Friday, April 20, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Black Knight > King Arthur


This was originally a joke to amuse a friend on the ride from the train station. At her insistence, I’ve transcribed it for posterity. I figure it’s at least as accurate as a SyFy TV Show.

So my favorite story of King Arthur pertains to the Black Knight. I don’t know if you’ve heard it – I first read it in an illustrated kid’s book that was hardly canon, and I’ve probably embellished it since.

King Arthur was king. Sword from the Stone? Merlin being all Gandalf? All these knights bowing to the crown? Okay, so good times in Camelot.

But! This one knight out in the wilderness refused to surrender his territory. He wore jet black armor, flew no standard, and absolutely spanked any loyalists who came to give him crap.

And Arthur’s like, “Well if I’m going to be king, I’ve got to smack a bitch.”

He saddled up and rode for the wilderness, and Merlin came along because Arthur was probably hosed. Arthur rides up, waves the Sword from the Stone, and goes, “Let’s do this!”

The Black Knight will “do this” all day long. He trots out in his huge set of black armor, gets in Arthur’s face, questions his parentage and leadership and probably the divine right of kings. A real democrat, that Black Knight.

Because they’re a couple of dudes with a couple of swords, they decide to fight it out. Bad news: Black Knight is really frickin’ good. Like, the real deal. He’s parrying, he’s knocking Arthur on his ass, he splits his helm, and cuts him up like he wants leftovers for sandwiches tonight. He even shatters the Sword from the Stone, leaving Arthur unarmed and probably wetting himself.

The Black Knight rears up for the kill, but the sun hits his eyes. It’s by sheer luck that Arthur gets the broken sword up, and sinks the shard into a weak spot in the Black Knight’s knee padding. It’s an instant gusher, and the Black Knight staggers off bitching about flesh wounds.

Merlin’s like, “Yo, whatever, time out,” and drags the Glorious King of All England right the hell out of there and to a shack in woods. This is a really good shack, run by a really good nurse. And that nurse is all crushing on Arthur, and soothes all his wounds, and maybe wants to do more, but the king is having none of it. It doesn’t matter that Merlin saved his butt, or that he took the Black Knight to a draw, or that the wilderness nurse is totally into him. He’s terminally depressed.

Merlin gets a little plan. He smacks the Glorious King of All England upside the head, points to the lake and says, “Walk it off.”

Arthur walks over to the lake. In the lake is this amazing godly-nature-nun. And she’s like, “Hey!”

And Arthur’s like, “Eh, I shouldn’t be alive.”

And she’s like, “It beats the alternatives. Get a job.”

“I’ve got a job, but I’m unworthy of it.”

“Get a girlfriend.”

“I’ve got one, and she’s really hot, and I don’t know her name.”

“Oh for the love of God,” she says, “take a sword and go away.”

And she throws a sword at him, and it’s really sweet, with a really sweet blade and a really sweet scabbard. It’s, like, the Excalibur of swords, which is probably why they called it that.

Merlin sneaks up behind Arthur, hugs his shoulders and says, “You should give that Black Knight another shot.”

Arthur’s rocky, but he’s healed and thinks if he punks the Black Knight then maybe he’ll prove he deserves the crown. He rides to the battle field, and the nurse from that shack meets him, and says she won’t let him fight alone. He says they should go steady. She says she’s Guinevere. We all act surprised.

So the Black Knight did not have a magic girlfriend who healed him. He hobbles out in his armor, goes, “Let’s play.”

They fight it out, and it goes way better for Arthur this time. The Black Knight’s still nimble, but all his blows deflected off Arthur’s armor. Finally Arthur chops through the sucker’s sword and knocks him on his ass. At swordpoint, he gets the Black Knight to surrender.

“You should run with my round table,” Arthur decrees.

Black Knight defers. “I don’t roll like that. I’ll be your man in the wilderness. I’ll lay the law down out here.”

Arthur doesn’t turn that down. He goes to celebrate, showing off his sweet Excalibur to Merlin. He says how he thinks it could cut through anything on earth.

“You think that’s cool?” Merlin asks, rhetorically. Being the wise man archetype, he only ever asked things rhetorically. “The sheathe makes you invincible.”

This hits Arthur right in the gut. Of course he won: he was an invulnerable kid in his prime beating on an injured middle-aged hermit. He’s about to turn around and confess to the Black Knight when Merlin grabs his collar.

“Art, check yourself,” the wise man instructs. “King’s got to do some hairy shit. Now the hairiest shit’s been done and all that’s left is finding Lady G an apartment in Camelot. Let’s bounce.”

The book never said what changed Arthur’s mind. Maybe it was fatigue of fighting, the lust to rule, or PTSD from what by all accounts was a legendary ass-kicking. All I know is that ever since I was a kid, I always liked the Black Knight better than King Arthur. He got screwed.

37 comments:

  1. I never read the Black Knight story but he's one cool dude, especially when he used the word 'spanked' any loyalists who came to give him crap. ;)

    Aruthur's a bit of a wimp if you ask me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your version of this story, don't think I'll read the original, it will never measure up to your rendition ^_^

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    1. You can just print and paste this into your copy of Le Morte. I'm sure no scholars around will mind.

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    2. I'm thinking of using the global copy and paste command.

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  2. A fractured fairy tale worthy of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Nicely done.

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    1. If they revive the cartoon again I'll be happy to license it to them. Appreciate it, Tim.

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  3. Should have leveled up his Renegade points and spaced that sucka

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    1. The Paragon Interrupt at the anvil was simply too enticing.

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    1. Was there something about it that perked your amusement?

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  5. Way to go. I loved this different take on a classic. Thanks.

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    1. Were you very familiar with the original tale?

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  6. Great hip-hop slant on the tale.

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  7. Just goes to show, it's all about class.

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    1. It is if the higher class wins, or so I'm told.

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  8. What an excellent and very funny take on King Arthur. Love it. And Merlin's the dude!

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    1. Oh man, Jeff Bridges is perfect casting!

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  9. I never thought I'd see the line "I’ve got to smack a bitch.” in one of your stories!

    Respek.

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    1. I aim for versatility, my friend. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Funniest thing I've read all week. Nicely done John. They should totally do your version when they make the movie again.

    "And Arthur’s like, “Well if I’m going to be king, I’ve got to smack a bitch.”"

    This made me laugh out loud.

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    1. Getting people to laugh is a total win. Thanks for letting me know, Craig. Happy to provide you with some Friday humor.

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  11. Very very funny..at first I thought we were getting into Monty Python and the Holy Grail.."Tis only a flesh wound" but it went off completely left field..a joy to read as always J

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    1. It would be pretty dangerous to retread a classic comedy retread of a classic story. I inserted one reference, though - hope you enjoyed it?

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  12. I loved the laid-back modern telling of this. The humor embellishing this is first class.

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    1. Glad it clicked so well for you! Did anything work particularly well?

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  13. That was hilarious! I was an Arthur junkie when I was a kid too, but I think your rendition is my all-time favorite. I'm glad your friend talked you into posting it.

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    1. You're too kind. You'll get your invitation to the round table shortly.

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  14. This is the funniest version of the story I've read. LOL

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  15. This one earned the "had to read it to the wife" award.

    Loved the 'hood quality of this, the humor, and Arthur's misgivings when he found out he was invulnerable. It lacked only a little rap to close it off…

    He's Arthur the king, Camelot's his hizzle
    Piss him off, he'll kick yo ass fo shizzle…

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  16. Yo, like your story.

    A serious fan of all stuff King A

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  17. Christopher Moore should read this. And then wish he'd thought to do it to the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight story first.

    I had several laugh-out-loud moments. And I completely agree with you that the Black Knight rocked. He was a one-man show; Arthur needed an entire support team plus special equipment.

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  18. Prithee Sire, a veritable hoot...

    marc nash

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  19. got a bit soft spot for Arthurian Legend and this is so fresh and lively. Very entertaining

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  20. What a great 'fairytale' adaption - well done Wiswell. I especially like your use of dialogue in this piece.

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  21. Absolutely hilarious - and when you put it like that, Arthur really does not come out of it well at all!

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  22. You do have a way with words, John. This reminds me of 60 second Shakespeare. Fast and furious and funnier than heck.
    ~jon

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