Blackadder’s Travels, Part 2, Blefuscu
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK walk slowly along a wide city street, with confetti being strewn across their shoes. Wildly waving fans litter the rooftops and balconies as they go by.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: With our assistance, the nation of Blefuscu had conquered the nation of Lilliput. The king expressed his gratitude. Honors were given to us…
(BLACKADDER kneels before the king of Blefuscu for knighting. The king can’t get the sword up above BLACKADDER’s shoe. BLACKADDER kneels lower and lower, as pages rush up to hoist the king on their shoulders)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: …quarters were found for us…
(Something like the Globe Theatre is shown. The camera view rises until we look down and see BLACKADDER seated upon the stage, while BALDRICK is curled up on the ground.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: …as well as monies granted for our maintenance.
(BLACKADDER pours a barrel of money into his hand. The coins are about the size of the head of a pin. As the camera pans back, he pulls out tweezers and starts to count coins. He pays them one at a time into the hands of a carter delivering a barrel of lager. The camera continues to pan back to show a long line of tiny men and their wagons lined up to deliver goods to the theatre. The camera passes cargos of wine barrels, cattle and sheep, bales of hay, rolls of linen, scantily clad women, pallets of tobacco, nets of fish,…)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And soon we were settled in.
(BLACKADDER is in the Theatre searching through piles of clothes, boxes, baskets and hay wagons stored in the seats. BALDRICK climbs over the roof and down into the theatre by a ladder.)
BALDRICK: Good afternoon, Mr. Blackadder.
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, have you seen my brothel?
BALDRICK: Did you look in the orchestra pit, sir?
BLACKADDER: Yes, I did, and the only thing I found was a drum major and a four-and-four.
BALDRICK: How about behind the stage?
BLACKADDER: That’s where I’m keeping the police force I’ve been working on.
BALDRICK: What, Scotland Yard?
BLACKADDER: No, the Back Yard.
(BALDRICK probes around in the cheap seats. Lifts up a Blefuscudian townhouse tricked out with a handle like a birdhouse.)
BALDRICK: Here it is, sir. It was behind the coffee house. (hands to BLACKADDER, who looks in the front window)
BLACKADDER: Ah! There you are. Is, um, is Mary working tonight?
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK sit on either side of the stage. BALDRICK is sewing flags into a quilt; BLACKADDER is whittling a guillotine out of a block of wood. A tapping sounds. BALDRICK leans over to open the side door, looks out.)
BALDRICK: Someone to see you, sir.
BLACKADDER: Who is it?
BALDRICK: (lifts little figure from the doorway, examines him closely, returns him to the doorway) Vice General of the Red Sir Percynapp, Mr. B.
BLACKADDER: Tell him I’m not in.
BALDRICK: He’s not in. I don’t think he believes me.
BLACKADDER: Oh, very well. I’ll see him in the dining room.
BALDRICK: Right away, sir.
(BALDRICK picks up some furniture and arranges it on the stage like playing in a dollhouse. When the table and chairs are set, with a cup and saucer, he picks up the visitor again and places him at the table. miniPERCY straightens his clothes and starts to address BLACKADDER, who’s still working on his guillotine.)
miniPERCY: Sir! I dee-mahnd (have I mentioned that Blefuscudians all have French Accents? They were almost certainly used to represent France in the original satire by Swift. And Blackadder wouldn’t miss a chance to poke fun at the French as well. Anyway, he says:) Sir! I dee-mahnd –
miniPERCY: What? Oh, no, no sank you.
BALDRICK: Are you sure? It’s very fresh.
miniPERCY: Oh, very well.
(BALDRICK pours from a standard teapot into the itty bitty cup. Tea splashes everywhere, including on Vice General of the Red Sir Percynapp. He sputters.)
miniPERCY: Get away from me you great oaf!
BALDRICK: Oh, alright. (pulls out a stage-prop door, sets it down next to miniPERCY.) I know when I’m not wanted. (slams the door shut and scoots over a bit, away from the ‘dining room.’)
miniPERCY: Blackaddair! I demand satisfaction! Choose your weapon, sir!
BLACKADDER: What, swords or mousetraps? You’ve got to be kidding me.
miniPERCY: Not at all! You have dallied with my wife and humiliated me before all Blefuscu!
BLACKADDER: Never mind. So, I’ve done what with whom?
miniPERCY: You have dallied with my wife.
BLACKADDER: You’re wife? I’m supposed to have ‘dallied’ have I?
miniPERCY: Yes. I have it on the best authority.
BLACKADDER: Dallied. Knocked boots. Made the beast with two backs. Gone all happy happy joy joy. Bowled her over. Cocked a leg. Heaved to, come alongside and triced up. Rung in the new year.
miniPERCY: Yes, yes, you blackard! You needn’t be so graphic about it.
BLACKADDER: I just want to be clear on this. You’re saying that I and your wife have, to put it more delicately, pitched woo together.
miniPERCY: YES! And honor demands that I see you on the field of honor.
BLACKADDER: Yes. That’s quite an image. But let’s stick to this infidelity, please. I only have one question.
miniPERCY: Yes, what is it?
miniPERCY: Obviously, you seduced her with your masculine charms, overcoming her silly womanly resistance, and coaxed her back to your place.
BLACKADDER: Yes, and then?
miniPERCY: Well, then it would be only a moment’s time for you to strip her bare, what with your powerful arms and irresistible fingers.
BLACKADDER: Yes? And….then?
miniPERCY: You had your way with her.
miniPERCY: Why do you keep asking that? It is a simple matter between men and women. Everyone knows what happens then.
BLACKADDER: Yes, I know the mechanics. What I’m asking for you to do is consider just what, exactly, happened between me and a woman of your species.
miniPERCY: Obviously, once she was naked and at your mercy, you stuck your…(he gestures towards BLACKADDER’s breeches. Suddenly, his eyes go wide as the penny finally drops.)
BLACKADDER: Yes? Stuck my what? Where? And how far? And was she able to walk afterwards?
miniPERCY: I, um…I see now that I must have been misinformed.
BLACKADDER: Yes. Very unfortunate, try not to let it happen again. Can I show you out?
miniPERCY: No, no, I know the way (runs)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, were you listening at the door, again?
BALDRICK (stage door on his shoulder, up against his ear): No, Mr. Blackadder, I wasn’t.
BLACKADDER: Right. What was that man’s name, again?
BALDRICK: Vice General of the Red Sir Percynapp.
BLACKADDER: Percynapp…Percynapp…Why does that name sound so familiar? (Begins to pat pockets as a man looking for a match) Aha! (reaches into a pocket and produces a tiny sleeping woman in undergarments. As he holds her on his palm, she wakes, yawns, stretches and smiles up at BLACKADDER) That’s right. I wasn’t sleeping with his wife, I was sleeping with his daughter! (tosses the girl over to BALDRICK) Take this one home, please, Balders.
BALDRICK: Right away, sir. (climbs out of the theatre)
(BLACKADDER attends a state dinner. He crouches on the floor at the end of the dining hall next to the king’s table, balances a table on his knees, and drinks from a wine barrel)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Unlike the nobility among the Lilliputians, who took exception to our company due to an unavoidable and perfectly natural bodily function on the part of my servant, the Blefuscudians were always keen to include me in participation with the members of their high society.
miniGEORGE (Blefuscu King): So. Mr. Blackadder, my generals wish me to convey to you an invitation to join us on a Royal Hunt next Eggsday.
BLACKADDER: Eggsday, is it? Let me check my schedule. (pulls a small box from a pocket, opens to reveal a clerk with a clipboard.) Check….Calendar…Eggsday.
CLERK: Eggsday: 9 of the clock, judging kite flying contest on the beach…10 of the clock, pulling dead tree up by the roots in the Royal Park…11 of the clock, meeting with tailors: Parkemble and Sons, Fostervolt and Sons, Jessucifold Family Tailors, Packerbeel’s Tailoring, Cookingsonson and Daughters, Pitheringgleemp and…
BLACKADDER: Yes, yes, skip to the next appointment.
CLERK: 20 of the clock, dinner at Duke of Wistenellenden’s summer home.
BLACKADDER: Well, sire, it appears that while my morning is full, the afternoon is free.
miniGEORGE: Excellent. Shall we say, 13 of the clock?
(BLACKADDER steps across a grassy hill to a group of horsemen waiting near the edge of a forest.)
BLACKADDER: Your majesty, generals, hail and well met. What is it we’re hunting today?
miniGEORGE: Boars. Big, nasty, dangerous, toothy beasts.
BLACKADDER: Perfect. Shall we be off?
miniGEORGE: But where is your horse?
BLACKADDER: I, um, I don’t need a horse.
miniGEORGE: But of course you do. It’s a mounted hunt. Damned if I’ll be known as the king that made an honored guest run along behind him.
(miniGEORGE calls to his stablemaster, and a horse is selected for BLACKADDER. He bends down to take the reins. The horse shies from the gigantic ‘rider’ and tugs away.)
miniGEORGE: There you are. And we’re off! Bugler!
(Horns sound and the riders depart. BLACKADDER walks along slowly, bent over and leading his horse along by the reins. At a fence, the riders jump it. BLACKADDER is forced to pick his horse up and hoist it over the fence.)
BLACKADDER: Come along, Dobbin, or I’ll roast you for breakfast.
(He looks up to see the riders far ahead. He pockets the wildly whinnying horse and takes three quick steps to catch up. They’re surrounding a copse of trees.)
miniGEORGE: Boar! Saw one go in there. We need to flush him out.
(BLACKADDER lifts a tree up by the roots. The boar is revealed, grunts and charges the king’s horse. BLACKADDER shouts and stomps on the beast)
BLACKADDER: Look out, sire. (FLUMP!)
miniGEORGE: (examining remains) Uh…not much left for the hunt feast, what?
BLACKADDER: Oh. No, sorry. I’ll be more careful next time.
(BLACKADDER stands to one side as the hunters dismount to approach a stand of brush cautiously. The walk slowly forward, boar spears at the ready. A large porker runs out, they stab him readily. When the spears are all lodged in the corpse, though, another breaks cover and charges the king. Defenseless, and surrounded by defenseless gentry, he looks a goner.)
(a giant hand stabs down out of the sky, grabs the boar, lifts it squealing into the sky. All look up to see BLACKADDER stroking the beast in his hand like a hamster.)
BLACKADDER: Awww. Who’s a piggy boy, then?
(BLACKADDER stands to one side as the hunters flush a board from thick brush. They rush to stab it, but are surprised when a pack of wolves charges out from behind them. Just as the biggest wolf, in the lead, leaps for one of the nobles, he disappears in a bloody explosion. Everyone scatters from the sound: horses, nobles, boar, wolves, birds, hares, squatters in the woods…. BLACKADDER blows the smoke from his pistol, steps to the bloody smear, and picks a fragment up between two fingers.)
BLACKADDER: Excellent. A wolf skin trophy. (looks around) Where’d everyone go?
(BLACKADDER walks along the coast, staring out to sea. Every so often he pulls a mime out of his pocket and skips it across the water.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But with all the honors and attention, I still began to feel a degree of homesickness for England. What I really missed was the chance to disappear into a crowd.
(IN a marketplace, a crowd of Blefuscudians examines a variety of fruit on a wagon. A giant hand lifts the wagon up. They look up, mumble complaints, raise a few fists. The wagon returns, only a bitten-in-half watermelon remains. BLACKADDER walks along through the city, popping watermelons into his mouth like peanuts)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: For though I would walk through a city of thousands, I felt alone and invisible.
(At his feet, people scatter before the great shod instruments of destruction. Postboxes, street vendor carts, parked carriages are shattered and trampled.)
(BLACKADDER watches a Punch and Judy show on the beach outside the Blefuscu capital.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Then one day, we found our deliverance. (Out to sea, an unmanned boat, possibly a captain’s gig, floats on the waves. BLACKADDER wades into the water. Behind him, Punch and Judy take off their outrageously oversized paper mache heads and look after him. While Punch steps to the edge of the stage, Judy takes up a club and aims at the back of his skull…)
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK haul the boat onto the beach and tip it over to examine the hull. The tipping throws a rat out of the boat to the beach. It rolls to its feet and shakes off the sand. Then it looks down at a tiny Blescufudian cat that looks up at the rat. The cat runs, the rat takes off after it, into the city. Screams follow. BLACKADDER and BALDRICK ignore them.)
BLACKADDER: A boat, Baldrick. And it looks sound.
BALDRICK: (listens to attentively) What sound would that be, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: This sound, Mr. Baldrick. (Dope slaps the moron) We need to collect some supplies: food, water, the Brothel…
(BALDRICK is painting something on the bow of the boat while BLACKADDER places another bundle in it.)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, what are you doing?
BALDRICK: Painting a figurehead for good luck.
BLACKADDER: Oh, gods. Who is it now?
(BLACKADDER rounds the hull to see a tiny cow strapped in place on the bow. BALDRICK has painted it brown.)
BLACKADDER: Well, Baldrick, I must admit I hadn’t expected to see a sea-cow on the bow. This is for luck, is it?
BALDRICK: Yessir. And safety. (dead pan stare from BLACKADDER) See, if any pirates see us rowing past, they’ll think we’re a safe target. But when they look through their telescopes to examine us, they’ll see this little cow tied as a figurehead. So they’ll think the boat is 200 times bigger than it really is. And they’ll think we’re giants.
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, that is without a doubt the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard come out of even your mouth. Did you stay up late working on that idea?
BALDRICK: Yessir, I did.
BLACKADDER: Fascinating. Just when I think you’ve established a new low for idiocy, you take another breath…
BALDRICK: Thank you, sir.
(BLACKADDER holds the boat, floating at the edge of the water.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And finally, we were ready to depart. We took our leave of friends and acquaintances, topped off the water barrels, and made ready to go.
(BALDRICK walks up, adjusting his breeches)
BLACKADDER: All ready, Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Yes, I am, Mr. Blackadder. I even goned.
BALDRICK: Goned. As in, did gone. Every time we travel, I always have to do something, and you always say I should have gone before we left. So, this time, I have goned.
BLACKADDER: (looks around) Where?
BALDRICK: Just up against a wall down by the docks.
(In a warehouse, goods float or sink in murky water. Longshoremen wade through the stuff, up to their knees.)
BLACKADDER: Oh. Alright, let’s shove off.
(They push. They shove. The boat moos, plaintively.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And we were at sea once again. Once the novelty of a maritime schedule had exhausted itself, we were left to devise our own entertainments.
(BLACKADDER bends a bit of metal to fashion a very crude fishhook. BALDRICK is at the other end of the boat, using some specialized tools to carve an ornate ivory Chinese sphere within a sphere within a sphere...)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But eventually, we were in sight of England again.
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK sprawl in the boat. BLACKADDER looks up and spies the English shore. He stands and starts waving his hat. When he gets the attention of those on the shore, there is much running around. He gets BALDRICK up and they start rowing to land. Suddenly cannon balls start flying high overhead. Then not so high. Then lower. Then narrowly missing the boat by one side. They look at each other, then dive over the sides. Just as they do, the boat is hit by a cannon ball. Shards everywhere.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: There seemed to be some confusion about our repatriation. We snuck ashore and made our way to a large crowd gathered there.
BLACKADDER: Excuse me, what’s going on?
PEASANT 1: Didn’t you see that? We was being invaded!
BLACKADDER: Invaded? By who?
PEASANT 2: By giants! I seen em!
PEASANT 3: Sure were. They were so big, when we looked through the telescope, we saw they had a cow tied to the bow and it looked no bigger than a man’s hand compared to them.
PEASANT 1: Lucky for us, the Guard was here, and they put paid to their plans for invading us.
BLACKADDER: The guard shot gigantic invaders and blew their ship apart with a single cannonball.
PEASANT 2: Well, I’m not saying it weren’t a lucky shot.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And there we were, back among the superior English civilization…dammit.
(In a regular household, BLACKADDER reads by the fire. BALDRICK stokes the embers a bit then sits before the hearth.)
BALDRICK: That’s too bad about the boat, sir.
BALDRICK: I mean, all that stuff we had packed. You could have turned quite the profit, selling tiny sheep or bite-sized cows.
BALDRICK: Too bad they shot everything to pieces.
BLACKADDER: Oh, they didn’t get quite everything, Baldrick. (to the book) Next page, please. (He smiles to the camera)
The great man-mountain goes away,
The celebration is quite formal,
A national famine’s held at bay,
As food consumption drops to normal.
Blackadder, Blackadder, he ate just like a horse,
Blackadder, Blackadder, his farts were even worse.
Part 1: Lilliput
Part 3: Brobdingrag
Part 4: Lorbrulgrud
Part 5: Laputa
Part 6: Balnibarbi
Part 7: Glubbdubdrib
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