The prop warehouse of the theatre department of Abalone University was highly regarded for it’s collection of two hundred and fifty thousand items. Perry O’Callahan arranged to meet with Dr. Ivy Oxbow, curator of the prop warehouse and dean of the theatre department of the university. Perry was in desperate search for a prop for the Haldimand County Community Theatre production of ‘Hamlet: a Tragicomedy’.
“How may I help you?” asked Dr. Oxbow.“I was hoping to look through your skulls. I need a Yorick,” said Perry. “Ah, Hamlet. How I love Shakespeare’s tragedies,” said Dr. Oxbow with a flourish. “Right,” said Perry. “May I see what you have?” “No. We have no skulls. We’ve purged our department of anything that might be considered inhumane,” explained Dr. Oxbow. “Oh. So what do you use when you perform Hamlet?” “We don’t perform Hamlet,” laughed Dr. Oxbow. “As an institution we reject misogynistic representations created by antiquated, chauvinistic men.” “But you said you love Shakespeare’s tragedies,” said Perry. “I do, because so many men die in them. But Shakespeare reflects the folly of patriarchal society in the sixteenth century. He portrays women as subservient beings totally dependent on men. It’s the kind of portrayal that’s kept women from achieving their full potential as the dominant sex of the species.” “So you don’t have any skulls,” said Perry. “No, but even if I did I don’t feel comfortable supporting community sanctioned chauvinism,” said Dr. Oxbow. “Actually, we’re not doing the traditional Hamlet,” said Perry. “Our director, Nadia Rafo, turned Hamlet into a comedy. In this version, Ophelia smashes Hamlet with Yorick’s skull and becomes queen. Nadia said you could get her what she needs.” “This is for Nana? Why didn’t you say so? Go to Beatrice Sirius and at the medical school and tell her Poison Ivy needs the Queen Bea to help Nana with the cause. She’ll know what to do,” said Dr. Oxbow. “Oh, and you mention this to anyone and you’ll be just another Shakespearean tragedy.”