So I came home from tech last night, made toddies for self and spouse (it’s turned off very suddenly rainy and cold here, I got a flat on my bike this afternoon, allergies, four hours of audiobook narration followed by seven hours of tech excluding supper, lemons that were about to go off…all kinds of good reasons for toddies), and peeked at the DVR to see what relaxation it might afford.
The other night was the end of the Turner Classic Movies month-long celebration of slapstick, programmed specifically for me, obviously, and part of their run of films from the latter end of the last century included one I haven’t seen for years but watched seemingly hundreds of times on cable in the mid-80’s (whenever they weren’t showing Beastmaster, as required by law), the Bob & Doug McKenzie epic, Strange Brew. Just the ticket, I thought. Big dumb fun, I thought. Empty the brain, I thought, with nostalgic goofery.
But before Greg Proops had even finished his intro, he said it: “Elsinore Brewery.” And I remembered: Strange Brew is more or less a moron’s (compliment in this context) version of either Hamlet or Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, from the meta-story that begins the movie – and yes, I would watch a full-length version of Mutants of 2051 A.D – to the gender-swapped Hamlet & Ophelia equivalents (no one drowns, though Bob does beer-pee out an inferno) and the tainted-alcohol-based climax.
Heady stuff for an 80’s comedy about back bacon and a flying alcoholic skunk-dog.
I bring all this up because not only am I happily and gainfully employed by Shakespeare for the next year at least…I am haunted and accosted by him when I try to avoid him. This happens not at all infrequently. Which scans, I noticed after typing it, which awareness was followed by what a dramaturg friend calls a Chekovian Sigh. I’m no Pacino, I thank whatever gods may be for my unhistrionic soul, but just when I thought I was out, if for only a few hours, they pull me back in.
10 out of 12 today and tomorrow. Good knitting awaits.