Prithee brother-minstrel, quiet your music so that I may address my guests.




Fair maidens and warriors, welcome. My parents, having gone to Cleve-Land, hath bequest to me their hearth and bid me make merry! Now, I did not know that my elder brother Dan would have a party on the same evening, he’s known about my gathering for weeks. No matter. In the land of Acharon we greet strangers with open arms!

You know what, Dan? In the land of Acharon the cloak and cap that I sport would place me at the very height of fashion, and it is your dungarees that would be the object of fun. But this is not an evening for harsh words. It is one for delicious Cheet-ohs and the season three Game of Thrones finale. Let us turn now to the magic picture-box where images from near and far dance before our eyes!

Alexa, fair maiden and my own best friend, we are turning now to the magic picture box, not to Dan’s game of meade-pong.

Prithee, brethren, bear with me as I search for the remote-wand, which I am quite sure I set upon the coaster when I organized the living room for this eve’s festivities.

God’s thumbnail. I swear I just spied the thing. Patience, brethren. The spirit Acharon guides my hand.

Dan, you titter. Prithee, reveal the source of your mirth. Prithee.

Mum, eh? No matter. Light will shine on the Mystery of the—okay, very funny.

I notice, Dan, that the remote-wand is wedged between your butt-cheeks. A droll stunt, to be sure, but far beneath your maturity—if not math—level. Hah; I have exposed to the group your struggles with calculus. Isn’t it odd, fair maidens, how I am two years younger than Dan, but one grade ahead of him in the mathematic arts? Instead of picking on me, Dan, don’t you have a tutor to meet or something? You practically live in Mr. Dambarco’s basement. Mr. Dambarco is Dan’s calculus tutor, fair maidens.

That blow was harsh, to be sure, but the headlock in which you now imprison me is harsher still!

Far better to lance with words than physical blows, brother! Then again, feats of brawn do not faze you—but ventures of the mind, such as determining the revenue of a charter bus company using a simple parabolic formula, present considerable challenge. I noticed you missed that word problem—and so many of its brothers and sisters—on your latest quiz. No matter, Dan. I also scored a 4/10 on the same quiz—when I was in swaddling cloths! Huzzah!

No, I haven’t had a chance to lick Donavan’s water feeder this day. But since my rabbit and I are the closest of friends, I am not ashamed to do so now in front of my gathering, which I’ve planned for weeks.

I do not gag because of the surprising push you applied to my head as I attempted to debase myself on Donavan’s feeder, rather I gag at your gamey odor. There is this new invention that the alchemists of Acharon have gifted to our realm, Dan. It’s called deodorant. Have you heard tell of it?

You answer my verbal parry by breaking wind—and a foul, swampy cloud ‘tis, brother—but we all know I shall have the last laugh when I tell mom and dad that you have not only skipped your study group, but invited a maiden to your room last night and stayed there well beyond sunrise!

Jesus, Dan, P.U.

Alexa, I am certain that you chortle in celebration of my trouncing Dan with that new bit of stratagem, and not because Dan has affixed a blanket around him as a cape and is miming me having oral sex with Donavan. Methought not.

Well! Now that we’ve finished that charade, the festivities are finally under way! The time has come, fair maidens and warriors, to fill our goblets with Mountain Dew Code Red, that sweetest of fizzy nectars. In the land of Acharon, Code Red shall not turn our stool into jelly, but until then, it’s a delicious sacrifice I trust we are prepared to make. Just as soon as I disinfect this remote-wand.