Short Story: A Sudden Blowup

NOTE: Feel free to read the character profiles if you would like more information about a specific character.

King Arthur’s dark, damp, and slimy castle was the last place one would ever expect a party to be held, but sure enough, that’s exactly where one was taking place on August the 15th.

I believe it should be mentioned here that King Arthur is rather fond of parties—especially parties that are thrown on his birthday. You see, it was King Arthur’s birthday, and so this party was his birthday party.

The tables were set with the usual Middle Age foods: Boar’s head, a pickle-onion-hard bean mixture (a PL favorite), blueberry tarts…the list was really endless.

All of the guests were sitting at a very long table. King Arthur, of course, was seated at the center of the table.

It was completely quiet. Every guest was keeping to themselves, and the silence was growing uncomfortable—for the king.

Arthur leaned over to his attendant and whispered harshly, “Go ahead! Do it!”

Lionel nodded and stood. Immediately all eyes were on him.

“Uhh…” he began, and it wasn’t a good beginning. “Uhh…the King…uhh…King Arthur…umm…would…uhh…like for any of…uhh… you…to…umm…ask him…uhh…question…of…uhh…any sort.”

A short laugh was heard, and then a strange clicking noise. “Pitiful,” Bud Parker said. “Very pitiful, bud. You should really try to improve that speech problem.”

“Quiet!” Arthur yelled. “Don’t lead us off topic!”

“Not to be rude, bud,” Parker returned, “but there isn’t a topic.”

“There is now!”

Silence ensued. Finally, it was broken.

“Well,” said a voice, “I’ll take the lead.”

All eyes turned upon Mr. Ratherquite and his Ladies who were seated near the end of the table.

Arthur smiled. “Ask away.”

“I would like to know, my dear king, how old you are turning on this wonderful, glorious day.”

The ladies giggled.

Arthur frowned considerably, and was about to say something very mean, I think, when Manly-Man spoke up:

“Hey, I think he’s 78.”

Mr. Ratherquite’s eyes opened widely and the ladies began to giggle uncontrollably.

Arthur jumped up upon his chair and pointed savagely at Manly-Man. “You idiot!” he yelled. “That’s not my age!”

Manly-Man hid his face in mock remorse.

“But, but, but, but,” Mr. Ratherquite said, pointing his fork at Arthur, “Manly-Man said that for a reason, and it has become our duty to find out why he thinks you that old.”

Both ladies nodded.

“There’s no reason for what he said!” Arthur yelled. “He’s just an idiot!”

“Hey, you’s insultin’ me,” Manly-Man said. “And I’s gettin’ crazy, and when I’s get crazy, I’s get lazy; and when I’s get lazy, I’s get angry; and when I’s get angry, I’s get manly. And I’s angry now.”

“Oh, be quiet,” Arthur said flippantly.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Mr. Ratherquite said, standing, “don’t blow Manly-Man off like that! Why, he’s—”

At that very moment, Manly-Man picked up his dish and threw its contents at Mr. Ratherquite. The latter screamed out, and the ladies jumped to their feet.

“Why, you!” Mr. Ratherquite said, glaring at Manly-Man. “You are no gentleman, sir!”

Then Salami’s laugh broke out. “This is a fun game. Hehaha.” Salami grabbed his dish and followed suit.

“Yeah,” Arthur said, looking at Mr. Ratherquite, who was now huffing and puffing and wiping food from his face, “I never invited you! What are you doing here?!”

Then Arthur followed suit.

And then everyone followed suit.

Now this is the question, Punchy Family: Why did everyone get angry at Mr. Ratherquite?


39 Responses to “Short Story: A Sudden Blowup”

  1. 1 Jackie August 16, 2013 at 15:27

    King Arthur doth protest too much, methinks. I think Ratherquite likes to stir things up and then sit back and watch everyone go crazy. The ladies incessant giggling is annoying!

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 15:54

      Methinks you are right! (Love the style there. :) ) I would agree with your impression of Mr. R. But it didn’t work this time! Oh, the Ladies are harmless!

      • 3 Jackie August 16, 2013 at 16:00

        As far as I’m concerned the Ladies harmlessness remains to be seen. ;-)

      • 4 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 16:01

        :lol: You could have a point there!

  2. 5 ladycheetah7 August 16, 2013 at 01:28

    For one Mr. Ratherquite deserved it. Lol. But I think because by acknowledging how Arthur dismissed him (Manly) it made him more embarassed.

    • 6 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 02:01

      Yes, absolutely. But didn’t you feel bad for Mr. R just a little bit?

      • 7 ladycheetah7 August 16, 2013 at 12:34

        Nope. Especially since no one asked his opinion and his girly minions added fuel to the fire.

      • 8 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 13:30

        :D I understand what you’re saying. Mr. R does bestow his opinions freely, when they aren’t wanted. The Ladies, I feel, aren’t too bad all in all…

      • 9 ladycheetah7 August 16, 2013 at 21:49

        Yah…right :-P

      • 10 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 22:01


  3. 11 habitforming2 August 15, 2013 at 21:21

    Seems Mr. R is the only one with ladies in attendance; perhaps jealousy? And when is the last time a manly-man needed defending, let alone provoking? Or the King could be a woman, since only women are offended by being asked their age.

    • 12 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 21:40

      I’ve never thought about that. But it’s definitely a possibility. And you’re right. Manly-Man doesn’t need defending, and he rarely gets provoked.

      The professor felt that the king took extreme offense to Mr. R’s question as well. So, are you on Mr. R’s side?

      • 13 habitforming2 August 16, 2013 at 16:00

        Looks that way.

      • 14 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 16:02

        Great! He needs more supporters!

  4. 15 Angeline M August 15, 2013 at 17:51

    The crowd saw Manly Man was gettin crazy, and rather than go at him, they chose goof balls, Ratherquiet, a good scape goat.
    I love the way you inserted Ratherquiet into the story, kind of like a surprise attack, I wasn’t expecting him to show up.

    • 16 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:22

      A good one indeed! I would have chosen him too–Manly-Man’s just way too strong and unpredictable. Ratherquite is harmless, I think.

      Thank you. Mr. R is always throwing surprise attacks!

  5. 17 krugthethinker August 15, 2013 at 16:50

    Isn’t is against the law, or at least propriety, to ask someone’s age?

    • 18 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:19

      I don’t think so, do you? King Arthur really overreacted–as is his wont.

  6. 19 L. Marie August 15, 2013 at 16:34

    They were angry because, as usual, Mr. Ratherquite and his ladies invited themselves to the party. I’m sure they weren’t on the guest list.

    • 20 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:16

      :lol: No, you’re right. They invited themselves–which, I’m sure, would vex any host.

  7. 21 MikeW August 15, 2013 at 15:14

    Meddling is a risky enterprise, and his entourage triggered a generalized hostility in the room much like observed as rising in New York by Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, except it was limited to that little room there. If he were rather quite than having spoken up, this wouldn’t have happened.

    • 22 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:16

      I must agree. If Mr. R kept his mouth shut, it would have turned out better. He seems to have the ability to make people mad by just speaking. A rare gift; one that the professor wouldn’t want!

  8. 23 The Dancing Rider August 15, 2013 at 13:21

    I fear Mr. R became a type of punching bag in this outing. And to think he stood up for Manly-Man. Grrrrrr.

    • 24 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 14:25

      I agree! Manly-Man was very wicked!

  9. 25 Susan P August 15, 2013 at 13:17

    I propose that they became angry because of his suit. Yes, His suit. They were all following [the] suit. My impression of the suit was that it was a sort of Zoot Suit, ( an example of apparel that is capable of igniting a blowup. Or, perhaps he simply had it coming to him.

    • 26 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 14:26

      :lol: Susan, I think you’ve got it there! It was definitely the suit! Haha.

      • 27 Susan P August 15, 2013 at 14:32

        I thought so. :D

    • 28 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:23

      And rightly you did!

  10. 29 FictionFan August 15, 2013 at 12:52

    Delighted to see that creature get what he deserves!! Who needs a reason? But, if you insist, I suggest it was because they couldn’t bear to watch him wobbling his belly any longer…

    • 30 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 13:08

      I thought you’d enjoy that. Well, Mr. R wasn’t exactly being mean-spirited or anything like that. He was actually defending Manly-Man. Definitely uncalled for, I think. I always supposed that the wobbling of the belly was quite attractive…

      • 31 FictionFan August 15, 2013 at 16:48

        To whom – a jellyfish?

        He gate-crashed the party and committed the ultimate offence of asking the host what age he was – personally I’d have thrown something considerably harder than food at him…and those giggling women need somebody to up their medication…

      • 32 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:25

        :lol: I suppose Mr. R would be attractive to jellyfish!

        You’ re right. And the host was the king too. But I don’t think Ratherquite meant anything by it, really. Would you have thrown a knife? ;)

        :lol: Oh, the ladies are harmless!

      • 33 FictionFan August 15, 2013 at 19:48

        Hmm…not sure my aim’s good enough to throw a knife – it would be terrible if I accidentally assassinated the King…

        No I’d’ve thrown a chair – well, three chairs really – one for the creature and one each for the creature’s giggling creatures. Who, let me tell, you are far from being harmless…my blood pressure shoots up every time they giggle!

      • 34 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 19:57

        Well, there would be a lot of happy peasants if you hit the king…

        It’s quite amusing that you refer to them as creatures. (Personally, the professor doesn’t care for the ladies at all either! I might help you and use the knives…)

      • 35 FictionFan August 15, 2013 at 20:07

        Yes, but they’d be happy English peasants… ;)

        OK, but let me know when you’re about to start and I’ll stand behind you…better safe than sorry!

      • 36 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 21:05

        :lol: I forgot about your love for the English!


      • 37 FictionFan August 16, 2013 at 00:25

        Just checked and am surprised to discover that Mr Ratherquite isn’t English… ;)

      • 38 Professor VJ Duke August 16, 2013 at 00:46

        Nope, he’s a Yankee. However, if you trace his lines back far enough…

      • 39 FictionFan August 16, 2013 at 01:16


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