Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Punning Title



Harold laughed and closed the book, placing it on the table. He leaned back, his hands interlaced between his head. “That was splendid,” he said. “I haven’t read Shakespeare since I was at school and I didn’t have the appreciation for it that I had then.”

“It can be obscure.” Jasfoup looked at the title. “He came up with a different title at first. It took me an hour and three flagons of wine to convince him to change it.”

“Why? What was it originally?” Harold sat forward again and looked at the cover.

“Fussing with Fannies.” The demon gave a snort. “As if that would ever have caught on.”

Harold frowned and scratched his chin, where a fine layer of stubble grew like wiry grass. “What’s that got to do with the play, though?”

“That’s what it’s about,” said Jasfoup. He pulled out a chair and sat. “All these masquerade balls where everybody swaps genders. The only way you could know what sex you were dancing with was with a quick furtle under the codpiece.”

“So how did you come up with the new title? I always thought it rather twee.”

“Easy.” Jasfoup smiled and pulled the teapot towards himself, scowling when he found it far too light to have anything in it. “In sixteenth century English ‘nothing’ and ‘noting’ had the same spelling. Thus it became a pun: ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and ‘Much Ado about People Watching’.”

“And the… front bottoms?”

“At the time, ‘noting’ was an obscure slang term for a woman’s genitals. Even the Queen didn’t realise the triple entendre.” Jasfoup laughed, lost in reminiscing. “How we laughed at the after-performance party.”

6 comments:

Steve Malley said...

Cool blog, you've got a really neat voice!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks Steve; that's most kind of you to say so.

liz fenwick said...

love it :-)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks Liz :)

Fiona said...

Jasfoup is who I'd most like to sit next to at a dinner party - I could bear the most pompous guests if he were there.

Leatherdykeuk said...

You'd certainly never be lost for conversation ;)