When you’re laying around sick you don’t have a lot of energy for intense reading, and laughter makes great medicine (though rather poor cough syrup). I delighted in this little jewel of writing today, and thought you might too. It’s been standard reading in anthropology departments since it was published in 1966, mostly for what it says about communicating between cultures, but surely also for its charm and hilarity. I’m surprised I’ve never run across it before. You only need to know the bare outline of the plot of Hamlet to get the jokes. If not there’s always Dr. Sparky Sweets. Just remember that Laertes is the son of Polonius (and brother of Ophelia) who gets sent away at the beginning of the play. Also Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the “age mates” who try to pump Hamlet for information early on, then later accompany Hamlet to England, bringing with them a sealed letter from Claudius that instructs the King of England to execute Hamlet immediately.