Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Analysis of The three army surgeons

The Analysis of The Three Army-Surgeons
This is one that I've been wanting to do for some time now but, owing to the various pressures and responsibilities of life (1) I haven't been able to, until now that is.
What you're about to read is an interesting tale and one that, I suspect, was not meant for the impressionable ears of the children but rather whispered to their parents in the glow of the dying embers of the fireplace after the little ones had been sent to bed and the brothers were angling for a free nights lodging by keeping on with the stories. The version I'm working from was translated by Margaret, you'd like her if you met her, Taylor in 1884 (2)

It's much longer than the usual offering which is why I've taken the opportunity to break it up into four acts.

Act I: An arrival with cream
Now there were three army-surgeons who thought that they knew their art perfectly and decided to go on a wander about the world in order to see what they could see, as the saying goes.
One night they arrived at an inn and asked for rooms with a continental breakfast and a late checkout time because, they reasoned, we're on holiday and we can sleep in if we want to.
Being a curious and talkative fellow (3) their host asked about their travels thus
From whence came you? And whither are you going?”
You 'aving a laugh mate?” said the first doctor
“Ooh look at him and 'is posh voice” said the other
“Knock it off yousguys” admonished the third “carn't yyoussee he is merely playing the part of a person who is an old time innkeeper?”
“Cor is that right mister?” the first one said
“It might be” the innkeeper looked around, confused by this sudden outbreak of improv “as it happens by the time this comes out I shall be starring in the new James Bond Movie” (4)Everyone present congratulated him for achieving this role and then quickly got back to the acting because the director was giving them a very dirty look.
As I asked before” the innkeeper asked again “where is you guys from and how far you going?” (5)“We're just wandering around” said the first
“Practicing the art, as it were” added the second who wanted to show that he could be posh as well
“You may not think it to look at us but we are in fact the finest surgeons in the world” finished the third and clipped the second over the head which naturally led to a Three Stooges style slapstick scene.
Lets see what you can do then” the innkeeper remarked while cleaning shaving cream out of his face and attempting to get this story back on track.
The first doctor cut of his hand and placed it upon a plate.
The second tore out his heart and placed it next to the hand, which still twitched
The third put out his eyes and put them on the plate also (6)
The doctors gave the plate to the innkeeper saying “keep these safe we'll reattach them in the morning. The innkeeper gave the plate to a handy servant because that's what servants are for (7) and everyone exited stage left in order to make way for act II.
Act II: The terrible consequences of love.
Joy, the servant, after she had placed the vital organs in the pantry had a soldier for a lover and while the rest of the house were sleeping she let him in and brought him some food.
“Ah you're a soldiers joy so you are” which is official militaryspeak for “you are giving me food and I am unlikely to invade you tonight

While the pair talked of things that lovers talk of a cat crept inside and found the cupboard open. Rather predictably it stole the heart, eyes and hands of the surgeons. When the theft was discovered Joy was frightened and said
Oh soldier I am frightened. Whatever shall we do about the missing organs?”
but the soldier reassured her in strangely wooden tones “I will help you thee! I will help thee my lover for look! There is a thief upon the gallows and I will cut off his hand. Soldier exits” (9)
After he returned with the freshly severed hand he caught the cat and cut it's eyes out.
We still need the heart oh soldier mine” said Joy who was showing more ham than a butchers window
Have you not been killing and are not the dead pigs in the cellar?” the soldier asked
What a good idea” said Joy and fetched up the heart of a pig to take the place of the third item. The curtain falls upon this act and the pair exit to applause (10)

Act III: A series of unfortunate events (11)

In the morning the surgeons got up, repaired themselves, paid their bill and left. Joy breathed a sigh of relief that none of them had noticed

On their journey each behaved very strangely.
The one with the pigs heart ran around wallowing in the mud and nothing he others could do would stop him.
The second, with the cats eyes complained that he could not see a thing and the others had to help him along.
They reached another inn and went to the bar where the innkeeper was counting out some money for another customer. From out of nowhere the thief’s hand suddenly reached out and grabbed at the coins which left everyone involved with very red faces.

After they had apologized they were allowed a room for the night but the doctor with the cats eyes stayed awake watching the mice run around.
In the morning the brothers talked about what had happened and came to the conclusion that A: Something wasn't right and B: it would all be covered in Act IV
Act IV: Thus I conclude that there must be a conclusion before the conclusions

The brothers three returned to the inn of act I and confronted the innkeeper of same
we haven't gotten back whats rightfully ours matey boy” the surgeons said with menace “and if we don't get them back then bad things are gonna start happening”
Yeah” said the smallest of the surgeons “don't make us go all West Side Story on you”
Please no! Anything but that!” the innkeeper pleaded fearfully “It must have been Joy, the servant girl”
But there was no answer from the servant girl since she had taken the opportunity to leg it in the middle of the night (12)
Oh dear” said the first doctor
Oh dear. Oh dear” said the second
Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear” said the third because he had forgotten his lines.
I imagine that you'll burn down my inn” the innkeeper prompted
Yes that’s it. You'd better pony up some cash right smart boyo or this place is crashing harder than Jessica Simpsons career”

The innkeeper gave them everything he had and then some which was enough for the surgeons to live out the rest of their lives in comfort. But they would rather have had their own proper organs.
  • Are they really surgeons?
    Removing organs is very easy, putting them back inside is slightly less so. But we're expected to believe that these three can do it? I smell a rat or perhaps I should say, a bat. That's right folks the big reveal is not that these three gentlemen are top notch surgeons but are in fact Vampires!
    Consider the following if you would:
    • They are able to survive without various organs and place them back. It wouldn't take long before word of their abilities spread far and wide.
    • They set themselves up in neutral territory and dinner is practically brought to their door in the form of someone being injured. As long as they don't break the masquerade (13) they'd be able to continue this forever
    • However, they are not without rivals. The fact that the cat bypassed everything in order to take the surgeons things points to a possible group of werecreatures who have already claimed this region as their own. Although were-pussycats don't sound like that much of a threat to me.
  • The replacement organs:
    The heart and eyes are going to be quite different from human regular. I would hope that any surgeon who worked on me would be able to tell the difference.
  1. Otherwise known as playing video games
  2. which, considering I'm writing this in 0345, wasn't that long ago.
  3. Who has been paid quite a large sum in order to get the plot moving.
  4. That last bits a quote and you get ten points if you can tell me where it's from.
  5. Behind him the director stomped on his megaphone.
  6. After having first put them in the jar of pickled onions to the hilarity of all
  7. The Grim brothers don't seem to have given the servant a name but as she's actually rather important to this crazy little thing called plot we'll call her Joy.
  8. unless you want me to” boom boom!
  9. Sorry about this folks you've got to make allowances when the kids uncle owns the theater.
  10. Which only proves that drunk people will clap at anything
  11. Better known as the acting ability of Jean Claude Van Damme. Or Twilight. Both are equally terrible.
  12. Pausing only for a nostalgic rummage round in the till.
  13. Vampire: the Masquerade is a role playing game and to quote Wikipedia “The title of the series comes from "The Masquerade", referring to the Camarilla's attempts to hide vampirism from humans and their governments, but is also a double entendre referring to vampires' efforts to convince themselves that they are not truly monsters” [this concludes the helpful section of this article]

1 comment:

  1. This was sooo funny! I had not read this tale before....and now it's ruined. (Only because this version is, I would bet anything, a million times better!) LoL

    Lurved it. XD

    And yeah...I would vote "vampire" as well. It fits! (Omg..I got a sick image when I read "were-pussycat"...*shakes it off*)