Once upon a time a gallant young fellow named d’Artagnan met three dashing musketeers who had such splendid moustaches and pantaloons that he immediately knew his life’s ambition was to become one of them. Their names were Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
“What must I do to join your honorable band?” he asked, hat in hand.
“Why, yon ambitious chappie,” they replied in unison (and in French), “thou must lead us forth into an escapade so dastardly and heroic and complex that we cannot but admit you to our fraternity.”
“Will there be much fighting?” d’Artagnan ventured, for it was his great hope to secure some gruesome scars with which to impress the ladies back in Gascony.
“What do you think these fine instruments of disembowelment are for?” the three musketeers noted in unison (and in French), brandishing their gleaming swords, “picking our teeth?”
“Of course not, your majesties,” replied d’Artagnan. “When do we begin?”
“Chapter 11,” I do believe, Porthos said before his companions could get a word in edgeways. Immediately they turned upon him to argue the point in dramatically hushed but semi-audible whispers.
“Chapter 11,” they answered in unison (and in French), “for that is the chapter In Which The Plot Thickens.”
To cut a long story short, much adventure was had involving women, jewels, royalty and high jinx. True to their word, the three musketeers were compelled to add d’Artagnan to their rank, whereupon they presented him with a golden cutlass like their own, and a dashing pair of blue satin pantaloons so that he may look the part.
To celebrate, they took him out to dine at an establishment that catered especially to musketeers where the specialty of the house was a serving plate as big as a house made from solid brass, and upon this plate were enormous balls of deep fried corned beef balls. The merry party downed their beer and commenced to attack their balls with their weapons as is customary in those parts.
Halfway through the maître’d asked everyone to stand back and snapped this photograph for posterity.