Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Homeo and Juliet, Yo.

with 95 comments

I was talking to my wife the other day about having misread the title of something, and it gave me an idea, one that must (or at least should) be the theme for the Washington Post‘s Style Invitational. Since I’m philosophically opposed to research when laziness produces better immediate results, I’ll just plow ahead with it, paying no mind to precedent, if there is any. I might change my mind as we go, so pay no mind, if you don’t mind.

Oh, right, the idea. The idea is to take a well-known book or movie title and change one letter in it, then provide the premise or plot summary in a line or two. You’ll catch on quickly. Submissions via comments welcome, along with critique of my entries.

The Old Furiosity Shop: After greedily ousting the previous owners, Quilp finds himself possessed by demons that haunt the establishment and drive him to murderous rages.

A Sale of Two Cities: A revolutionary historical work presenting new evidence that the Dutch bought not only Manhattan for some trinkets, but Hoboken, as well.

Bar and Peace: Tolstoy chronicles how five aristocratic families maintain functionality by taking frequent refuge in vodka.

The Adventures of Tom Lawyer: Mark Twain fantasizes through his characters about getting his persistent creditors into legal trouble.

Paradise Cost: An epic look at the Edenic real estate market under Oliver Cromwell.

J Claudius: Only the parts of the composite work that are surmised to be the work of the anonymous scribe known as “J”.

The Groat Gatsby: A cereal novel.

The Jingle: Upton Sinclair’s graphic exposĂ© of the broadcast advertising industry.

Of Hunan Bondage: Young Philip Carey finds himself trapped in a dead-end job at a Chinese restaurant.

The Drapes of Wrath: Steinbeck’s account of the Joad family’s ill-fated devotion to Martha Stewart.

The Catcher in the Lye: Salinger details the stinging, burning criticism his literary efforts attracted, and eventually dismisses all the critics as phony.

For Wham the Bell Tolls: George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley sing about Freedom! during the Spanish Civil War.

The Hunchback of Notre Dane: Hugo’s spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to fuse Shakespeare’s Richard III and Hamlet.

On the Toad: Kerouac spins together his experiences, with many perceptions influenced by the drug-induced state he reached by licking certain amphibians.

A Massage to India: Forester’s really, really first-class trip to Delhi.

A Pissage to India: Forester’s steerage-class trip to Calcutta.

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Written by Thag

January 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm

95 Responses

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  1. Clear and Present Manger: A riveting spy drama about the diplomatic and personal intrigues behind the scenes of a secret operation whose mission is to place a nativity scene in the Mall in Washington, DC.

    Shlomo

    January 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

  2. The Hunt for Rad October: a period espionage thriller about a 1980s CIA plot to subvert KGB comprehension through impenetrable slang.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  3. Red Stork Rising: Communist China’s looming overpopulation problem.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  4. I especially liked the notion of Hunchbank of Notre Dane….
    The Groat Gatsby, though,could also be The Fourpenny Opera.

    David Shaffer

    January 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

  5. The Game of the Rose: Historical fiction mystery set in a medieval monastery whose latin-speaking football team can’t seem to get it together.

    Shlomo

    January 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  6. Heart of Dorkness: A junge expedition treks into the nethermost depths of the human capacity for being ridiculously out of touch with contemporary trends.

    Shlomo

    January 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  7. I can’t get further than Schindler’s Lust.

    David Shaffer

    January 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  8. Bambo: In order to avenge the death of his closest comrades-in-arms a young deer goes on a killing spree.

    Shlomo

    January 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    • That’s a double-Homeo.

      Shlomo

      January 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  9. Lazy Chatterley’s Lover: These members of the British aristocracy might see the benefit of engaging in robust physicality and sensuality, but it takes too much effort.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm

  10. The Old Man and the Pea: Hemingway’s adaptation of the classic tale of insomnia.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm

  11. The Little Prance: Serious scholars will only take you seriously if you walk daintily and arrogantly.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  12. The Cat in the Hag: A Suessian treatment of the old lady who swallowed a succession of creatures, and may perish as a result.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

  13. Go Kill a Mockingbird: And other lesser-known folk expressions of Dixie.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  14. Much Ado About Noshing: Who stole the cookie from the Elizabethan cookie jar?

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  15. The Goys from Brazil: same as the original. What did you expect?

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm

  16. A Streetcat Named Desire: Like many spinsters, Blanche takes care of dozens of felines. One day, a new alley cat struts in and upsets the delicate balance.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

  17. The Invisible Can: and other implausible excuses for a stinky bathroom.

    Thag

    January 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  18. Thag, Shlomo:
    I advise you not to try Gone with the Wind….
    I warned you….

    David Shaffer

    January 6, 2011 at 5:58 am

    • Done With the Wind: Scarlett tries Beano.

      Miggtha

      January 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

      • Breakfart at Tiffany’s: The sequel, where Scarlett goes shopping on FIfth Avenue.

        Shlomo

        January 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

  19. Gone with the Wine: The story of my inhibitions.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 7:15 am

    • Gone with the Wand: The Old South meets Harry Potter.

      Shlomo

      January 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

    • Wink

      David Shaffer

      January 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

      • Gene with the Wind: Scientists zero in on what makes guys guys.

        Thag

        January 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

        • You’re obviously too familiar with The Wind in the Pillows.

          David Shaffer

          January 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

  20. Sat on a Hot Tin Roof: Why my pants fall down when I don’t wear a belt.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

  21. Around the World in Eighty Ways: Bored astronauts try various positions.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

  22. The Call of the Will: What causes previously estranged or inaccessible relatives to reappear.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

  23. Predater: An alien life form hunts in the jungles of South America for prey, smiling coyly at them, and attempting to convince them to reveal their phone numbers.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:44 am

  24. Gall Street: Same as the original.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

  25. The Undouchables: Believe me, you don’t want to go there.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:46 am

  26. The Germinator: Discovery channel special on some plants.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:46 am

  27. Snakes on a Plate: Prankster wreaks havoc with airline meals, and everyone enjoys the improvement.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

  28. Ithtar: The wortht acthion movie ever produthed.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

  29. The Bobbit: A plucky, undersized humanoid becomes a reluctant knife-wielding hero.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

  30. Neverending Snory: What it should have been called.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

  31. Of Mice and Mex: Migrants get lost in Arizona and face the gruesome choice between eating desert rodents and Taco Bell.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

    • Of Rice and Men: the above set in Japan.
      Of Lice and Men: the above set in China.

      Shlomo

      January 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

  32. Grading Places: Society’s most privileged and most downtrodden exchange roles in a New York City classroom.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

  33. The Great Train Rubbery: Food critic Godzilla speaks.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

  34. The Prince and the Lauper: No one seems to notice when the Artist formerly known as Cyndi changes his/her act.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

  35. Charlie and the Chocolate F*ctory: Not a children’s movie.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factors: Even our good-natured young hero is bored to misbehavior when the tour turns into yet another arithmetic lesson.

      Thag

      January 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

    • Charlie and the Great Grass Elevator: Our good-natured young hero gets high.

      Shlomo

      January 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

  36. Depp Throat: The less-than-noble beginnings of a reputable actor.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

  37. 12 Ongry Men: The Australian jury cuts deliberations short and breaks for lunch.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

  38. The Shipping Nebs: A third-rate journalist finds self-esteem writing about people even more pathetic than he.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

  39. Burn of the Screw: a sexual memoir.

    David Shaffer

    January 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

  40. Sitanic: A star-crossed romance develops on board the transatlantic vessel doomed to be sunk off the coast of Newfoundland by devil-worshippers who can’t spell.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

  41. Depth in Venice: a survey of drained canals

    David Shaffer

    January 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

  42. Steed: A busload of passengers are trapped aboard a horse rigged by a terrorist to explode if its speed drops below 55 mph.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

  43. Cocky III: Even George Foreman agrees this series should have stopped at number two.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

  44. Pilates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack Sparrow’s exercise regimen.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

  45. Star Wars Episode V The Empire Stripes Back: In the heat of the revolutionary war, the rebel leaders debate what the flag should look like.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

  46. Spareballs: Answer to the question “what do you call a guy with one extra one?”

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

  47. From Russia, Sith Love: Iam Fleming licenses material from George Lucas.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  48. Just to set the record straight, this is clearly the inevitable consequence of misspending some of your childhood renaming pantry contents. Post Nasal Drip & Heinz Faked Beans come to mind.

    Mom Swidler

    January 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    • This one’s for you, Mom:

      Mr. Mom: Suddenly thrust into the role of stay-at-home-dad, a father decides to keep quiet about the whole thing. lest he be tempted into Lashon Hara.

      Shlomo

      January 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      • That should have said “Mr. Mum”.

        Shlomo

        January 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  49. The Tale of Peter Rabbis: The early Christians kept causing trouble for the Pharisees, who threatened to send them to bed without supper.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

  50. The Crisco Kid: Gene Wilder puts the “oi” in “hoily cowboi”.

    Shlomo

    January 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  51. Prude and Prejudice: What else would you expect from nineteenth-century England?

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

  52. Moby Duck: Call me Donald.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  53. Mighty Dicks: The underdogs you have no problem rooting against.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  54. The Bad News Beans: Jack reaches the giant’s castle using self-propulsion.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

  55. Piss in Boots: And other tricks to play on a nasty ogre.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

  56. Snot White: Sneezy plays a prominent role.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

  57. The Princess and the Pee: Her Royal Heinie gets a rash.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

  58. Raputzel: You want to rescue her why, exactly?

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

  59. The Pound of the Baskervilles: If they’d done their bloody job right in the first place, none of this would have happened.

    Thag

    January 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm

  60. Wax of the Worlds — Mme. Tussaud’s early days as cosmetician to the international set.

    Billy Bund — Tall, blond-haired sailor dispels prejudices against him by sinking allied vessels.

    The Jungle Bork — The Swedish Chef and a failed judicial nominee court danger as they sear battling wildebeests. Kipling provides the latest gnus.

    DOD

    January 7, 2011 at 3:20 am

  61. Eats, Shouts and Leaves: The field habits of an Israeli shuk employee.

    Eats Shoots and Loaves: The heartwarming story of a panda who adapted to life in a bakery.

    Bats, Shoots and Leaves: The tragic tale of a postal employee’s disillusioning tryout for the local softball team.

    David Shaffer

    January 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

  62. Cain and Axel: In the edited for television version, am I my brother’s bleeper?

    Thag

    January 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm

  63. Auntie Mime: Orphaned son of wealthy straight-laced parents is sent to live with eccentric mute relative.

    Shlomo

    January 9, 2011 at 6:09 am

  64. The Whole Fine Yards: Riveting tale of a cloth merchant’s struggles against the discount retail menace.

    Slow White: The heartwarming, inspirational tale of what happens when a mentally handicapped southern boy meets a team of midget miners.

    Who knew Ian Fleming was into educational films:

    Moonfaker: Insightful documentary on the US Government’s space program

    Live and Let Lie: Documentary on anti-war protesters during the Vietnam war

    Boldfinger: Documentary of the Japanese concho phemonenon

    The Man with the Golden Run: Documentary of Kenyan marathon star Sammy Korir

    A View to a Bill: Documentary of the California grass roots political process

    The World is Hot Enough: Deep insight into the global warming phenomenon, and what we can do about it.

    Keith

    January 9, 2011 at 8:45 am

  65. A Herd Day’s Night: Cowboys are called in to deal with stampeding Beatles fans.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    • Not sure that’s a valid Homeo. Is it a movie or a book?

      Shlomo Swidler

      January 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      • We have it on VHS, so it’s probably not a book.

        Thag

        January 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

  66. Clan of the Care Bear: An orphaned Cro-Magnon girl is adopted by a cloying group of ursines whose perpetual bubbliness soon drives her to flee to certain death in the wild.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

  67. Singin’ in the Ruin: Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor never fail to bring down the house.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

  68. Animal Fart: Communism is such a gas.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

  69. The Colon Purple: Get yo’self to a doctor this minute, Alice.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

  70. Blaveheart: You keep using that sword; I do not think it cleaves what you think it cleaves.

    Thag

    January 9, 2011 at 11:55 pm

  71. Animal Horse: Well, duh.

    Thag

    January 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

  72. The Golfather: Scorcese’s epic depiction of the origin of Scotland’s favorite game

    Keith

    January 11, 2011 at 11:05 am

  73. On the Waferfront: Bernstein’s only movie scone.

    Thag

    January 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

  74. Top Gut: Pull too many high-G turns in your Tomcat and your duodenum might try to come out of your mouth.

    Thag

    January 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

  75. North Be Northwest: Cartographic intrigue under the inimitable Hitchcock’s, uh, direction.

    Thag

    January 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  76. Dorky Park: Those Soviets had absolutely no fashion sense.

    Thag

    January 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  77. The Antiquities of the Jaws: There was always something fishy about Josephus’s facts, but this biting account is more frenzied than most.

    Thag

    January 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

  78. Harry Potter and the Giblet of Fire: J.K. Rowling spices up the story with a game of magic chicken.

    Thag

    February 17, 2011 at 7:53 am

  79. Arsenio and Old Lace: Late-night talk show guests are offered some very special elderberry wine backstage by two sweet old ladies.

    Thag

    June 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm


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