1400 c/o Crispin Best

Three Days Chaucer Would Rather Forget


Chaucer heard the doorbell. He opened the front door. The postman needed a signature. Chaucer signed and wished the postman well.
      Chaucer shut the door. He opened the letter and started to read. By order of the King, Chaucer’s stipend was to be cut to 252 gallons of wine annually.
      Chaucer sat down and wept.


Chaucer applauded after each name was announced.
      “Stanley Whitford. Come on down!”
      Chaucer applauded and watched Stanley Whitford shuffling past people’s legs towards the aisle. Stanley was punching the air with both fists.
      “Laverne Francis. Come on down!”
      Laverne Francis jumped up and waved her arms in the air. The woman next to Laverne put her hands up to her mouth and started to cry. Laverne just stood there waving her arms.
      “Geoffrey Chaucer. Come on down!”
      Chaucer froze. A camera on its mechanical arm swooped towards him. His wife screamed,
      The two women sitting in front of Chaucer turned round in their seats,
      “Oh! Oh! Go on! You can do it!”
      And Chaucer blacked out.

When he came to, Chaucer was standing behind a podium. The host was asking him how much a particular microwave cost. The audience behind him was shouting numbers. Chaucer was sweating heavily. He panicked,
      “Thirty pieces?”
      The audience roared with laughter. Chaucer shrank.
      The price of the microwave was revealed. Chaucer's guess was not the nearest to the correct price without going over. Chaucer shrank again. He did not qualify for the Showcase Showdown. His wife did not speak to him on the drive home.


Chaucer entered the room. He was wearing a towel. His wife had recently returned from a two-week trip to York. She looked at Chaucer.
      “What has happened to your body?”
      Chaucer looked down at himself.
      “What do you mean?”
      “It’s all different. What’s happened?”
      Chaucer put a hand on his stomach. He looked at his wife.
      “Come on. What have you done?”

Chaucer shrank. He walked through into the dressing room. He picked up his notebook. He found a pencil and wrote: And luve iss te moste beuteful ofe absolut disastres.