Sunday, November 24, 2013

195 Quiz Answer

“The Music Man” was a highly successful Broadway musical with book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson (and starring Robert Preston), which went on to both film and TV adaptations.

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "T" is for "Travis")
Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.  I wrote the following scenelet, thinking it might remind you of a production that was a hit musical which then became a hit movie.  What was its name?

A town meeting, years ago.

“Can you hear me all right, in the back of the hall there?  Then I hereby declare this meeting open.”

“We can hear you okay, Paul.  I want to begin with something important, something that affects…”

“Wait a minute, Jed.  Sit down.  We’ve got to do this right, follow our rules of order.  First off, we need to have the reading of the minutes of the last meeting.”

“Mr. Chairman!  I move and second that we postpone or just skip the minutes reading.   We have something more important…”

“You can’t second your own motion, Jed!  All right, we’ll assume it’s been seconded.  What is it you’re so fired up about?”

“Mr. Chairman, I speak as a proud member of our proud community, a town that has summed up, and I may even say epitomized, what the American dream has come to mean for generations of citizens.  When language takes flight and one speaks of the land of the free and the home of the brave, we might well be talking of our very own municipality…”

“Uh, Jed, you said you had something important to bring up.  Could you be a bit more specific and zero in on just what it is?”

“Of course, Mr. Chairman.  I speak of a very present danger, a crisis.  We have to be wary of outsiders, Paul, coming into our fair town, bringing with them newfangled ideas and some curious projects they want to foist on us.” 

“You’re speaking of Mr. Travis, right?  Well, he arrived recently in town and he has presented some interesting musical ideas for our local young folks but I don’t see this as a crisis.”

“You don’t?  You may not be aware of just how negative an impact music has on younger generations today and how it affects their lives; it can be a kind of drug to them.  This Travis character wants to organize our kids, get them all steamed up about forming musical groups that will inevitably drive their parents, as well as the rest of us, out of our minds.”

“Well, Jed, I guess I don’t agree that getting children to learn more about music is ‘unscrupulous.’  I think this could be something our town could be proud of.  On major holidays it would be great to see our kids performing in a musical parade.”

“Oh, don’t get that guy Travis started talking about parades.  You wouldn’t believe the number of trombones he plans to lead with.”

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Berowne's 193 Quiz

(Here's this week's Berownial quiz question.  I wrote the following, hoping it would remind you of a hit song of a few decades ago.  What's the song?)

"There was no need to come down here to the station house, Mr Rowan.  We ciould have handled this on the phone."
"I know, sergeant.  But I wanted to come here in person to apologize.  I got sort of excited there, I'm afraud."
"Yes, you did.  You were shouting something about how us cops just sit around and do nothing when yiou've got an important emergency on your hands."
"Oh God, again I apologize.  You see, that car is my pride and joy.  When I learned it was stolen I sort of fell apart."
"But of course it wasn't stolen, was it?  So often it's just a case of a family member taking a car for a spin."
"Right.  That's exactly what happened.  My daughter just got her driver's license last week and she couldn't wait to drive in real traffic."
"It was quite a ride, from what the police report has to say.  She went at normal speed throuigh a hamburger stand, putting an unknown number of hamburgers at risk."
"Ha.  Glad to see you've got a sense of humor about this."
"Well, there was no real harm done."
"But in addition to the danger she placed herself in, that vehicle cost me a fortune."
"Yes, it's obviously a collector's item - don't see all that many Thunderbirds these days.  You've kept it in real good condition."
"I sure have.  Perfect conditiion.  At least that's what it was in when my daughter went on her joyride.  It's a classic car and I plan to enter it in a few competitions.  Anyway, as for my daughter, I know she had a lot of fun-fun with it but she won't be driving it again any time soon.  She'll use our other buggy and leave my T-bird alone."
(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings) 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

192 Quiz Answer

Here’s the answer: William Shakespeare’s “Othello” is a classic tragic love story.  At the heart of the story lies a simple object, a handkerchief (“with a strawberry pattern”), that summons up ideas of love, broken promises and possible infidelity.

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "Q" is for Sergeant Quade)
Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.  I wrote the following scenelet thinking it might remind you of a famous Shakespeare play.  Which play?

On an important army base, the wife of the general pays a visit to Master Sergeant Quade.

“Sit down, please, sergeant.  This is nothing military; I just wanted to ask a favor of you.”

“Well, when you’re a humble soldier, ma’am, and the general’s wife drops in to see you, you have a tendency to stand at attention.”

“‘Humble soldier,’ Master Sergeant?  Everyone knows that you’re the one who really runs things around this base.”

“Always in the service of your husband, ma’am.  What can I do for you?”

“Well, this is going to seem odd.  It’s a bit embarrassing because it’s going to sound so trivial but believe me it’s important.”

“I hope I’ll be able to help.”

“Let me amplify.  It has to do with an item, a gift - in fact the very first gift my husband gave me, long before we got married.  It’s a handkerchief.”

“A handkerchief?”

“I knew this would seem rather foolish.  But it’s an unusual handkerchief; it has a special significance for both of us.  I carry it with me everywhere.  I’m almost never without it.”

“And now it’s lost.”

“Exactly.  I don't mean to moan about it, but you see it doesn’t have just sentimental value; it’s actually a kind of expensive work of art.  A silk handkerchief with a pattern of strawberries.” 

“Is it possible it’s not lost; maybe someone took it?”

“Yes, that thought had occurred to me.  I asked around and someone suggested, ‘Ask Sergeant Quade.  There’s nothing going on around the base that he doesn’t know about.’”

“I can see it’s important to you, ma’am.  I’ll do my best to find it.”

“And it’s important to the general; it’s like a fable, part of his Moorish background I suppose.  He expects me to have it with me wherever I go.  It sort of symbolizes our marriage.  It's not just that he'd criticize; he’d be very upset if I lost it.”

The most interesting thing about this conversation is that all the while Quade is talking with the general’s wife - he has the handkerchief in his pocket.

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)
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