April 24, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Lemon Curry?

When I have a stressful day, many things help me blow off steam: having a cocktail, swimming some laps, walking on the beach. But there is perhaps nothing more effective—or more fun—than popping in one of the DVDs from my 14-disc collection of "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Lemon curry? No matter how many times I watch the episodes, they never fail to make me laugh out loud.

Take what I watched last night, for instance: the Olympic Final of the Men's Hide and Seek competition, in which the competitors have the whole world in which to hide. Terry Jones was attempting to beat the world record set by Graham Chapman of 11 years, 2 months, 26 days, 9 hours, 3 minutes and 27.4 seconds. While Chapman hid in the bowels of a castle in Sardinia, Jones searched high and low for him in Great Britain, Madagascar and Budapest. As time ran out 11 years later, Jones had a brainstorm and hopped a flight to Sardinia, where he found Chapman by a stroke of luck. Did he beat the world record? No. Did he lose? No. In an amazing coincidence, he tied it, finding Chapman in 11 years, 2 months, 26 days, 9 hours, 3 minutes and 27.4 seconds.

"Absurd" perhaps best describes the style of Monty Python's humor. But the troupe is not so easily pigeonholed by one adjective. "Intellectual," "bawdy," "nonsensical," "fanciful" and many others would fit equally well. Lemon curry? Such creative and original humor has not been seen since the Pythons disbanded.

There is the famous Dead Parrot sketch, wherein John Cleese complains about the parrot he bought, claiming that it had died, passed on, gone to meet its maker, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible, kicked the bucket, was dead, demised, deceased, expired, bereft of life, had ceased to be... that it was, in a word, an ex-parrot.

Lemon curry?

And then there are Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion, two terrifically ugly British housewives played by Cleese and Chapman, who discuss the philosophy of Jean-Paul Saartre while watching the telly. And then there's my favorite, the 18-second Raymond Luxury Yacht sketch. Pure nonsensical Pythonesque humor. It'd take me longer to describe it than it would for you to watch it, so I'll leave it at that.

Whether it's cross-dressing lumberjacks, exploding penguins or a delusional Spanish Inquisition, the Pythons never fail to make me laugh... again and again.


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
Send a Comment


4/23: My Father Midas
4/22: Earth Day
4/21: Joshua Tree, Part III
4/20: Joshua Tree, Part II
4/19: Joshua Tree, Part I
4/18: Royal Flush
4/17: A Long Strange Trip
4/16: A New Line to Back
4/15: Still Writing
4/14: Conspiracy Theory
4/13: Los Coronados
4/12: Y2K in Y2K3
4/11: Slow Glass
4/10: Freedom of Speech
4/9: Why We're Fighting
4/8: Eucalyptus Memories
4/7: Sleep
4/6: Writing, Just Not Here
4/5: Sci-Files Trivia
4/4: Sobering Up
4/3: Great White Hope
4/2: Entropy
4/1: Peace on Earth
Previous months in The Archive

Like what you've read?
Find more good reading on

In Association with Amazon.com

(and support future Daily Stricks!)