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Since The Feste Award winner is about the be announced I am going to sneak in the last of The Feste Fragments found by Professor Peter Schickele (the finder of PDQ Bach's vast – and half vast – oeuvre) in his research on Bach's Concerto for G-String and Pole. On the back of the music was a draft of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in which Feste was 18 pages of dialogue reduced to seven by union intervention: the actor portraying Feste balked at the amount of lines and the pay for it. Long story short: much of Feste's lines ended up on the cutting room's floor.

So the very last of Feste's script. Exclusive to TMF and appropriate, I believe.

Scene: a sylvan glade. Music: pipe and lute playing 'Two Plus Ten Lane Syncopated'. Feste enters.

'Tis the eve
The night before the revealing when masks are set aside
And true faces shown. And king exposed.
And with it a maiden's hopes dashed
For whom she thought king is but a pantry knave.

In games of chance we toss the dice and to the winner all.
Yet winner there is and loser too.
More of the latter than the former as hopes are found gone.
Yet this is chance as chance is?
Better to try and fail and not try as the saying goes.

To the winner the accolades and rightly so
Yet to those who tried and lost what then to them?
Are they to be lesser because of chance?
To the mind comes thoughts of attempting
Even though the attempt may not succeed.

Chance has us in it grip and we are but creatures of chance.
A rightful birth, a rightful place, and chance guides to that outcome
Where birth and place do set a path ordained.
Yet chance favors even the lowly and from the dregs can come favor.
Not all is set even though some believe it so.

I would have an award extolling community
In favor of those aimed at informing, educating, and livening through humor
And give this to those whose peers see fit.
To the podium steps the one then anointed
Yet, as I mused earlier, there are those not so well esteemed.

Of them I talk because a race to the finish line is but measured
By those behind the winner.
To win, yes, a garland but for those else in the race there is no front man.
Where are the garlands for those who, by their being, states there is a winner?
Win, place, show but what of the fourth and the fifth?

I end my musings with this: What of MichaelR?
A Fool and a Jester yes but appreciated is questionable.
Not a winner but that half of the race that made the upper part possible.
Where is his garland? Where his turn at the podium?
Or as years pass by he becomes a fixture as a column on a bridge.

The night draws to a close and families are abed
To dream of beyond chance.
A maid dreams of her shining knight,
Boys of winning that goal which places them first
And MichaelR dreams of my award.

And what of the morn?
The lass does not her knight find and the goal not made.
Reality doth intrude and MichaelR finds himself as he was:
A contestant but not garlanded and muttering:
“Tis but another year” and then seeking solace in mead.

Feste exits accompanied by vestal virgins crying, “Noble Roman, you were going to show me the Apian Way.”


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