Today, I’m pleased to say, we have another spoof article from our anonymous spoof writer. Enjoy!
Thomas Boleyn was having a fraught conversation with his brother-in-law, Thomas Howard, about the best way of putting into the King’s head the idea of fancying a woman without him knowing the thought was being put into his head.
Boleyn was in a state of anxiety, “I know my daughter Mary has been married for two years and seems happy enough, but I think the only way I’m going to be elevated to the peerage is if I pimp her out to the King. I obviously won’t charge him for it. All I ask is for a nice title, a couple of manor houses and debentures at the joust. George is costing me a fortune in clothes, how he gets his sleeves that puffed is beyond me, but quite frankly I need the cash. I know my wife has already been there, but you know what they say, like mother like daughter.”
Norfolk nodded cunningly, “I think that’s a great idea. Plus the fact it will mean I, and you of course, will gain power from having a Boleyn-Howard in the King’s bed. But I think I need to be the main instigator in all this, because even though you are an intelligent, strong minded man, I know you’ll let me take control of your family.”
Thomas Boleyn smiled broadly. “Even though I’m one of the King’s favourite councillors and diplomats, it goes without saying that I’ll roll over and let you dominate me and my family. So how do you propose we go about this?”
“First off the King obviously has to notice her. Best bet is for her to accidentally trip and fall onto him whilst having a wardrobe malfunction, if you catch my drift. One glance down and she’ll be as good as his. Let’s face it, it’s not as if she’s unknown to King’s is it? Just tell her it’s like riding a horse, once you know how, you never forget.”
Boleyn was nibbling the inside of his lip, “The only problem is that my other daughter is due home any day now, and I don’t think she’ll be happy to be sidelined in favour of Mary.”
“That’s OK, they can fight it out. The most important think is that I have responsibility for the pimping, as head of your family, and one of your daughters gives me… us, the power I….we deserve.”
As he was speaking, Mary and George walked in. George was looking slightly puzzled, “I’ve just been walking through court and I saw Charles Brandon, who’s at least twenty years older than me, but looks the same age. And then there’s the King who’s nearly fourteen years older than me but actually looks slightly younger. Even Master Cromwell, who looks like a bulldog chewing on a wasp in his portraits, looks younger than me. I’m starting to get a complex.”
His father looked suspiciously at his son whose hair was sticking up on end, “Have you been inappropriately kissing Mary again?”
George nodded, “It was to thank her for letting me fall asleep on her lap.”
Mary looked grumpy, “When I said you could, I thought you meant with your head on my lap. I didn’t expect you to sit on my lap and curl up in a ball.”
George looked wounded, “I’m naturally affectionate.”
“So I’ve heard,” said his father moodily. He turned to his daughter, “Mary, I hope you don’t mind but me and your uncle are going to prostitute you to the King, because neither of us is good enough to forge ahead on our own without you in the King’s bed.”
“That is dead unfair,” said Mary sulkily, “my husband will be well p**d off and, like, what do I get out of it. It’s, like, so not cool.”
“Look on the bright side,” said her uncle, “it will mean you’ve had two Kings and Anne’s had none.”
Mary brightened up, “That’s so ace. Can I have his kids, because that would make me, like the King’s mother or something. And Anne’s kids would just be commoners.”
“No, Mary,” said her father patiently, “they would be illegitimate, just like Fitzroy, remember?”
“I never get anything I want,” wailed Mary. She turned to her brother, “tell them, George.”
“Tell them what? I’ll probably be made a Lord or something and won’t have to do anything for it. I know I’m really really intelligent, but I could just be remembered for being the King’s mistress’s brother. That would be fine because I have no sense of pride and hate the idea of having to work for a living. I could just play tennis and cards and stuff. Coooool.” George pressed the little pumps he kept under each arm and his sleeves puffed up to the size of marrows.”
Just then Anne arrived out of the blue, “I know I’m not due for a few days but I caught the earlier boat. Don’t worry dad, I got you a couple of bottles of duty free. Hello George, great sleeves, did I miss anything?”
“Not much”, said George, “Dad and uncle Thomas are looking at Mary being the new Bessie Blount. I’m being married off to Jane Parker in a couple of year’s time. She’s really cute and pretty so I can’t understand why I hate her so much; must be in the script. Anyway, the Princess Margaret married the King of Portugal and the Princess Mary ceased to exist. That was weird, one minute she was there and the next minute, poof, she was gone. Anyway, we all think Margaret may have done the King of Portugal in. It’s all very iffy. Also, for some strange reason, the King has begun speaking with an Irish accent. Most of us probably wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the fact he started Irish dancing and dressing his fool up as a leprechaun.”
Anne was ignoring him, and staring at her sister. “Why her and not me?”
Norfolk stepped in, “Because we knew Mary would agree to it, and if we’d have asked you, you would have hit us with the fire irons.”
Anne shrugged, “Oh well, I’ll just wait till Mary falls in love with the King and then I’ll take him off her, because I think it’s very important right from the start to establish how cruel and ambitious I am, rather than make any serious attempt to develop my character.”
Everybody nodded just as Jane Parker walked in looking demur and sweet. George punched her on the nose and then hid in the corner.
“For goodness sake get up and stop bleeding, Jane,” said Norfolk scornfully.
“Why do you do that?” Jane asked her future husband tearfully.
“I don’t really know, but I just get a sort of urge,” said George coming out of the corner and looking thoughtful. “I think it might be the easiest way to show me as a really nasty individual, so when you turn on me everybody will understand why. Plus the fact, I think it’s also got something to do with being a Boleyn. I don’t think it’s possible to show us in a favourable light. I think it might be illegal or something. Either that or authors haven’t got much imagination, or too much, I haven’t made my mind up on that.”
Mary suddenly stood up straighter, “Do you know, I think you’re right, George. I’ve been speaking like an adolescent twenty-first century street urchin, but I come from an aristocratic family and have had the best education possible for a girl. Father, you spent a fortune on the education and upbringing of all three of us, so why on earth would you want to lower the reputation of our family by deliberately making Anne and me whores? George, you’ve got the IQ of Stephen Hawkins, but you’re talking like a moron. And Anne, you were always such a kind hearted girl. What on earth has happened to us all?”
Jane piped up, “I don’t personally care, because I’m going to spy on you all and….” She was having difficulty reading the handwriting on the script. She squinted at it, “Then it seems to say, Elizabeth Boleyn enters stage left and complains that she should have a say in her children’s lives.”
They all looked expectantly towards the door, just as Elizabeth walked in. Thomas Boleyn held his hand up, “Don’t bother saying anything, Liz. We’ve already read it from the script.”
Elizabeth looked slightly bewildered, even more so as her son shot up from his seat and started grabbing everyone’s scripts off them. There was a moment of stunned silence as he threw them all in the fire. George breathed a sigh of relief, “That is much better. The juxtaposition of my scripted vocabulary compared to the eloquence of my mind and person was at such great odds that my character was at risk of becoming permanently damaged. I can now enjoy the freedom of expressing my beliefs as my mind dictates, and not as dictated by someone whose wit is dull by comparison. This means I can exhibit my great wit by expressing my opinions in a manner best suited to my intelligence and status in life, and in so doing can influence the King towards much needed reform of the Church from its inherent corruptions for the good of the peoples of the realm.”
“That’s nice, darling,” said his mother, “we are all back to not understanding a word you say.”
Thomas Boleyn glared at his brother-in-law, “Listen here, Howard, you are not the head of my family and never will be. If myself, or any member of my family ever require your assistance, we will ask for it.”
Mary and Anne hugged one another in a warm sisterly welcome. Everything was back to normal, and as George’s sleeves deflated he looked out of the window and was pleased to see that Charles Brandon looked about eighty. Anne smiled at her brother, “I’m sure we will still make lots and lots of mistakes, but at least they will be our mistakes.”