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Feezell, Eric

Eric Feezell

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Literary Fracas
Tuesday, November 1, 2005   |    Fiction

In Response to My Little Sister’s Plea for Assistance on Her History Report—Topic: “The Middle Ages”

by Eric Feezell

It is estimated that anywhere from one-third to one-half of Europe’s population succumbed to the infamous fourteenth-century Black Plague epidemic. While a massive fatality rate is concordant with most historical accounts, the inflated death toll fails to consider the Great Emigration of 1348, during which hundreds of thousands of citizens relocated to Canada to take advantage of universal health care.

* * *

Leisure activities for the young were few during medieval times, with only two movies at the local cinema—Black Knight, starring Martin Lawrence, and The War of the Roses with Michael Douglas.

There was but one popular alternative to movie-going: Medieval Times in Buena Park. Once a flourishing institution of the Middle Ages, Medieval Times’ business gradually diminished following multiple lawsuits involving undercooked Cornish game hen and an unfavorable one-word New York Times review in which a famous Norman critic noted simply: “Unrealistic.”

* * *

As economic growth occurred cross-culturally during the High Middle Ages, trade routes proliferated. At this point, interest-slave Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed yet another hike in bridge toll in his continual effort to suck the common California taxpayer dryer than a Saharan riverbed.

* * *

Due to a surprisingly short life expectancy, the medieval man tended to experience mid-life crisis around the age of fourteen. Tending to aggravate this uncomfortable phase was the fact that he could not yet legally operate his hastily purchased Harley Davidson and/or ski boat.

* * *

Puberty also occurred much earlier in life. Generally anywhere between three and six, teenage females would begin experiencing mood swings, shaving their legs, and exclaiming things like “Angelina’s a fucking wench, Brad! Fuck!” to the dismay of their fifteen-year-old mothers.

By his third or fourth year, the average teenage male usually began his journey into adulthood locked in his bedroom watching unfiltered Playboy Channel, hoping to espy an intermittent booby in the colorful static mêlée.

* * *

Unbeknownst to many historians, Goths were a largely illiterate people, often dubbed “poseurs” by haughty Saxons for sporting long black overcoats, 20-hole Dr. Martens and thickly applied eyeliner while clearly, and for obvious reasons, never having read anything by Anne Rice.

* * *

The three most common Scottish baby names of the High Middle Ages were Robert the Bruce, Bruce the David, and John the Don Henley. Scholars often attribute the ubiquity of these titles to the wild popularity enjoyed by the brooding number-one radio hit, “The End of the Innocence,” throughout Western Europe at the time.

* * *

Attitudes toward life and death were surprisingly progressive in medieval times. The lowliest deceased were ceremoniously revered, equally to and in some cases above the wealthiest of living citizens—given honor, respect, and even the right to vote. As long as they were Republican and from Florida.

Eric Feezell has appeared, among other places, at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Opium, and 7-Eleven. He can be found on the InterWeb at