TSP065: Breakfast inbred

April 17, 2013

The king stretched out his sceptre and pronounced this breakfast cereal open.  The queen tutted audibly and rolled her eyes.  Her husband momentarily paused his excited pouring and glanced across.  “What was that dear?” he asked, churlishly and with forethought.  The queen scowled and replied brusquely, “Oh, nothing darling,” before returning her attention to the far-too-easy wordsearch on the back of the Sugar Puffs.  Slamming the box onto the kitchen table (which caused a line of oats to spill upwards in a gravity-defying cascade of a beauty rarely seen outside Wrexham) the king gathered himself to his full height (two foot four), his eyes boiling with rage, and screamed out, “And what, may I ask, is that supposed to mean?!”

The queen looked over at him with apathy and distaste, much as a child would at a Twiglet.  Laying down her quill neatly and with propriety she almost sang her response…  “It means, oh dearest hubby of mine, that you are a great big fat pig and I hate you and always have.”  This threw the king somewhat, as he’d been starting to think that maybe she was upset about him stretching out his sceptre to pronounce the breakfast cereal open.  “So it wasn’t because I stretched out my sceptre and pronounced this breakfast cereal open?” he asked.  The queen reached out her hand and patted his cheek gently.  “Well, my cuddly sausage of a man, it was a little bit because you stretched out your sceptre and pronounced that breakfast cereal open, but it was also a large bit because you are incessantly annoying and a bigot and a great big skank.”

The king breathed in slowly through one nostril and then out through the other.  “You’re making fun of my height aren’t you?  That’s twice you’ve said ‘big’ now.  Part of me wishes it really were because I stretched out my sceptre and pronounced my breakfast cereal open, but I can tell that mainly it’s because I am very short and afraid of lemons.”  “My dear little-”  “Watch it, woman.”  “My dear cherub and hot buttered maltloaf, I can assure you it’s not because of your height – remember, I’m shorter than you; I’m barely two foot two.  You seem to be forgetting that we are pygmies, and that you are the king of the pygmies, and that I am the queen of the pygmies, and also that you are such a blasted blockhead of an awful bloated dog bottom.”

It was rare that the king found himself unsure of how to reply to a statement (last time had been back in 1986 when filling out his pygmy tax return and attempting to fathom the difference between gross domestic income and frankly putrid domestic income) but this was to prove one of those occasions.  Climbing up onto the step stool, he spat out his coffee with a satisfying ‘ping’ off his dog’s prosthesis and roared down at his bride, “EXPLAIN YOURSELF, LADY.”  At this, the queen kicked back her chair, stood up and shouted back whilst pointing at the yucca plant (in a completely unconnected gesture), “ALRIGHT!  FINE!  IT’S ALL BECAUSE YOU STRETCHED OUT YOUR SCEPTRE AND PRONOUNCED A BOX OF BREAKFAST CEREAL OPEN.  The other things I said were a ruse, hiding my true feelings.  My insults were merely waffle, concealing the fact that I was very much offended by your pronouncement of openness of cereal boxes.  I was bally well annoyed and I’m still smarting now – you’ve really peed me off.”

The king got down off his step stool and walked over to his queen, an arm of reconciliation stretched out to still her heaving shoulders.  “My dear,” he said, “My dear, dear, dear, dear… dear, dear, dear, dear…” (he was stalling for time, having forgotten her name)… “My dear queen.  Queen, queen, queen, queen…” (now he’d forgotten what he’d originally been about to say)… “I know I have some annoying habits.  I know that I can’t open a door, or a jar, or a board game without first raising my sceptre and announcing it.  I’m fully aware that it is almost impossible for me to unwrap a parcel, or uncork a bottle, or mischievously release the catch on a zoo animal’s cage without gravely declaring its new status.  And I completely understand that it can be frustrating when every time I sit upon the porcelain throne I feel compelled to shout-”  “Please, come to the point.”  “All I want to say, darling, is that if it makes you happy, I can stop with the whole thing.  I can stop.  End of.  In future, when I go into the fridge, I will do so in silence.  When I look for a glass from the cabinet, I will keep my mouth firmly sealed.  And when your mother comes to stay and I taunt her by dangling her over that trapdoor that leads to the crocodile pond I will clamp my lips together and content myself with an inward chuckle.  I can change, dearest, and I will.  For you.”

His oration over, the queen gazed into his eyes, fondly remembering the man she once married (before she married the king) and told him straight…  “You really don’t get it, do you?!  You can keep saying the whole ‘I pronounce this blah-blah-blah open’, I really don’t mind – but I just want you to stop undermining me.  I’d already pronounced the cereal box open with my mace…”


The trumpets blasted and the pie was ceremoniously opened.  As all eyes in the court of King Barry turned towards the cutting of the regal pastry crust one man in the crowd gave an involuntary gasp.  He and he alone had realised, a little too late, that a major miscalculation had been made.  Fully aware of the implications of what would ensue if the king were to be allowed to fully air the contents of the dish he sprinted out of the throng, eyes wild and teeth loose, and lunged towards the table.  In a single movement he knocked the knife from the sovereign ruler’s hand, kneaded the top of the tart closed with a flourish and admired a knot of wood shaped like Sid the sloth from Ice Age, all the while performing a very fine Fosbury flop.  Hitting the ground he successfully rolled into a standing salute to his liege, the gaping audience hushed in awe.

The king was enraged.  “Explain yourself peasant,” King Barry fumed.  “For what reason doest thou thus profane the king’s shapely curves?”  “Please sire,” began the high-jumping serf, “I am but a poor and humble servant – well, I say that, but I’m also ranked number one in the world in professional Warhammer…”  A murmur of appreciation rippled through the waiting spectators, impressed by this revelation of supreme dice rolling ability.  “…So I’m a poor and humble servant who’s also pretty nifty with a well-placed high elf, but anyway that’s by the by.  Your highness, pray, I had to prevent you from completing your effortless and graceful incision, for I have foreseen that if that pie were to be opened here and now it would be a grave humiliation to you and all your household.  Also, I know you don’t eat until 6 and as it’s only half 4 now it would be pretty cold by the time you actually got round to consuming it.”

The serf – whose name was Duracell – looked imploringly up at his master, hoping to find favour in that rugged yet flavoursome visage.  The king glared down at the serf, uttering through gritted teeth, “I’ll have you know, little poo-man, that I happen to like cold pie.”  This bold statement from so wise and fragrant a figure sent the silent onlookers into a frenzy of murmuring and pog-swapping.  Duracell gulped, now certain that his intrusion was bound to end in an order for his execution and a second for another pie, implored his superior to have mercy.  “Your holiness, I know that you are a strict man and also not particularly good at French cricket, but please hear out your humble and bespectacled assistant.”  Duracell cringed at his choice of words – anyone who was anyone in the court of King Barry knew very well that Duracell’s contact lenses could never constitute a true pair of eye-glasses.  “Please, my lord, find the space-time coordinates to forgive your reckless subject and away from the prying eyes of the mob inspect the contents of the pie you were about to open fully.  Then will you know my reasoning for what must currently appear in your eyes as a mild form of non-violent but stylishly gymnastic assault.”

Realising that showing leniency at that moment could well lead to a heightened respect for their overlord on the part of the amassed multitude, King Barry permitted his ire to subside, silently thanked the plea-maker for his petition with an eye-movement that Duracell interpreted as saying “Don’t bother going to see the Mary Rose at this time of year”, and made his way to a little table in the corner of the room with pie in hand.  As the crowd craned their necks and toes in an attempt to witness the king’s subtle investigation he made a second small slit in the crust, which was decorated with a stegosaurus motif (just like his third birthday cake).  Suddenly King Barry was seen to reel backwards in shock and as he turned to face his subjects, his face as white as a paracetamol-mint imperial crossbreed, some members of the court there present let out shrieks of terror and even a little wee.  The king, clearly deeply unnerved, stammered to the room, “Th-th-th-the blackbirds!  There are but three-and-twenty of them!”  A woman in the front row visibly vomited at the announcement, while the king forced out the words that terrified him so…

“Three-and-twenty – who ever heard of such a sin?  And what’s more… they were dancing…”