My Week 261: And Now For Something Completely Different

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about watching a woman walk up to the front of a train, hitting everyone in the head on her way by, and I remarked that it was like something out of a Monty Python sketch. For those of you who don’t know, Monty Python was not a person; it was an absurdist comedy troupe that formed in the late 60s. Over the course of the next couple of decades, they had a TV series, live concerts, and several movies including Monty Python and The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian. If you’ve never heard of them or seen any of their work, then I don’t even know what to tell you. But if you ARE familiar with Monty Python, you’ll understand when I say that it has occurred to me on more than one occasion, and more so recently, that my life is pretty much one long Monty Python sketch. They’re well-known for numerous hysterically surreal scenarios, and below you will find the parallel circumstances of some of these moments in my own life. There are five below—4 are slightly exaggerated for comedic purposes and one of them is absolutely as it happened. See if you can guess which one.

Pet Shop

Late afternoon. The 11th floor.

Me: I’m having an issue with my computer.
IT Guy: Ah, yes. The Lenovo. What’s the problem?
Me: I’ll tell you what the problem is, my lad. It’s broken.
IT Guy: Broken? Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Me: Yes. It’s definitely broken.
IT Guy: It’s probably just doing updates. Remarkable machine, the Lenovo. Lovely keyboard.
Me: The keyboard doesn’t enter into it, mate! It’s broken! (*bangs laptop against desk*)
IT Guy: There, see? It’s fine—the screen flickered.
Me: No, it didn’t! (*opens and closes lid rapidly*) Cortana! Oh, Cortana!! See, it’s not working. And don’t tell me it’s pining for the fjords.
IT Guy: Fjords? In Canada? Give it here. Right—it was just a password problem. I’ve unlocked it for you.
Me: I wish I was a lumberjack.
IT Guy: You’re ok.

Argument Clinic

Early morning. Alarm goes off.

Me: Ergh. I’m so tired. I wish I could just call in and take the day off like some people can.
Ken: Dan’s not coming into work?
Me: Who’s Dan?
Ken: Isn’t he the person who’s not coming into work?
Me: No, I said ‘Like people can’.
Ken: Was he off yesterday too?
Me: Who?!
Ken: That Dan guy.
Me: What the f*ck are you talking about?!
Ken: What are you trying to tell me?
Me: I’m tired and I don’t want to go to work! Why don’t you either follow along or go back to sleep?!
Ken: Be like Dan.
Me: This argument has gone on way too long.
Ken: Are you staying home today?
Me: This is futile.

Michelangelo and the Pope

Via email

Literary Magazine: Greetings. We really enjoyed your short story and would like to publish it. We just need you to make a few minor revisions.
Me: I can do that. What were you thinking?
Lit Mag: Get rid of the family next door. They’re not important to the plot and they push the word count up.
Me: Get rid of them? But they add a bit of colour to the setting. Plus, the father’s presence allows the reader to infer a lot about the way the town perceives the main character. He’s like an Everyman.
Lit Mag: All right. We can live with the family, but we need you to lose the last paragraph. Just end it with the boy and the woman eating watermelon.
Me: Lose the last paragraph?! That’s where you find out the husband is dead all along!
Lit Mag: The husband’s DEAD?! Thanks for the spoiler. Regardless, it’s not necessary.
Me: NOT NECESS—look mate, you don’t want a writer, you want a bloody stenographer!
Lit Mag: We’re a bloody small university press, we are! We may not know writing but we know what we like!

Four Yorkshiremen

Lunchtime. Jack’s Office.

Jack: Who’d have thought we’d be sitting here using “Teams” on our Iphones. I miss the old days. Do you know, they’re not even making laptops with CD drives in them anymore? I remember my first computer—it was a Commodore 64.
Me: Commodore 64? You were lucky. I typed my honours thesis on a Vic 20.
Jack: I remember doing a lot of my high school essays on an electric typewriter.
Me: Electric? Ooh, we used to DREAM of electric typewriters. I learned to type on an old manual that weighed more than you did.
Jack: At least with computers, you could save everything on diskette instead of having to use carbon paper. Remember those floppy discs?
Me: Floppy discs? You were lucky. Back in my day, we had to save all our data on CASSETTE TAPES. And when the data was saved, we had to go outside and lick the road clean with our tongues.
Jack: What?
Me: Nothing. Remember when we all had Blackberries?
Jack: Blackberry? You were lucky. I had a flip phone for years.
Me: Flip phones?! You were lucky to have one of THEM. Back in my day, we had car phones the size of a laptop bag that plugged into the car. And they were RADIOACTIVE. We DREAMED of flip phones.
Jack: But you try to tell the young people of today that–
Me: And they won’t believe you.

 The Spanish Inquisition

9 pm. The front door opens.

Me: Oh! It’s you!
Ken: Who were you expecting—the Spanish Inquisition?
Titus (*flies into room*): NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Me: Nice cloak.

Our chief weapon is the element of surprise…

I’ve linked each title to the corresponding Python sketch, and here’s the link to all the Monty Python scripts from A-M here and from N-Z here in case you want to see how life imitates art.

73 thoughts on “My Week 261: And Now For Something Completely Different

  1. Probably my favorite Monty Python sketch, the Spanish Inquisition, lol. Next to the skit of the Re-enactment of Pearl Harbor, by their Ladies Auxiliary. Titus has such a great sense of humor, your so lucky to have him. All I have is a snarky tabby who rolls his eyes at me. 😼

    Liked by 4 people

  2. nd St. Attila raised his hand grenade up on high saying ‘O Lord bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the Lord did grin and people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orang-utans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and…’ oops..got a bit carried away.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. An entertaining read, for-shor. In today’s PC climate, the irreverent notions of the Monty crew should be embraced and celebrated – daily.

    “Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving, revolving at 900 miles an hour…”

    “Sure you can have my liver, I’ve just about poisoned this one to death.” (hiccup)

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Don’t forget Herr Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Who could ever forget Herr Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm?!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m glad you remembered Herr Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm because that one made me laugh really hard.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You had cell phones? You were lucky. We had cans. They were supposed to be tied to each other with strings but they got tangled, so we cut all the strings in an event that was commemorated as “String-Cutting Day”. (Which I still celebrate, although the turnout is smaller every year.) After that, the cans were far less effective. Nobody could reach anyone. Ah, those were the days…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What coincidental timing–I just finished reading John Cleese’s autobiography, although, interestingly, he skips over almost all of Monty Python. Seriously I was about three-hundred pages in and it’s only three-hundred and seventy-five and I said, wait, he’s still talking about his early TV days…but then so much has been written about Python that I don’t blame him for not wanting to rehash it. Although it was fun to learn that the head of programming cut many of the swear words they used but at the end of the Spanish Inquisition episode Michael Palin is allowed to say “Oh bugger!” because it was deemed too funny to be removed.
    I feel sorry for Titus, though, sitting there going, “This outfit should be red! Black just blends in too well.”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I love the lit mag one in particular, of course. I had a piece that was rejected by every Northern lit mag I sent it to because it read “Too Southern” – and when I sent it to a Southern lit mag, they accepted it, but asked me to make some edits where it sounded “Too Northern”. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lol! Isn’t that just always the way: “I might not know art but we know what I like!” I had the same thing happen with a short story where one lit mag said it was too short for a short story and another said it was too long for flash fiction. WTF?!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I started to type a response to this yesterday when the boss walked in and now I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say. Imagine it was insightful. Possibly even epic. What I’ll say instead (besides that you should be writing hilarious skits for a comedy troupe called “Our Tribe”) is that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Monty Python skit, though I’ve seen both the movies you’ve mentioned. In fact, I’ve seen The Holy Grail 6,667 times, or some other unholy number. One of my favorite of all time. I have no excuse for never having seen any of the rest of their stuff (besides “Brian,” once. I recall enjoying it), but I can tell you I’ve seen 7776 skits (or some other holy number) by the Canadian comedy troupe “Kids in the Hall.” I think they have produced, for me, some of the fondest memories of old friends and I. Many parties we crushed each others heads or pretended to have cabbage hair.

    I don’t know how all that relates but, you know, you’re Canadian and funny and you mentioned a famous comedy troupe and I forgot the insightful and epic thing I was going to say yesterday so I came up with this. Thanks for the laugh!

    And, uh, I hope Dan finally made it back. Quite a scare.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Now you’re asking me to think while I’m busy laughing 🙂 Ummm… iphones, email… they weren’t around then… who cares? The doggie pic is adorable! Surely should have been in Monty Python!

    Liked by 1 person

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