Ghost Dentures in the Sky
A Tale From Baron Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen
As we go through life we acquire friends, some of whom we call "best friends." I've probably got 3 or 4 "best friends." Two of whom I grew up with in Houston, one was in the Army with me, and then there's Fred. He's one of those people who are your friends thru thick, thin and thick again; incredibly dependable, lots of fun, great sense of humor and loads of fun to pick on. Fred and I belong to an organization called the SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism. It's a medieval recreation group and is worldwide. We dress in funny clothes, pretend we're people from the middle ages and study the arts and sciences of those ages. It's the middle ages without the disease, bugs and smell.
Fred and I make liqueurs and are often called upon to either teach classes or judge in contests. He's attained the title of Baron and his SCA name (persona) is Baron Tygart of Toddington. His wife, Jessie, is the Baroness Margeray de Tracy of Toddington. Me, sometimes I'm Father Erno Scrumahli of Toddington and sometimes I'm Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen and (surprise, surprise!) we're all members of (are ya ready for this?) The House of Toddington! House Toddington is comprised of about 25 or so active members and almost as many inactive members. Fred and Jessie are the matriarch and patriarch of the household. I told you all this so you'd understand the relationships in the tale I'm about to tell.
(Editor's Note: This tale took place sometime in the late 80's. Time has passed since His Excellency penned this tale.)
About 8 or 10 years ago, we were at an SCA camping event in Maine, our tents huddled around our big red and gold striped pavilion which we call Old Stripy. It was about 6 in the morning, Myrddyn or Afon (Al Jones) and I (Father Scrumahli) were reading our books while Jessie was in the throes of what we call a "tidy fit." She was cleaning the Knowne Worlde! She picked up this cup and said, "ICK! Somebody left their old soup in my cup!" And she proceeded to hum the contents into the bushes at the edge of the woods. She watched the gloopy contents disappear into the bushes and noticed a large lump in the middle of the gloop... With a rather puzzled and apprehensive look on her face he turned to me and asked, "Ern?"
I never looked up from my reading throughout the following exchange.
"Did you see what I just threw away?"
"Did that look like soup to you?"
Turning page, "All except the big lump in it, yes, it kinda looked like soup."
"Do you know what that big lump was?"
"Yes, I do."
"Would you mind telling me what it was?"
"Nope. I wouldn't mind at tall."
"THEN WHAT WAS IT????"
"You really need to learn control your temper, Margeray."
Big sigh followed by the pseudo-calm question asked in a saccharine-sweet voice, "Please, Dear Father, tell me what I just threw away." Long pause while I finished the paragraph I was reading and Jessie received and absorbed another lesson in learning patience. Then, still without looking up from my book I quietly informed her what she'd thrown away.
I'd never really heard anyone actually say, "ACK!" before. It was a new experience. She proceeded to wake up the whole household (with the exception of Fred) to get them on the great tooth hunt. Well, we finally found the teeth, cleaned em off and Fred got his teeth back.
About 2 years after that I entered the Bardic Competition with a filk song I'd written. A filk song is a song written with new words to a very familiar tune. I chose the tune of Ghost Riders In The Sky. The song went on to take first place in the competition and is still considered something of a legend. I've gotten requests for the words from all over the USA, Canada and even Germany! I thought I'd share it with you.
Again, it's a true story. Their big fear in life is that I'll come up with more filk songs. Actually I have. Ernie
Ghost Dentures In The Sky
(Sung to the tune of Ghost Riders In The Sky)
(Opening verse sung slowly.)
T'was underneath Old Stripy Lady Margeray did sit.
She looked around, she saw the mess, she had a tidy fit.
She cleaned up things upon the bench, she grabbed things underneath,
But the cup she held tight in her hand, contained Tygart's teeth.
The Lady looked into the cup, she saw a murky goop.
She made a face, she made a noise, she thought it was old soup.
She tossed the contents in the weeds, she tossed it all away,
But the large lump in the midst of it, that bothered Margeray.
There they go,
The flight of Tygart's teeth,
as thrown by Margeray.
Now, in a chair not far away sat Father Scrumahli.
And excepting Margeray, all alone was he.
And so she turned and queried him, "Good Father did you see?
What it was that I just threw, beyond yon bush and tree?"
The Father sat and read his book not once did he look up
"Good Lady do you wish to know the contents of the contents of that cup?"
When she replied, "In truth, I do!" The cleric he did say,
"That was not soup, but Tygart's teeth, that you just threw away!"
"Good Lady, you must call your House and search yon field afar.
"Search high and low for Tygart's teeth, return them to their jar.
"And you must find them ere he wakes for tho he's mild and meek,
As fearsome as a sheep is he when he can't find his teeth."
Her Household searched the highest tree, beneath the smallest rock.
Without Lord Tygart and his teeth they'd be a laughing stock.
They searched around the grassy stalk and 'neath the flower's bud.
At last they found Lord Tygart's teeth they'd stomped them in the mud!
Lord Tygart woke and scratched himself in places we can't say.
He looked for the glass which held his teeth, at guilty Margeray
Then he looked high and he looked low, he looked most every ways!
But most of all Lord Tygart looked a lot like Gabby Hayes.
House Toddington they all pitched in to wash and clean his teeth.
They washed off mud they cleaned off grass, a mess beyond belief!
And as Lord Tygart grabbed those teeth and put them in with haste.
Lord Tygart he was heard to say, "They have a gritty taste."
So as he doth prepare himself each evening for his rest,
He puts his teeth within a glass and gets himself undressed.
And just before he goes to sleep he fervently doth pray,
"Oh, Good Lord, keep me safe from harm! And my teeth from Margeray!"
And from the tent where she doth sleep you'll hear the lady moan.
Incisors, canines and bicuspids make the lady groan.
And as she sleeps upon her cot as troubled dreams drift by,
She hears the mournful chatter of Ghost Dentures In The Sky!
Now many mottoes come and go while others come and stay.
Some sound like "Don't You Tread On ME!" or, "Carpe Diem," seize the day.
And so unto House Toddington this motto I bequeath,
These words that are both brave and bold CARPE DENTUM! (Seize the teeth!)
Now there is one more verse to sing I know you'll understand.
A parable without a moral surely would be bland.
And the moral to this tale is very plain to see.
Good gentles, be true to your teeth, or they'll be false to Thee.