GETTING MORE TALE #670: Censor This Too! – The Star Chamber
This is the sequel to Getting More Tale #669: Censor This! In a footnote to that story, we discussed the evil, corrupt English department at Grand River Collegiate Institute in the school year 1990-1991. With music as part and parcel of everything I do, here is the students’ revenge.
This story was written by myself and Andrew “Abbis” anonymously. (You may remember “Abbis” was the subject of a Zeppelin-esque song I co-wrote called “Abbis’ Stomp”.)
Context: A brilliant young student named Danny was accused of plagiarism for his independent study on part of Milton’s Paradise Lost. The entire English department were united in their belief that he had cheated, not realizing this young dark-skinned kid with a strange sounding last name was actually just really gifted. In a parallel to Paradise Lost, Danny soon found himself in a hell of his own. The school treated him shamefully, but could not prove he cheated. Instead of the A+ he deserved, he got a “no report”. This was his final year of highschool, and he wanted that A+ to get into the university program he had applied to.
This story was our revenge on his behalf.
I take a lot of pride in our creative little rebellion. This was about as misbehaved as we got. Our scathing story The Star Chamber (an obvious mashup of MacBeth and Star Wars) was published in the underground school newspaper, in June of 1991, exactly as you see it below. Pay attention for a Zeppelin reference and plenty of Shakespeare. My character is an homage to Han Solo named…Guitar Solo.
THE STAR CHAMBER
(The Uncensored Version)
BY: Robin Hood and his Merry Men
A long time ago, in a Collegiate Institute far, far away, a battle was being waged between the forces of Good and English. The leader of the rebel forces, Danny “The Terror” Skywalker, had for months been a thorn in the side of the English Empire…
ACT I, SCENE I
In the caverns of Smithers the Hutt.
Enter with a flourish and really neato special effects, Darth Chamber and his English entourage.
DARTH: (To Smithers) By Jupiter! We must capture that foul wretch known to all as Danny “The Terror” Skywalker.
SMITHERS: I say yea my Lord.
Exuent Darth and entourage with an even bigger flourish.
END OF SCENE
ACT I, SCENE II
Enter Danny, his faithful companion Guitar Solo at his side, zipping through space in the Tarachan Falcon.
Their favourite album, “Ten Classic Books in Ten Minutes” is suddenly drowned out by the wail of an intergalactic police siren.
Enter Robo Bolt, with colours and drums.
DANNY: What hast thou pulled me over for, sucka?
ROBO: Dost thou thinks that “E.N.G.-S.U.K.S.” is an appropriate licence plate for thine vehicle?
DANNY: What say you? Thou art a strange fellow.
ROBO: Your horrid image doth unfix my hair!
DANNY: Methinks thou art (and I quote Willie Shakespeare) “a coward, a rascal, an eater of broken meats, a beggar, and a lily livered knave”.
ROBO: Draw thine sword, I’ll make a sop’ o’ the moonshine of you! (they draw and fight, Guitar Solo slain by accident.)
GUITAR: To be…or not to be. What a stupid question! GAHK!!! (he dies. Robo is then slain.)
ROBO: I am slain, I am slain, dead, defunct, kicking the bucket, etc. etc. etc. (he dies.)
DANNY: What have I done, o Lord, o nature? What evil spirit hast possessed me?
Exit Danny, delirious from the battle.
END OF SCENE
ACT I, SCENE III
Enter Darth Chamber having been notified of Robo’s death, mad, and garlanded with wild flowers.
DARTH: Oh what foul deed, what evil, for my fair fair Robo. He is killed. (Enter Danny, furious with rage upon sighting Darth.) Draw, or surely thou shalt perish!
DANNY: Have at you, bud!
Enter Smithers from behind.
Smithers strikes Danny over the head with Roget’s Unabridged Dictionary, knocking him unconscious.
END OF SCENE AND ACT
ACT II, SCENE I
Later in the Star Chamber.
Trumpet answers within.
Enter Darth Chamber and Smithers, armed, a trumpet before them, attendants, the Fool, Edgar, Edmund, Oberon, The Duke of Cornwall, Elvis, drums and colours, Danny Skywalker in chains, Gloucester wandering around outside.
DARTH: Hark, four-score and seven years ago this treasonous wretch, Danny Skywalker, hath committed the ultimate crime against the English Empire. May his trunk be devoured by butterflies. By Jupiter! Behold his foul deed. (cries of astonishment within) He hast plagiarised the almighty Milton!!!
DANNY: Oh Hell! Oh spite me! What manner of accusation is this?
DARTH: Silence scurvy knave. (Darth to attendants) Place him in…(drum solo)…the machine!
SMITHERS: Goody goody gosh! By the fairies, Darth is mighty!
FOOL: (sings) O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is better than this rain water out o’ door. For he’s buying a Stairway to Heaven.
Exuent all. Death march, colours and banners.
END OF SCENE
ACT II, SCENE II
Enter with a flourish, Darth Chamber and Smithers the Hutt, with entourage carrying fluorescent banners with matching tights, led by an Old Man. Danny strapped to the machine.
The machine, a relic left over from the late 20th century, known as a “Dunking Machine” is filled with water, with Danny strapped to a chair above it.
DARTH: By Jupiter! My seated heart dost knock at my ribs. For the time is near o’ blossom.
SMITHERS: Skywalker thy trial begins! If thou float’est, thou art guilty of plagiarism and shalt be sentenced to die…slowly. First we shall tear all the of the hair from thine body, then soak you in lemon juice, and Kraft salad oil. Then we shall take you out to the Dune Sea you shall be eaten alive by the almighty Mouth, while’st being garnished with tomatoes and olives! But if thou sink’est and die’est, we shall know that thou art innocent and we shall let’est you go.
DANNY: Sorry, but I’ve got a prior engagement.
Enter Abbis Man’s ghost. (See last issue — ed.)
Abbis Man runs onto the stage, dropkicks Darth, hits Smithers with the D.D.T. and frees Danny from the machine.
DANNY: Thanks bud!
ABBIS: No problem, let’s get a beer!
Exuent, too tired to flourish.
DARTH: Gosh darn it! Methinks this ending really sucks!
Exuent Darth and all remaining.
END OF SCENE AND ACT
Danny and Abbis Man, having formed a powerful alliance, travel to Earth where they take on aliases and fight crime as Siskel and Ebert.