Monday, February 15, 2010

Lamb Cakes

Monster E. was working on an act for Women’s Fantasy Night at the Alpine Playhouse when Our Lamb declared a desire to attend this time-honored and extraordinary event. “I’m going too,” was how she put it. “Because I have a fantasy I really want some help with. You will need a black cape with a hood and also a large muff.” Monster E. was rehearsing percussion for her part in the Big Bang as performed by Ancient Shadow Puppets- a kind of mystical science theatre- and she said, “That will be just lovely, my Darling Lamb,” but secretly she was already wondering if it really would be…

But went Lambchoppie did to Women's Fantasy Night, and with her went also Monster E. with drum kit, thunder machine, and muff. When Lambchoppie finally returned later that night to Big Bed Land, the Young Ones swarmed around her clamoring to hear the story of her adventures as the First Big Bed Land Animal Ever to Perform on a Monster Stage... But first, a note from Platypuss, who comments that the Animals are possibly not aware of the images that “Women’s Fantasy Night” might conjure up in the minds of Monsters – fleeting through those minds in frothy scraps of lingerie…among muscled and hairy strippers… a Tupperware party gone wild? So, by way of explanation:

Women's Fantasy Night began nearly a decade ago- the curious offspring of Ladies at a Ladies’ Tea Party discussing how to raise some money for the community playhouse. Many digressions took place, as often happens at Tea Parties where wine and chocolate and Ladies abound. Someone started singing “These Boots Were Made For Walking.” And afterwards someone else suddenly said,"How about an event where women can get up on the stage and sing or dance or act out their wildest dreams? How about having experienced improvisers there to help them? A Mistress of Ceremonies to keep things moving? Music, costumes, snacks…" Then someone said, "How about having only women in the audience as well as on stage?"

Since then, this event has become one of the Sacred Mysteries of Ancient Theatre, so photographs are not included in this post. However, we’ll get some glimpses of the show through the mind of Lambchoppie…

Some of the Younger Young Ones wanted to know why only Girl Monsters went to this show? Bink had to remind them that Monsters can’t switch genders, or just forget about their gender, the way Animals can– Monsters are often just stuck with one or the other. This gave those Young Ones something to think about, and they settled down, occasionally murmuring things like, “Weird,” or, “No wonder Monsters are so…”

Here’s Lambchoppie describing one of the first fantasies staged that night – a Big Dance Number by women who had always wanted to be in a Water Ballet. The Young Ones asked how the Monsters kept all the water from spilling out onto the audience? Lambchoppie explained that it was a special kind of Monster water, because you couldn’t see it and no one got wet. At this point Goat looked in and brandished his sword, saying: “That’s not really swimming. No respectable pirate would swim without real water. If that’s the kind of thing that happens at Women’s Fantasy Night it’s no wonder I have absolutely no interest at all in going.” The Young Ones hurled their high-pitched voices at Goat, saying only Young Ones were allowed at this meeting. Goat left, looking huffy but keenly aware that Goats had more important things to do anyway.

Here’s Lambchoppie describing how a Monster came on stage with a box and told a story about how when she was a child she had an illness and was only allowed to eat bread and water. The Young Ones became very excited again saying “Was she in a dungeon? Were there rats? And slimy green dripping down the walls?”Lambchoppie reminded them that they must listen carefully: "The Monster said only that she was ill - but of course she MAY have fallen ill in a dungeon." (How the Young Ones squealed with delight at that!)

Anyway, Lambchoppie continued, the Monster described her fantasies at the time of her terrible diet, how she dreamed of roasted chickens flying into her mouth, and of a cake with huge amounts of fluffy cream on top-- how she had wanted not only to eat the cake but to bury her whole face in it. "At forty," she told the audience, "it’s time to finally make this fantasy come true." The audience whistled and clapped and yelled as she took a cake and can of whipped cream from the box, piling up the white fluff from the can, higher and higher! The audience started a countdown! And she plunged her face into the cream as the ecstatic shouts of the audience merged into wild applause.

“Catharsis,” Bink (Kangaroo and Pocket Philologist) explained, “is believed to have been a crucial element of Ancient Sacred Theatre, though not well understood by contemporary philosophers…” but his explanation was drowned out by shrieks of protest from the Young Ones.

Lambchoppie said that her favorite act (besides of course her own)- was the Fan Dance. And she gave a demonstration for the Young Ones of this marvellous dance.

How beautiful she had been, this Fan Dancing Monster wearing only glitter and a few dancing coins on golden chains. Moving slowly like in the Water Ballet, but with huge fluffy white fan-wings in her hands…she smiled as if she shared a secret with us and we smiled back…

“It was true enchantment,” Lambchoppie said, “I can’t explain it, but she was so playful with those wings and so tender toward her tail - which I’ll tell you honestly had very little fluff to speak of- but when she danced I saw how lovely it was anyway. And now I'm going to kiss you all!" she said, advancing ominously toward a Young Pig in a bathing costume who squealed in delight. Then they all danced the Water Ballet together until they fell asleep. What a night it was!

Note from Pinky Your Hostess:Check in next week when Johnny Jack Poetry interviews Lambchoppie about her own performance on Fantasy Night…


  1. Thanks for sharing these sacred mysteries with us! I can't wait to hear more next week. I'll bet Lambchoppie was a huge success. Maybe she'll treat us to a reenactment one of these days...

  2. I've always called my daughter Lambchop. She's 27 now, but it still suits her.

    Speaking of nicknames, I like "Johnny Jack". I can't decide whether to call him John or Jack.

    (am I supposed to mention about the book drawing? Pick me!!)

  3. Dear Audrey,
    Lambchoppie says she looks forward to a private performance for and with you, anytime...

    And I'm so happy you respond to mysteries ancient and wise enough to encompass the universe that is sketched out by puppets, fan dancing, and the Big Bang. Judy and I are talking about how to organize a Women's Fantasy type of night that takes sacred ritual as its focus. Hope you will fly here from CA for that one!

  4. Dear Willow,
    how wonderful, the Lamb Chop mother-daughter connection. I had never seen Shari Lewis until recently when my friend Margot, shocked by this fact, sent us a couple of dvds - how entranced I was! I had to have my own Lamb Chop puppet right away. Only at Women's Fantasy Night would I have dared to perform with her in public!

    I borrowed the Johnny Jack nickname from our friend Dani, who gave John the code name of Johnny Jack Poetry in her Bay Guardian column "Cheap Eats." Thanks for visiting! Hope all is well at the Manor.

  5. I especially like the photo of the fan dance. Lambchop looks like she's pacing the stage and contemplating her next move.

    I came here for the book drawing, but I stayed a while to read the narration of events and admire the illustrations :)

  6. Dear HKatz,
    I'm glad you liked that photo of the fan dance - I was determined to make it work! There is something quite delightful to me about using my studio for Animal photography a couple of times a week. I've never been particularly interested in photography, but trying to capture the spirit of the Animals is absorbing. T

    hanks for your visit - and I really enjoyed reading your blog post on the week in seven words - a great idea!

  7. This is my first visit, and you can thank Robert Frost's banjo, I want to be in the contest for the new book Days of Wine and Roses.

    I have a story to tell about Lambchop and how her originator Sherrie Lewis saved me one day ( I think) Two baby boys (15 months apart) in the bathtub and an over-stressed mom who started a hand puppet act spontaneously. That was the birth of "Hanna Hand". The boys would talk to the hand as though I weren't in the room.... I relaxed and had fun, and didn't know until the next day:
    I heard in the news Sherrie died that day...?hmmm?
    Love your lambchop!

  8. Dear Dianne,
    what a story! I'm glad you came to visit P-in-B today so we all got to hear it. I've noticed more and more how in the wake of someone's death I can sense that person's presence with remarkable vividness- as if their sudden absence becomes a place where their presence suddenly flowers...

    I'd love to hear more about Hanna Hand...any chance?

  9. Wow,
    Monster E and Lambchoppie, you have really out done yourselves with this post: the fabulous tale with with asides by Goat, and details of the extraordinary "Women's Fantasy Night" fund raiser, the fabulous accompanying photos of the Animals, listening to Lamb Chop and she dancing. And best of all! oh-my-goodness, the drawings of Lamb Chop enacting fantasies. Those are fantastic. Monster E you have really developed your artistic talents. Thank you for a great start to my day.

  10. Dear Margot,
    impossible to say how much your kind words meant to me, especially about the drawings! I'll never forget my first real experiences with art (in spite of having attended some art classes) came through you when we were traveling in France together as teenagers.

    I was writing poetry at the time and you were always drawing. I was fascinated by how open you were to the world visually. You explained to me that water wasn't blue, that grass wasn't green, and I could tell that you SAW the world this way. I became aware of how my own mind, more abstract and verbal, saw water and said to itself "blue", saw grass and said to itself "green." Through you I occasionally glimpsed the uncategorized visual chaos that was actually all around me - and it both fascinated and frightened me.

    Your courage as an artist has always inspired me!

  11. Wine, chocolate and acting out fantasies on stage? Kat's catharsis is in sore neglect!

    Too bad that the Sacred Mysteries preclude photographs, but the picture presented was very illuminating. We can't wait for Johnny Jack's interview of Goat.

    Coincidentally, there are fans in this week's Sepia Saturday post.

    Kat and the H-Gang (Never fear, we're working on the "project".)

    Amazingly, the verification word is "calibur"!

  12. Dear Poetikat,
    it is unwise to neglect your catharsis - and I better check out those fans...

    Lambchoppie sends kisses to all the H-Gang and hopes to see you soon!