The Friar's Tale a la The Toast

Bros. British Library MS Royal 19.C.I, fol. 33r.

If you have been paying any attention to The Toast's content this past year, you'll know already that Mallory Ortberg has been killing it with her medieval-themed spoofs and humorous material. One of her recent successes was The Wife of Bath's Prologue. So I handed this piece to this semester's Chaucer students and told them they'd get extra credit for spoofing a different Tale, a la The Toast. And this is what Gretchen Hauser (yes, she of "Plea to a Drakken" fame) came up with. Because (as she said, giving me permission to post this), who wouldn't want to be bros with a demon?

 

The Friar’s Tale

 

FRIAR . Now back in my country

There was this archdeacon, a classy guy,

Who punished all these sins—

Witchcraft, fornication, slander, adultery,

Robbing churches, not observing sacrements, usury, simony—

Yeah if you were a creep you definitely did not want to mess with this guy.

Anyway he had this summoner working for him

And that dude was totally sketch. I mean like

He had spies who told him where he could make the most money,

Like he would use bad guys to find more bad guys!

You guys, I really have to tell you about what this dude did

And don’t worry cuz friars don’t even answer to summoners

And they never ever will haha

 

SUMMONER. “For Pete’s sake, prostitutes don’t answer to us either, way to put yourself on that level—“

 

HOST. “Shhhhh! Proceed.”

 

FRIAR. Alright so this Summoner guy had spies, like I said,

So he made a lot of money under the archdeacon’s nose

And he had these girls who worked for him

Who would sleep around with Bob-Hugh-Jake-Ralph, whoever

And then snitch on them, so this guy would draw up a false summons

And he would basically rob the men and let the girls go--

“Yo, she’s not in trouble,

trust me I am your friendly neighborhood summoner”—

Ridiculous

I mean this guy knew a sinner better than a man knows his mistress

Like in the biblical sense lol

And so what happened one day was

While he was on the prowl for some poor unsuspecting sucker

He ran into a yeoman!

 

So the summoner says “hey hello welcome friend”

To which the yeoman says “hi, where are you off to?”

And the summoner says “uh nowhere really. I’m uh, I’m a bailiff so you know how that goes.”

And the yeoman says “Bro no way, I am a bailiff too!”

To which the summoner replies “Bro!”

And the yeoman responds “Bro!”

So they decided to share whatever profit they make

Some kind of life-or-death agreement, the usual

 

Anyway later the summoner began asking some tough questions

Like where the yeoman was from and how he came to be a bailiff

And the yeoman kind of sweats a little

And gives some answers that make him sound

A little bit like Satan

But the summoner is pretty dumb so he doesn’t notice

Until finally this yeoman guy gets some kind of conscience

And comes out to the summoner as a demon. From actual hell.

“Holy moly you really got me I thought you were an actual yeoman” said the summoner.

Then the demon dude tells how demons tempt humans

But you know, withstanding temptation equals salvation

Which is exactly the opposite of what demons intend hahaha

Anyway

He’s like “Bro I’m still in on this if you are”

And the summoner is like “Bro!”

 

So they resume their usual trickery, traveling along

And then there’s this guy with a cart of hay and horses stuck in mud

Cussing and fussing: “To hell with this shit”

Which the summoner takes as an offer--

“Dude he’s giving you all his stuff!”

But the demon shakes his devilish head and tells the summoner

“Nah he didn’t really mean it, doesn’t count.”

 

The next person they run into is a hag lady

Who the summoner decides to completely screw over

So he tells her about a summons that he made up in order to get her to pay up

What a dick am I right

So the hag lady is like

“I’m pretty sure you just made that up. Damn you

And this frying pan I’m holding to hell you liar”

And the demon steps in and says “excuse me, did you mean that, or--? Asking for a friend”

And the hag lady says “Hell yeah, unless this guy repents”

But the summoner is an idiot so he refuses.

So the devil becomes the proud owner of a summoner

And a frying pan

 

The point I’m trying to make is

Don’t be tempted by demons okay

Also summoners suck

So pray for them

So maybe some of them will realize how much they suck

And decide not to go to hell one day.

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