O Romeo, O, Like, Wow
By Mike Harden
At the end of the school year, my
14-year-old daughter's English class tackled Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet,
and she had to give an oral report. Having listened her talk on the phone, I
can all too easily imagine just how it went.
This is like a real super-sad play about this dude Romeo and
this dudette Juliet. They had names like that 'cause it was like the real old
days, before MTV. So, no one had cool names like Heather or Brandon or Shawna.
They all had really geeky names like Benvolio and Tybalt and Mercutio.
Anyway, these two families, see, the Montagues and Capulets,
really hate each other. I mean, they can't even walk down the street without
thrashing on each other, 'cause, like, that's what happens right at the
This dude, Sampson, who works for old man Capulet, he sees
this other dude, Abraham, who hangs with Montague, and he bites his thumb. I
mean, like, Sampson bites his own thumb, not Abraham's thumb, which in the old
days was like saying "Your mama!" And Abraham says, "Are you dissing me?" So
they start beating down. But it gets broken up before anybody's really messed,
you know. And the Princehe's like the principal of this whole
townhe says, "Yo, next time you people get in each other's face, I'm
gonna twist someone's head around so their cap's on straight."
So then Juliet's old man decides he's going to have this
party. But he has to send this servant out to tell everybody, 'cause, like,
they didn't even have phones then. But this servant is like dyslexic or
something, and he can't make out the names on the list, so he, like, stops
someone to help him read it. Duh! It's Romeo.
So Romeo looks at the list, and there's all these names of
dweebs freaks, jocks, stoners, nerds, goobs and motorheads. But then he sees
Rosaline's name. She's this chick he thinks is really fly, so he decides to
crash the party, which is like, easy, see, 'cause it's a masquerade party.
Meanwhile, Juliet's mom, she's trying to fix Juliet up with
this guy named Paris. Is that a dorky name or what? I mean, I thought Dweezil
arid Moon Unit were weird. But Paris? I guess he's lucky he wasn't born in,
like, Fort Wayne.
Romeo goes to the party even though he's totally bummed
because he loves Rosaline and thinks she, like, doesn't love him. But Romeo's
homey, Mercutio, tells him, like, "Chill. Just go. Party down. There's going to
be some fly babes there."
So Romeo gets to the party and starts checking out the
chicks. He sees Juliet and he goes, "Who is that babe?'' And she goes, "Who is
that hunk?" Which is bad, see, 'cause, like, Shakespeare already said they got
"fatal loins," whatever that means and they're "star crossed," which means both
of them are Aquarians, I think.
But that don't stop them. So Romeo starts hitting on her,
and they hold hands for a while and, like, he goes, "O, then, dear saint, let
lips do what hands do." And he kisses her, and it's, like, super-rad, I mean
totally awesome for both of them. But then Juliet's nurse pulls her away,
'cause, like, in the old days they really had a cow if they caught you sucking
Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, sees that Romeo is trying to ease
in on a Capulet, even though he's a Montague, so Tyb says, "Yo, hand me that
sword." But Juliet's dad says, "Be cool."
Then it's curlew or something 'cause everybody has to leave,
but when Romeo is heading for his pad, he says, "Check it out, dudes, I'm gonna
bail," and he jumps over this big fence into Juliet's yard. He's like creepin'
in the trees and he looks up at Juliet's bedroom and goes, "Who left that light
on?" or something like that, and she goes, "O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou
Romeo?" And it's like, duh, 'cause he's standing right under her balcony. But
maybe, like, she took her contacts out to go to bed.
So he goes, "Do you want to get married?" and she goes,
"Yeah." So they do...only in secret.
But then, like, right after this, Juliet's pushy cousin
Tybalt shows up again and starts getting in Romeo's face. See, he don't know
they're married 'cause he didn't get an invitation or nothing. And, like, he
should be happy, because he didn't have to buy an electric can opener or
anything. He wants to kill Romeo. But Romeo won't fight him, so Tybalt jumps in
Mercutio's face, and him and Mercutio start thrashing on each other. Mercutio
gets killed, So Romeo kills Tybalt, which is, like, dumb, cause now him and
Juliet ain't gonna get any wedding presents.
Then the Prince exiles Romeo, which is, like, being grounded
but like in a whole nother state or something.
So Romeo and Juliet have to split for a while. Juliet goes,
"O, think'st thou we shall ever meet again?" 'cause, like, some guys act like
they like you a bunch at school but then they never call you up. You know?
Romeo leaves and Juliet is really bummin' cause her old man
wants her to marry Paris. Duh! She's already married. But her parents are still
planning a wedding, so it looks like she's going to get an electric can opener
one way or another, or maybe even a microwave. But then this priest guy gives
Juliet this stuff to drink so that everyone will think she's, like, dead until
Romeo can get back from being grounded. But this stuff is so good that
everybody thinks she really is dead, and they put her in this tomb thing, you
Then Romeo dreams Juliet has found him dead, and even though
he's grounded in another state, he says, "Later. I'm outta here." He takes off
to see Juliet, but he stops, like at a drugstore, for some poison. So he misses
this letter that the priest sent that Says, "Juliet isn't dead. She's, like,
But then Romeo sees Juliet and he goes, "Ah, dear Juliet,
why art thou yet so fair?" 'cause, you know, if she was dead she ought to be
green and starting to smell funny. And that totally bums him, so he takes the
poison. Duh! Then you'll never guess this part. She wakes up and sees Romeo and
goes, "O happy dagger!" and kills herself.
I mean, are these people serious, or, like, what?