The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse; Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddin, by Sir Henry Raeburn
Lady Shalott gazes at her reflection in the water as she drifts along: “Rowing for the Summer Olympics is in just 3 weeks! Like noble Cleopatra, I too have the strength of a Greek athlete within me, and I will make it across the Panama Canal. My beloved Robert would be so proud of me. Too proud to bear it, I like to think. He shall probably buy a bed of roses to lie in before he must continue training for the winter Olympics”
Meanwhile, Robert glides: “Ever since I was a young man, to be an Olympic ice skating champion has been my dream. To let my penguin tail flap in the wind would be my pride. We can be a power couple in our own right, like Sonny and Cher…yes, we should name our first son Chaz.”
That night, as Lady Shalott dozed off, Robert sat there watching her sleep. Suddenly, he jumped out of bed and threw cold water on both of them. “Lady, my Olympic flame burns when I watch you sleep. You see, I have found Faust’s secret knowledge and I can hold this back no longer. It’s like a constant rain cloud over me, and I can only find peace when I pirouette.”
“Well, Robert, you should probably find a way to tame this flame or else Zeus might make you commit seppuku for this outrage against manhood. But I will support you anyway because I love you”
Robert got back in the cold bed and curled up next to Lady Shallot, thankful for her goodness.
At the Olympics, as Miss Shalott stood waiting for her event to start as she watches the long jump competition. She saw the last competitor of the event, number 902, and found herself admiring his eminetly frog-like legs. He could carry her over a river, and no heavy traffic could stop them from crossing a road. She watched in earnest as he soared through the air, and landed farther than all the rest. He jumped up, pumping his fist, and declared that all his earnings would go to PETA.
Robert came up behind her and gave her a squeeze and she screamed.
She hurried to the bathroom and splashed her face with water, but she continued to swell with desire. She wiped soap across her cheeks, trying to exorcise the demons that forced their way into her mind. But there was no luck left for her. She was deeply disturbed.