words by G. A. Skoog design by C. J.


tune: Tempus Adest Floridum, 1582 harm. by Edward L. Stauff

1. Good King Whats - his - name looked out 2. “Wea - ther’s harsh,” she did a - gree. 3. Er - in’s dan - cing still this year, 4. Mol - ly rocked the sixth - grade play. 5. Last one born but first one heard,

on Sar - tell/ St. “Di - et Coke’s con Sa - bre team looks She e - nun - ci Clau - di - a’s e -

Ste - phen. geal - ing. gr - eat. at - ed. la - ted.

When the snow lay Di - git- numb - ing Ev - ery - one, her “Laugh’d and cried,” the Guar - an - teed the

all a - bout ag - on - y, wrath should fear cri - tics say. fi - nal word,

’round that house he lived in. Fin - ger - tips lose feel - ing. If they don’t make Sta te. Five stars, she was ra - ted. Once they’ve grad - u - a ted.

Bright Jo Quinn’s Josh May -

ly sie’s new keeps be

smiled start thing talk once

his ed is ing she’s

Queen col ka on moved

at last, lege though, ra te. the trails. out too,

though the frost Ta - king lots Pun - ches, kicks Moun - tain bike King and Queen

was of and dis will

cru pho spar cus move

el. tos. ring. sions. south.

“Why do Back and Sharp and Climb - ing Then a -

we stay forth to crisp like hills and gain, we

here?” he asked. “Darn kids and their school she’ll go. Long com - mu - ting bis - cot - ti. Foes e - mo - tions, plung - ing Vales, So far no con al - ways knew, He’s no ac - tion -

scho blo scar cus all


ol.” ws. ring. sions. mouth.

Keep up with us all year long at http://skoog.typepad.com/nothingbox/

Good King Whatshisname, Revisited
most are familiar with the tune of this beloved Christmas standard, few have actually learned the lyrics or remember that there really was a Whatshisname in the early 21st century. Whatshisname and his considerable family lived on the frigid, desolate plains of Central Minnesota. History is unclear as to whether this was intentional or part of some sort of forced exile from somewhere better.


wasn’t truly a king, but rather a homeowner and copywriter of little historical import. Worth noting, however, were the accomplishments and attributes of his beloved queen, Corinne, and the six children of their blended family.

In 2009, the year the carol was originally penned, the House of Whatshisname endured
considerable hardships, both financial and medical. Corporate bankruptcy had whisked away any fleeting dreams of luxurious retirement. And a particularly painful recurring bill dragged itself through 2009 as it had through the several years prior.

Meanwhile, a debilitating plague of whooping cough in the springtime reduced most of the
family to spasmodically gagging wraiths for at least a month or two. And a diverse collection of influenza strains combined to befuddle the castle throughout the fall.

But the family was strong-willed and resilient – happy in faith and confident in the future. So

blessed were they, in fact, that they were able to take trips to sunny Sun City in March and to the fabulous Bugbee Hive Resort on Bee-Utiful Lake Koronis (www.bugbeehiveresort.com) in August.

And so the family persevered through their self-described “year of maintenance” with humble
patience and quiet confidence. Tirelessly through the spring and early summer, Whatshisname and his charges toiled to clean up the castle grounds in time for Josie’s graduation party in July. Neverending piles of landscape rock were shaken, sifted, cleaned and repositioned. Knuckles were scraped and backs were strained, but spirits were lifted by the arrival of a gigantic, five-burner gas grill. There was much rejoicing.

In fact, in spite of the many hardships, that year was truly filled with joy and good cheer. Erin’s
dance team appeared in the state finals at the Target Center in February. Josie made a trip to New Orleans with her high school choir (while everyone else made the aforementioned trip to Arizona) in March. Josh and Molly tried their hands at competitive swimming in April. Whatshisname ran the Apple Duathlon in under two hours with whooping cough and a flat tire. Josie graduated in June. In August, Molly, Claudia and a handful of cousins ran the Green Lake Kids Triathlon. And, while Whatshisname and his sister, Christine, ran the full adult triathlon, Corinne and Whatshisname’s parents (Tom and Janet) ran the race as a team! Josie started college in August. Quinn and Claudia competed at the Diamond Nationals karate tournament in October. And so on, and so on…

For these reasons, as the oft-hummed-but-seldom-sung Christmas carol tells, Whatshisname
continued his uncomfortably cold confinement in Minnesota – at least for a few more years.

Cast of Characters
King Whatshisname
Writer of wrongs, racer of races and firm believer in the power of the rally cap.

Queen Corinne

Battle-scarred mountain biker, household project samurai and newly crowned cooker of all things curry.

Princess Josie

Professional photographer (paid internships count!) and nonrecovering anime-niac. (18)

Princess Erin

Dancer, choreographer and legally licensed road warrior. (16)

Prince Quinn

Knowledge bowler, three-inch puncher and soon-to-be-owner of the sweetest ’stache in town. (13)

Princess Molly

Certified babysitter, Facebook fanatic and living proof that she knows better than you. (12)

Prince Josh

Raving rabid, guinea pig whisperer and general strong, silent type. (11)

Princess Claudia

Karate kid, rampaging extrovert and all-around piece-of-work in progress. (10)