The characters Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures and no copyright infringement is intended. Everybody else........

It's Hard to be A Bard

Or (How to Succeed in Evoking Ridicule Without Really Trying)

by L.Fox

One recent Saturday morning...............

"It was a dark and stormy night."

No, that's not it. Ahh let's see...

"Call me Gabrielle."

Nah, it's been done.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Jeez, nobody would ever buy that one. Damn, these snappy openings are tough! I know...

"My name is Gabrielle, and this is my last hour."

Wait a minute, that sounds familiar too. Where... Oh. (Blush). Silly me. I wrote that. Oh well, if it worked once before it probably will again. [CTRL+C...CTRL+V] There now. Okay now, here we go....(Pause.) Okay, I mean it this time. Here we go. (Longer pause.) 20 KB or bust today so here we go, no foolin'. (Still longer pause.) M'kay, here...we......go....................(Even longer pause.).......... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

Suddenly through my mind's fog I hear the South Park kids laugh and Cartman chortles, "Somebody's bakin' brownies!" SSSNXXXX...what the...? Oh boy, I've got mail!

You have 4 new messages.

Subject: You Garbige

You stupit basterd!!

Hmmm, a fan..

Why is it you always hurting pour Gabrillie!
You are so sick!! I like Gabrillie and she is my favrite and you
sadist a**hole is always hurting her. I hate you and hope you die!!!!

I have had enuff!! Just remember this, slime ball. One more story
like "Debera" and I'm gonna find out were you live and burn you
#$@*&^% cage down. You *&^%$)*$ basterd!!!!!

Sincerly yours,
PS: When is you next story comming out??

Reply to:
Subject: My "garbige"

Marsha! Marsha! Marsha! Sorry, bet you get that a lot huh? :P
Anyway, thanks for your remarks. While I admit it seems the
Gabster does take an inordinate amount of punishment in my
stuff let me assure you it is NOT because of some manical
tendency on my part. Okay maybe just a little. And just so you
know I have in fact recently vacated my cage and moved up to a
a very nice cardboard box so nyahh.

Anyway, thank you for you ahem, "interest."



Subject: Termination notice.



That's Leonard!

It has recently come to my attention that the other, more distinguished
members of "The Bard's Corner" are becoming more and more uncom-
fortable with your inclusion herein.


Yes, that's so. In fact many of these talented persons have hinted that
if some action is not taken soon regarding your status they may have to
begin thinking about looking elsewhere to post their work. Mr. Fox, I
cannot allow that to happen. I have expended far too much time and
energy in building up XIP to what it is today just to allow some yobbo
to drag it down.

yobbo? What's a yobbo?

Therefore, in order that I might rectify this untenable situation I hereby
serve you notice that your (Snicker.) "stories" are being taken down
posthaste. Frankly, Mr. Fox, I do not know how you ever managed to
weasel your way onto my site in the first place.

It was that hundred bucks I sent ya, remember?

If I may make a suggestion; should you (God forbid.) ever feel the need
to write any further (Snicker.) "stories"........

Why does she keep doing that?

........please sent them to where I'm sure they
will get the neglect they so richly deserve.


PS: Don't call me, I'll (Snicker.) call you.

That Mary, she's such a kidder. Probably distraught over that impending Olympic scandal. That's funny though. I didn't know there were any Mormons in Sydney. And just what is a yobbo anyway? Oh well, on to the next one.

Subject: Once in a lifetime offer

Dear "Ooh-La-La Page" visitor,

Oh Jeez, it's a good thing my wife didn't see this.

Tired of your old job? Interested in entering an exciting new field?

Not really. The last field I entered I kept stepping in cow sh....manure.

Blammo, Inc. has been contracted by the United States Goverment to
provide literally....pairs of dedicated, highly motivated....

Sorry, pal, that cuts me out.

....individuals for immediate openings in the rewarding field of nuclear
arms testing. So tell me, friend. Do you have what it takes to test im-
pact detonators on our H-Bombs? Well do ya? The air force can't
afford to be dropping any duds on those pesky Russkies, you know. :)
This is truly a once in a lifetime offer. In fact you could as they say,
"Strike it big" so reply immediately!!

Sorry, fella, I'm a Communist myself. And besides, I'm allergic to plutonium.

Subject: Your Visa card balance

Dear Xenajunk patron,
We are proud to announce the release of several new Xena related items:

1. The limited edition Xena: Warrior Princess Toilet Seat. Now
you too can be just like Gabrielle and press those hot little cheeks of
yours right up against the beautiful Warrior Princess! This finely crafted
device is made entirely of only the shoddiest materials and bears the
smudged, machine stamped signature of that Xena nearly-was Vanessa
Angel. Suckers, I mean...Xenites! Get yours today for the ridiculously
low price of only $169.95 plus shipping and gouging.

2. They're here!!! At last!!! The new line of Xena: Warrior Princess
Talking Dolls!!
This exciting collection includes:

The Lucy Lawless doll!! Pull its string and it says:
"I know lots and lots of big, superfluous words!"
"I'm such a cut-up!"
"Buy more soap powder!"
"Don't you think I'm clever?"
"Robbykins, how 'bout a raise?"
"I am not Xena!"
"I'd like to thank all you little people..."
Price $499.95 ITEM# ALL4ME

The Ares doll! Pull its string and it:
Scowls menacingly.
Flares its nostrils.
Flexes its big muscles.
Promptly gets the crap beaten out of it by your kid's Barbie doll.
Price $159.95 ITEM# 1BIGDUD

The Joxer doll! Pull its string and it:
Whines pathetically as its pants fall down. Note: This doll IS anatomically
correct but do not worry. Just as with Joxer himself the object in question
is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Price 39 cents ITEM# DLUZER

The Gabrielle doll! Pull its string and it says:

I don't care! I don't care! I'll take six!!

3. Announcing the Steven L. Sears/Chris Manheim Story Generator,
The Homage Edition!
Be a writer without bothering to think for yourself!
Kit includes 25 ready to use templates prepared from great works by actual
creative persons. All you have to do is fill in the blanks with names and places
of your choosing and voila, you have a masterpiece of your very own. Do
it the RenPic way! And remember, it's not stealing, it's paying "homage."
Additional templates to be made available as soon as they can be scanned.
Price $289.95 ITEM# R1POFF

4.Fan Fiction Review Kit
Now you too can review fan fiction just like our very own Lunacy! Included
in this package is a detailed explanation of her rating system, one blacklist
on which to banish disrespectful bards, a certificate good for free enrollment
in the Jethro Bowdein Speed Reading course, a year's supply of Murine, a
thick skin, and one small dose of Atty-Tude. Be sure to specify method of story
selection. Options include: Dice, dart board, two headed coin, Ouija board or
spinner board with authentic metal needle. Price $199.95 ITEM# 1N0BST



From: Subject: The art of writing

Mr. L.Fox,
My name is Larry McMurtry

Oh boy! One of my faves!

I had the misfortune to stumble across one of your stories and
I must say I was stunned by what I read.

He likes me, he really likes me!

How does one write so much with such a small vocabulary?


Who does your editing, Ray Charles?

As a matter of fact......

I have never seen such poor story structure--

Ahh what does he know? [DEL]

Okay back to work. Ooops, nature calls. We creative geniuses can't have any distractions, you know................................................
..........................................................................I'm back. Here we go.


Using every last bit of her waning strength, Gabrielle clawed her way down the blood spattered corridor. "Xena," she gasped, pitifully. "Why?"

Ahead of her, hidden by the shadows, a dark figure loomed, its strong legs spread wide in an arrogant pose. As always she had won. "Little One," the figure sneered, "it is finished. You lose." The raven haired beauty then slowly drew her sword, deliciously savoring every moment of her triumph. Very leisurely she began to advance toward the prostrate bard.

Standing over her now, Xena set the heel of her boot on Gabrielle's neck and quite gently began to force her head down. "It is finished," she repeated.

Xena's aiming point was a spot directly between Gabrielle's shoulder blades. Her face contorted with a malicious leer, Xena took her blood stained sword in both hands and..............

Wait a minute!! What am I doing! Oh my poor Gabby. And besides, this smacks too much of that wretched season three. [DEL] Let's try sumpfin' a little lighter..........

"Come with me, Snookums," Xena squealed, playfully taking Gabrielle by the hand.

"Oh goody," chirped her giddy bard.

Xena helped her to her feet and together the warrioress and bard began to skip gaily across the flower filled meadow.

Ohhh, I think I'm gonna be sick.

"I love you, Peaches," said Gabrielle, smiling brightly.

"And I love you, Cream," Xena shot back, her smile dazzling as always. Suddenly blocking their path ahead were three very large, very mean looking fellows. "Oooh," said Xena, upon noticing the men. "Look there, Gabrielle. Three very large fellows."

"And don't forget very mean looking," the bard reminded her. "What on earth shall we do, Xena?"

The warrioress superb mind rapidly went over the options. "I know," she said, a mere heart beat later. "Let us teach these miscreants a lesson they will not soon forget."

"How?" Gabrielle asked. "With your sword? Chakram? Your split personality impersonations?"

Xena's playful smile faded and her lip curled in a scornful sneer. "Let us give 'em...."The Treatment.'"

"Oh no!" the bard gasped. "Not..."The Treatment.'"

"Yes..."The Treatment.'"

What, is there an echo in here?

"But, Xena, you can't," Gabrielle implored. "It''s cruel, inhuman and generally not very nice."

"Punkin', I must," Xena firmly replied. The bad fellows now began to make their approach. Xena took a deep breath and began her attack, "Oh-oh say can you see..."

"Bloody 'ell!" the head villian screeched, "That's the worst rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" I've evah 'eard."

"Let us fly away form this horrible presence," another of the men exhorted.

"What so proudly we hail......."

"Run away! Run away! Run away! (With apologies to Monty Python.)

"And the home of the...braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!"

Watching the evil music lovers flee, Gabrielle then turned and lovingly looked into the eyes of her warrioress. "Oh, Xena, she gushed, "you're so wonderful!"

"I know," replied Xena. "Hey, by the way. Didja know I can sing the second verse too?

"Ahh no. That's...quite all right," the bard said, slowly backing away.

On the shore, dimly seen throught the mists of the deep...."

"Run away! Run away!" Gabrielle shrieked. Stumbling off over the meadown in the direction of the evil-doers now, she yelled, "Hey, youze guys, wait for me!"

"Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam......."


Watching the young woman stagger away, Xena shrugged and said, "Darn, I lose more sidekicks that way. Oh well. CASTING!"

Hmmm, I don't know. It...lacks....something.

"Talent," my smart aleck wife offers as she passes by.

Oh yeah? Well who asked you anyway? And by the way have you fixed the washing machine yet? Now where was I..........?

"It was a dark and stormy night."

No that's not it.

Pooooooop! "You farted. Somebody's bakin' brownies!"

Hmm, another e-mail. Wonder who it is.

Subject: Termination notice

What again?

Mr. Fox,
We have been receiving numerous complaints from all over
the country regarding certain activities being engaged in by
you through this ISP. Specifically, I am referring to your
penchant or shall I say, obsession, with writing and posting
(Snicker.) Zena "stories."

Uhh ohhh. That darn Mary. She got to him. And it's Xena! With an X!

This borders on harassment, Mr. Fox, and we simply cannot
tolerate such behavior. Accordingly, as of this very moment we
are terminating your account. Please remit this month's fee immediately.


Hey wait! Lemme explain. It's____________________________________________________
Hey, Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Darn, maybe I need one of those story generators after all. By the way, anybody know the snail mail address to Tom's Xena Page? Aww come on. Somebody.................anybody...................Hello? Is this thing on? Darn. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The End