First I would like to say this is not my own work. This is the work of the Gawain-poet, and of course the greatest genius of our own time, Mallory Ortberg, one time editor of the greatest online magazine there has ever been, The Toast.
But Christmas can be a tough time, family-social-wise, and everyone needs a good tale to tell. My gift to you this year, is the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Mallory’s version pretty much hits the nail on the head in terms of the general wackiness of the original, but if that’s not enough for you, why not treat yourself to the baffling film version, which features a half-shirtless, green glittery Sean Connery in the role of the Green Knight. None of it makes sense, but then again, none of the original does either!
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has everything. Conflicting promises, dubious bets, a psychotically sexually aggressive woman who doesn’t even get her own name, and our hero’s assertion, in his final hour, that every mistake he has made is the fault of all women. What more could you want at Christmas? Gratuitous sex(ism), gratuitous violence and a pair of magic pants – the medieval world is weird, wacky and beautiful, and Gawain and the Green Knight makes every Christmas a merry one.