As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1599)

Your favourite bit, aside from the boinging Cupid have mercy!, the clichéd all the world’s a stage, and that gloomy Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything?

Mine’s got to be the frisky rat-tat-tat of love-struck cross-dresser Rosalind’s quick-fire questions.

A little game I like to play in my Lilliputian upper storey is, if she was addressing me (Cupid have mercy!), what would be my one-word answer? If I was her bosom buddy (Cupid have mercy!) Celia, that is.

Let’s remind ourselves of that randy ramble.

[Rosalind to Celia after Celia said she bumped into Rosalind’s dreamboat, Orlando…]

Alas the day! What shall I do with my doublet and hose? What did he, when thou sawest him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word.

Ten questions in fifty-seven words. Eight hes. Two hims. You can see her glaring, eyes like dinner plates. One wonders what’s on her mind, though, really.

I’m currently favouring, “Pardon.”

Thanks for being here.

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Guy Nicholls

Writer and book bore.

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