The Demise of Dr. Hornblowerhater
I don't normally feel inclined to write introductions to my
work, but after I wrote "The Demise of Dr. Hornblowerhater", I
decided that a few things would have to be explained. First, I'd
like to dedicate this piece to Steve, who let me keep all his
Hornblower tapes after I'd borrowed them for, um, three months.
Thanks a lot, Steve. Second, I'd like to thank all the wonderful
people who volunteered their screen names for my use. You know who
you are. In fact, you're listed under `dramatis personae'.
This piece is a one act play. I have no objection to your inviting
seventeen close friends to perform it so you can all laugh about it.
I mean, of course, CLOSE friends who will not call the nearest
psychiatric ward to have you admitted.
It is also important to note that this play makes no effort
logical. It defies logic. Don't bother trying.
The cast list is quite long, because the play kept on getting
spiralling onward with no end in sight. It was all I could do to
keep up with it. So it quickly went from being `a rather
ridiculously short one act play brought to you by Lydia' to `a rather
ridiculous not-so-short one act play brought to you by Lydia.'
Then we have the normal disclaimer, the characters of Horatio
Hornblower, Archie Kennedy, Sir Edward Pellew, Captain Hammond and
Captain Collins are not licenced by me, they belong to the estate of
C.S Forester and A&E. The remaining characters, however are my own
Finally, I'd like to thank Papillion, who convinced me that
a good idea. All praise can be sent to me; criticism and assorted
evil press can be sent to her. Let her deal with it.
I think that covers it. No more introduction...on to the good
Enjoy, Lydia :)
The Demise of Doctor Hornblowerhater
A rather ridiculous not-so-short one act play brought to you by Lydia
Dr. Lydia Hornblowerhater, A Very Eminent Psychologist in the
Field of Obsessive Behaviour
Dr. Indigo, assistant to Dr. Hornblowerhater
Dr. Lecter, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent Psychologist
Dr. Fluteface, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Shorty, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent Psychologist
Dr. Papillion, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. SweetLt, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Caloulou, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Bobbi, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent Psychologist
Dr. Capital, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Lindsaygirl, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Papergrl, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Dr. Seasprite, Hornblower fan posing as Very Eminent
Horatio Hornblower, Lieutenant in His Majesty's Royal Navy
Archie Kennedy, Lieutenant in His Majesty's Royal Navy
Sir Edward Pellew, Commodore in His Majesty's Royal Navy
Captain Charles Hammond, that jerk from the court martial
Captain Collins, the other jerk from the court martial
The date is July 3rd, 2001. A lecture hall of a prominent
university. On centre stage is a podium. Set near the podium are
chairs, filled with scientists in business suits, lab coats, and
similar dress. The scientists are conversing quietly upon the
entrance of Dr. Hornblowerhater, a severe young woman in a starkly
tailored business suit. Her blond hair is pulled off her face in a
tight bun, and her blue eyes are cold. She enters from stage right
and stands behind the podium. Her assistant, Dr. Indigo, follows a
few steps behind her. She has a meek, downcast expression, and she
stands motionless behind Dr. Hornblowerhater.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (imperiously), Welcome ladies, fellow
scientists. As you all know, my name is Dr. Lydia Hornblowerhater,
and I am a Very Eminent Psychologist in the Field of Obsessive
Dr. Fluteface: (politely), It is indeed an honour to meet
Hornblowerhater. Your reputation precedes you.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (in condescending tone), Indeed, I found
rather odd that there was an unknown group of scientists who desired
an audience with me. But my trusted assistant, Dr. Indigo (gestures
behind her) has assured me that you are all Very Eminent
Psychologists in your respective fields, so it is worth my time to
speak with you today.
Dr. Papillion: Yes, we're very anxious to discuss your newest paper.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Very well. The following session will
question and answer period focussing on my newest paper, "Horatio
Hornblower and its Negative Characteristics of Obsessive Behaviour
Upon Society". As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, this is a very
ambitious topic that touches us all. I assume you are all familiar
with this paper, and have questions prepared.
Dr. Lecter: (raising hand), Yes. I am curious as to your test
subjects. They are not well defined in your paper, and I was
wondering how you found them.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Well, Doctor (glances down at paper on
Doctor...Lecter? That's a good question.
Dr. Bobbi: (quietly, to Lecter), Dr. Lecter? (shudders)
Jozzie, you couldn't have come up with something else?
Dr. Lecter: (quietly), I like `Dr. Lecter'. (gestures to Dr.
Hornblowerhater's impassive face). Besides, she's not gonna get the
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Well, I actually discovered this major
several years ago, while in private practice. Friends and family of
my patients came to me to complain. Their symptoms included:
constant reading and rereading of the fictional works of C.S
Forester; as well as the habit of continually watching several movies
broadcast by A&E; and frequenting certain message boards at the
oddest of hours.
Dr. Shorty: Was there a pattern here?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Indeed there was, Dr. Shorty. The books
all part of Forester's popular series, Horatio Hornblower, about a
young naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars. The aforementioned
movies are known under the titles of, "The Duel"; "Fire Ships"; "The
Duchess and the Devil"; "The Wrong War"; "Mutiny";
and "Retribution". The message boards are all devoted to this
(slight pause) Horatio Hornblower character.
Dr. Seasprite: How did you treat these patients?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (slightly annoyed), As I mentioned in
paper, I attempted my normal treatment of obsessive behaviour. These
patients, however, proved remarkably resistant to treatment. One
patient insisted on being addressed as "MoreArchie", for some
reason. During her sessions, she did nothing but moan: "They killed
Archie...bring Archie back" over and over and over. It was quite
Dr. Fluteface: (whispering to Dr. SweetLt) They should have
her a spell in the rigging. (SweetLt giggles).
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Excuse me, what did you say?
Dr. SweetLt: (smothering laughter) Nothing.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (looking placated), Very well. Are there
Dr. Caloulou: Actually, I was wondering, do you think the Horatio
Hornblower phenomenon has any redeeming qualities whatsoever?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (flushing), Well, from my research,
Dr. Caloulou: You mean you've never read any of the books?
Dr. SweetLt: Or watched any of the movies?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (turning to face SweetLt), No! I most
have not! What would the use be? My research has been exhaustive!
Why should I waste my time watching movies about a silly Welsh boy
faking a British accent, with a best friend who has fits...
(Dr. Hornblowerhater turns to address Caloulou's question,
not see Dr. SweetLt leaping from her chair towards the podium, a look
of fury on her face. She snarls, baring all her teeth. SweetLt is
restrained by Drs. Papillion and Fluteface, who pull her forcibly
back into her seat.)
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (irritated), This `phenomenon', as you term
it, Dr. Caloulou, as far as I can tell, has only negative effects.
The lack of interest my patients have shown in reality is
frightening. They try to live in a world that has not existed for
two hundred years!
Dr. Bobbi: (puzzled), But don't the same moral values exist
existed then? Horatio Hornblower exhibits many good qualities:
friendship, loyalty, duty, quick thinking. Aren't these qualities
still sought after in today's world?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: You don't sound like a psychologist to
sound more like theologian!
Dr. Capital: So you don't accept the qualities of any of the
characters as being relevant to today's society? Take Horatio, for
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (in biting tone), Oh, you're on a first
basis with these characters now, are you?
Dr. Lecter: (leaping from chair), That's it! I've had enough
this girl dissing Horatio! Let's get her, ladies! (All Doctors
converge on podium).
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (panicked), You mean you're not all Very
Dr. Papillion: H*ll, no! I don't know about the rest of
these "doctors", but I'm extremely right-brained. I don't even know
how to work my coffee maker!
Dr. Fluteface: That goes double for me!
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (turning toward Dr. Indigo), B-but,
assistant assured me you were all Very Emin-
Dr. Indigo: (grinning evilly), Ah, Dr. Hornblowerhater, I've
awaiting this moment for a long time. For years, you've sought to
discredit Horatio Hornblower and the wonderful impact it has had on
so many. Well now, it's your turn to be discredited...Bwa-ha-ha-ha-
Dr. Caloulou: Easy there, Dr. Indigo.
Dr. Lindsaygirl: (shaking head sadly) Poor thing, she's gone
from too many years in the company of that quack.
Dr. Bobbi: (shouting), Come on in, boys!
(Enter from stage right, Horatio Hornblower, Archie Kennedy,
Commodore Pellew. Archie is immediately surrounded by SweetLt and
Fluteface, who gaze at him with adoring faces.)
Archie: (beaming), Hello, ladies. Nice to see you again.
here as soon as we heard you call.
(SweetLt falls into a dead swoon of pleasure at Archie's words
dragged to stage left by Bobbi and Lecter.)
Dr. Fluteface: (quietly), Hee hee, he's all mine now.
Archie: What did you say?
Dr. Fluteface: (innocently), Er, nothing.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (angry), Very clever, you fake Very
Psychologists. Hiring Ioan Gruffudd, Jamie Bamber, and Robert
Lindsay to dress up in period costume and disrupt my session!
Horatio: (to Archie and Pellew), Who are these Ioan, Jamie
Robert persons that everybody keeps mentioning around us?
Archie: (scrunching his nose in confusion), Ioan? Sounds
Dr. Papillion: (grabbing Horatio's arm), Oh, don't worry
that, boys. It's nothing important.
Horatio: (smiling at Papillion), Ah, yes. I've often found
when you fine ladies summon us, it's best if we don't ask too many
questions. It gets far too confusing.
Dr. Caloulou: (aside, to Capital), I thought Archie was dead.
Dr. Capital: (glancing around nervously), Shhh! Don't let
hear you. He's alive because we've summoned them by our belief in
their existence, so it really doesn't matter if Archie is dead.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (hearing Capital's words, sneers), Really?
that what it is? These men are just figments of your imagination!
Pellew: (bellowing in that great voice of his), Figments
imagination?!? I've never been so insulted in my entire life,
madam! How dare you?
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (cowering behind podium), On the other
maybe they are real. I've never seen an illusion that could yell
Pellew: (placated), That's much better.
Horatio: Anyway, we're here because we have some questions
on this so-
called paper of yours. (Waves copy of "Horatio Hornblower and its
Negative Characteristics of Obsessive Behaviour Upon Society", with
an adorable look of contempt on his face).
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (incredulous), You've read it?
Archie: Of course! Dr. Shorty was kind enough to send us all
of this, and I forced myself to read it! It's simply thirty pages of
drivel insulting Horatio and his wonderful qualities! This has got
to be scientific fraud!
All Doctors: (yelling), Scientific fraud! Scientific fraud!
Horatio: (quietly, to Archie), What the h*ll does `scientific
Archie: (grinning), No idea. But it sounds impressive, does it not?
All Doctors: (yelling), Scientific fraud! Scientific fraud!
Pellew: (in deep, sonorous voice), SILENCE!
(All doctors immdiately cease chanting and stare at Pellew
respect, with the exception of Dr. Lindsaygirl).
Dr. Lindsaygirl: (sighing), Oh, he's so forceful. (Faints
in a dead
swoon. Is dragged over to join the unconscious form of SweetLt on
stage left by Papergrl and Seasprite).
Dr. Papergrl: (muttering to Seasprite), Oh, you can't let
Sir Edward, this happens every time, and who always gets to drag her
over to the corner?
Dr. Seasprite: Oof! You and I, that's who. I really wish
faint with pleasure every time Pellew raised his voice.
Pellew: Dr. Lydia Hornblowerhater, you have been charged with
crime of scientific fraud, and a court martial was convened to decide
your fate. (Enter Captains Hammond and Collins from stage right).
Hammond: (grumbling), I don't see why we had to come all this
Mr. Horn-blore. This is certainly a waste of my time. Hang this Dr.
Hornblowerhater from the nearest yardarm and be done with it.
Collins: Oh stop it, Chuck. That's your answer to everything,
it? Stretch somebody's neck and everything will be all better. No,
Commodore Pellew said this required a more (winces) inventive
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (angry), A court martial?!? How am
defend myself in such an archaic court of law?
Archie: (looking satisfied), You can't. Somebody always ends
getting convicted, and somebody always dies...normally the sweet,
self-sacrificing, adorably sensitive one...
(All Doctors begin to sob. They launch themselves at Horatio,
and Pellew, to cry on their broad shoulders).
Horatio: (staggers under sudden weight of Drs. Bobbi, Shorty,
Papillion, and Papergrl) Sheesh, Archie, will you let it go? Look,
you've made everybody cry!
Archie: (smiling apologetically), Sorry, ladies. It's okay.
Dr. Caloulou: (sniffling), How can anybody resist him when
Dr. Hornblowerhater: Excuse me? I hate to interrupt this emotionally
fraught moment and all, but I'm the one facing the court martial!
Can we focus on me, here?
Dr. Lecter: Geez, somebody's feeling a little self-centred,
Hammond: (smugly), No, Dr. Hornblowerhater is correct.
focus on her. In fact, I can answer all your questions about your
court martial. You were found guilty. (Smiles with satisfied
amusement) There is absolutely nothing you can do.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (exploding), What!?! How can my court
be conducted without me?
Pellew: (irritated), It was felt by some that this fanfic
already entirely too long, and to show your court-martial would take
far too much time.
Collins: Besides, this appealed much more to Captain Hammond's
Archie: (aside, to Horatio), I figured that those two had
here for some reason.
Horatio: It certainly wasn't for comic relief.
Pellew: (again in deep, sonorous voice), So. Dr. Lydia
Hornblowerhater, in connection with your crimes relating to your
scientific fraud, I sentence you to a period of no less then ten
Dr. Papergrl: Flogging round the fleet!
Dr. Papillion: Hanging from the yardarm!
Dr. Capital: Running the gauntlet!
Dr. Indigo: A spell in the riggings!
Dr. Shorty: Getting shot by a nameless, uncredited marine!
Horatio and Archie: What? (BOTH scrunch up their noses in confusion.
This is too much for Bobbi, who faints at the sight. Is dragged over
to growing stack of unconscious females on stage left by Caloulou and
Dr. Shorty: Never mind.
Pellew: These are fine ideas, ladies, but in the end, these
suitable punishments for a criminal of the calibre of Dr.
Hornblowerhater. No, her punishment shall fit her crime...
Dr. Indigo: (eagerly), Sir, might I? I've spent the longest
her company, after all.
Pellew: (smiling indulgently), Go ahead, Dr. Indigo.
Dr. Indigo: (doing best Pellew impression), Dr. Hornblowerhater,
are hereby sentenced to a period of not less than ten years to watch
all the A&E original movie presentations of Horatio Hornblower, as
well as reading all the original works of C.S Forester pertaining to
Dr Hornblowerhater: WHAT?!?
Dr. Indigo: This entire sentence shall be carried out in the
of these excellent Hornblower fans, the fake Very Eminent
Psychologists. We feel that we can teach you in these ten years to
appreciate Horatio Hornblower for all its majestic glory and creative
Dr. Lecter: (impressed), Wow, that was poetic.
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (desperately), No! No! Please, anything
this! (Turns towards Horatio and Archie). Please, grant me some
Archie: H*ll, don't look at me. I didn't even understand your
sentence. I've never heard of these A&E folks. I just trust these
ladies here to take good care of you.
Horatio: There are certainly worse fates. You could have to
sh*t on the Caroline.
Pellew: (bellowing like a water buffalo), Take this woman out!
(Fluteface and Capital grab Dr. Hornblowerhater's arms and
to stage right. At stage right Papillion, Seasprite and Lecter set
up a large-screen television and DVD player. Caloulou and Shorty
carry in stacks of books. They are laid on the stage where the
audience can see their titles: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant
Hornblower, Hornblower and the Atropos, Hornblower and the Hotspur,
Captain Horatio Hornblower, Commodore Hornblower, Lord Hornblower,
and Hornblower in the West Indies. There are several copies of each
book. Indigo, Shorty, Caloulou, and Papergrl set up comfortable
cushions, couches and chairs around the books and the television.
Fluteface and Capital push Dr. Hornblowerhater on cushion in front of
TV. All sit down as Indigo turns on television. Only Hammond,
Archie, Horatio, Pellew, and Collins remain at stage centre.)
Hammond: Well gentlemen, I trust that my job here is finished?
name has been cleared, Mr. Horn-blore.
Horatio: Indeed it has, sir.
Hammond: (irritated), Doubtless you will just go and muck it up again.
Pellew: (growling), If you take one more shot at Mr. Hornblower,
sir, I'm afraid I'll have to-
Horatio: (interrupting), Please sir, I only endeavour to do my-
Archie: (panicked), Horatio, STOP!
Horatio: What is it, Archie?
Archie: If you say the word `duty' once more, Captain Hammond
probably throttle you.
Collins: If that is all, Captain Hammond and I will take our
(Exit Hammond and Collins, stage left).
Pellew: Well, Mr. Hornblower, Mr. Kennedy, I think our job
Horatio: (puzzled), Do you have any idea what our job was, sir?
Pellew: Not a clue. But I trust these ladies to do the right thing.
(At stage right, all are staring at television. Distinctive
from the beginning of "The Duel" is heard).
Archie: Perhaps we should leave now, as our friends seem enraptured
with that glowing metal box.
All Doctors: (repeating line with Archie onscreen), Welcome
Dr. Hornblowerhater: (covering eyes with hands), No! No! Make
Horatio: Let's make a discreet exit, then, shall we?
(Horatio, Archie and Pellew creep towards stage left. As they
the forms of SweetLt, Bobbi, and Lindsaygirl, SweetLt wakes and grabs
SweetLt: Wait! Where the bloody h*ll do you think you're going?
Archie: (crouching beside SweetLt), My darling SweetLt, only
most pressing of circumstances could force us to leave you lovely
ladies. (Gives SweetLt a dazzling smile).
SweetLt: (smiling dazedly), Oh, you're so gallant, Archie.
Pellew: Come gentlemen. It is time to return.
(Archie, Horatio and Pellew exit stage left. A spotlight focusses
stage right, where all Doctors are offering running commentary on the
Dr. Capital: Look out Horatio! Simpson's coming!
Dr. Papergrl: I wish they could have stood up to Simpson earlier!
Dr. Shorty: He traumatized poor Archie!
Dr. Fluteface: *Sniff* Poor Archie! (Begins crying.)
Dr. Papillion: What about poor Horatio? All alone, away from
Dr. Seasprite: Shh! I can't hear them talking!
Dr. Hornblowerhater: I can't take this anymore! Please! Turn it off!
Dr Caloulou: (grinning evilly), Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-
(All Doctors join in, laughing maniacally. Sound echoes all
stage as curtain falls.)