Posts Tagged ‘literature’

News Flash: Count of Monte Cristo Hospitalized; Sandwich Blamed

July 18, 2017

Marseilles, France–Sources close to the household of the Count of Monte Cristo report that the Count was taken to the Marseilles hospital late last night with symptoms resembling either severe gastric distress or a heart attack.

The Count, whose opulent lifestyle caused a splash in Paris society six years ago, recently returned to his native Marseilles for an extended visit following a world tour, ostensibly to pursue his researches into haute cuisine, specifically the croque-monsieur sandwich.

Authorities are exploring the possibility that the Count’s research into the sandwich, a deep-fried ham-and-cheese sandwich with jam and powdered sugar, may have been the cause of this week’s hospital visit.  The Count is said to have been on a regular diet of the confection since before his return to France.

“The Count once spoke of having fulfilled his lifelong mission when he left Paris six years ago,” said Dr. Avrigny (retired), a friend of the Morrel family, who are said to be close associates of the Count.  “It’s not unusual that a person in such conditions would experience a bit of ennui before finding a new interest in life.  And while culinary pursuits can certainly be worthwhile, we seem to have reached the point of obsession–consuming three of these sandwiches a day seems excessive.”

Rumors of the Count’s illness elicited a variety of responses.

Health Minister Lucien Dubray issued a statement warning against over-indulgence in rich foods.  “It’s all very well to try to achieve the perfect croque-monsieur,” the statement said, “but one should try to ensure that Monsieur doesn’t croak in the process.”

“To me a heart attack seems unlikely,” said Mme. Danglars, a nurse at the Marseilles hospital and the former wife of one of the Count’s business associates. “You have to have a heart first.  Still, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s in ill health; when you eat that kind of food, it’s bound to wreak some kind of vengeance; it’s just a question of when.  It would serve him right if he died of it and ended up getting the sandwich named after him.”

Neither the hospital nor the Countess of Monte Cristo has released an official statement on the Count’s prognosis.

Copyright 2017

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News Flash: Toy Bird Manufacturer Haunted by Ghost of Hans Christian Andersen

June 29, 2013

La Satira News Service

The CEO of E-Thingummy.com, a manufacturer and marketer of various as-seen-on-TV merchandise, took the unusual step of requesting a restraining order against the ghost of Hans Christian Andersen, who he says has been infesting his company’s properties.

“It started with an uptick in the number of ducks seen around our corporate campus,” said Oscar Fuglman.  “Then we started finding stray peas sitting on chairs in conference rooms, then my employees started getting strange urges to come to work wearing red shoes.  It’s beginning to affect employee morale.  The point is, he’s trespassing and he has no right to be here.”

At issue, it seems, is one item in the company’s range of products.  “We understand he’s upset about these,” said Mr. Fuglman, holding up a toy canary.  “I don’t know why; it’s a great little product.  There’s a motion sensor that makes it chirp and move when it detects, you know, motion.  It has all the advantages of owning a bird but without the messy clean-up and care issues.”

“This is an absolute travesty,” said Mr. Andersen’s ghost at a press conference, via a translator, the ghost of Maximilian Berlitz.  “This thing represents antithesis of everything I wrote about.”

While this may be an exaggeration, Mr. Andersen did famously record a short story about a mechanical bird who outperforms a live bird but ultimately proves to be inferior.

“I managed to grit what remained of my teeth through the whole gigapets craze,” said Mr. Andersen’s ghost, “but this really hits too close to home.  You’d think people don’t read my stories anymore.  If they did, they might come to understand that the imitated life is never as good as life itself.  Sure, living creatures can be a bit messy and inconvenient.  Well, guess what–life can be messy and inconvenient.  It’s still better to have real relationships in your life than just inanimate objects.  Or even animatronic objects.”

“Whereas this thing,” the ghost continued, holding up a sample of the product,  “it’s just creepy and macabre.”

Asked what steps the law enforcement community was likely to take in the situation, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said, “Well, Mr. Fuglman will have to get the judge to approve the restraining order, though he or she may rule that it’s outside our jurisdiction.  I’m not even sure it’s enforceable.”  Since Mr. Andersen was a Danish citizen, the spokesperson indicated it might be necessary to speak with the Danish embasssy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Andersen’s ghost vowed to keep up his crusade until E-Thingummy ceases to make and sell the toy canaries.  “I’m thinking my next demonstration might involve Mr. Fuglman’s wardrobe,” said the ghost.

Copyright 2013

News Flash: Police Arrest ‘Person of Interest’ in Gatsby Case (*spoilers!*)

April 24, 2013

Nick Carraway Accused of Being Vapid Twerp

West Egg, Long Island– Police investigating the deaths of three people in West Egg last week got a welcome break in the case with the arrest of Nick Carraway.

Mr. Carraway, who was arrested as he was boarding a train for Chicago, was wanted for questioning regarding the deaths of prominent socialite Jay Gatsby, garage owner George Wilson, and the latter’s wife, Myrtle Wilson.  Police have filed charges against Mr. Carraway of conspiracy and failure to prevent harm.

“The State is making the case that Mr. Carraway’s actions contributed to the deaths of his friend and acquaintenaces,” said District Attorney Thomas Parke.  “We have yet to find any indication that Mr. Carraway ever attempted to exert any influence that might have discouraged the self-destructive course on which the victims and suspects were set.”

“Essentially the State is trying to prosecute my client on the grounds that he’s a vapid twerp,” said Horatio P. Quaggmeyer, Mr. Carraway’s attorney. “And whether or not Mr. Carraway falls under that heading, the fact of the matter is Vapid Twerphood is not, in itself, a criminal offense.”

Mr. Quaggmeyer is pursuing an unusual defense in this case.  Rather than contesting the facts of the case or contesting his guilt or innocense, Mr. Quaggmeyer is asking the court to enter a plea of litterarum propositum superiorem. 

In short, this plea allows Mr. Carraway to escape prosecution on the grounds that his first-person narration of events allows those studying the case to have a clearer picture into the course of events and the characters of the participants than what might otherwise be provided.  “The State wants to prosecute my client on the grounds that his gutless interaction with the other suspects helped to precipitate the final crisis,” Mr. Quaggmeyer said.  “And yet the sheer insipidity of my client’s character allows details to come to light that we might otherwise know nothing about.  If my client had had any fortitude or strength of character, he might not have gotten involved at all, and then where would we be?  In this sort of case, it’s absolutely essential to have someone who can be, as it were, carried away with the action.”

“We’re used to throwing the book at people,” said District Attorney Parke about the unusual defense.  “I think this is the first time anyone has thrown a book at us.  Who does this Carraway person think he is, some refugee from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel?”

The three other members of what police are calling the Gatsby Four are wanted for questioning.  These include businessman Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy Buchanan, who are believed to have fled the country, and tennis pro Jordan Baker.  All four (including Carraway) are believed to have been in Mr. Gatsby’s company the evening before his death.

Copyright 2013