Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday
Blue Christmas

Black Friday, Blue Christmas

Words at the sales table: velvet codspieces 40% off

I was thinking of Thomas Wolsey today, the day of the bargain: Black Friday. Once in a heightened position of power, Wolsey fell low when he opposed Henry VIII's wish to break with the Catholic church, renounce Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and aid in the ascension of Anne Boleyn to the throne. Anne worked diligently to oust him, and in 1529, Wolsey was stripped of his office as Lord Chancellor and ordered to return the Great Seal--not something you can replace easily at Home Goods. He also “turned over” all of his wealth to Henry (including York Palace and Hampton Court), his gold and silver plate, and his jewels. You could say being King, and having the Tower of London and an executioner at your disposal, makes every day a blue spot special.

Wolsey's retiring quietly to a country house wasn’t enough for Anne B. She was furious when the King pardoned him and confirmed Wolsey as Archbishop of York. Anne had Wolsey's physician bribed into falsely accusing Wolsey of urging the Pope to excommunicate Henry, claiming he wished to seize the English throne himself. With all of these trumped up charges as evidence of treachery, the Cardinal was arrested on a charge of high treason in November.

When you read Wolsey’s history, it always reports that he fell ill on his transport to the Tower to London and died at Leicester Abbey on November 28, 1530. "When the Cardinal was thus arrested, the King sent Sir William Knight, captain of the guard of the Tower of London to fetch the Cardinal to the Tower. When the Cardinal saw Knight “… he was much astonished and shortly became ill, for he foresaw some great trouble, and for that reason men said he willingly took so much strong purgative that his constitution could not bear it.”

If I Were King of the Forest. Not Queen. Not Prince. Not Duke.

Usually when reading about Wolsey you only get, “he became ill and died the next day.” This week I was reading a biography of Jane Boleyn (Anne’s sister-in-law) and within that book, I found that Jane had heard of Wolsey’s arrest with the report “he passed above fifty stools in twenty-four hours, all of them wondrous black.” Black Friday, indeed. More like "scared shitless." (I made a calendar for 1530. He died on a Monday.) Wolsey was buried at Leicester Abbey where he had fallen ill; the abbey now nothing more than a trace of foundation in the grass. Archaeological teams have been digging at the Abbey recently, so maybe they’ll find old Thomas with other bits of shard.

Tudor Chamber Pots

**Employment Opportunity: Groom of the Stool ** Attention all ambitious workyers. Following the untimely death of Henry Norris, a new groom of the stool is required by Henry VIII. The primary duty is to “see the house of easement be sweet and clear.” In playnspeake: to clean the royal rear and privy. This coveted position is for someone looking for an opening, for whom no job is to too big or small. No one else will be so often alone with His Royal Highness. Although you will be dealing with Nymber Two, you will be with Nymber One in the privy chamber.

A Favorite Dysshe of the King

Putte you two slyces of ye beste whyte brede into hot coals. Flatten a bynanner in a fayre bowle until soft. Pound a goodly measure of choycest nuts into a fyne paste. Take up the bread from the hot coals before it can browne. Spread the nut paste thicke on one brede, and take the flattened bynanner and spread hem thicke on the second. Take 2 knobs of ye beste butter and spread welle on the outer partes of the bread. Hold brede over the hot coals, oon a longe stycke, until the outermost parte is a fulsome browne.

A Throne To Die For

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Blogger Phil said...

It is amazing what Wosley, Presley, and I have in common.

And I could sure use a new velvet codpiece this Christmas.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

OMG ... how do you do it? You're a magician, you really are.

Did you read that a Walmart employee was crushed literally to death when a crowd of people pushed through the doors?

Reported on Reuters. Whoa!!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Walmart employee crushed.

Black Friday indeed.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

I did read that, Reya, and was glad I layed low yesterday. Bought nothing, went nowhere. Raked leaves. Behaved myself.

Phil: They do sell velvet codpieces online, yanno. Just the thing for New Year's Eve. As for Wolsey-Presley-Phil. The love of bling?

9:42 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

You know, I love G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii as much as the next guy. Hell, I even have a soft spot for Charro! But I wonder if Elvis couldn't have done a British period drama is there somewhere?

4:55 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

"In" there somewhere. The tussin' has me all loopy.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Hammer: Prince Hal (Wallis)? Sorry, I couldn't resist. I would have loved to see Elvis in some Hillbilly Hamlet. Think of his mother issues. Hamlet's tooz. Romeo and Juliet, with Juliet played by Sex Kitten Ann-Margaret, doing her little squealing gogo moves on the balcony. Colonel Parker as the Padre. A Midsummer's Night's Dream...set in Nashville with a lot of shag carpet. WAIT! Julius Caesar set at Caesar's Palace! Richard II with Nixon playing Richard and that whole deputizing Elvis thing while he was stoned out of his gourd. You could take any play and put Elvis in it.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Cube- no not exactly.

Has more to do with our bond when it comes to the toilet.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Othello: Elvis as the big O and Don Rickles as Iago!

What did Sir Thomas eat (or was given) to pass the dark matter -- marshmellow fluff fried sammiches? Rather the opposite of Elvis' potty problems, wasn't it?

If Jane was alive today she'd be featured on some "Real Housewives of London" or "Bad Girls (Middle Ages Edition)", I'm thinking.

-- grince

1:16 PM  

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