The Prophesy of Shakespeare:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Revisited in the Fall

The scene:  A hostelry on the Isle of Shreve

The characters:

            Puck, a mischievous fairy, played by Jabber

            Bottom, a weaver, played by Arnie

            Hermia and Helena, ladies of bygone virtue, played by ladies of bygone virtue

The Tale:

As one might recall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tale of mythological love triangles, hopelessly entwined, and complicated by error and folly.  On Friday last, a true-life rendition of the tome began to unfold.

Notwithstanding obligations to serve as players on the field of golf, Puck and Bottom sought to prepare themselves for the tourney by settling their nerves.  Laced with potation, the pair plotted a course often traveled. The perils that lay in store were well known to the tourists, but nought could turn them away from the isle of their ruin.

The prospects of a golfing contest seemed to dim for Puck, as those assigned to play with him chose to withdraw for reasons undisclosed.  Bottom, on the other hand, agleam with enthusiasm, had the opportunity to play with a journeyman golfer of true merit as his partner.  The tourney loomed as a plum, ready for the plucking.  With Puck and his brother out, and a truly gifted partner honing his game to a sharp edge, Bottom had but to show up to win.

Alas, it was not to be.

Friday’s travels found the two engaged in games of chance along a riverbank.  Sudden success was found, and revelry was abound as the carefree blades mirthfully filled their coffers.  As their fortunes grew, so did their spirits, and lo, their passion as well.

(In the play it was Puck’s charge to drop a love potion upon the sleeping eyes of the players, casting a magic spell that would cause them to fall in love with first person viewed when they awoke.) 

The two, tired by their tirade of games and imbibery, retired to a suite for needed rest. 

Now Puck is a prankster, known well for his gay acts and frivolous behavior.  Seizing the opportunity to take advantage of Bottom in his hour of weakness, Puck magically changed Bottom’s head into that of an ass (a transformation of less difficulty than one might suppose).  In further mischief, Puck placed a drop of the love potion upon the eyelids of the slumbering Bottom, to cause his affections to focus upon the first woman to garner his gaze.

But mischief begets unpredictable happenings, and an unwary Puck spilled a few droplets of the lovejuice upon his hands.  He laid down to rest, and as he awakened, rubbed his own eyes with the potion d'amour.  Hastening to re-enter the gaming fields, so the two revelers descended to the grand ballroom for more relaxing fun.

Scene:  The Grand Ballroom

[Enter Hermia and Helena]

[Enter Puck and Bottom with an ass’s head]

As our travelers turned into the grand room, their eyes set upon the lovely countenances of Hermia and Helena, two visitors to the isle.  Not at all new to the palace, these femmes have often engaged the favor of celebrants on the Isle.  The spell was cast.  So enamored of the beauties were Puck and Bottom, the latter with an ass’s head, that they moved quickly to project their charm, stumbling over one another in the ladies’ court.  Greeting the sirens, they begged them sup and share the heady wine that had so well served our pair.

Obligingly, the trollips took to Puck and Bottom as would a duck to a junebug.  Having the head of an ass served only to inspire the ladies of enterprise to ply their trade with a fervor, and Bottom was overwhelmed by the hint of pleasure that beckoned.  As in the spring, their fancies had lightly turned to thoughts of love.

Scene:  The Grand Suite

Puck continued to churn his mischief, and soon the four were entwined in the throes of fornication.  Sooner yet, both men would lie spent, both of body and spirit.  The debauchery of the evening now subsided, the face of a new day shone in the morning sun.

The day of the great golf tourney, Puck, having removed himself from the contest, feigning insult by the withdrawal of those with whom he was to play, had no care in the matter.  But, Bottom, now ashamed of his folly, could not bring himself to announce his failure.  Still wearing the head of an ass, Bottom summoned Puck to call in sick for him.  It was ten of the clock, and at twenty minutes past, the field awaited Bottom to begin his play.

Still in the company of the strumpets, the pair placed a telephone call to the Head Professional of the Great Tourney.  It was Puck who spoke for the two, offering no apology, but rather, a boastful account of their conquests.  Thence the announcement:  Not Puck nor Bottom would grace the Playing Field today.

Scene:  The Grand Playing Field

Left standing was the Bard, alone and facing insurmountable odds, should he undertake the task of facing the legion opposing teams by himself.  Fortune was with him, however, and a mere slip of a boy was roused from his bed to take the place of Bottom upon the notice of but a moment.  After a trying first day, the team returned on Sunday to claim victory.

Scene:  Home and Reality

As the final day of the contest wore on, the weary travelers, Puck and Bottom, returned to their homes.  Sodden of wine and despair, the two parted company and huddled in the arms of Morpheus, hoping to sleep away the memories of the weekend debacle.  As the tale of their adventure began to unwind, evidence of misfortune rose to cloud the gaiety of earlier hours.  Their quest had ended in failure, their fortunes lost, and their lovers vanished.  Where fairies had danced through their dreams only hours before, now spiders and snakes beckoned menacingly in their slumber.

The End

 

Postscript:

Time wears on and Puck remains an impish fool.  Bottom, though delivered from his spell, still figuratively bears the ass’s head.  The restless hours will take their toll on the two, for their thirst for conquest is unrelenting.  Soon, the two will venture forth again, seeking easy gain, and the unrequited love of Hermia and Helena.