“He was a janglere and a goliardeys, And that was moost of synne and harlotries.” This quote is just a bit of light reading picked from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. I know what you’re thinking: I didn’t know Chaucer wrote in Elvish. Well geeks, you’re wrong. Chaucer is considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. (This would explain why Gr8tst_Engsh_Poet was already taken for a Facebook username. Damn you, Chaucer.) One might assume that this guy writes about boring stuff like cricket and lawyers, but no. It turns out Geoffy is the Chuck Norris of writing, and it is for this reason that I will be telling you about two things that are prevalent in many of the stories of “The Canterbury Tales.”
First, allow me to introduce you to the word cuckoldry. Cuckoldry is a name for a man whose wife cheats on him. In one of the greatest stories written by Chaucer, “The Miller’s Tale,” a wife named Allison makes her husband John a cuckold. Because this story unwinds similar to something you might see on the television show “Arrested Development,” and because that show is hilarious, I am briefly going to tell you what happens. Then after this, you will probably want to go pick up your very own copy of G.C.’s great book. I have no problem with this, as I am entitled to approximately 50% of Chaucer’s earnings. (I won the rights in a bet). So, here it goes.
Once upon a time, there lived a husband named John who was pretty old and a young hot wife named Allison. (Couple was equivalent to a modern day Trump and his wife, only John has neither the money nor the beautiful head of hair). They also have a scholar named Nicholas who lives with them, who is also very good-looking (think David Beckham). One day, Nicholas walks up to Allison while John is away and says something along the lines of “you’re hot, I’m hot, we should probably be together.” Allison agrees, so they set a plan in motion to do the nasty.
When Nicholas returns, John (who along with being good-looking is also an astronomer) tells Nicholas that there is going to be a huge Apocalyptic flood, so John should tie three bathtubs up to the ceiling so they can sit in them, along with some food to last them for a few days. Nicholas, knowing that he should always trust a man with a six pack, says, “of course. I’ll go get some tubs and food.”
So after a little while, John, Nicholas, and Allison are all sitting up in their tubs, ready for the big flood. Nicholas and Allison both climb down then as John sleeps, and do the horizontal mambo right under John! (The nerve of good-looking people). But then here’s the kicker. Absalom (a guy that has a crush on Allison) comes to the window to ask Allison for a kiss. Allison says “tehe, watch this Nicholas,” and sticks her gosh dang fanny out of the window. Because it’s so dark, Absalom then kisses it! Realizing it is not a face but rather a butt, Absalom seeks his revenge. He gets a big hot poker and comes back a second time, ready to burn some rubber.
Absalom calls under the window again something along the lines of “Hey Aaaaallie! I have a ring for you if you give me another kiss.” Nicholas decides to take care of this fool and sticks his butt out the window. Then, right in front of Absalom’s face he lets out a huge fart that is equivalent to a “thunder clap”! How absurd! Who knew they farted in the 1300’s! Anywho, Absalom gets pissed and pokes the guy in the butt with the poker. Nicholas jumps up from the window sill and yells “Water! Water! For the love of God, I need water!”
When John (the guy who’s still up in the bathtub) hears this, he believes the flood is coming, and chops the rope that is holding the bathtub. In doing so, John breaks his arm. Allison and Nicholas run down the street screaming “help!” Those two jerks then tell the townspeople John is crazy because he thought a flood was coming. I think we all realize that the moral of the story is that we should probably never trust very good-looking people.
Well look! Now you’ve learned something. Just remember, next time you are recapping that last episode of “Days of Our Lives” to your friend, instead of saying “Ben was cheated on by Melissa,” you can say “Melissa made Ben a cuckold. In fact, have you noticed that there is a lot of cuckoldry occurring in Days of Our Lives? Just an observation.” Then shrug, and walk away. Your friend will be so impressed with your Middle English knowledge that she will probably give you her stamp collection or something equally as valuable.
This is getting to be a very long post, and so I will refrain from telling you the second thing that is prevalent in many of “The Canterbury Tales” until next time. (Clue: The thing is farts.)