What's new, Bill?
Last update 4/16/2010
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|Copyright 2010 - B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio|
There was once a young man named Albrecht. Albrecht wasn’t like the other boys - he didn’t enjoy dueling or wenching. He was a more sensitive soul… Albrecht wrote poetry.
Love poetry, to be specific - mostly directed to his young lady friend, Suzzy (with two z’s. She was that kind of girl). I won’t reproduce a full sample of Albrecht’s work - if it were any good, it would be in a Norton Anthology somewhere, but here’s a little sample, just to give you the idea:
“Like the sunrise over the western mountain
Your smile shines above your more than adequate breasts…”
Maybe it looses something in the translation - you could say "What's the dog eating?" in Italian and it would sound poetic - , but, even so, it’s hardly first rate stuff. However, Suzzy loved it, and, consequently, Suzzy loved Albrecht. Which would be good, except for the inevitable literary snag.
Suzzy’s dad, Bruno the Bear, wasn’t impressed with either Albrecht’s poetry or Albrecht himself. Bruno had something a bit more stable in mind, like a nice Renaissance Prince or something, and poor Albrecht was just too dainty to fit the bill. Bruno was so disappointed with Suzzy’s choice in men that he decided to follow the well established custom of hiring a swaggering bravo to pick a fight with Albrecht, challenge him to a duel, and, with any luck, remove him from his daughter’s fantasies.
The swaggering bravo met Albrecht in the street and followed the standard format of “putting the lie to him” (You called me a liar, and if you say you didn’t, you are calling me a liar). Albrecht had little choice but to agree to a duel. He was not, however, comfortable with the prospect.
Albrecht did what all sensitive men do when confronted with an insoluble problem - he asked his mom what to do. Fortunately, mom was connected. Her sister’s husband’s uncle’s niece’s next door neighbor was a famous wizard living in that fabled City of Sorcerers where Eastern mysticism meets Western scholasticism, Toledo (the one in Spain, not Ohio). Normally a wizard will require a high price to help out in a situation such as this, but, because of the close family connection, he agreed to help out as a public relations gesture, pro bono. He presented Albrecht with An Infallible Amulet of Protection.
Albrecht returned to Rome with the amulet, in much better spirits than when he left, just in time for the duel. Needless to say, the swaggering bravo was soon dead, and Bruno’s nefarious plan was thwarted.
\Which didn’t bother Bruno at all. He suddenly realized that, perhaps, Albrecht had more to him than the mushy poetry would seem to indicate. He actually became quite chummy with Albrecht, and began to encourage Albrecht’s attentions to Suzzy.
This is where the happy ending should come in, but, Alas! The course of young love seldom runs smoothly.
Secure with the amulet, and with the confidence that comes from the meaty hand of friendship extended by a guy like Bruno, Albrecht became a new man. He began to swagger a bit himself. In fact, he grew to be positively tough, and gained quite the reputation as an expert duelist, earning the right to be addressed as Master Albrecht.
As much as this pleased Bruno, it displeased Suzzy. Suzzy really had a thing for sensitive guys who write mushy poetry about her breasts. As Albrecht’s swagger turned into full blown bravohood, Suzzy lost interest, and, eventually, found a new guy who spent all his spare time locked in his room and sighing heavily.
Things like this can’t be kept hidden for long. Albrecht soon discovered that he was being two timed. And, like the good swaggering bravo he had become, he sought out his competition and put the lie to him.
Suzzy was devastated, but she had a plan. One night while Albrecht wasn’t paying attention, she stole the Infallible Amulet of Protection and replaced it with an identical copy. Suzzy passed the original on to her new fella.
Well, I don’t need to tell you the rest, I don’t think. Albrecht has a nice tomb in a little out of the way chapel in Rome.
Through a chain of circumstances to long to go into here, Master Albrecht’s Infallible Amulet of Protection has come into my hands…
…or maybe I have the copy. I can’t be sure. Needless to say, I’m not giving a guarantee as to the amulet’s effectiveness.