Monty Python’s Holy Grail…

…was a documentary:

ku-xlarge-3 And hell, you think that’s bad, check this out:


Holiday brain sploosh has already begun chez Levenson (first relatives show up in minutes), so killer rabbits somehow seem…


BTW: there are a bunch more medieval psychoses on display at Tom Kane’s site, who, it seems, has come up with a socially useful application of writer’s procrastination syndrome.  My awareness of all this comes via @PZMyers, who got it from @SirWilliamD.

And with the honors thus done, you may consider this a “how weird will your holiday get” open thread.

Images:  Axe-rabbit comes from the Gorleston Psalter, England, 14th century.

Rabbit murderers lurk in the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

57 replies
  1. 1

    I’d say we need Tim the Enchanter but we only have Tim the Disenchanter around here.

    ETA: Not you, TimF. The other one.

  2. 2
    gogol's wife says:

    Can you explain these briefly? (I don’t have time to dig into the sites for the answers.) WTF is going on, especially in the second one? I love them, by the way.

  3. 3
    gogol's wife says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Okay, I looked at the first link you give rather than the last two, and see that the answer is pretty much, no one knows.

  4. 4
    gogol's wife says:

    My holiday won’t be weird. Great food with good friends (a small group). I love it.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    I am in the midst of a stupid, stupid argument at work about the theme for our holiday potluck. Short version is, our office chose a “Mary Poppins” theme for our holiday potluck. The decorating committee wants to stay true to the film with spring/summer decorations, while I keep trying to point out that it’s a holiday potluck, so we need to fit Christmas and New Year’s in there somewhere, for fuck’s sake, even if there isn’t a Christmas scene in the movie. Yeesh.

  6. 6
    shelly says:

    Old illuminated manuscripts are wonderful for all those, almost subversive images going on in the intricate margins. Goats in nun’s habits; pigs with bishops hats. All kinds of fantastical and bat-shit crazy creatures whooping it up.

  7. 7

    Could get weird for me. I’ve made the hostess of the Friendsgiving festivities we are going to attend cry before because of our political differences.

  8. 8
    shelly says:

    “The decorating committee wants to stay true to the film”
    If they want to stay true to it, how about Women’s Rights and chimney sweeps. Tho none of those are especially Christmas-y either.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:


    How about serving the potluck on a table suspended just below the ceiling?

  10. 10
    shelly says:

    “The decorating committee wants to stay true to the film”
    If they want to stay true to it, how about Women’s Rights and chimney sweeps. Tho none of those are especially Christmas-y either.

    I gotta say, it sounds like you work in an interesting place. You actually have a decorating commitee?

  11. 11
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: a spoonful of sugar!

  12. 12
    revrick says:

    I use a salt shaker when battling snails.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Seems like a proper thread into which to insert a reference (and bonus pic) to the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:


    Don’t forget, Mrs. Banks gives up her suffragette ways to go fly kites with the family. Feminist, it ain’t.


    Believe it or not, I have a guy who could totally do that. But I’m not sure our operations manager would let us.


    We have an activities committee of which I am a part — the decorating committee are volunteers who are helping out because this event is too big for the (small) committee to handle by themselves. But one of the members of that committee used to be on the activities committee, so I think she’s trying to flex her muscles.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    If you can find something on the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, I shall really be impressed.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m trying to be diplomatic, I really am. But, come on, people, when we said “A Jolly Holiday,” I’m pretty sure people were thinking of the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays, not just the musical number!

  17. 17
    Tommy says:

    @ranchandsyrup: I spend the holidays with my brother’s wife’s extended family. Birthers. Rush fans. My brother moderate liberal. Me far left. My parents, moderate Republicans, but my 67 year old mother for her first time ever voted for Obama twice.

    The first event or two we had together, and I should note my family you can count on one hand, and they have like a few dozens, were not pretty. It was like 2007 and they were saying Obama was a Muslim and I almost lost it. My dad, again a Republican and military guy, was like WTF people. Are you crazy?

    My brother brokered a “peace deal” and non-proliferation agreement where we agree to not talk about politics. I actually like the family he married into when this happens. No politics they are very nice folks. I hope and/or think the same about me.

  18. 18
    shelly says:

    For us old Baby-Boomers who remember seeing it for the first time in 1964. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer’ is on tonight. CBS I think.

    “We’re all Misfits.”

  19. 19

    @Tommy: Non-proliferation peace deal is a great idea–we usually keep it nice and friendly. The trouble happens when too much booze enters the equation and that is sure to happen on Thurs (and was definitely the issue when I made her cry). Oh yeah, I have a big mouth too and that won’t be helpful. I understand where she’s coming from, actually, and she knows this. Her parents are Czech immigrants that were persecuted under teh communism.

    Glad you guys worked that out.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    Thanksgiving this year will be bringing the feast to a brother and his wife an hour and half from me. Since my brother is ill, in order to make everything easier, the meal will be prepared ahead of time. Thanks to the NYTimes, I know how to reheat a Turkey and instead of mashed potatoes, I’ll nuke baking potatoes in the microwave. Everything else including the stuffing and sweet potatoes can be prepared ahead of time. My sister-in-law demands Bobby Flay’s peas so we will do that up at their house in the mountains. The important thing is to appreciate the family you have.
    Enjoy your holiday Tom, and thank you for all the beautiful art work you provide us. Sometimes, I feel as though I’m in an art appreciation class but with better commentary.

  21. 21
    Tommy says:

    @ranchandsyrup: LOL. We don’t drink at these events. If we did, well I am not so sure how that would work out. I am nine years older then my brother. At some levels he looks up to me and I hate to admit at a time he said to me, “dude, it is two times a year, don’t engage. Please just let it be. I spend a lot of time with Sarah’s family, you don’t, I feel the ramifications of what you say.”

    He said something similar to the family he married into reversed. Don’t provoke me.

    Can’t we all get along was maybe said or something like it …..

    And funny, we do.

  22. 22

    @Tommy: Cheers man. Gives me hope.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My step-daughter married into a conservative, gun loving family of God-botherers. Usually they do T-day up in Bloomington IL, but this year the daughter decided to do it. So now I actually have to participate in this yearly pagan ritual of overindulgence. Shouldn’t be too bad. They’re nice enuf folks, despite themselves. Other than inviting me to the NRA convention (hey, I own guns, OF COURSE I want to hang out with a bunch of mass murderer wannabes), they haven’t raised my hackles.

    Dog help me if they ask me to say a blessing tho.

  24. 24
    evodevo says:

    And then there’s the Barnacle Goose ….

  25. 25
    NotMax says:


    Could barely stomach 90 seconds of it, ever.

    No TV specials about that other reindeer. More’s the pity.

  26. 26
    gelfling545 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Penguins?

  27. 27
    Mike in NC says:

    Anybody else remember the media freak-out over Jimmy Carter and the “killer rabbit”?

  28. 28
    gelfling545 says:

    When my holiday gets crazy it’s usually in a good way. The cousins’ conga line, singing Oklahoma with my sister (which seems to happen every year, gods know why) my nephew who makes up words to the Christmas songs he doesn’t know (it becomes officially ok to listen to Christmas music at noon on Thanksgiving), dancing a completely made up hula to Mele Kalikimaka; you know, all the traditional stuff.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This is going to be a weird Thanksgiving for my family. It will be the first one that wasn’t held at my grandmother’s house. Even after she was to frail to do much of the preparations, we went to her place. My brother has volunteered to host the festivities; I am sure he and his wife will do a really good job, but it won’t be quite the same without Grandma.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: Supposedly the darn reindeer ran over Grandma too.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @shelly: I am a Grinch guy. Give me a showing of the Karloff voiced cartoon sometime during December and I am happy. FWIW I have not watched the Carrey movie.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    Mine should be okay. All the sisters (there are 4 of us) will be coming here, with their husbands and my nieces. John’s brother sometimes comes, but I think he’s going to a friend’s this year. And John’s daughter and her fiancé will drop by for dessert. The only Republican in the bunch is my sister Patty’s husband but he’s more of a Chamber of Commerce Republican than a wingnut. Plus he knows he’s seriously outgunned. There are a dozen of us and only one of him. We always have a very nice time and the Stillers play that night. We will have a full family bond in cheering for the Steelers and hating on the Ravens. It’s truly heartwarming!

  33. 33
    Aji says:

    @Mnemosyne: You’re shittin’ me, right? This is, like, a plot for one of your novels or something, and you’re seeing if it’s believable, aren’t you?

    Okay, so if you’re not, 1) they’re idiots; and 2) umbrellas and brooms wrapped with tinsel. Solved.

  34. 34
    kc says:

    Those are great!

  35. 35
    kc says:


    Aw, my fave. Thanks for the programming note!

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    Hat trick this year.

    Thanksgiving, Chanukah and step-sister’s birthday all on the same day.

    Still wouldn’t be there for a gajillion dollars.

    And loving it.

    No slam whatsoever on people who enjoy being with family at holidays, in fact more power to you; it’s just something alien to my entire universe of personal experience.

  37. 37
    ruemara says:

    I’m wrapping up cooking my boss’ holiday dinner: puff pastry loaf stuffed with ground turkey, leeks and celery; roasted peppers, parsnips, sweet potatoes and potatoes; pumpkin crepe cake with whipped cream chocolate chip filling. She’s flying in on Thanksgiving and I just don’t think she should come home to whatever’s in the fridge.

    For my friends’ get-togethers, I’m making my welsh rarebit biscuits, cranberry white chocolate chip cookies and since I have a spare puff pastry shell, shredded roast parsnips & spinach roll. Might as well use that stuff up. Just not sure how much I feel like going to get togethers, though. All I want is to watch the parade and loaf about. This has been a working vacation for me. Plus, the car is acting out, since I’m using it so much. I should just let her sit and rest and forget I drove her a lot.

  38. 38
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Aji: She works for the big giant mouse. So methinks she’s actually not pulling your leg.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:


    I wish I was joking, because these people are hurting my head. One person in particular is being super passive-aggressive, like, Well, if you don’t like our ideas, tell us what you want instead and we’ll just do that. It’s not that I don’t like the idea, it’s that I want to ADD a little winter to it. Why is this a difficult concept?

  40. 40
    Aji says:

    @Dee Loralei: Ah, suddenly it all makes sense. Well, as much as anything about Teh Meese makes sense.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:


    So the food sculpture of Poppins with frostbite is out, then?

  42. 42
    Aji says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh, good gawd. She – it is a she, yes? – needs to put on her big-girl pants and deal. People like that drive me up the fucking wall.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @ruemara: BTW, Xmas eve I have family and friends over for a feast, you and your recipes are certainly welcome to come.

  44. 44
    PaulW says:

    The cool thing about Monty Python et the Holy Grail, Terry Jones is a kick-ass medieval scholar (he did a brilliant PBS miniseries on the Crusades), so a lot of the Holy Grail stuff is based directly on iconic medieval / dark ages stuff. The killer rabbit stuff? You’ve found some of it. Good for you!

  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:


    I really hope these people are paying you for all of this fabulous food you provide them. Have you considered catering or other ways of selling your food to make a few extra bucks? Health departments can make it tricky, but it sounds like you may have an existing customer base.

  48. 48
    sm*t cl*de says:

    DiscardingImages is another good source of daily marginalia:

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: I mostly just do this in lieu of gifts. I think next time I’m at the flea market I’ll be bringing a bunch of cookies and some biscuits. I just have to figure out pricing.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:


    Farmer’s markets are a good place, too, especially since people are already in food-buying mode.

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve been thinking about setting up a stealth table at our local, well traveled farmer’s market. I’d be like the abuelitas that sometimes show up, little rickety table, some stuff and an unhelpful, lo siento, pero yo no puede comprendar tus quejas en Ingles. Of course.. they do know me, so maybe I should work on pretending I’m my french cousin. There’s probably an evil mouse movie in this somewhere.

  52. 52
    JustRuss says:


    I’m trying to be diplomatic, I really am. But, come on, people, when we said “A Jolly Holiday,”….

    Why did Burt hate Xmas? For FSM’s sake, please don’t tell Bill O’Reilly, I do not want him going after Mary Poppins!

  53. 53

    @Omnes Omnibus: Grandmas are special, I miss my grandma too, and she has been dead for over 20 years.

  54. 54


    I think what this person is envisioning is kind of a “bring summer into winter” look — the reverse of a “Christmas in July” idea. Which would be great if we weren’t in freakin’ SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. It’s not like we’re all snowbound and dreaming of summer.

  55. 55
    Dan says:

    Terry Jones is an amateur(?) medievalist. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this kind of stuff is what inspired the monster with the “nasty, big, pointy teeth.”

  56. 56
    Dan says:

    Terry Jones is an amateur(?) medievalist. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this kind of stuff is what inspired the monster with the “nasty, big, pointy teeth.”

  57. 57
    StringOnAStick says:

    This is the first year in a few that we won’t be guests at the vegan Thanksgiving, not because all the wheat-based fake meat kills my stomach, but because one half of the couple that invited us each year just lost his fight with cancer last week. I’d be more than happy to eat that stuff if he was still with us and healthy.

    This year we’re heading up to see old friends for a big dinner; friends we lost touch with between moving to different (but 60 miles apart) cities and their raising kids. Now that the kids are teens and the 3rd member of what was a kind of 1980’s three musketeers has moved to town, it’s time to rekindle old friendships and start a new chapter. I’m looking forward to it!

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