To make a molehill out of a mountain, the Orphan shack is horrendous. It’s just a tin shack with hay bale beds, crabs teeming on the floor, fungus dripping from the ceiling, and horrendous lime green inner walls with hearts. Oh, and I’m not sure if it even has a bathroom with plumbing. But since they can’t live in the dorms, the Baudelaires are sent to live a terrible and humiliating existence. This makes them targets of bullies, particularly from the monumental red-headed alpha bitch Carmelita Spats who cajoles everyone in the cafeteria to chant, “Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphan Shack.” However, things aren’t all that bad on the Baudelaires’ first day. Since they meet two of the Quagmire Triplets, Duncan and Isadora whose parents also died in a fire along with a brother named Quigley. Nonetheless, the they all become fast friends and spend the afternoon in the library. Also, they can always find ways to improve living in the Orphan Shack.
The song I selected here is “Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve” from 1776. In the original, American Founding Father and “obnoxious and disliked” curmudgeon John Adams lets out his frustrations over the Continental Congress in his efforts to persuade his fellow delegates to vote for independence from Great Britain. He complains how Congress hasn’t done anything in the last year as well as argues with his wife Abigail over saltpeter and pins, which he gives in. In this version, I have the Baudelaires look over the Orphan Shack and meet the Quagmires on their first day.
“Orphan Shack and Quagmires”
Dear God! We have to live in this tin shack? For a whole semester? This travesty?
Though I’d love to have a dormitory at Prufrock Preparatory School
The Orphans Shack accommodations are ridiculously cruel
There are no fresh fruit or a library
Beds are only bales of straw
The ceiling’s dripping fungus
Crabs are teeming on the floor
The pink hearts on the lime green walls
Good God, the look just makes me bawl
At least we’re not working in that shitty lumbermill
Or have Count Olaf chasing us for our great big dollar bills
Perhaps I’ll invent some contraption
To ward off these wretched crabs
You can read up on ridding the fungus
Sunny can bite the paint
But first we must make sure what’s in it
Before she sinks her teeth
Yes, we must take notes, study, and work hard
At least we don’t have Count Olaf
Take notes, study, and work hard
We can make it here in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
Prufrock Preparatory School
Someone ought to open up a window!
Seems like it’s time we need to go to the cafeteria
If we’re late they’ll take our cups and glasses out
I miss being in a real classroom
Can’t believe it’s been that long
There’s a massive lasagna waiting for us to take
Holy shit, that redheaded bitch has gotten in our way
Don’t even think of eating at this track
If you’re living in the Orphans’ Shack
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack
Nobody will eat with you in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
Prufrock Prepatory School
Why don’t you shut your fucking mouth?
Thank you. We’re the Baudelaires. I’m Violet. That’s my brother Klaus and sister Sunny.
I’m Duncan Quagmire. This is my sister Isadora. So living in the Orphan’s Shack. So that’s why we got upgraded to a broom closet.
My passion is in journalism
Hers is poetry
Loud noises really scare the crabs
Though try to get some sleep
If you want to hear my poetry
I mostly write in couplet verse
I can read you an example, from my notebook if you prefer
Though watch out for Carmelita
She’s just the worst. As in “I would rather eat a bowl of vampire bats than spend an hour with Carmelita Spats.” How was that?
That was excellent.
Sunny (Translated babble):
Ain’t that the truth.
Thank you very much.
I can lend you books from the library.
Sunny (translated babble):
Show us sometime.
We can tap dance while we’re in the shack. Nice to have twins around.
Uh, we’re not twins.
We’re triplets for we had a brother, Quigley born on the same day
Died in a fire with our parents
So he’s not here today
Once we’re eighteen we will inherit a fortune of sapphire gems
Though we’ve been the students’ target till you three moved in
Let’s finish our lunch fast we can to get library time in!
Look at all those cakesniffers!
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack!
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack!
Less we see of her the better.
So where’s the library?
We’re close to it.
But we can only stay till five.
Maybe things won’t be that bad.
Least we have friends and a wonderful library.
Was, is, and ever shall be
Hope things stay this way.
And not in disarray.