Bitching Bits of Bone by Norman Mounter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
***If you are of a delicate nature and offended by flatulence, bawdy sex, and creative cursing, then this is not the book or review for you. Drunk sailors, hellbound friars, unrepentant whores, adulterous wives, rat bastard husbands, sinners, fallen saints, and curious readers, please proceed, and do so quickly please, before the Archbishop declares this review the devil’s work and consigns this book to the bonfire.
Needless to say, my bags, errhhh really just my books, are packed, and at the first glimmer of torches and glinting pitchforks, I will scuttle away to a new local. Salman Rushdie is on my speed dial.
Ye have been warned.***
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
”Give me life, give me riches, give me power---and give me a ripe slut! Radix malorum est cupiditas---bah! Away with such lies and hypocrisy! Ad libitum suits me much better. Give me corn-ripe beer in the belly and a whore to sard in every town! For I am John Trent--Monk, Pardoner, Inquisitor...and Antichrist! Malevolent from the moment of my spawning, I have yet to meet my match when it comes to unadulterated evil and corruption!”
Ahh yes, The Pardoner, a fine specimen of the church. A man that no woman, girl, or boy would ever want to share a narrow bed with, or a dark alley, or really exchange the time of day with. His friend The Summoner is cut from the same dark, depraved cloth. A man beset by boils that I would describe to you, but then I’d be running the risk of hundreds, if not thousands, of my friends and followers upchucking all over their computers and phones. He, too, is a man from whom one does not want to turn away; for chances are, you will feel that firm push in your back by a pox ridden hand while lecherous fingers seek the sweet pleasures lurking beneath your breeches or skirts.
*Shudder* and *shudder* once again. My teeth chattered on the second one. BITCHING BITS OF BONE!!! How much did chastity belts cost in 14th century England? If you are fine featured or ugly but young or even haggard and old, you either must be fleet of foot or secure your tenders under lock and key.
Oh, and there be friars, as well. How about this pious man of the church?
”He has a magnificent instrument which he plays frequently, letting the tavern wenches touch and stroke its highly-polished wood. There is no limit to his lechery, for cuckold is Friar Pike’s middle name, and he can romp like any whelp this side of London Bridge. Many a wealthy merchant has he also capricornified during those most intimate of confessions with pretty little wives. His absolutions come fast, hot and strong. His pleasant penances are never harsh, but are the very cream of human kindness.”
Don’t you love that word capricornified? You don’t have to know what it means to know what it means. Goodness, as my Chaucer professor at the University of Arizona would say...there is a lot to unpack on nearly every page. Of course, he was reading The Canterbury Tales to us in Middle English, beautifully I might add, but little did I know he was reading us the redacted version, the heavily expunged version that left out the pure essence of the human spirit. Fortunately for us, Dr. Norman Mounter has brought to light the original version. The one that Chaucer wrote unfettered by the heavy, whip ladened hand of the church.
Now if you put Dr. Norman Mounter in 14th century period robes and boots, wouldn’t he look exactly like Geoffrey Chaucer?
It’s not like Chaucer wanted to write Canterbury Tales in the first place. He got into a bit of a kerfuffle with a friar by the name of Cuthbert. Who among us has not felt the impulse to grab a friar by the ears and bang his head off the table, or splatter his nose across his face, or quite possibly even snap his licentious arm? The church decided that, as penance, Chaucer must write the great book of pilgrimage that will be read far and wide with the hope, I’m sure, of increasing the traffic of gullible pilgrims whom the church can fleece the whole distance to Canterbury with trinkets, indulgences, or pig bones sold as saintly remains. All of this will be wrapped in a healthy dose of fire and brimstone. After all, if not for the threat of hell, churches would be grand homes for crickets.
What we all need to fear more than the afterlife is old age. The knight gives us a preview of what is in store for us.
”My Knight’s armour is corroded now. What little febrile flesh remains is melting into my privy water. My face is lupine and scrofulous. My spine has decayed and my bones crumble and collapse. My lungs have rotted inside me. With spittle thick and bloody, I am coughing up my very soul.”
After reading that grotesque description of your potential final days (don’t think you are immune), you must not waste your youth. You must act while the vine runs hot with passion, intrigue, and curiosity of the world beyond your cubicle/apartment/dreary life. You must seize not only the day, but the hour and the minute, as well. Whether that be the cute intern (don’t seize her, woo her) on level three or that handsome devil (don’t seize him, flirt with him) at the reception desk in the lobby, or booking that trip to London, Paris, or Rome and squeezing it all on a credit card, or going to work in a bookstore because you love books, or becoming a teacher because you want to make a difference, most definitely walk away from that soul killing job and chase your creative dreams.
Oh, and when you go to London, be sure to pack your copy of Bitching Bits of Bones. I can assure you it will give you proper perspective when you visit Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury.
The Clerk will tell you a tale that will have you fanning your rosy cheeks with both hands. His impression of other men’s wives, through personal experience, is that they all have a bawdy side just waiting to be let loose with the proper strumming and a reasonable chance of not being caught.
”I tell no lie when I say that you cannot trust a married woman: she is weak and prone to vice and japery---it’s her natural state! There is a common whore in every wife, so let’s not be too inquisitive---for if you poke and pry too deeply, you may very well smell another man’s mettle!”
Anybody else feeling as
”Stung as a Strumpet”
I must apologize for the Clerk to all the devoted married women who have read this far into my review. Thank you for hanging in there, and thank you for reserving that special glint in your eye for your husband. The Clerk would be confounded by your dutiful loyalty to your vows.
If anyone smells a horrendous, bitching bits of bone odor while reading this review, you have fallen too far into the world to which I have exposed you. The stench could be from the bowels of any of our pilgrims or possibly a combination of those among them who let loose the thunderous kind and those more inclined to let loose the insidious, deadly, silent ones. The resulting concoction burned my nostrils and watered my eyes numerous times while riding downwind from these flatulent characters. Tis one of the dangers of meeting the unsanitized version of Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic tale.
If I did not mention your favorite pilgrim from the Canterbury Tales, no worries. They are lurking about with Chaucer, gorging themselves on blackbird, plover, curlew, fried fig fitters, comfits, fantailed peacock, honeyed damsons, verjuice plums, and quenching their thirst with hearty, numerous mugs of mead. Is it any wonder that their flatulence rises birds from trees, stampedes cattle, and wilts the flowers along the pilgrimage trail? So be on guard in your travels from all those poxy whores, those lecherous men of the church, those sticky fingered tavern owners, those pretty tapsters, and lusty widows. They will all compromise your virtue as they lighten your purse.
Highly Recommended to the depraved and those seeking an honest view of humanity. As we know, lustful debauchery never lurks far from the hearts of men and women. You will chortle and snicker. You will laugh until you feel pinpricks of tears in your eyes. You will chastise yourself for enjoying the more salacious elements. Most importantly of all, if you must break wind, please let it fly; it will only add to the realism of the experience of reading this book.
If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
View all my reviews