On the Eleventh Day …

Well, after all the astonishingly posh costs of yesterday’s extravaganza, I’m relieved that the pipers are rather simple. The friend for whom I’ve created this artwork, when asked what kind of pipers would be preferred, strenuously objected to bagpipers, as would any sane individual which is totally a matter of taste. So we decided to go for street musicians, so that the range of pipers could be left to the preference of one’s own true love. So I looked up what street musicians make and found some good rates in Chicago.


Between that and my own experience of busking on the streets of Burlington, I’m going to hire the pipers for $25 an hour, or $50 for a two-hour engagement. So, for eleven of them, it’s gonna cost $550 for the day.

Now at first I thought that, for today’s grand total, I would simply have to add yesterday’s total again, just like I have over the last ten days. But this time, there’s good news! We don’t have to pay the airfare for our Lords — just their room, board and transport. The bad news is now I have to go back and itemize the costs, and, possibly, check my math. So, let’s see:

1 partridge: $20.00

1 pear tree: $23.00

2 turtle doves: $40.00

3 French hens: $450.00

4 Calling birds: $100.00

5 Gold Rings: $1050.00

6 Geese: $57.90

7 Swans: $4,200.00

8 Milkmaids and  8 more cows– wait, what?

[Screech to halt]

Oh, dude. MAJOR mistake. I’ve been buying unnecessary hypothetical milk cows!

For two days!

After all, just like the Lords’ airfares, the milk cows, once bought, don’t need to be bought again. Now, I know, we’re buying the swans, geese, gold, etc. again, but hear (or read) me out: the lyric is describing the repetition of a service provided, in the eighth verse. The gift, unlike the swans, is not the animal itself, but the whole agricultural package of service provider (maid), service to be provided (milking), and product to be gained (milk).

I will adjust the previous blogs and the running totals to reflect this. I’ve also realized that I’ve been calling the running total the grand total each day, but gimme a freakin’ break, dude. It’s more drah-mah-tic!

So, 8 maids a-milking: $480

9 ladies dancing: $360

Room, board and limo for the 10 Lords: $4,600

(just as a side note: I’m assuming the rest of my labor force — milkmaids and musicians — is already housed somewhere locally and providing their own meals, their income supplemented by this strange part-time job).

So, up to this point, the adjusted worth of the gifts is only $11,380.90, plus today’s eleven pipers at $550, we have:

Grand Total (for the day): $11,930.90

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