Shakespeare Writes Clickbait
The theaters were closed by plague. Again.
Will needed to make some money, fast.
He had a wife and two daughters to feed,
A bolt-hole in the country to fund,
And that second-best bed had seen better days.
Googling, he spotted a sponsored link:
Online copywriters wanted.
Must be able to intrigue
and entice in pithy phrases.
Get paid per click.
Hmm, he thought.
I can do that.
Brevity is the soul of wit, after all.
He practiced on some of his greatest hits.
The Merchant of Venice became
Three-chested Italian woman must meet one weird condition.
These old hags started speaking. You won't believe what happened next.
Richard III was
Fake King has hunch on horse. Watch him lose it!
A Midsummer Night's Dream simply
Fairy kisses ass.
Will applied for the position
And got a trial.
"Yeah," said Jordan,
A 23-year old digital media studies graduate
Who was now, essentially, his boss, "You just write stuff like that, but for diet pills and shit."
At first, he toed the line.
This Stratford-upon-Avon woman saved farthings on plague insurance. Find out how!
Seven ways to cook crow. The fifth will leave thee speechless.
What these royal courtiers look like now is shocking. Click for pox pics!
But, soon, he had to push the boundaries,
And, well, "Shakespeare it up" a bit.
Think love is blind? Hundreds of shapely men and women in thine area now, with lips like blesséd pilgrims, just waiting for thy tender kiss.
Want stains to vanish into thin air? Scottish housewives go mad for this trick to get out damned spots.
To sue, or not to sue: that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer a whiplash injury or litigate and thou could be thousands richer...
"Will," messaged Jordan.
"Tone it down.
Rein it in.
It's just for clicks, remember."
But it was no use. However hard he tried,
The words came tumbling out,
Now in iambic pentameter
And rhyming couplets.
A mere one thousand of these coins be cast,
It is high time thou ordered thine at last!
Its rear displays the Yankees sign, i'truth,
And on its face the visage of Babe Ruth,
Its shining luster like a gilded dream
(Caution: may not be gold e'en if it gleam).
Jordan facetimed Will.
"Man, it's not working out. It sounds awesome, yeah. But most people can't understand
what you're going on about.
Got an idea.
You ever heard of an End User License Agreement...?"
Will set to work.
This new gig would put all his literary prowess to the test:
These ts and cs are binding as the knot
That twines around young lovers' hearts, and not-
Withstanding what thou wantest later,
We have consent to store, and use, thy data
Whichever way we choose, forsooth 'tis true,
Just click to say "I do agree hereto"...
And so it went on.
The finished piece
Was almost as long as the First Folio.
Jordan called, buzzing:
"Will, you nailed it! It's bursting with words but, dude, it's like it's
Will was distracted, though.
He'd just seen an ad that had been following him round the internet:
Check out our new second-best bed range! Click now!