OTTER'S NOTZ: Der "Monkti Pithonas" yun der "Blecheddar" duz not belongozen bi me.
FONKFICKSHUNT DOTE NETZ PREEZENT
BLECHEDDAR YUN HOLI GRALEN
RABBOD VOOKSKI YANNOVERICKS
(unt vun Kennedian Moose for morrul sepporten)
We apologize for the ridiculous quality of the opening titles. Those responsible for these titles have received a proper thrashing in a rather personal area.
Our tale takes place in the Year of our Lord 1495. The Black Death ravages the land, and thousands are ill. Despite this, King Richard IV of England has successfully raided the citadel of Camelot, which you shouldn't really think too much about if you want this story to make sense. However, he has brought back a prize that King Arthur will stop at nothing to retrieve…
Heff yu evar shaived a moose? De hayre gitz oll oefer yur cloze unt proviedz moutch discumferterz inn soshul sitchuashunz…
We apologize for the ridiculous quality of the opening crawl. Those responsible for thrashing the guilty parties in personal areas have just sustained a similar thrashing to their selfsame personal areas. Kindly continue to read in an orderly fashion.
The booming voice of King Richard IV echoed majestically throughout the palace as the Royal Court stood in excited attendance. The King had just completed his monthly sacking of a neighbouring land, and was most pleased with his bounty.
"And thus we slaughtered all that stood in our way, leaving hundreds dead in our wake…" Richard boasted.
"Actually, Sire, I think the actual count was closer to 47." An aide remarked.
"…And plundered into the very heart of their most sacred chambers, stopping only to relieve ourselves on their ornamental plantings!" Richard continued, not noticing.
"Those were children, sir." The aide added.
"And to ensure that this considerable bounty is passed on through the generations of this dynasty…" Richard concluded, "I am hereby giving several of these treasures to my sons; Harry and… the other one!" Prince Harry looked on somewhat boredly. Prince Edmund, flanked by his flunkies Baldrick and Percy, rubbed his hands in glee, a look of maniacal anticipation on his face.
"To my eldest, Harry, I bestow the chest filled with gold pieces, the decorative shield, the 24-piece flatware set, and one Welsh Corgi!" Richard declared, as a group of servants carried in the priceless treasures. An attractive young woman gestured grandiosely to each item in turn, and ended up cradling the Corgi in her arms.
"Well, yes… thank you! Yes, that's quite… that's quite the collection!" Prince Harry was pleased. "But who's… uh… who's that?" he asked, pointing to the woman.
"Oh, that's Bridget." Richard beamed. "We threw her in as a freebie. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth and all that, right?"
"I should say not." Harry replied, approaching Bridget. "Come with me, my dear. I'll show you the parapets." The girl giggled as the Prince took her arm and led her out of the court.
"Bet the parapets aren't all he's planning on showing her." Baldrick snidely remarked.
"Oh, yes. He'll likely take her to the courtyard too." Percy replied. "It's very nice when the sun is at its peak."
Baldrick made to smack Percy, but was halted by Edmund. "Shhh! Now it's my turn!"
"…And to my son Edward…" Richard continued.
"Edmund!" a voice shouted.
"Him too." The King replied. "I give everything else!"
Edmund's eyes nearly popped out of his head with excitement.
"What's left?" the King asked one of the servants.
"Just this gold cup, sir." The servant replied, producing a glittering goblet, made of gold and jewels.
"Ah yes." Richard boomed. "I bestow upon my younger son… this golden cup we made off with while the sot who was supposed to be guarding it was busy soiling his armour in the corner!"
Edmund's delight deflated like a punctured balloon. He was near catatonia when the King shoved the goblet into his hands. Nor did he notice as the court cleared out, leaving him alone with Percy and Baldrick, still limply clutching his sole prize.
Finally Edmund spoke. "I just don't believe it…"
"Neither do I." Percy concurred. "I was hoping you'd get the flatware set."
This time Baldrick's smack was uninterrupted.
The Town Square was bustling, as usual, but it lacked the geniality and warmth it usually held. Perhaps the pale corpses carpeting the muddy ground had something to do with it. And above the din of the coughs and gasps of the dying and the sobs and wails of the mourning rang out the loud, clear, cry of the dead collector:
"Bring out your de… ack! Uggggggh…." Thud.
"Lancelot! What the devil do you think you are doing?" Demanded an imperious voice. A rather haggard looking man dressed in royal armour stormed onto the scene, followed by a small collection of knights and a few serfs who, oddly enough, were clattering coconuts together. "Why did you kill that man?" the King demanded, gesturing at the slain dead collector standing at the tall knight's feet.
"I killed him…?" Lancelot seemed distracted until he looked down at the body at his feet. "Oh, so I did! Fancy that. Sorry about that. Nothing personal, really. Sometimes I just, well…"
"Do not fret, Sire." Lisped another knight with a handlebar moustache and a ridiculous visor over his face. "I have been made privy to a controversial new cure for… for… what did this chap die for again?"
"A sword through his bloody chest!" King Arthur roared, not caring about making a scene in front of the massed villagers.
"Ah, yes." Sir Bedivere crooned. "First, we need the tail feathers of a virgin chicken…"
CLANK! His lecture was interrupted by Arthur smacking him upside the head with the golden hilt of Excalibur. "There is no bloody cure for a sword through the chest!" Arthur insisted. "It is very fatal! Lancelot, why did you do this?"
"Well," Lancelot explained. "It's quite simple. Er… let me see…" he spent a moment in deep thought. "Oh, right. He came at me with a weapon." He explained, lightly toeing the body.
"A weapon!" Arthur was incredulous. "That's a bloody bell, Lancelot! What were you afraid of him doing; clattering you to death?"
"Well, it was a rather… loud bell…" Lancelot mumbled sheepishly.
"Well, don't worry about it." Sir Galahad, the youngest, piped up. "We'll just slip a few shillings to the dead collector and forget about all this."
"That IS the dead collector!" Arthur raged. "He's supposed to be collecting the dead, not being a part of it! What are we supposed to do, look for the dead… dead collector… collector?"
"We could ask around." Galahad nodded, before getting smacked across the face.
"There is no time for this foolishness, brave knights!" Arthur declared, his head framed by golden light. "Do not forget that we have come to this heathen land to take back our most precious of artifacts, which was stolen by these barbaric warlords! The brave…" he paused. "Sir Robin, exactly how many men died defending the Grail?"
"Well… er… I guess I've come far enough." Stammered a redheaded knight near the back. "I suppose I should head back now, and… er… you know, put the kettle on for when the rest of you return."
"I asked you a question, Sir Robin! Now answer it!" Arthur insisted. "How many good men laid down their lives in the defense of our sacred vessel?"
"Well! Er… that's quite a question, sir…" Sir Robin stammered. "I suppose the total, rounding off, of course, would add up to… about… well… none."
There was a delicious pause. "NONE?" Arthur demanded incredulously. "You mean to say that not one single man laid down his life in the defense of the Holy Grail?"
"Well… er… it's not as cut-and-dried as you make it." Robin shrugged, embarrassed. "They… well, they asked rather nicely."
"ASKED NICELY?" Arthur roared. "You handed over the Grail because they were polite about it? If I nicely asked you to sit on the sharp end of your sword and rotate, would you?"
"I would!" Galahad replied, getting another cuffing across the face.
"We will reclaim the Grail at once!" Arthur demanded. "Good citizens! Where is your King?"
"In the castle, you half-wit!" All of the villagers yelled, pointing at the castle perhaps 50 feet away.
"Oh! Right. Thank you." Arthur nodded. "We will storm the castle and take back the Grail, in the name of God! So says Arthur, King of the Britons! Attack!" Lancelot started forward. "Not you!" Arthur muttered, yanking Lancelot back by his collar. "Attack again!" Arthur shouted, rushing forward, the rest of the knights following, Lancelot looking quite nonplussed at being forced to take up the rear. Two villagers watched the ensuing charge with considerable boredom.
"What did that poofy fellow say he was King of?" One asked.
"The Britons, I think." The other replied. "What do you suppose they are?"
"You got me." Shrugged the first. "Can't be very impressive if that's the bloke they elected King, what?"
"Not at all." The second sighed.
Prince Edmund sat glumly in his private quarters, joined by Percy amusing himself by feeding crackers to the wretch in the cage, and Baldrick thumbing intently through a large book. "A bloody goblet." Edmund bitterly muttered to himself. "I've received more valuable gifts the last time I had a tapeworm."
Baldrick suddenly looked up from his book with a start. "My Lord!" he exclaimed. "Are you sitting down?"
"No, Baldrick, I'm sewn to the ceiling by my fingertips." Edmund growled sardonically. "What is it?"
"Look, sir!" Baldrick exclaimed, turning the book for the Prince to see. "That golden cup of yours is in fact the Holy Grail!"
Edmund passively examined the picture, which was an exact match. "Yes, well… I suppose there is something of a resemblance…"
"No resemblance, sir, it is!" Baldrick insisted. He then tilted the Grail a fraction of a degree to the right.
"Oh, yes! I see what you mean!" Edmund exclaimed, as though that small adjustment made all the difference.
"And sir, look at this!" Baldrick added, pointing to a passage of the book.
Edmund read aloud. "It is said that whosoever drinks from this chalice will become immortal! Incredible! Did you hear that, Percy?"
"Sure did." Percy chuckled nonchalantly. "Better not drink from that cup, sir. Wouldn't do if you were left without an heir, right?"
Baldrick and Edmund looked annoyed. "No, Percy, I said immortal, not impotent!" Edmund snapped. "Whoever drinks from this cup will never die!" his eyes glinted with greed. "Hmm… just imagine the possibilities."
"Sir…" Baldrick replied. "I have… a cunning plan."
"As cunning as an eagle with ten eyes, two brains and a bayonet?" Edmund asked.
"Cunning enough, sir." Baldrick shrugged.
"Well! Let's hear it, then." Percy insisted.
"Well, sir," Baldrick explained. "The Black Death ravages our land, does it not?"
"You got that right." Percy concurred. "There is a bit of that going around."
"Well, wouldn't being immortal be something of an advantage at this time?" Baldrick continued.
"Oh, yes!" Edmund cackled. "I can see it now… thousands fall to the plague… the Kingdom is devastated… but out of the heap of corpses steps Edmund, the Immortal Blackadder! He will rule over this Kingdom for all eternity!"
"And I get to be immortal too, right, sir?" Percy asked enthusiastically.
"…What?" Edmund asked.
"I get to be immortal too, right?" Percy repeated.
"Percy, if there was a deranged squirrel doing a knees-up on your forehead, making loud bodily noises and frightening away all of the ladies of court, would you rather have him around for 50 years, or forever?" Edmund asked.
"Well… uh… I never really thought about that, sir." Percy replied, the metaphor too much for him.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Edmund exclaimed, hands shaking in excitement. "Let's get some wine and get on with it!"
"No, sir. You can't just drink anything out of the Grail." Baldrick cautioned, looking through the book. "It says here you must drink clean, consecrated water for it to work."
"Clean water? In this Kingdom?" Edmund was appalled. "They may as well ask for me to eat a slice of grilled elephant ear for all the good that will do!"
"Well, we could take a member of the clergy and take him to… The Crystal Stream." Baldrick suggested.
"Yes!" Edmund exclaimed. "The cleanest, purest water in all the land! Then, a bit of coercion to get the good priest to consecrate it, and I will be unstoppable! Let's go!"
"Uh… sir?" Percy asked.
"Yes, Percy?" Edmund sighed.
"…What if the squirrel also opened wine bottles for you?" Percy asked.
"Then I would tear off his head and use it as a bottle-opener." Edmund coldly replied.
"Ah, right." Percy nodded. "That makes sense… I suppose…"
King Richard was in the midst of addressing the royal court when a messenger came rushing through. "Sire!" he shouted. "Message for you!"
"Well, what is it?" Richard demanded.
"Well, you see…" the messenger began. "It seems that these strange visitors…"
"Yaaaaaah!" shouted Sir Lancelot as he rushed into the royal court, cutting down the messenger in one blow.
"…have some sort of contention they'd wish to discuss with you, sir." The messenger managed to choke out before expiring.
"Lancelot! Did I distinctly tell you NOT to kill the messenger?" Arthur yelled as he and the rest of the knights stormed in.
"What?" Lancelot looked stunned. "Oh, did I do it again…? Well, how do you like that? Sorry. I hope you you'll forgive my little… er… fit of pique…"
"Who dares to invade the Castle of England so?" Richard shouted.
"I dare!" Arthur shouted back, defiantly. "I am Arthur! King of the Britons!"
"Well, go back to your bloody Britons and leave us Englishmen alone!" Richard boomed. "As if I didn't have enough trouble with those filthy Dutch, now these Britons need to get in on it…"
"You bloody idiot!" Arthur yelled. "You are all Britons! Everybody in this room is a Briton!"
"I'm not!" One nobleman shouted.
"Yes, you are!" Arthur insisted.
"No, we're not!" Everybody in the room yelled.
"YOU ARE ALL BRITONS!" Arthur roared.
"Well, prove it, then." One noblewoman piped up.
"…What?" Arthur asked.
"Yes! How can you prove whether or not we are Britons?" another fellow asked.
"He has a point, sir." Galahad remarked.
"Shut up!" Arthur shouted.
"Well, there is way to prove it…" Bedivere remarked. "For this, we need the glands of an incontinent raccoon…" he was rewarded with another smack to the head.
"Look, this doesn't matter." Arthur sighed. "We have been appointed by God to come here and retrieve the Holy Grail, which was stolen from us by this very Kingdom!"
"Grail?" Richard asked. "Oh, you mean that golden cup? I fobbed it off on my son Edgar."
"Edmund." Somebody piped up.
"Him too." Richard dismissed. "That git's probably off gallivanting about with it right now."
"Very well." Arthur responded. "Your honesty has spared your life for today. Come on, good knights! We will find this rogue Prince and retrieve the Grail!"
"Uh, just one moment." A nobleman remarked.
"Yes, what is it?" Arthur sighed.
"How do you know that you're a Briton?" the man asked.
"Well… I just know that I'm a Briton." Arthur replied.
"Seems like a flimsy assumption to me, sir." The man commented.
"Oh… very well." Arthur growled. "God Himself told me that I was a Briton. There! Are you satisfied?"
"Well, that's good enough for me." The man shrugged. "What did God say about me?"
"You?" Arthur was incredulous. "He never mentioned you!"
"Oh, a likely story." The man snorted. "Sure, you're all ears when God's talking about you, but the instant He mentions anybody else you can't be bothered to listen!"
"Sir!" Galahad piped up. "Time is of the essence!"
"It is indeed." Arthur sighed. "I cannot be bothered with such childish word games. Farewell, all of you. Do not steal from Camelot again, or you will once more face the wrath of the Knights of the Round Table! Charge!" The knights stormed out of the room.
"Mind the steps…" the nobleman cautioned. There was a scream and a sound somewhat like 1000 tin cans crashing to the ground. "Never mind!" the man called.
"Company was here, dear?" The elegant Queen asked as she entered the scene. "And you didn't even ask them to stay for a spell?"
"I wouldn't dare, my dear." King Richard replied. "Dreadful manners, those Britons. Dreadful. Look at the way they left the dead messenger just laying on the floor like that. No class at all."
"Confidentially, I don't think they were Britons at all." The nobleman remarked in a stage whisper.
Weddings are often a joyous time, a celebration of the union of separate lives. Unfortunately, when half of those in attendance are dying of the plague, something of the edge is taken off of the festivities. But, above the coughs and wheezes of the ailing, the priest pressed forward in his attempts to complete the ceremony. "Dearly beloved… we are gathered here today to witness the…"
"Could we get another best man?" the priest sighed as he wiped his brow and the previous best man was dragged away. That was already their third best man, and they had yet to reach the vows. They had already gone through two brides as well. But the priest was determined that SOMEBODY was going to be married before the day was out.
"And if there is anybody here that knows why these two cannot be joined in holy matrimony, speak now, or forever hold your…"
"NOW!" Suddenly Prince Edmund came dashing down the aisle, sword at the ready. His dramatic entrance elicited gasps from the congregation, especially when he tripped on the steps leading to the altar and fell flat on his face.
"See here! What's this all about?" the priest mustered all of the rage he could. "I am trying to conduct a wedding ceremony!"
"I'm afraid this wedding has been postponed, Father." Blackadder sneered, staggering back to his feet. "You have a more pressing engagement."
"I will not leave this church until this ceremony is complete!" the priest insisted, until Baldrick and Percy jumped from their hiding places, daggers at the ready. "But then… we men of the Church must always be prepared to answer a higher calling, mustn't we?"
"That's more like it." Edmund cackled. "Now, come, and the Black Adder will fulfil his destiny!"
Edmund ran back down the aisle, tugging the reluctant priest after him. "Nice flowers." Percy remarked to the groom's parents, before Baldrick dragged him along.
"Spiffing! Just spiffing!" the best man complained. "Where will we find another priest at this hour?"
"And another groom?" he added.
Arthur and his knights skipped back through the Town Square, pondering their next move. "Excuse me, good sir!" Arthur called to a bearded man heaving a few corpses onto a wagon. "I was wondering if you could assist us?"
"Agh, there's no time for that." The man replied. "Have you heard the news? The dead collector's been killed!"
"Well, er… yes." Arthur conceded. "But I'll have you know that there's a perfectly rational explanation for…"
"So when we have a dead dead collector on our hands, we have no choice but to call in the dead dead collector collector." The man continued.
"Yes, that's very interesting, but I need to know…" Arthur insisted.
"But when we called on the dead dead collector collector with the news of the dead dead collector, we found him dead!" the man interrupted.
"A dead dead dead collector collector!" Galahad gasped.
"Precisely!" the man replied. "But the dead dead dead collector collector collector lives in Burgundy! No way he could get here by Thursday! So we're forced to call upon the Volunteer Dead Collector Department until help arrives."
"Listen!" Arthur insisted. "All I want to know is; DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE PRINCE EDMUND IS?"
At this a tall man stepped forward. "No, I don't." he replied. "But thank you for asking." He then turned and went on his way.
"Perhaps we should call Scotland Yard." Sir Bedivere suggested.
"Shut up!" Arthur barked.
"Do you seek the errant Prince Edmund, good King?" hissed a raspy voice. The knights turned and saw a grizzled old man with a large yellow eyeball hopping on one foot.
"Er… yes, I suppose." Arthur replied, disdainfully. "I don't suppose you know where he is?"
"Oh, yes, great Arthur." The old man cackled. "Even now he is at the Crystal Stream, consecrating a cup of water for his diabolical covenant! He seeks to use the holy power of the Grail for his own twisted means!"
"Good Lord!" Sir Lancelot gasped. "This wizened old fruitbat has read the script!"
"We haven't a moment to lose!" Arthur declared. "Speak with due haste, oh somewhat unhygienic sage! Where can we find this Crystal Stream?"
"Ah, yes, my liege." The old man slurped. "It be many leagues from here. First, you must gird your loins in the Forest of 1000 Hazards. Then, plunge into the volcanic heart of Dragon's Gullet Mountain, make your way through the Chamber of the Impossible Riddle, and battle the legendary Manticore of Eisenwattle, which no man has ever seen… and lived."
"What, that's all?" Lancelot complained.
"There is also the Stone Bridge of Apathy, which causes all who attempt to cross it to lose hope and throw themselves off, dashing their skulls against the sharp, terribly pointy rocks." The old man added.
"Ah, that's a bit more like it." Lancelot beamed.
"Well, er… oh, blast. I think I left some scones on before we left." Sir Robin stammered. "I'd better go back and…"
"We must depart at once!" Arthur shouted, cutting off Sir Robin's protests. "Take courage, good knights! We may all die horrible deaths on this quest, but we will die with honour and justice on our side! History will enshrine us forever! Onwards! To victory… or death!"
"Ah, we get a choice. That's nice." Galahad grinned as the knights set off on their adventure, the old man waving a disturbingly stained handkerchief in farewell.
"Uh… Lester?" a young man asked, coming up behind the old man. "Why'd you send those blokes off on that quest? Crystal Stream is just a furlong out of town!"
"Oh, where's the fun in that?" the old man laughed, blowing his nose on his handkerchief.
"Lester, you're a sick man." The young man scolded.
"Bad news, everybody!" a man yelled, riding into town. "The dead dead dead collector collector collector died this morning!"
"Egad!" the young man gasped. "A dead dead dead dead collector collector collector!"
"Who shall we get to collect him?" the tall man asked.
"I think it's obvious who." The young man declared. "…Alvin."
"Right!" everybody nodded, and then ran off to fetch Alvin.
Meanwhile, at Crystal Stream, Edmund was impatiently waiting for his chance. The priest was not having a good time of it, and the consecration ceremony was slow. "Hurry it up, old man!" Edmund barked. "We don't have all day, you know!"
"I'm not feeling too well, actually…" the priest sighed, but changed his tune when a dagger was pressed against his throat. "But then, this country air is doing marvels for the old lungs…"
"We'll do marvels for more than just your lungs if you don't get on with it." Baldrick warned.
"Here!" the priest said at last, producing the glittering cup of water. "Clean and concentrated."
"At last!" Edmund gloated. "Thus begins the Eternal Empire of Blackadder the Impotent!"
"Immortal, sir." Baldrick corrected.
"Blast it, Percy, now you've got me saying it!" Edmund glowered. "Now, hand over the Grail!"
"Very well." The priest sniffled as he held the Grail aloft. "In fact, I… ah, ah, ah… AH-CHOO!"
The men looked at the Grail in disgust. "I'm not drinking THAT!" Edmund spat, sticking the Grail in the river to rinse it out. He held up the Grail, now full of clean water. "Now do it again, and this time…"
"NOT SO FAST!" boomed a loud voice. The treacherous group spun and saw King Arthur and his knights on a nearby hill.
Yes, they had survived their quests, alive if not totally unscathed. Arthur's crown was now caved in at the top, Bedivere was missing half of his moustache and one eyebrow, Galahad had lipstick all over his face, and Sir Robin was having great difficulty moving, due to severe rust damage to his codpiece. Lancelot had a few bruises, but they were caused by the rest of the knights having to drag him away from hacking the corpse of the Manticore of Eisenwattle to tiny bits. Patsy the squire was the only coconut-wielding servant left: the rest of them had been melted down to make glue to bond the knights together and keep them from throwing themselves off of the Bridge of Apathy. But they were alive, and ready to reclaim their long-lost prize.
"I am Arthur, King of the… er… well, I'm a King. That should be good enough for you." Arthur declared. "Are you the Prince Edmund who stole the Holy Grail?"
Edmund took a moment to examine the Grail that was quite visibly sitting in his hand. "No, I am an unusually tall piglet." He sniffed, sarcastically.
"Fascinating!" Bedivere exclaimed, lifting his visor for a better view, before Arthur smacked it back down.
"We have you now, o heedless thief!" Arthur declared. "We have survived the greatest perils in these lands, escaping only by our wits and the grace of God, and now we have been delivered to your very door! The blood of many a good man, knight and peasant, will be avenged when we take back our sacred artifact! Charge!"
Not a single knight moved.
"I said CHARGE!" Arthur yelled, his patience at its limit.
"Well, you never said 'please'." Galahad pointed out. "A bit rude, wouldn't you say?"
"Oh… very well. Please CHARGE!" Arthur shouted. This time the knights ran into battle without hesitation, Lancelot taking up the front.
"What shall we do?" Percy gasped. "Baldrick, what do we do?"
"Just leave it to me." Baldrick replied. And then, just as Sir Lancelot was nearly upon him, sword shining in the sunlight, he made his move.
"Really…? I never…" Lancelot began, coming to a dead halt and examining his feet. He was then thrown off his feet by the other three knights crashing into him from behind, sending them all sprawling in a clattering heap. Seeing their chance, the miscreants fled, carrying the still-full Grail and dragging the wheezing priest behind them.
"Good show, Baldrick!" Edmund cheered.
"All in a day's work, sir." Baldrick shrugged.
Meanwhile, Arthur was admonishing his knights as they struggled to get to their feet. "Idiots! What happened?" Arthur demanded.
"Sorry, sir." Lancelot shrugged, examining his foot. "Shoe's untied. Can't run into battle with a shoe untied, you know. Somebody might get hurt."
"Your shoes don't have any laces, you twit!" Arthur yelled, kicking at the knights in fury.
Meanwhile, Edmund and his cronies had found cover behind a group of trees. "All right, old man." Edmund growled. "I need you to consecrate this water quickly!"
"Very well." The priest coughed. He ran his hand over the Grail once. "There. There you go."
"What, that's it?" Edmund asked.
"Well, when you get right down to it, yes." The priest shrugged. "And now, I can… I can…"
"Thank you, Father." Edmund thanked the lifeless priest. "When the Immortal Blackadder rules the world, you will be canonized as a minor saint. And now, it all begins!" he raised the goblet to his lips.
Suddenly, a coconut flew out of nowhere, knocking the Grail from Edmund's grasp. "NO!" Edmund cried as the Grail rolled down the hill and settled at the feet of King Arthur and his knights.
"Victory is mine, devious Prince." Arthur declared. "Nice throw, Patsy." He added, giving the manservant a pat on the head and tossing him a piece of hardtack.
"Got any cunning plans now, Baldrick?" Edmund asked.
"Well, sir, I think a strategic retreat would serve us best now." Baldrick replied.
"Let's get out of here!" Percy cried, as the three turned and bolted – right into the path of a very modern police lorry.
"Edmund Blackadder, you are under arrest for the theft of the Holy Grail!" the sergeant declared as the trio were put in cuffs and hauled into the paddy wagon. "Anything you say will be held against you."
"Anything I say will be held against me?" Edmund repeated. "Bridget! Bridget!" he shouted, hoping against hope she could be held against him, even briefly.
"I told you calling Scotland Yard was a good idea, my liege." Bedivere piped up.
"Indeed it was, Sir Bedivere." Arthur agreed, holding the Grail aloft. "And now the Grail is back where it belongs. It is mine! All mine!"
"Excuse me, sir. Did you say that you currently possess the Grail?" the sergeant asked.
"Yes, I most certainly do." Arthur declared.
"Put 'em in irons, Harry." The sergeant said. In a trice, the astonished knights were also handcuffed and hauled into the wagon, including Sir Robin, who heroically attempted to run for his life.
"I say! What is the meaning of this?" Arthur demanded.
"That Grail was reported stolen." The sergeant replied. "You are under arrest for possession of a stolen object."
"No, no, no!" Arthur insisted. "This Grail is mine! You can't arrest somebody for stealing something they own!"
"Oh, an insurance scam, eh?" the sergeant snorted. "Tell it to the judge."
"You can't do this to me!" Arthur yelled. "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"
"Yeah, that's what they all say." The sergeant sneered, slamming the door.
Things were bleak as the glum little group rode the paddy wagon together. "This…" Edmund glowered, "is the most ridiculous situation since the three-eyed baboon committed indecent acts with exotic fruit in public bathhouses on Easter Sunday."
"Not to fear, everybody." Sir Bedivere drawled. "I know just how we can get out of this."
"And how is that, good Bedivere?" Arthur asked.
"Well," Bedivere explained, "all we need to do is dress ourselves in the police officers' uniforms. Then, when we arrive at the station, we will be able to make our escape in an unsuspicious manner, and quite unnoticed!"
Everybody pondered this for a moment. "Sir Bedivere, I see but one flaw." Arthur declared. "HOW THE DEVIL ARE WE GOING TO GET POLICE UNIFORMS IF WE'RE LOCKED IN THIS BLOODY WAGON?"
"Oh, yes." Bedivere realized. "Hmmm… perhaps if we dressed as members of a local circus troupe…"
This time everybody in the wagon took turns cuffing Bedivere upside the head.
"Well, we do have this…" Galahad added, pulling a gleaming golden object from his tunic.
"The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!" Arthur exclaimed. "Good show, Sir Galahad!"
"That's it!" Baldrick declared. "Everyone: I have a cunning plan!"
"That's the way, Baldrick!" Edmund replied.
"Yes, Baldrick! Let's hear it!" Percy added.
"All right. Here's how it works; we pull the pin out of the grenade." Baldrick began.
"Right." Percy replied, pulling the pin from the grenade.
"But first…" Baldrick added, "We remove all of our armour, shielding and weapons, and pile them at the back of the wagon. Then we put the grenade between the pile and the door. The pile will shield us from the explosion, allowing us to escape through the hole in the back!"
"Brilliant!" Percy cheered, the smoking grenade in his hand. He then realized his mistake. "Uh… I suppose I shouldn't have pulled the pin out just yet, right?"
"I'd say so, you bloody twit!" Arthur roared. "How do you suppose we will be able to do all that in the five seconds before the grenade goes off?"
"Three, sir." Bedivere corrected.
"Oh, shut up." Arthur snapped.
THE END (Don't worry; they'll get better)
(Special thanks to the moose and 450 North American Alpacas, without whom this production would have made a lot more sense)