Hello, and welcome to another special feature for Ruth’s(un)Officially Wacky Boolprop Challenge! Because I am slow offthe mark, this Plot can’t be used in the normal story. Alas.But that doesn’t mean you need to be deprived! I have the firmgoal of exposing y’all to all but two of Gilbert & Sullivan’soperettas, one way or another, before this challenge ends. (The twoI’m leaving out are the incredibly racist one and the one thatGilbert & Sullivan themselves used to pretend didn’t exist.)So without further ado, let’s join everyone’s favorite Savoyards inSim form for comedic hijinks!
RUTH: Okay, so our story opens in a small town in Cornwall.OAKAPPLE: Isn’t that where The Pirates of Penzance was set?RUTH: Yes. I think Gilbert just liked Cornwall. But this is adifferent town. And what makes this town special is that it has itsown troupe of professional bridesmaids.DESCARTES: Bridesmaids?RUTH: Bridesmaids. But there’s been a bit of an economicdownturn lately, since all the young men want to marry RoseMaybud, and she won’t marry any of them, and of course nobodyelse can get married until Rose is taken off the market for good.
RUTH: So the bridesmaids all sing a song about that, and then theygo to visit Rose’s aunt, Dame Hannah. – Matt, why don’t you beDame Hannah?MATTHIAS: Why don’t you be her? She’s a contralto.RUTH: I’m going to be Mad Margaret. Go on, be Dame Hannah.MATTHIAS: Mad Margaret’s a mezzo.* I can be her.RUTH: You’re a tenor.MATTHAIS: Either I’m Mad Margaret or I’m not playing.RUTH (sulkily): Party pooper.*A “mezzo,” or mezzo-soprano, has a lower range than a soprano but a higherrange than a contralto. Mezzo is pronounced “MET-zoh.”
RUTH: Fine. Well, now I need a bridesmaid or fifteen, but we’regoing to run short as it is. So why don’t you all be the bridesmaids?And the bridesmaids all ask Dame Hannah “Dame Hannah, whydon’t you get married?” – Go on.AUDIENCE: Dame Hannah, why don’t you get married?RUTH: Oh no, I couldn’t. (soulfully) The man I loved turned out tobe Sir Roderic Murgatroyd, the Twenty-first Baronet of Ruddigore!OAKAPPLE: So what?
RUTH: So the whole family is under a curse! The first Baronet wasa witch-hunter, and one of the witches he burned put a curse onhim and all his family! Each Baronet has to commit at least onecrime every day for ever! And the day he does not commit a crimeis the day he dies in torture and agony! (melodramatically) I am agood girl, and I couldn’t marry a man like that, so instead I amwedded to eternal maidenhood!AUDIENCE: (snickers)RUTH: Oh, go away! – And now Rose herself comes in. SarahJane, do you mind?
RUTH: Hello, Rose. What do you have in that box?SARAH JANE: I’m taking gifts to the deserving poor in thevillage. They’re all completely inappropriate, but it’s the thoughtthat counts.RUTH: Rose, dear, you’re so very kind and thoughtful. When areyou going to get married and use that kindness and thoughtfulnessto make some man very very happy? Someone like, oh, RobinOakapple, maybe?SARAH JANE: Oh, but I couldn’t make the first move!RUTH: Why?
SARHA JANE: It’s in my book of etiquette. (produces said book)RUTH: Well, if you like someone, couldn’t you just point him outto me? I’ll go talk to him for you.SARAH JANE: Oh no! (points to page in book)RUTH: Well, you could whisper it to me.SARAH JANE: No, no! (points to a different page)RUTH: Could you at least give me a hint?SARAH JANE: Oh, I couldn’t! (points to a third page)RUTH: (frustrated): Well, can’t you talk to him yourself, then?SARAH AJANE: Oh no, I couldn’t possibly! (points out a fourthreference) See?RUTH (disgusted): I give up.
RUTH: So Rose goes outside, and who does she meet?BUTTERCUP: I dunno.RUTH: Well, thats why Im going to tell you. Rose goes outside,and she meets Robin Oakapple himself, who is a very shy farmer.Tim?TIM: Um, hi, Rose. Good to see you.SARAH JANE: Oh, hi, Robin. Good to see you, too.TIM: So can I ask you a question? I have this friend, see? And helikes this girl. But he doesnt know if she likes him. What should hedo?
SARHA JANE: Oh, Im glad you asked. Because I have a friendtoo. And theres this guy she likes, but he wont say anything. Whatshould she do?TIM: Maybe hes shy.SARAH JANE: Maybe he should propose. Im sure shed say yes.TIM: Come on, meet me halfway here! This isnt easy for him!SARAH JANE: Well, it isnt easy for her, either! Shes not allowedto make the first move.(Both sigh)TIM and SARAH JANE (together): Well, good luck to your friend.RUTH: And Rose leaves.
RUTH: As Robin is standing there, up comes Old Adam.OLD ADAM: Me?RUTH: No, but this is who youre named after. This Old Adam isthe faithful retainer of Robin Oakapple.TIM: Why does a farmer have a faithful retainer? I thought onlyposh people had those.RUTH: Aha! There you have discovered the secret! For (as OldAdam reveals, for no particular reason) Robin Oakapple is notreally Robin Oakapple!TIM: No? Who am I, then?RUTH: Youre really Sir Riven Murgatroyd, the rightful Baronet ofRuddigore! "Riven" is spelled R-U-T-H-V-E-N, by the way.
TIM: But if Im a Baronet, what am I doing grubbing around in thedirt? Why arent I in a big fancy house somewhere?RUTH: Because the Baronet is under a curse, idjit! Werent youlistening earlier?TIM: No, I was trying to find the hat.RUTH: Well, if you were the Baronet, youd have to commit acrime a day and you didnt want to, so you faked your own deathwhen you were ten and ran away, becoming the foster brother toDick Dauntless, sailor and generally awesome guy. (withmelodramatically false astonishment) And look! Here he is now!
DESCARTES: (springing onto the scene like a superhero) Ha ha!RUTH: Descartes, youre supposed to be a sailor.DESCARTES: Pirates sail.RUTH: No, youre supposed to be in the Navy.DESCARTES: Yeah, and my ship pardoned a whole bunch ofother ships. (sings, slightly off-key) "For shes only a poor parleyvoo, do you see?" But it sounds like we were running away coz theother ship had bigger guns, and more of them. Anyway, piratesdont pardon anybody. They make em walk the plank! (with bigpuppy dog eyes) Aunt Ruth, I have to follow my heart!RUTH (sourly): You read the script, didnt you.DESCARTES: Maaaaybe.
RUTH: Well, obeying your heart is a big thing for Robin and Mr.Dauntless, here.TIM: Yes, you have to do it.DESCARTES: No question there.TIM: The problem is that my heart says I should tell Rose I loveher.DESCARTES: So?
TIM: So even though Im better looking than Ryan Reynolds andsmarter than Steven Hawking and wittier than Oscar Wilde and --DESCARTES: Daaaa-aaaad!TIM: Well, Im too shy and modest to say anything. Will you gotalk to her for me?DESCARTES: You want me to say mushy things to MOM?!TIM: What does your heart say, brother dear?DESCARTES: (huge, put upon sigh) My heart says "Fine, but onlybecause I get to wear a pirate costume."RUTH: So off our sailor goes to do his foster brothers courting forhim.
DESCARTES: Well, golly! If she werent my mother -- er, myfathers -- er, my brother’s -- Aw heck. My heart says "Why shouldhe have all the fun?"!SARAH JANE: Are you okay?DESCARTES: Er, youre so beautiful, Ive been struck dumb.SARAH JANE: I dont know if you should say that to me when wehavent been introduced. (consults book of etiquette) "Alwaysspeak the truth." Oh, its okay then.DESCARTES: Well, I was supposed to ask you this for Da -- er,somebody else, but will you marry me? (fake vomits at having to"propose" to his mother)
SARAH JANE: (aside) Now, how should a maiden deal with suchan one? (consults book) "Keep no one in unnecessary suspense."(aloud) Behold, I will not keep you in unnecessary suspense.(refers to book) "In accepting an offer of marriage, do so withapparent hesitation." (aloud) I take you, but with a certain show ofreluctance. (refers to book) "Avoid any appearance of eagerness."(aloud) Though you will bear in mind that I am far from anxious todo so. (refers to book) "A little show of emotion will not bemisplaced!" (aloud) Pardon this tear! (wipes her eye)
RUTH: At which point, the bridesmaids show up and sing:AUDIENCE (sings, coached by Ruth): Hail the bridegroom, hailthe bride! Let the nuptial knot be tied!RUTH: And then Robin shows up.
TIM (eagerly): What did she say?DESCARTES: She said yes.TIM: (goes to hug Sarah Jane) Darling!SARAH JANE: Um...DESCARTES: She said yes to me.SARAH JANE (to Tim): Sorry, but I have to follow my heart.RUTH: And they sing a song about that. What it boils down to isthis:
DESCARTES: I had to ask her, Da -- er, Mr. Oakapple. My hearttold me to, and I have to follow my heart.TIM: Oh, thats okay. I understand. Right now, my heart is tellingme to point out that you are a very unsuccessful sailor who doesntmake much money, while I am a very prosperous farmer indeed,and was planning to give all my money to my wife.SARAH JANE: (small shriek) And now my heart has changed itsmind and is telling me to marry Robin. (to Descartes) But if itchanges its mind again, Ill let you know.
RUTH: The bridesmaids sing a quick chorus...AUDIENCE (sings): Hail the bridegroom, hail the bride! Let thenuptial knot be tied!RUTH: And then they all go away, and Mad Margaret comes in.MATTHIAS (having far too much fun): And why? Who am I? DaftMadge! Crazy Meg! Mad Margaret! Poor Peg! (sings) "To a gardenfilled with posies -- "RUTH: Yeah, yeah -- its a boring song. (as Matt gapes at her) Oh,look! Here comes Rose Maybud!
MATTHIAS: Ooooh! Ive come to pinch her!SARAH JANE: Pinch whom?MATTHIAS: You mean "who."SARAH JANE: No, its the accusative after the verb.MATTHIAS: ...Whatever. He gave me an Italian glance -- thus! --and made me his! Hes going to give her an Italian glance -- thus! --and make her his! Only Im going to pinch her first, so she dies,pop!SARAH JANE: Who are you talking about?MATTHIAS: Rose Maybud!SARAH JANE: But Im Rose Maybud! And Id rather not die, pop!MATTHIAS: Youre Rose Maybud? You?SARAH JANE: Yes!
MATTHIAS: Strange! They said she was beautiful. But if youregoing to marry the baronet of Ruddigore, I would treat you as theauctioneer and land-agent treated the lady-bird – I would rend youasunder!SARAH JANE: But Im not going to! Im going to marry someoneelse entirely -- today!MATTHIAS: Swear me that! Come to a Commissioner and let mehave it on affidavit! I once made an affidavit – but it died – it died– it died! But see, they come – Sir Despard and his evil crew! Hide,hide – they are all mad – quite mad!SARAH JANE: How can you tell?MATTHIAS: They sing choruses in public!
RUTH: So the mens chorus comes in and sings a rather pointlesssong, and then comes in (melodramatically) Sir DespardRuddigore! Er, Ty...?TYRONE: I figured youd be asking. (turning suddenly) Like themustache?AUDIENCE: (shrieks)TYRONE: I know, I know. Its my life of crime that has made melook so wicked and ugly! But you, who are virtuous, are lovelyindeed! (does a ten-Nice-points grin)(Audience screams, and Oakapple faints)
TYRONE: Aw, Im just in thrall to a bunch of portraits is all. But Ishow them! I commit my crime first thing in the morning, and thenI do good!DESCARTES: Scuse me!TYRONE: A pirate! Watch it -- my father is a Major-General!DESCARTES: Wrong show, Uncle Ty! I need some advice. See,you have an older brother...TYRONE: I did. Hes dead.DESCARTES: No he isnt. Hes living in this very village and hesgoing to marry Rose Maybud today. So my question is: should Itell you?
TYRONE: Should you tell me that my older brother is not dead,and that I dont have to be a bad person and can instead go aroundbeing lovely and kind and a respected member of society, belovedby all?DESCARTES: Uh-uh.TYRONE: Yes, I think you should.DESCARTES: Yeah, thats what my heart said.TYRONE: And mine says that we should make my brother takeover right away.RUTH: And they sing a song about that.
TYRONE and DESCARTES (sing) For duty, duty must be done The rule applies to EVERYone And painful though the duty be To shirk the task were fiddle-dee-dee To shirk the taskTo shirk the task were fiddle-dee, fiddle-dee, fiddle-dee, fiddle- dee, fiddle-dee-dee!
RUTH: And now everyone else enters, all set for the wedding.AUDIENCE (sings): Hail the bridegroom, hail the bride! Let thenuptial knot be tied!RUTH: Well, actually, they sing something different, but its a lotmore boring, so okay.TYRONE: Ha ha! Stop the wedding! That (pointing dramaticallyto Tim) is my older brother!SARAH JANE: Darling! Is this true? Are you really a bad bart? (toRuth) Whats a "bad bart"?RUTH: An evil baronet.
TIM: Well, if I were a bad bart Id tell tarradiddles and say I wasnt.But since Im a good person just at the moment, I have to say "Yes!I am a bad bart!" ...Wait a minute, if Im a bad bart, I could havelied about that. But if I were a good person, then I wouldnt lie, andlying about being a bad bart -- I mean, lying about being a goodperson -- Oh bother, Im confused. (angrily) Who ratted me out?DESCARTES: Me! But its not my fault -- my heart told me to!TIM: Oh, well, if its your heart...SARAH JANE (to Tyrone): Well, if youre the virtuous brother,then I should marry you.AUDIENCE (sings): Hail the bridegroom, hail the bride!TYRONE: No, now that Im the virtuous brother, I have to marryMargaret. I, er...
BUTTERCUP: Woohood him under false pretenses?RUTH: Young lady! How do you know about that?!TYRONE: Well, anyway, Im not available.AUDIENCE (sings): Hail the bridegroom, hail the bride!SARAH JANE (to Descartes): Well, youre the only one left, so... ?DESCARTES: What about Auntie Ruth? Or Uncle Ryan? Or -- ?SARAH JANE: Sweetie, its the end of Act I.DESCARTES (grumbles): Oh, all right.AUDIENCE (sings): Hail the bridegroom, hail the bride!RUTH: Well, actually, they sing something different, but its alsoboring, so thats the end of Act I. Potty break, everyone, and meetback here in ten minutes.
At this point, I would like to mention that Ruth originally comesfrom the perennially popular story Already in Progress, which youshould totally check out if you dont already read it. Although itdoesnt involve as much singing and dancing. [/shameless self-promotion]
RUTH: As Act II opens, we find Old Adam -- the character -- andRobin-now-Riven singing a song about their new life in theancestral portrait gallery. What it boils down to is this:TIM: Im now a terribly wicked baronet.RUTH: And Im his faithful servant, even now.(Both sigh heavily)
RUTH: So what crime are you going to commit today?TIM: How should I know? Youre my advisor -- advise me.RUTH: Well, your foster brother and your ex are coming over toinvite you to the wedding. You could poison their beer.TIM: Oh, not a guest’s beer! How about if I make scary faces atthem until they die of fright?RUTH: That would be rude. Not evil.
RUTH: At this point, Dick Dauntless and Rose Maybud arrive,singing a song in which they compare Rose to a ship.OLD ADAM: Why?RUTH: Darned if I know. And then Rose asks Robin (throughsong) if hes okay with her marrying Dick Dauntless. To whichRobin says:TIM: Of course I’m not okay with it! Dont be stupid.RUTH: And Rose and Dick leave. They must have beencontractually guaranteed a song in the second act or something.
TIM: Oh, now I am all alone! (melodramatically) Oh, portraits ofmy ancestors! Miserable as I am, I am still better off than you!RYAN: Oh, I dont know. Being dead isnt all that bad.TIM: Who are you?RYAN: We’re the previous incumbents, and we’re here to tell youthat we don’t think you’re doing a very good job of being wicked.TIM: Am too!RYAN: Really? Let’s go over the week. What crime did youcommit on Monday?TIM: Monday was a holiday.RYAN: Oh, right. Tuesday?
TIM: I forged one of Old Adam’s checks.RYAN: He doesn’t have a bank account.TIM: I never said he did.RYAN: Hmmmph. Wednesday?TIM: I forged my will.RYAN: You can’t forge your own will.TIM (indignantly): This is a free country. If I can’t forge my ownwill, then whose will can I forge?RYAN: Okay, okay, chill. Thursday?TIM: I wore a black-and-gold cowboy shirt with green-and-blueplaid shorts and black knee socks.RYAN: Oh, very well done! Gold star for Thursday! Friday?
TIM: On Friday, I disinherited my son.RYAN: But you don’t have a son.TIM: I know. This is more efficient. When he’s born, he’ll bealready disinherited. And anyway, this is a free country, and if Ican’t disinherit my –TIM and RYAN (together): – own unborn son, whose unborn soncan I disinherit?RYAN: Well, okay. Well give you a pass for this week. But Imwarning you: you better star committing better crimes soon, orwell…
RYAN: ...tickle you until you pee! Oh, and after that, youll die interrible agony. Toodle-oo.
RUTH: At which point Old Adam -- the faithful retainer one --comes in.TIM: No no no! Dont come in! Go out! Go away and kidnap me amaiden!RUTH: You want me to what now?TIM: Go kidnap a maiden! I need to step up my game, or Ill betickled until I PEE.RUTH: Esme forbid! -- And off Old Adam goes. Actually, Robin --Ruthven -- whoever leaves too, probably because of all that talk ofpeeing, and Despard and Margaret come in.
TYRONE (sings): Ive given up all of my wild proceedingsMATTHIAS (sings): My taste for a wandering life is waningTYRONE (sings): Now Im a dab at penny readingsMATTHIAS (sings): They are not remarkably entertaining(speaks) Yes, we are very boring. But sometimes I feel myselfgoing wild again. So we need a safe word.TYRONE (distracted): Our safe word is "Pickle." ...I think mymustache is falling off.MATTHIAS: No, not that one. Margaret and Despard need a safeword. Some word that teems with hidden meaning like --like "Basingstoke!TYRONE: Oh, right. Basingstoke it is.
TIM: Wow, thats better. My back teeth were floating. (sees Tyroneand Matthias) Oh, hello! What are you doing here?TYRONE: We came to beg you to forgo your life of crime andbecome a good person.TIM: But if I do that, Ill be tickled until I PEE. And then Ill die.TYRONE: I know.TIM: And then youll be the bad bart again.TYRONE: Oh crud. I hadnt thought of that.TIM: Ha! Well, Ill do it anyway.RUTH: And then they sing an AWESOME song about that.
TIM, MATTHIAS, and TYRONE (sing) Thisparticularlyrapid unitelligblepatterIsntgenerallyheard andifitisitdoesntmatter! Mattermattermattermatter!
RUTH: And then Margaret and Despard leave, just in the nick oftime. Because who shows up but Old Adam - the faithful retainer, Imean - with Dame Hannah over his shoulder.OAKAPPLE: But you just walked on stage!RUTH: Okay, Mr. Smarty. If you can figure out how to walk incarrying yourself over your own shoulder, Id like to see.TIM: But Old Adam, I said I wanted a maiden.RUTH: Look, theres not a lot happening around here and TVhasnt been invented yet. Were kinda thin on the ground.
RUTH: But dont you touch me! I warn you, I can take care ofmyself!TIM: HO-ly crap! Where do you KEEP that thing?RUTH: Back off, I said!RYAN: Kidnapped a maiden, have you? Well done! Wait asecond... Nannikin?RUTH: Roddy-doddy?RYAN: What do you mean by kidnapping my ex-fiancée?Nannikin, has he hurt you?TIM: Im not going anywhere near her!RYAN: Good. Now scram.TIM: Scramming at once, sir! (does so)
RUTH: Oh, Roderic! I thought you were dead!RYAN: I am. I died ten years ago.RUTH: Oh. So, uh, whats that like?RYAN: Pretty okay. Oh, Nannikin, I missed you!RUTH: Oh, Roddy-doddy! Me too! ...And they sing a sweet andtender song about that, but the mood is broken as the rest of thecast comes tromping in.
RYAN: Do you mind? Were having a moment here.TIM: But I just realized something! Suicide is a crime!RYAN: So?TIM: So if you decide to not commit a crime and die in agonyinstead, youre effectively committing suicide. But since suicide isa crime, youve committed your crime for the day right there!RYAN: Whoa! I never thought of that!TIM: So technically, you shouldnt even be dead.RYAN: Why, youre right!
RYAN: Nannikin, lets get married!RUTH: Oooooh, Roddy-doddy!TIM: Rose, Im not a bad bart anymore...SARAH JANE: And my book of etiquette says that if a bad bartreforms, I should marry him immediately!TYRONE and MATTHIAS: Were moving to Basingstoke!DESCARTES: And I’m going to be a pirate! Ahahahahaha!RUTH: No, youre supposed to marry one of the bridesmaids.DESCARTES: PI-RATE! PI-RATE! (sings) "For I am a piratekiiiiiiiing!"SARAH JANE: Wrong show, sweetie.
Notes, disclaimers, and other triviaThis story will not appear in Ruths again due to my poorplanning. I really should have set up a multi-generational curse thesecond I decided I wanted to play an OWBC. Tyrones reference tohaving a Major-General for a father and Descartes’ "pirate king"song at the very end are references to The Pirates of Penzance, butsince youve been following Ruths all this time, you totally got thatwithout my needing to explain.
Tyrone and Matt get a bit racy here, which makes perfect sensewhen you know that "Ruddigore" was a dangerously racy title inVictorian England: "Ruddigore" is almost "Ruddy-gore," and"ruddy" is almost "bloody," and "bloody" is SWEARING.
Basically, just about anything Mad Margaret or Rose said camestraight from Gilbert. You just cant improve on perfection. Most ofthe crimes Ruthven/Robin commits are also straight from Gilbert,but Thursdays crime is pure Gilscarbo. (Being a commonAmerican, I dont see whats so bad about shooting a fox. But Ithink we can all agree that Goopys outfit earns a gold star.)
Those of you who follow either Already in Progress or 100 Daysof Awesome will know that Descartes eventually achieved his goalof becoming a pirate (both the Dread and Space varieties). Really,there was no other choice when it came to casting this role.I hope you weren’t too badly bored. Please join me next time whenwe will have a regular chapter of Ruth’s (un)Officially WackyBoolprop Challenge. Until then, Happy Simming!