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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Mind Control with Monty Python by mrsthing on 11 June 2008 9:19pm
I'm no good at memorizing. I have to work very hard at it, and if I ever have to recite it for an audience, my mind goes completely blank. So why does it seem I can recall the exact words to entire Python sketches? And why do they pop up at odd moments, unbidden by my conscious mind?

My daughter told me on Thursday night that she needed a medieval costume for school the following Tuesday, and that she did NOT want to go as a noble, because, as she said, "Nobles sucked!" I'm an absolute disaster at sewing, and the upcoming heat wave (we don't have AC) made me despair of getting this costume made. But the heat and humidity sapped my energy for anything but screen sucking, so I looked up "medieval clothing" and found an artist's rendition of something from 11th century England: a floor-length, long-sleeved, white shift with a calf-length, colored tunic over it. Just looking at it made me sweat, and I couldn't bear the thought of shutting myself in an oven of a spare room to huddle over a hot sewing machine. But I got a sudden burst of energy and inspiration yesterday afternoon, bought some material at Wal*Mart, and slapped together a dress (one piece that looked like two) in about 2 hours. Not bad for someone who only passed Home Ec. because her teacher couldn't face having her for another year. It was a little snug, but it fit, and it only had to be worn for a few hours. But all the while I was furiously sewing, critically eyeing my project for at least a shred of authenticity, I kept hearing Graham Chapman saying something about "fitted doublets" and picturing Eric Idle in that fringed hat, stamping his foot and insisting, "I am NOT a Flemish merchant!" (From the SS Mother Goose sketch, one of my favorites.)

And of course, after all that work, sweating away over my sewing machine and stretching my feminine brain to its limits, my daughter was too embarrassed to wear her costume. Most of the kids were--there were only a few dressed up. But at least I can say I did it.

The class was also having a medieval feast, and parents had been asked to make authentic medieval dishes from a set of recipes the kids brought home. So I made a potage of raisins and apples, but I had to leave out the milk because at least one kid in the class was allergic. It came out really well, I thought: I let the apples and raisins stew until the water was almost gone, and the apples carmelized a bit and it came out so sweet I didn't need to add any sugar. But it was brown and a bit slimy--like homemade applesauce. So what did the other moms bring? Potato chips, fried chicken, pot stickers, brownies, cookies, chicken wings, sliced baguettes, watermelon, etc. Only one other mom brought a medieval dish. She made a barley and vegetable potage that only one kid ate--and that was her son, and only because a group of boys dared him. Sigh. My yummy-tasting but ugly apple-raisin potage went begging, and was thrown away at the end of the school day. (*I* would have eaten it...)
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by johnnythemonkey on 12 June 2008 2:31am
Good post Judy. Well done on your efforts to be authentic.
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by tucsonmike on 12 June 2008 5:03am
Very clever Judy!
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by elina on 12 June 2008 6:27am
Very admirable, Judy! The food sounds yummy ("yummy yummy yummy, I've got love in my tummy....")

As for memorizing Pythons, I think it's very common; it certainly happens to me too! My guess is that we can recall things that are important for us, therefore items that seem unimportant aren't worth remembering (but usually they are).
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by geordiegirl on 12 June 2008 11:55am
LOVED your daughter's comment, Judy- wish we'd had that anti-aristo kind of reaction when I was at school.

Well done for getting the costume together in difficult conditions.

Shame about the food! A mediaeval feast sounds a wonderful idea(and I wonder if the popcorn, crisps etc. would have turned up in ANY period meals you were supposed to be doing) - I once tried a Jacobean Potato pie - with blueberries, but it was disgusting.
(I have a book of Elizabethamn Cookery, from Amazon, published in US. It's lovely.)

Python in the head? What about Spam Spam Spam etc. etc.? That is often in mine - oh, so much stuff of theirs is,often.
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by mrsthing on 12 June 2008 6:18pm
I knew that if we tried to have medieval food, it would be unappealing to modern palates and eyes. Not a lot of salt, sugar, artificial coloring, or preservatives, so cooked apples turn brown from tannic acid, which is nothing to worry about. But if you're a kid used to watery yellow applesauce, brown slimy stuff isn't going to cut it.

The Python stuff is getting worse. I drove past a cop who'd pulled over a speeder, and heard Michael as Cardinal Richelieu saying, "Curse you, Inspector Dim; you are too clever for us naughty people." LOL!
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by kazzzz on 13 June 2008 12:17pm
Ah brilliant story!!!

We have the Winterfest next month nearby and there's always a medieval "club" there, all costumed up and serving food. Apparently they all get together every weekend and dress up and I asked one of them why.The buxom wench was MOST offended and replied "THIS is how we live!!!". LOL alternate reality is often better than actual reality I guess.
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by johnnythemonkey on 13 June 2008 12:21pm
Kazzzz, I've probably asked you this before but to you ever go to The Oktoberfest in Melbourne ? I went many years ago ( in December ! ) and it was good fun. Lots of Greeks and Scots there ! :)
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by kazzzz on 13 June 2008 12:23pm
Can't say I have done no but I usually go to the Lygonfest which is Italian. Mega fun, that. I didn't know we HAD a Beerfest here, knew there was one in Adelaide tho.
Re: Mind Control with Monty Python by johnnythemonkey on 13 June 2008 12:31pm
You where only a youngster when I was talking about, maybe it was a short-lived thing.
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