Friday, September 19, 2014

A Fractured Florence Fairy Tale

Sent from Shoalanda and postmarked Puerto Vallarta where she's rumored to be in the company of an aging cabaret singer named Doug.

The Movie That Was Banned in Florence


Cloris Leachman as Essie the Beggar Woman

Nicholas Cage as the Rich Young Ruler

Armin Mueller-Stahl as Oscar the Hermit

Ricky Gervais as Attorney John Minnow

Once upon a time in the fair city of Florence lived a beggar woman named Essie. As Essie walked her daily route, dressed in cast off clothing found in dumpsters, she would talk to each one she met, for she never encountered a stranger. No one knew the money she collected went to the truly poor of the Renaissance City.

Nearby lived a rich young ruler. The young man hated Essie for being his neighbor, for after all, he was so much better than she…not to mention smarter. One day he asked Essie to move, but when she refused, the young ruler began to play evil tricks on the old woman.

Essie knew who was responsible for all her suffering and, like an elephant, never forgot. Then one day her cousin died. Oscar was a hermit, hardly any better than Essie in the rich young ruler’s mind, but Oscar did leave behind something that the rich young man wanted--a lot adjacent to the young man’s business.

The rich young ruler duly trotted down to attorney John Minnow’s office and offered the sum of thirty thousand dollars for the small parcel. Minnow was delighted, since the lot was too small to build anything of value on. He called Oscar’s brother in California to finalize the deal, telling the brother he had an offer of twenty-five thousand, but before the transaction could be finalized, Essie heard of the affair.

Essie then immediately went herself to Mr. Minnow’s office and offered thirty-five thousand. Minnow thought Essie was a few sheep short of a nativity scene, but when he found out that the beggar woman actually had millions in the bank, he then called Oscar’s executor and related the offer of thirty thousand dollars. Mr. Minnow had never been very good at math…or ethics.

So Essie the beggar woman bought a lot she didn’t need, the rich young ruler had to sell his business and take a job sweeping up at a gay bar in a Muslim country, and John Minnow took an early retirement, moving south for several years.

Now, you may ask how this twenty year old story is relevant to us today, but it seems a new version of this old tale has come to light.

The local university wanted to compete with Jabberwocky College which had three lions and Wotsamatta U. which had 15 fountains. How was it to find the funding?

Finally an enterprising employee hit upon the idea of opening an office in China to recruit what were now the richest students in the world. This would probably have been a harmless endeavor if Zing Zang Zung hadn’t heard of the small school.

Zung was rumored to be a cousin of Michael Jackson and couldn’t refuse to purchase anything when a price tag was waved in front of him. He offered to buy a college for the local university, but Sam Rudyard Kipling Pendleton stood in his way and refused to allow the city to sell the property to the high ranking Chinese Communist.

Zung waited; then Pendleton retired, and the Chinese businessman saw his chance. Zung paid an exorbitant price for the property he wanted for his new college of integrative quackery and was soon the darling of those who had always admired the emperor’s new clothing.

The time came for the new college to open. The university hired some faculty. Then they waited. Four students enrolled. Zung could not be found.

Somehow we think if Essie were alive she would have approved of Zing Zang Zung’s revenge. In the mean time, attorney John Minnow now back from his extended stay down south is sitting at home formulating plans to get a piece of the action.

Obviously, this is not the end of the exploits of Zing Zang Zung, but was anyone out there, that is to say anyone out there with an iota of common sense, thinking this whole debacle would come off without Murphy stepping in? Still gonna hang in there for a little longer, Dr. Cale?

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