Happy Christmas, everyone. I spent the day improving relations with my parents' neighbours by tuning a set of sore-neglected bagpipes. My brother harmonised with the whipper-snipper. If anyone is to blame for this, it's the aforementioned parents. They bought the bagpipes (18 years ago). They bought the whipper-snipper (this month). They produced the offending offspring (at various junctures between 1969 and 1978). Moral: if you don't want noisy descendants, don't have any; if you do have them, buy them quiet toys.
Meanwhile, back in the land of pottering around the internet, I've just become aware of The Knight of the Burning Pestle, first staged in 1607. Why I've never heard of The Knight of the Burning Pestle, but I hear on an almost weekly basis of King Lear (which first rolled off the presses the following year) beats me, unless it's something to do with branding. (That's "branding" as in "marketing-a-brand", in this case, Shakespeare TM, not "branding" as in burning one's initials into a wee calfie's back leg or nuffing.) King Lear, I hereby declare, at the risk of alienating whole generations of Higher School Certificate students and Harold Blooms, is a dud. It's nothing but eye-gouging and bad parenting and wise-guy/fool inversions and threatened incest and battles and sibling rivalry and existential angst and malicious weather and discrimination against kids whose parents weren't married and lines like "Out, vile jelly!", which shouldn't be spake directly after lunch.
The Knight of the Burning Pestle, on the other hand, has pestles. You can download him here. I will give a dollar to anyone prepared to stage this play. If your name is Baz Luhrmann, I'll make it two dollars.