Do I have a story for you. In all honesty right now, I am grinning from ear to ear like some mongoloid foreigner who doesn't realize the INS man at the door isn't his friend. There is just so much awesomeness packed into this one article. And yes, awesomeness is a word. Fuck you. If you couldn't have guessed this post was going to be about Shakespeare by reading the title, then you have no grounds to criticize me for walking in his footprints and making up my own words to fit my needs.
From Metro.com: Shakespeare's body could be dug up to unearth the bard's 'cannabis habit'
Grinning yet? Because I still can't stop smirking and chortling.
So, apparently some South African professor of paleontology, Francis Thakeray, has decided that he needs to put to rest once and for all the debate about whether or not old man Bill got down on the herb. Weird thing is, after my years as an English major who spent a goodly amount of time studying The Bard, I had no idea this was even up for debate.
According to the article, Thakeray is claiming that previous studies on Shakespeare's personal effects have revealed trace residues of cannabis in his collection of pipes, even all these centuries later. To prove his drug usage beyond a doubt, the professor wants to exhume Shakespeare's corpse for some more conclusive tests.
Thakeray has also promised to use this opportunity, should permission be granted to continue with the project, to complete a 3D imaging scan on the remains to get a better idea of what Shakespeare really looked like.
Now, here's where it gets even better. Again, this is a joyous little snippet of information that I was completely unaware of until I read this article. Apparently, there's a bit of a medieval urban legend surrounding the final resting place of Billy S.
The epitaph on his tomb in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the town where Shakespeare was born, reads as follows:
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blessed be the man that spares these stones
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
That's right! The man has an old school Egyptian style curse threatening those who would disrupt his eternal rest! How bad ass is that?!
Now, in answer to the supposed curse, Thakeray has gone on record saying he is fully confident that he can complete his work without disturbing a single bone. But come on. How awesome would it be if you turned on the news a few months from now and saw reports on a mummified Shakespeare terrorizing London? I wonder if he'd take the time to go take in a showing of The Book of Mormon on Broadway? Twist something up and see how his torch is being carried in the modern age.
But in all seriousness here folks, who honestly gives a fuck about whether or not William Shakespeare liked to get high? As much of a supporter as I am of the use of cannabis, and as big of a fan as I am of the works of Shakespeare (and especially as much as I enjoy the two in combination), I have to say that this is just one piece of history that I think would better serve mankind as a source of pointless and unprovable coffee table debate. Do we really need to go out and settle this one way or another, rendering Shakespeare's marijuana habits just another useless fact floating in the expansive ether of Google?
O! Brave New World, that has such people in it!