“Rubble, rubble, soil and grubble.”

Today, high culture receives but a fraction of the attention it so richly deserves. James Joyce’s Ulysses is ignored except by those who use it as a doorstop, Beethoven’s Ninth is often mistaken for some sort of German sports team, and most people’s idea of cultural literacy is knowing exactly how many times Stewie Griffin has made reference to having just pooped in his diapers.

In an effort to bring a little light into the benighted wasteland that is today’s popular “culture,” I will now give my readers a brief introduction to The Bard’s greatest masterwork — the tale of a man whose ambition knew no bounds, the Tragedy of Macbeth.


“The Bard” means Shakespeare.

The play begins with Shamus Macbeth and his best friend Binky lost in a thunderstorm. As the two wander around the wild and windy moors looking for the nearest bus stop they come upon three crones croning over a bubbling cauldron. These, it transpires, are The Weird Sisters, a troika of escaped mental patients whose primary joy in life is playing practical jokes on minor nobility. When asked by Macbeth where the nearest taxi stand is to be found, the head crone answers only that…

“Ah, Macbeth. Thou art of humble birth, yet thou shalt be king hereafter. Aye, thou shalt be king, and shalt wear a crown of black pudding upon a troubled brow. But first thou shalt be Thane of Cawdor, and thou shalt struggle mightily to understand the meaning of thy destiny.”

After pausing for a few seconds while trying to recall the meaning of the word “thane,” Macbeth responds  to the old witch’s cryptic prophesying …

“Ahh, yer must be daft, woman. For as everyone knows, tis old Duncan who is king, and tis Albert O’Shaunessy who is Thane of Cawdor. And as anyone who has holidayed in Cawdor knows, he can bloody well keep it.”

To this the withered beldame replies “Bugger off,  ya bloody wanker!” and then turns to Binky, telling him that even though he shall rise no higher than Keeper Of The Royal Lavatory Brush, his son shall one day sit on the throne. Annoyed by this, Binky pulls out a half-eaten ham sandwich and throws it at the old witch, who retaliates by causing a hail of cocktail onions to fall upon his head. At this point a messenger riding a large yellow chicken arrives and informs Macbeth that the Thane of Cawdor has just been killed in a tragic butter-churning accident, and that the King has decided to bestow the late lord’s title on Macbeth as payment for helping him to cheat at cards last Saturday. Astounded by this fulfillment of the old witch’s prophecy, Macbeth turns around only to find that all three crones have mysteriously vanished into the swirling mist. Disturbed and bewildered by the uncanny prophecies, Macbeth, Binky and the messenger ride the chicken back to Glasgow.

Back at Chez Macbeth, our hero tells his story to his wife Phyllis, who upon hearing it bursts into laughter. After she has stopped hyperventilating, Macbeth convinces her that it is all true, and that mayhap this is their opportunity to get the hell out of Glasgow and to some place where they serve Pina Coladas. Not one to miss a chance to climb the social ladder, Phyllis suggests to her husband that since King Duncan is rather conveniently coming over to spend the night, they should hasten Lord Mac’s ascension by doing the old codger in. After some dithering, Macbeth sneaks into Duncan’s chambers and drowns him in a commode which has  mysteriously been filled with Guinness. When Duncan’s body is found in the morning, everyone assumes the old pisspot has simply drowned in his namesake, and things go on as usual until the arrival of Jimmy Macduff, a used chariot salesman who has always resented Macbeth for his superior dancing abilities. Noting that his old nemesis smells suspiciously of Guinness, Macduff suspects foul play but keeps his suspicions to himself.

Soon after, Macbeth succeeds in having the late king’s heirs jailed for spending too much time hanging around the local ducks, and based on his claim to being distantly related to Duncan’s barber declares himself king. Much to his surprise nobody objects, and he takes to wandering around the castle laughing slyly to himself. But Macbeth’s mirth is short lived, for if the witches were right about him, might they not also be right about Binky’s son? And damn it! Wouldn’t you know it, just that morning he had appointed Binky Keeper Of The Royal Lavatory Brush! Deciding that lest he be usurped by the offspring of a mere toilet attendant, Macbeth hires a traveling Italian salesman named Titus Andronicus to dispose of Binky and his son Flossy. During the feast of Saint Alowishus the Pointless, Titus follows the duo to a carnival where he proceeds to slay father and son by choking Binky to death with a candied apple, and drowning young Flossy in a vat of toffee.

Later that night Macbeth holds a soiree in honor of the aforementioned ineffectual holy man and is shocked to see, sitting at the piano, the ghost of Binky, a candied apple still lodged firmly in his mouth. Unaware that none save himself can see the specter, Macbeth runs screaming from the room. Returning five minutes later with a fresh pair of pants, he proceeds to harangue the ghost about his choice of repertoire. “Enough of the “Danny Boy” covers ya bastard! Yer not even Irish!” he screams as the guests stand around making rude gestures behind his back and wondering how such a plum duff made his way onto the throne. Enraged  by the spectral Binky’s indifference to his entreaties, Macbeth tries to strangle the ghost, only to find himself falling ass backwards into a large trifle. Offended by his host’s boorishness, Binky’s ghost decides to leave the party early, pausing only to grab a large rack of lamb.

Freaked out by this occurrence, Macbeth rides out onto the wild and perpetually windy moors to speak to the witches. The trio proceeds to further confuse things by telling him that no man of woman born can harm him, and that his reign shall last till his castle is besieged by an army of mimes. Having attained an A level in biology, Macbeth knows how human reproduction works, and so his fears as to his personal safety are greatly allayed. As for the army of mimes, what has a great warrior king like himself to fear from a gaggle of stick-thin, grease-painted fops? Relieved by these new revelations, Macbeth hops on his chicken and heads for home.

Meanwhile back at the castle, Lady Macbeth’s ladies-in-waiting are helping her to prepare for bed when Spot, the late Duncan’s favorite beagle, enters the bedchamber. Wracked by guilt at the sight of her victim’s pet, Lady Macbeth shouts “Out damned Spot! Out!” as she orders the canine from her presence. She then bursts into tears and carelessly yells out “I wish we had never killed the old bastard!” This causes her ladies-in-waiting to suspect that something bad has happened, though they are not quite sure what.

While all this has been going on, the rightful heirs to the throne have succeeded in escaping the jail and, alerted by Macduff’s suspicions, have raised an army led by a battalion of unemployed mimes, mimes being at that time a common presence in the Scottish infantry. Returning to the castle, Macbeth learns not only of the impending attack, but also that Phyllis has committed suicide by repeatedly bashing herself in the head with a pot of marmalade. It is at this point that Macbeth launches into a grim and somber reflection on life…

”Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is felled by a pot of marmalade. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.”

As he finishes this memorable soliloquy, Macbeth looks out over the ramparts and sees what appears to be a mass of chessboards moving towards the castle. As he puzzles at the strange sight, the invading forces march ever closer, the patches of black and white finally reveal their true nature, and Macbeth freaks out…

“Mimes! By all that is holy, the castle is beset by mimes! I am undone! My doom is upon me! The grave beckons, like a skeletal Hare Krishna handing out flyers in the local mall!”

Not the sort of man to be freaked out for too long, Macbeth soon resolves to stay and fight it out, for even mimes were born of woman so his reign may be over, but his life is safe. Made bold by this realization Macbeth rushes to his chambers, where he dons his armor, grabs his sword, and rushes out to meet the enemy.

As the horde of mimes slams its battering ram against the rapidly disintegrating castle gates, Macbeth stands defiantly in the courtyard and, temporarily mistaking himself for a pirate, shouts out “Come, ye scurvy dogs, and I’ll gut ye like swine!” At his words the castle gates fall inwards, and in rushes an army of mimes, at the forefront of which stands his mortal enemy Macduff, rage in his face and a large haggis in his hand.

“Come to thy death Macduff, for I bear a charmed life that must not yield to one who is of woman born!” yells Macbeth.

“Then thy end is upon thee, foulest villain! Despair thy charm and yield thy life, for Macduff’s father was not known as Angus The Duck Humper for nothing!”

Stunned at this revelation of his opponent’s avian heritage, Macbeth suddenly wishes he had followed his own father into the insurance business. Knowing the end is near but not wishing to die a coward, Macbeth stands his ground, and after a brief and badly choreographed fight Macduff knocks the usurper’s head off with the haggis. Macbeth’s head is them placed on a pike as a warning to all would be unwise enough to heed the counsel of mysterious oracles with crap senses of humor.

The final scene shows us once again The Weird Sisters, cackling as they behold  images of Macbeth’s demise in the steam rising from their cauldron. Their gleeful laughter is interrupted by a strangely-accented male voice asking for directions to Venice. To this query the head witch responds…

“Ooh, aren’t ye a dusky one! Been out in the sun a wee bit too long have ye? And this pale lady must be the missus! Tell me young sir, would ya be interested in purchasing some cheap handkerchiefs?”

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