The Fate of Merryland (early 80’s)


Crazy Face. Drawing by Harvey Dog

“There’s too much sadness in my kingdom,”
proclaimed the King of Merryland,
“from now on, everybody shall be happy
by the decree of me, King of Merryland.”

All the people laughed and put on a happy face,
oh, it was wonderful, where else but Merryland
would there be a national policy for emotions.

But.

There were dissenters, a group called, “The Right to be Sad,”
They met and plotted and frowned together until they were
ready to go public with their sad expressions.

After they were seen in public, the King’s Assistant, Grin Reaper,
approached the King, and told him cheerfully:
“Your Royal Highness, it is my pleasure to tell you that
some sad faces have been spotted in Merryland. What shall we do?”

The King pondered this news with a wide beaming grin.
He stood up and laughed loudly and longly – everybody joined in.
Eventually he said, still occasionally guffawing:
“We shall, smilingly, takes these gloomy men and lead them,
laughingly, to the yard of Public Executions, and there,
grinningly, shoot them, for we do not want sad people in Merryland.”

Everybody laughed at the King’s proclamation, dancing and smiling
together.

Meanwhile.

Down at the Drink & Pout our sad men drank and sighed with frowns.
They were startled when cheerful guards walked in and led them away,
laughingly,
“What are you going to do with us?” asked Gus Gloomy sighingly.
All he heard in response was laughter.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

The six of the Right to be Sad understood their fate
when they were led into the yard of Public Executions.

“Repent and laugh my sad friends and join us,” greeted the King
None of the six, though, were in the mood for jovial laughter.
“Oh well. Ha-ha. Shoot this depression from my sight,”
ordered the King of Merryland.
Bang-bang. The shots rang out, killing the six members of
“The Right to be Sad.”

Afterwards everybody laughed and sang for the stigma of depression
had been removed from their sight.

But.

One of the guards actually thought about what he had done,
and he sighed, and he frowned, and became depressed.
His wife, Lucy, saw him frowning and promptly shot her husband
in the forehead with a gleeful laugh.
“Good work, Lucy! We must not let frowners and downers ruin this glorious day,” congratulated the King of Merryland.

But.

Something was going wrong.
Bodies began to pile up as this hideous movement of
depression began sweeping the fair land of Merryland.
“Your majesty, the land is beginning to stink of death, though I will
not let this get me down, I will replace my frown with the mask of a
clown,” Grin Reaper said unconvincingly.
A tear, not from laughter, trickled down his cheek.

“Oh well. I’m sorry to see you go, Grin,” the King laughed as he
shot his only son from his dead wife who had committed suicide.

The King walked around the city for the first time since the six
had been executed in the yard of Public Executions.
He didn’t find any living being around, until he turned a corner
and saw a man smashing his head against a brick wall, laughingly.

The smiling King asked the peasant: “My dear laughing peasant,
why are you smashing your head against this brick wall?”
The peasant cackled as blood poured down his face.
Then the peasant laughed loudly and longly
sending a shiver down the spine of the King.

The King sighed and uttered through chattering teeth:
“This is not the laughter of joy, this is the laughter of madness,
I have spread madness through Merryland, and now all is darkness.”

After the King finished his couplet
he pulled out a revolver
put it in his mouth,
and sadly, pulled the trigger.

Now only the laughter of madness
is heard in the land of Merryland.


Notes

This is an early one, I wrote in one sitting. A couple of years after I wrote it, I brought it to The Hated Uncles circa 1986-1987, to see if there was something we could do with it. We did! I believe there were masks involved – everybody played a role – we rehearsed it, then presented it one time for public consumption. We played it at an old, small theatre building on the corner of Main and Dundurn. I think it went ok – the sound may not have been great. I think after we performed the piece, we may have played “Name On A Gravestone”. I’m not sure why we didn’t play a full set after we performed the piece…some memories become disjointed over time!

I wrote this very macabre, dark fairy tale (influenced by The Brothers Grimm) of a place gone mad because of enforcement of peoples’ emotions, as a reaction to the superficiality I found in everyday society. I was an angry disillusioned young man. I’m still contemplating doing something with this. A radio play?

Written: early 1980’s


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