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“Thaddeus - 'tis not the time to be abusing good servants. Least not that way, try using a cattle prod...”
- ~ Shakespeare, A Romance Of The Hooves, Act 1 Scene 12 Line 0.6
“Let all men make merry in the King's halls, for oft have we searched for man called Thaddeus. Now that he is found, unleash the rabid, voracious, savage and downright randy Shakespearean hounds!”
- ~ King Olaaf Tyvyrgoldyrhelwom, upon hearing of the Immortal Bard's obsession with the name
Thaddeus (pronounced "Fh-ay-der-man Glok-en-sp-oole") is an old Anglo-Latin name with strong Germanic tendencies, a variant of the Deus prefix/suffix-school of nomenclature. Originally a derogatory term for anyone caught late at night not in possession of a horseshoe, the name has since risen in popularity over the centuries (though some may argue that its fame peaked around the Victorian Era and has been in decline ever since, recent archaeological evidence suggests that the name Thaddeus goes in and out of fashion every 259 years - meaning the early 21st century is most certainly in for a shock).
The name itself still causes controversy in many learned circles.
Peculiarly enough, ancient Egyptians (or "trouts" as they're affectionately referred to incognito) have absolutely nothing to do with this particular name. If they did though, it would probably have proceeded like this...
PHAROAH Scribe, take down this edict for the people.
SCRIBE Yes my all-majestic God-king.
[Scribe fetches some papyrus and sits ready to scrib-le (bad wordplay joke)]
PHAROAH Ahem. Good evening people.
[Scribe starts writing]
PHAROAH Your God-king wishes to inform you of a new development in Egyptology - or is it names? Well whichever.
PHAROAH I have, in My all-supreme wisdom, deemed it fit for a new name to be created. I've decide a competition shall take place, and all non-Jews may participate. These are the immortal words of the Pharaoh. Obey and do the thing I said. Now Scribe, copy that and distribute my great words to the masses.
SCRIBE Yes my Pharaoh.
[Later, after competition results are in]
PHAROAH I must say that was quick! Me bless this fast and effective thrown-rock method of voting.
SCRIBE I have the page of results here, O immortal super-dooper God-king.
PHAROAH Read them aloud.
[Scribe suddenly looks worried]
PHAROAH Go on, read. Wait, what's wrong?
SCRIBE I can't read.
PHAROAH Hahaha! Oh wait, it's not a joke. Then how in My name did you get the job?
SCRIBE Nepotism and selling sexual favours.
PHAROAH Ah! So you were the "Gladys" they sent to My chambers.
SCRIBE Indeed my Pharaoh.
PHAROAH This is very confusing. So you can't read nor...hang on! You can write.
SCRIBE Afraid not, my Pharaoh. In all the years my relatives and ancestors have worked as scribes for the Pharaohs we have never been able to read or write.
PHAROAH Good Me! So in all those years you did...
SCRIBE Doodle, drawing silly little pictures my God-king.
PHAROAH Lets see.
[Pharaoh reads the papyrus sheets as Scribe watches nervously]
PHAROAH You know, we may still be able to salvage something here! As long as it's veiled in a shroud of mystery we could get away with it. After all, who cares about Egypt?
[Scribe laughs nervously]
PHAROAH By the way, Scribe. What's your name?
SCRIBE Hieroglyph, my majestic God-king.
PHAROAH Very well, the new writing system shall be named Hieroglyphics, in your honour.
SCRIBE Thank you my Pharaoh, but what of the results. We cannot read them!
PHAROAH Hmmm...well we'll just invent some bollocks name, how about Thaddeus?
SCRIBE Very good my Pharaoh!
PHAROAH Now don't mention this to anyone. We might actually pull of this literary con job!
Aside from a fanciful tale of illiterate desert-folk, the actual origins of the name Thaddeus heralded from old England (or "Blighty" owing to the large herds of blights roaming the countryside) and 'tis there where our tale takes us...
The fateful year of 1066A.D. ("Always Drunk") was marred indeed by the bloody Battle Of Hastings, the festive Battle Of Feastings, and the downright odd and a little bit prophetic Battle Of Shell Casings. Unbeknownst to many historians, the infamous scuffle was actually caused by a misspelling of the Saxon word Gwynnupfhedmorgannethelraedalfrongyynarrr (the Normans left out the last "r" and the second "n"), rather than the silly idea of the Normans invading.
- Anyway, the first recorded instance of the name appears in the Bayeux Tapestry...
FOOTSOLDIER King Harold, watch out! I don't think the archers like you!
HAROLD Really. As if they'd shoot me, I can't see any...aaarrghh!
FOOTSOLDIER Told you so.
HAROLD You bastard! Your names going into the book now! What is it?
FOOTSOLDIER Thaddeus, m'lord.
(Notice how this lowly spearman spoke with a lisp, bet you didn't know that, what with this being a tapestry.)
This was an important piece of name history, the first recorded use of Thaddeus. Unfortunately because of King Harold's bad humour at being proven wrong by a peasant, the name found a large stigma attatched to it, and it clung like hell. The foremost scholars of the age compiled a list of definitions with which to smite the poor name, and by extension: poor man. Here are just some of the cleaner examples:
- The uglier wife of an ugly fishwife (combining the sin of homosexuality with the sin of fuck uglyness)
- A man who defecates into gerbils
- A kitten huffer
- The bits of cling-on poo that stick to the hair on your bum ("Agnes! Fetcheth the cloth so I can removeth a Thaddeus from mine area.")
- A naughty salesman or street hawker
Still, it wasn't as painful than been beaten up by a three-legged chartered accountant. For many hundreds of years the cursed named of Thaddeus writhed in the fiery bowels of royal persecution, until by chance it fell into the lap of a man who made it very much his own...
The young Shakespeare became enamoured with Thaddeus (even though many used it as a mild profanity for those who either hate black people or those caught post-curfew with no visible horseshoes) and began to write little stories involving characters called "Thaddeus Notbooger" or "Mr. Thaddeusson", until his father put an end to these joyous Summer antics. Oh, they gaiety of it all...
MR. SHAKESPEARE Willie! Willie! Where art thou Willie?
[Young William manifests himself from behind some bushes]
WILLIAM I'm here! Can I borrow that sentence, I might use it when I'm older.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Yeah sure. Look, I wanted to talk to you about these stories you're writing.
WILLIAM What about them, you do like them don't you?
MR. SHAKESPEARE Yes but, I'm worried about what others might begin to think about us with you using the name "Thaddeus" in all your writing. 'Tis a swear word after all!
WILLIAM I know, but it wasn't always, dad.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Okay, but it's getting a bit out of hand. You're only fourteen, and you cannot deny that I've nurtured your talents since the day you were born, before even! Buts that's a story for when your older, and when your mother forgives me and lets me talk about it. From...em...the little baby-sized quill I bought on your first birthday to that Moroccan camel you bite on for inspiration.
WILLIAM I do, thanks dad. Actually can you tend to Humpy, his bite wounds are turning sceptic ever since I got my adult teeth.
[Young William smiles cheesily, melting his dad's heart, his lungs and his cholesterol]
MR. SHAKESPEARE Oh...alright. First though, cut down a bit on the Thaddeus, it's one thing to have the neighbours disapprove, it's another to explain your sons actions to the town bailiffs whence they come a-knocking on my door.
- Many years passed and Shakespeare's father remained contented, until once day (when our ever-so masculine William was turning 18)...
[Teen William enters the kitchen]
WILLIAM Greetings father, where art mother?
MR.SHAKESPEARE Down the market. I must say I veritably enjoyed the performance last night, as good as your other two.
WILLIAM Wow, thanks! Was it really?
MR. SHAKESPEARE Yep. As good as Thaddeus Begins, A Thaddeus Once Upon A Time and this was called?
WILLIAM "Whistling Thaddeus, The Bank-Robber Extraordinaire". I'm just heading to a friend's okay.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Mind your head on the low doorway.
[The father stands an walks to the fire, but first trips over some sheets of paper]
MR. SHAKESPEARE Son of a...bow!
[He picks up the papers, and notices it's one of his son's plays. He reads it]
MR. SHAKESPEARE Oh dear God!
[A few hours later]
WILLIAM Dad! I'm home.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Come here.
[He walks over]
MR. SHAKESPEARE I've just found this draft script of a new play.
MR. SHAKESPEARE It seems...very...risque.
WILLIAM I can explain everything. You see, it's a cutting-edge work designed to appeal to the adolescent audience. My friends and I, basically.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Right. So "Thaddeus, The Alleyway Bum-Boy Of Homo-Hill" is...cutting-edge?
WILLIAM I know it looks smutty, but I told you I'll never-ever write filth.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Will, I've tolerated the Thaddeus crap. This just a splodes the entire envelope!
MR. SHAKESPEARE I knew this would happen. You just had to go and write porn! Erotica is fine if done tastefully, BUT PORN!
WILLIAM Hee-hee, "Butt" porn. Good one dad.
MR. SHAKESPEARE Silence!
[Mr. Shakespeare evacuates his chair and approaches William threateningly, who promptly evacuates his bowels]
MR. SHAKESPEARE Time for a spanking, methinks.
[A dramatic action sequence ensues, in which William manages to emasculate his father with a spoon and in turn suffers horrendous third-degree burns to his thighs and rear. Soon his father collapses, having lost the fight. Teen William makes then makes good his escape aboard Chuck Norris]
And so the young playwright's saga continues...
Hooves & Spades
“Alyas! Alyack! Where hither now be my strong stable-boy Thaddeus. Oh beautiful Thaddeus, where art thous in mine time of need?”
- ~ Shakespeare, A Romance Of The Hooves, Gorbolg's Soliliquoy
As was seen above, a teenage William Shakespeare had forever left the comfort of his home and the St. Childers Young Dramatics Society and he now embarked on a journey of self-discovery - and of travels to far-off and exotic lands. But that's as maybe. Once he was older and a member of the Globe Theatre, an old affection resurfaced. Thaddeus had returned!
As an accomplished scriptwriter, it was not uncommon to make and direct a few flops. Tonk-Tonk The Spastic Orang-Utan was definetly one of them. It died a gurgling death at the box (or globe) office, and was attributed as a cause of the great Disappointed Theatre Aficionado riots of yesteryear. Shakespeare survived this tragedy, and set his sights on a new play, to which he gave the working title of "Horse 4" ("Horse 3" was the codename for Romeo & Juliet, "Horse 2" Hamlet and so on, in no particular order).
Inspiration came from many place and previous experiences: Shakespeare's childhood, his brief - and unaccounted for - trip to Thailand and also the myriad hallucinations envisioned whilst consuming copius narcotics and kittens.
- The Bard himself set his thoughts to paper about his "Thaddeus" phase...
The idea of A Romance Of The Hooves originated in mine own musing of a camp interprative dance I had the good fortune to witness in its inception. Directed by colleague of mine - one Chuba Kornfoot, of Vik-Upon-Vik - it bore many similarities in both plot and general mise-en-scene to Romance. People have claimed I ripped off its story, especially since Chuba's death coincidentally occured within three weeks of myself writing Romance. Such a tragic and suspiscious end - hanging himself with the threatening statement "I always get my way" scrawled on the walls in his own blood. Such a sad end. To great author and queen. Oh well! Can't be helped.
The play opened in the Globe Theatre to thunderous acclaim. Livelihoods were built by this masterpiece, and Shakespeare had all the tail in the world - which ultimately proves that "cool" people live large! As for the saga of Thaddeus, well, it was far from over...
The Noddy Years
Following the runaway success of Romance, Shakespeare's career was on an every-increasing high. Sales of related merchandise soon accounted for over half the Bard's net income (subtracting harlot taxes of course).
However, there was a growing minority who began to oppose Shakespeare's popularisation of the fickle moniker Thaddeus. Underground political movements began to combat every mention of his masterpiece. Under leaders such as Alfred Gom and Ethel Hey-Diggity-Dum-Doo, they took the showbusiness world by storm.
The best well-known incident of Thaddeus-hate happened at the matinee premier of A Romance Of The Hooves in Chattynatham in England.
At the climax of Act Seven, just before the shocking revelation of the young Thaddeus' relationship with his farm animals, the actor performing the role of Noddy Ramshackle (a friend of Thaddeus who later elopes with a stool in Act Eight, Scene 12) was assaulted by angry puritans. He had just finished his soliliquoy on metal-hinge manufacturing and was moving to exit the stage when he was struck down by the villainous Alfred Gom. The ill-fated thespian - one Danny Fanning of London - died of his injuries following the attack. That night a great riot ensued between Shakespeare fanboys and Gom's Anti-Thaddean League, much of the city of Chattynatham was destroyed as a consequence.
Over the course of the next twelve years, there would be no peace for either side. This ended William Shakespeare's use of "Thaddeus", no longer would he be as highly regarded for his "edgy" productions.