a tee-shirt that I would buy if I could get it in black. Well, okay, I could get it in black, but then no one could read the words, because the words are black, so what would be the damn point, right? So I stole the idea, and made myself a sign that is now hanging on the wall in my office. It says, with a picture of Chaucer astride a gallant steed, "Chaucer is more awesome than pirates, ninjas, and zombies combined." It's true, too!
I mean, have you ever read the Miller's Tale? I was telling it to my husband one day. He's never read Chaucer, but he highly respects my passion for Chaucer. So I told him all about the carpenter who is asleep in a tub hanging from the attic rafters as he piously and patiently awaits the second flood that his boarder Nicholas had convinced him was on its way. Meanwhile Nicholas and the carpenter's much younger wife Alisoun had snuck down to the bedroom and were getting it on. Then along comes Absolon, Alisoun's would-be paramour, who stands outside the window and begs for a kiss. For a prank, Alisoun sticks her arse out the window and he kisses her nether lips, stopping only when he realizes that no woman has a beard. And she and Nicholas laugh about it before they get jiggy with it some more. Absolon's love turns instantly to deep hatred. He goes and gets a red-hot poker, vowing revenge. He comes back, asking sweetly for one more kiss. Nicholas had gotten up to piss, so this time he sticks his arse out the window and farts so loudly in Absolon's face that he nearly blinds the poor guy. Absolon brands his arse with the red-hot poker; Nicholas screams loudly for water; the carpenter, hearing the cries of water, thinks the flood has come and cuts his tub loose, falls down from the rafters, breaking his arm, and all is chaos and panic in the carpenter's house. It's a disgusting fart joke combined with the cuckolding of an innocent pious respectable man by his much younger wife and their wily boarder. (I personally find this one hilarious, given my love of a good fart joke, but that's just me.)
There's one tale even more disgusting than that one, the carpenter's tale, as he's trying to get back at the miller. But they're not all vile. The Wife of Bath's tale is great. The Clerk's tale is as annoying as hell. The Pardoner's tale is decent, but his prologue is far more revealing than his tale. The Prioress's Tale is a frightfully anti-Semitic tale that would make you want to barf.
What I love about Chaucer is that through the general prologue and through the prologues to the separate tales he made these people real. You can believe the tales they tell because the people who tell them are believable. He created great characters to tell time-worn tales. The tales themselves aren't the story of the Canterbury Tales. It is, rather, the characters who tell them. They are the story.
It is the snowy shepherd in the form of the parson, and his brother, the poor humble but pure ploughman who fascinate me. It is the vile pardoner and the equally despicable summoner who make me want to vomit even as I want to know them better. Geoffrey Chaucer, in a few short lines, sketched them so well that I would know them wherever I saw them. I could write about them myself, for I know them.
Chaucer. More awesome than pirates, ninjas, and zombies combined. Amen, brudda, amen!