Parody: Canterbury Tales – A Modern Retelling

Sophia Zepeda, BFR Editorial Staff

    When summer with her hot sun does shine,

A band who have Fallen to drugs and wine,

Five addicts go seek a helping hand

To rid them of their shameful brand.

Of America they to Rancho Mirage go,

For the salvation that rehab does bestow.

The Betty Ford Clinic, our destination,

A simple van driver is my vocation.

At this bus stop I do collect these strays,

Some five poor souls I find this day,

Forced to come with me or face police custody,

A pilgrimage we shall take to find sobriety.

I task myself to explain their character

So that you may more easily follow this adventure.

First among the group is a soldier brave

Who fought for freedom he hoped to save

In far off lands he showed his merit,

From the Gulf to Afghanistan he bore it,

He never faltered in the face of fear,

Many tours he has served, the cost was dear.

In Iraq he saved the lives of many,

His sacrifices were bold and plenty

A patriotic soul, he is kind and true,

A worthy son of red, white, and blue.

There was also a man most foul and fat

Who sold used cars with words that spat

Falsehood, fibs, and exaggeration,

Selling cars not fit to be driven.

A most disgusting man, food always in his beard,

He lecherously looked at any woman who came near.

Advantage he would take if he thought that he could,

Promoting his wares though they were no good.

In moral company there traveled a man

Who trustworthy seemed, sought profit from God.

A televangelist, he preached to the many

Promises of salvation for only pennies.

Great rhetoric he gave, always wearing a smile,

With their shame of sin he does beguile.

He welcomes all from Sacramento to Des Moines,

He takes checks, money orders, cards, and bit coin.

On this journey does travel a wealthy doctor,

A plastic surgeon, beauty for money he does offer.

Facelifts, tummy tucks, implants aplenty

For an exorbitant price he’ll work on any.

He lives a life modest, not spending a cent

On hoarding wealth his soul is bent.

To spend his wealth would be a terrible thing,

To his tower of gold he will surely cling.

Last of our fellowship is a woman, most vivacious and broad,

Five husbands she widowed: Dick, John, Peter, Jimmy, and Rod.

Each richer than the one last wed,

Each one struggled to match her in bed.

Her virtues are extolled throughout the land,

Her appetites mighty, her repute is grand.

She is draped in designer clothes from head to feet,

Her taste in fine jewelry cannot be beat.

She laughs easily and freely at any amusement,

And of out the group she is the most joyous and most pleasant.

On our journey to the clinic, to pass the time

I requested a story of their drama or crime

The best tale will win its author a momentary reprieve

On the green outside the walls before I take my leave.

To my terms they agree and the soldier begins to speak

As the van begins to role with a jostle and a creak.

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