The Flâneur

Miscellany > Calendrical Quiz > April

My dearest Flans,

It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce to you all that Sir Henry is becoming 'tired and emotional' with his old naval coves again up in Faslane. The last I heard, he was apparently playing that jolly old Prussian game of Nägel Schlagen having consumed several pints of Scotland's best. Happened to over-fly the base in a remarkable little seaplane thingy only a couple of days back but, unfortunately, was at such an altitude as to make it quite impossible to observe any officers chasing each other with axes along the quay. Pity really. All of this of course leaves the chimps down here on George Street firmly in command of the zoo, or, as the great man himself would normally put it: "Dracula in charge of the blood bank!" So, on with the show: April Fools' Day approaches.

The usual stuff applies: 10 points each for questions one and two. This time, however, five for 'Fastest Finger'. One really must separate the wheat from the chaff after all, mustn't one?



The Fool

The twin of the king: the face the monarch saw when gazing into his mirror. A man who could get away with anything on the grounds that he was a demented child of the gutter who saw through the madness of 'rational normality' with rapier-like wit, and nevertheless, the cut and thrust of his humour was sought after to amuse the great and the good. He was the most liberated of all. Much as the shaman, his position was sacrosanct. A vital symbol of man's dark soul, and a recurring character throughout the plays of Shakespeare.

1. Who said the following (full birth name required, not simply his noble title)?

"Poor Prince, thy prick, like thy buffoons at Court, will govern thee because it makes thee sport."

Here is a hint. He also once said this to his monarch:

God bless our good and gracious king,
Whose promise none relies on;
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.

2. A symbol of the logic of illogicality, this Sufi character is known as Afanti to the Uighur Turks of China. By what name is he more popularly known throughout the Middle East and beyond? Myth has it that he is modelled on Tamerlane's court jester.

Here are some indicators:

He was renowned for riding his donkey backwards.
Apparently he also related the following:

The Sufi sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side:
"Hey! How do I get across?"
"You are across!" The Sufi shouted back.

To May...