Will You Marry Us?

“Will you marry us?” she asked.

She sat next to her fiancée in my kitchen. I’d known him for a while. They’d requested this meeting.

“You guys have been together for years, yes?” I asked, knowing they lived on St. John in the Caribbean, but had grown up in New Hampshire. Old friends with my son Chris, they’d invited him to visit them in paradise more than once. They nodded and explained how they’d heard my work over the years and wanted me to marry them. Flattered, I told them I’d never done that, but thought to myself that since I’m not a pastor, priest or rabbi, I’d probably need to become a Justice of the Peace. No sense collaborating on an artful wedding ceremony only to end up with a marriage that’s, well, not legal.

How, I wondered, does one become a Justice of the Peace?

Well, eight months have passed since then and now I, Bodkin the Storyteller, am indeed a Justice of the Peace. Vetted by the State of New Hampshire and found to be free of criminality and general malfeasance, I have been certified by the governor’s fresh signature. Since I’m able to preside over a marriage that will be enshrined in the State’s official records forever, I hold a public office of sorts. A sacred trust.

I can marry people.

Bear in mind, though, that New Hampshire is a quirky little state. Our Live Free or Die motto? Everybody’s heard it and rolled their eyes. Our first in the nation primary? Everybody despises us for it. Our lack of a motorcycle helmet law? Bikers love it and flock here in June just to ride free in the wind. But what many people don’t know is that here in NH, if you’re a Justice of the Peace, not only can you marry people, you can also issue warrants for their arrest.

There’s a joke in there somewhere but it eludes me.

Or anybody’s arrest, for that matter, at the request of a peace officer. No kidding. That power is conferred along with the appointment.

Issuing arrest warrants feels so diametrically opposed to uniting people in matrimony, it’s almost funny. When I applied, I didn’t know I’d be granted this second power. Then again, I doubt I will ever be tapped to do it. What peace officer in his right mind is going to come to me? Besides, we have plenty of good judges.

I’ll just stick with marriages.

 

“To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, til death do you part?”

“I do.”

“I do.”

“Good. I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

 

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

So listen up, all you fiancees out there. Yes, I’ll give you a storyteller’s wedding, replete with stories, harp music, wit and poetry, and then I’ll issue you a marriage certificate.

Just be sure to keep your wedding vows.

Otherwise, I might issue an arrest warrant.

 

A REVIEW FROM NORMAN CHIANG: Odds Bodkin Audios

All Collections + Bundle reviewed by norman.chiang

Odds’ storytelling – including sound effects, voice, music, pacing, wit and style – is both versatile and relevant. It is a talent that needs witnessing and preservation. All the stories I’ve so far listened to have been precise and polished, a cut above anything else I’ve seen from others at live shows and readings. Odds is a true artist, who understands the weight of virtue and fiction. A true role model for the ages. This is one of the best (if not the best purchases/investments) I’ve made all year. I’m excited to share it with my family. At $99, this is really quite a steal … given The Odyssey alone is worth as much. (Not to mention, other such amazing series in this collection – Hercules, The Hidden Grail, etc…)

NOW ON SALE FOR $74.95! GET YOURS TODAY!

Story Time with Odds Bodkin on Facebook Live for Thursday, April 2: THE TALE OF THE KITTENS

Each day this week Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will tell a different music-filled story from his collection of tales for children.

The performances are at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re a mom or dad with kids at home during this scary time and you need a break, then sit the kids down for a story with wild characters, amazing sound effects and a live score on 12-string guitar.

On Thursday, April 2nd, at 12 noon EST, he’ll perform THE TALE OF THE KITTENS, a wondrous Italian fairy tale with a song to learn.

Follow Odds Bodkin at

https://www.facebook.com/oddsbodkin/

and join him on April 2 at 12 noon EST.

Please share with friends and family!

Visit Odds Bodkin’s Download Store for hours of listening!

 

Odds Bodkin’s Show of Viking Lore and Two Long Myths This Friday in NH

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS is Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin’s full evening of adult storytelling entertainment. Thunderous music on two different 12-string guitars plays like a movie score as Odds creates voices for Thor, Loki, Odin, along with numerous giants and mortals. Plus, as he plays Celtic harp, this storyteller delves into Viking lore–how the Medieval Warm Period opened up Europe to the Vikings, how Russia is named after them, the color of their tattoos, how they believed in Nine Worlds, even how our days of the week are named after Viking gods.

The two long myths are Thor and Loki Journey to Utgard and The Mead of Poetry.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $ 20 at the door.

 

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

FRIDAY JAN. 17 AT 7 PM

ZINGER’S IN MILFORD, NH

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

 

LOVE STORIES on Feb. 10 at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA

Odds Bodkin performs WORLDS APART: Tales for Lovers on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm as he returns to Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. A Japanese tale of love and greed, and a hilarious but moving Arthurian tale of beauty, ugliness and love.

Bring someone you love, or would like to, and settle in for some sophisticated adult story entertainment. Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp.

TICKETS: $15 BUY NOW

WORLDS APART: Tales for Lovers at Grendel’s Den…Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm

Sir Gawain is not only handsome beyond words, he’s a humble and gentle man in his day-to-day dealings with women. On the male side of the equation, however, he’s a powerful knight, feared in combat, who may well kill you if he has reason to.

As his code of chivalry demands, he treats women with the utmost deference, thinking of them as sacred beings. As he passes by, the young women of Camelot catch their breath and swoon. They all think of him as “the best man in England”. For that time and place, he might well be.

But as King Arthur’s best friend, his loyalty is about to be tested. In order to save Arthur’s life, Gawain is about to promise to marry a woman–sight unseen—who he’s been told by Arthur is the ugliest, foulest, smelliest woman on earth. Hideous beyond belief. The antithesis of feminine beauty.

Still, Gawain promises to marry her.

The Dame Ragnell is a six-hundred-year-old story Odds Bodkin tells with character voices and music on 12-string guitar. Although it’s filled with laughs, it speaks to eternal questions of love and beauty, and asks the most dangerous question of all: “What does a woman desire most?”

It’s one of two love tales I’ll be telling for WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

 

Worlds Apart: Tales for Lovers

An Adult Storytelling for Valentine’s Day with Odds Bodkin

Sunday, February 10th at 5:30 p.m.

Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

TICKETS: $15

The Takeover Before Christmas

The Takeover Before Christmas
A Rhyme by Odds Bodkin

‘Twas the month before Christmas, fifty-seventh floor.
The Chairman of the Board had just stormed in the door.
All the VPs tugged their collars and started to sweat.
He looked about as mad as a Chairman could get.

He yelled, “I hear there’s competition coming from up north!”
Then he swiped at his iPhone, looking back and forth.
“And yes, I’ve looked into the problem, figured out the cause.
Some old man working nights they call Santa Claus.”

So they filed a complaint with the SEC,
Said this Santa Claus guy’s got a monopoly.
Why, all the children in the world wait for him to appear!
So what if he delivers only one night a year?

So they wrote him out a writ that read from left to right,
Hired a hundred lawyers in case he put up a fight,
And they flew in their choppers up to the North Pole.
From his parka, the Chairman stared out at the cold:

“Santa Claus, Santa Clause, where do you belong?
I’m gonna send you down south to an old folks’ home.
Kick your feet up in the sun on Biscayne Bay,
And let the snow in your soul, melt away.”

Well, Santa welcomed in those hostile takeover guys,
Dressed in striped shirts, suspenders, and little bow ties,
But before he could get in any words edgewise
They slapped him with the writ, then offered compromise.

They said, “It’s cold and you’re old and elves aren’t that much fun.
Wouldn’t you rather be golfing down in the sun?
Where the beach people mingle and play all day?
Here’s a solid gold watch. We’ll give you severance pay.”

But Santa looked at them all and pulled on his glove.
“‘Tis a long way from earth, to heaven above.
And between, there are children. Not all are properly loved.”
And between them the old boy shoved.

But the Chairman said, “Wait! Someone’s getting bilked!
We’ve heard you’ve taken bribes of cookies and milk!
And that you’ve flown without a license in restricted airspace!
So either go down south, Santa, or go down in disgrace!”

Well, they flew old broken Santa down to Key Biscayne,
Where the only snow that ever falls is rain.
They traded in his snowsuit for sandals and lotion,
And left him in a beach chair, looking out at the ocean.

Meanwhile up north, poor Rudolf went out of his mind,
And elves showed up in unemployment lines.
And all the letters from the children lay unopened, unread,
For Santa Claus was gone. The Christmas Spirit seemed dead.

That Christmas Eve, the world’s children, all snug in bed,
Had fitful dreams as chopper blades roared overhead.
Down the chimneys fell presents, all wrapped by machine,
With computer bills that read, “Send no money ‘til spring.”

Meanwhile, down south, old Santa was a different man,
Betting fantasy football and sporting a tan.
He drove a fifty-seven Ford with lots of polished wood,
And instead of reindeer, had horses, under the hood.

But the tan and the shades, they were all just for show.
For though the beaches were white, they weren’t white as snow.
And though on Christmas Eve all the presents came,
To the kids, it just wasn’t the same.

But the TV’s cried out, “Sure the toys are the same!
So somebody else brought them? Hey, what’s in a name?
Oh, yes, and “Dear Santa” letters don’t apply anymore.
Just cross out “North Pole.” Write: “Fifty-seventh floor.”

And sure enough, the next Christmas, all the letters poured in,
All addressed in crayon, filling bin after bin,
And the Chairman saw his future––endless Christmas bull markets––
As he jumped from his limo and told his chauffeur to park it.

But imagine his surprise. His office was a tomb.
His golden parachute was falling toward financial doom.
The firm was in trouble. It was all on his head!
For they’d opened all those letters and every last one had said:

“We the kids of the world, we don’t think it’s funny,
How you took Santa’s love and all that’s left is money.
Our parents think so, too, and promise they’ll assist us.
So either bring Santa back or we’ll boycott Christmas!”

Well, the Chairman, he resigned. I mean, circumstances forced him.
He lost his limo, stocks and bonds. His lovely wife divorced him.
Salvation Army took him in and served him soup and fruit.
Next day he showed up at the mall dressed in a Santa suit.

So Christmas was put back to the way it once had been.
Santa blew out his Ford, but quickly traded it in,
Rounded up all his reindeer, got his elves off the dole,
And headed north listening to rock’n’roll.

Yes, Santa got back to the snow and ice
And started keeping his list of who’s naughty and nice,
And he wrote the world’s kids and said, “Thanks. Glad you missed us.
Peace on Earth. Rudolf’s fine. Oh, and Merry Christmas.”

 


 

Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas to All!

Odds Bodkin’s MASTER DRIVE

Long summer drives are coming. If you want quiet, utterly absorbed kids in the car listening to stories and building their imaginations, here’s the answer.

 

Get it here. Ships fast via Priority Mail.

“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–WIRED

STORYTELLING LOVERS DISCOVER THE EPIC DRIVE

STORYTELLING LOVERS DISCOVER THE EPIC DRIVE

Fans of storytelling have discovered Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE, the product that contains all this master storyteller’s musical spoken-word works. From adventure epics to titles for young children, the flash drive, loaded with mp3s and cover art, arrives in the mail. Plug it in and load eighteen widely varying titles, from The Odyssey for teens to The Little Proto Trilogy for young kids.

Meaningful, ethical stories with a plus: original music, character voices and vivid vocal effects!

Support creativity and mental health in your family by listening together and discussing these classic stories. Kids never forget. Get yours today.

THE EPIC DRIVE: All Odds Bodkin’s Stories!

What a Night! Sold out in Cambridge…

What a night I had Sunday evening at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, my adult show of Viking myths, was sold out, which was great, of course, but the highlight was when the audience sang with me.

For the second long tale, The Mead of Poetry, I wrote a song that the lonely but deadly giantess, Gunlod, sings in her cave in the heart of a mountain. Her father has commanded her to guard the magical mead, an elixir brewed from Odin’s best friend’s blood. His friend has been murdered for it, and Odin is on a quest to return it to Asgard where it belongs.

As he approaches Gunlod’s cave, he hears

One soul, lost in loneliness/Down in the dark where nobody dares to go

One soul, none will ever see/My father’s will has now imprisoned me

Guard it, he says/Guard it, he says/Guard it. Let no one touch it at all.

I sang this in Gunlod’s voice, but then invited the audience to sing it with me. What a moment! In natural voice I sang, and lo, all those nice people joined in on the haunting tune. The room rang with men’s and women’s voices. They learned it almost immediately. Nice moment, along with all the laughs I heard throughout the two stories.

For New Hampshire audiences, I’ll be reprising this show this coming Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 pm at Schoodacs Coffeehouse in Warner, NH. Intimate setting. Tickets are $15.

The show begins with little-known Viking lore, accompanied by Celtic harp music, then moves to Thor’s Journey to Utgard, a hilarious and magical adventure that Thor and Loki experience with Frost Giants (12-string guitar score), and then The Mead of Poetry (with a second 12-string). It’s fine for older kids, but is essentially an adult show.

So if you’d like to immerse in some adult storytelling, and even learn about the Medieval Climate Optimum and how we got our days of the week, come!

A Childhood Dinosaur Storytelling Epic

Imagine you’re four to seven years old and you love dinosaurs. You’ve seen movies like Land Before Time and The Good Dinosaur, but there’s not much else other than books full of dinosaur pictures and fluffy cartoons where nothing happens. You’re still a little too young for Jurassic Park. Still, you love T-Rexes and Stegosaurs because they’re so huge, and you don’t mind dinosaurs who talk like people because, well, you’re a kid.

Still, with all that, nothing has prepared you for The Little Proto Trilogy, once your parents buy it for you. Suddenly you’re in a sonic world of dinosaur sounds, voices and 12-string guitar music. And these dinosaurs don’t just talk, they have endearing personalities and even sing songs. They’re funny, at least the civilized ones. They’re named Tex, Colette, Old Wrinkles, Bump, Ankles, King Geoffrey and Plessy. But your favorite voice, the young hero of all three adventures, is Little Proto.

He’s a Protoceratops. He’s not very big, but he’s gutsy, funny and compassionate.

As Proto grows up, he befriends Old Wrinkles the Triceratops, although Proto’s never quite sure if his wise mentor really is the Vanished One-Horned King of the Great Migration herds. King Geoffrey the T-Rex has sworn off eating dinosaurs as long as he has plenty of fish brought to him. Despite King Geoffrey’s aloof manner, he burps horribly and has terrible bad breath. The two old dinos, former enemies, now grumpy old friends, save Proto’s life more than once in the tales.

But Proto’s best friends are Plessy the Plesiosaur, who lives in the sea and swims up Big River to play with the boys, Ankles the Ankylosaur, who wants to swim but can’t because of his armor plates, and Bump, the Pachycephalosaurus. Proto meets Bump just after Proto escapes the winged thieves of Pteranodon Gorge. Bump has a bone dome on top of his head and likes to bump things with it. He’s an orphan, and so Proto’s mom and dad have adopted him and he’s like Proto’s silly brother. They all live together in the Sea Forest, a protected world of peaceful dinosaurs. But things don’t stay peaceful for long, just like in real life.

If you’re that kid whose parents buy The Little Proto Trilogy (no CDs, just mp3s), you won’t know or care that the stories are Parents’ Choice award-winning storytelling audios. You’ll just enter a world of pure imagination and you’ll fall asleep listening to them, over and over again.

PS: at 3 hours and 20 minutes across all three tales, it really is an epic. Hear a sample and buy it here.

Crazy, Fun, Light-Hearted Stories for a Strange Time this Sunday in NH

When times appear dire, there’s nothing like some meaningful, innocent humor to revive the spirit. This Sunday night August 20th at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH, I won’t be offering long, powerful myths like The Odyssey or Beowulf. Instead, the show is called THE LIGHTER SIDE OF ODDS BODKIN and the stories are unashamedly funny and innocent. You’ll even get to sing if you like.

The show is at 7 pm. The only adult themes will be stewardship, cleverness and civilized wisdom. You’ll laugh, I guarantee it.

Tickets are $10 in advance here, or $12 at the door.

Come refresh yourself!