Lord, what fools these mortals be.

Scott Lynch performing Oberon-as-performed-by-Gollum.
Photo by Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

A Sacred Tradition of Viable Paradise is “Beer With Billy,” wherein we sit around, drink a great deal of beer, and mutilate a work of William Shakespeare.  This year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which included any number of Silly Voices. Sherwood Smith, it turns out, is a veritable cornucopia of squeals, growls, grunts, and squeaky monster voices. Lizanne Herd’s Titania from Long Island was side-splitting, as was LaShawn Wanak’s whiny, hiccuping Theseus–

but the only highlight photographically captured (to my knowledge) was my dear Mr. Lynch’s toe-hopping Smeagol impersonation as Oberon.

Other recent highlights included Steven Brust’s outstandingly pedagogical performance of the Andy Breckman version of “Railroad Bill:”

Brust railroads some writers

…His name was known from the folks back home
To the tippy top of telegraph hill
And all the little boys when they were sneaking cigarettes
They used to dream about the Railroad Bill


Well one day Bill was walking along
And he saw a kitten stuck in a tree
When he saw what was the matter he ran to get a ladder
To set that kitty cat free

Bill said no, ain’t gonna do it
Ain’t gonna climb up no tree
This is a stupid stupid song and no folk singer
Gonna make a fool outa me…

Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 @ 6:26 pm
Categories: Teaching.
Tags: , , , , .
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One Response to “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

  1. lee Says:

    I love the Railroad Bill song, but had come to believe I had hallucinated it on a particularly long drive to somewhere. But it is immortalized in my own internal dialogue, when things start to go wrong and I sing to myself “this is a stupid stupid song, and no songwriter’s gonna make a fool out of me.”