Poor Paranoid Palin
Author: Jess
Rating: PG-13
Subjects: Monty Python, humor, silly suggestive talk
Summary: After Michael throws a tantrum during the Holy Grail filming, the other Pythons become intrigued...and decide that they admire him more than just as a friend.
Disclaimer: I am not making any money off of this. The Pythons do not belong to me, they belong to themselves. This story is copyrighted March, 2005, and may not be used or altered without the expressed permission of the author. Thanks to Cheri and Jess P for inspiring this bit of lunacy! :)


Michael sighed miserably as he sat up against the hard, cold stone wall inside Doune castle, waiting for the next scene of Holy Grail to be set up. He had had a very trying morning, as they were filming the Plague Village scene, a scene which called for him to be crawling through mud and shit the whole time. It might not have been quite so bad if he'd actually be on camera at least part of the time. When he learned that he wasn't, that they only filmed his back, he felt as if he was going to lose his temper. After the seventh take, Gilliam complained that the wheel on the Dead Cart was off 3/8 of an inch to the right, and so they'd have to film again. Michael was usually a very even-tempered man, at least in front of his friends. This one event was the straw that broke the camel's back, however.

He blushed deeply as he replayed the events in his mind. After learning that he'd have to crawl through the mud yet again, compounded by the fact that he wasn't even on camera, he leapt up in the air and down into the mud, and began beating his fists with it, while shouting various expletives. The other Pythons were completely stunned. They had never seen Mike lose it before, and since he was known for being the Nice one, they didn't think he was ever capable of losing it. To break up the awkward silence that followed, John and Graham applauded. Michael instantly felt sheepish, muttered various apologies as he was wont to do, and they got on with the rest of the scene.

Now they were going to film parts of the Castle Anthrax scene. For this scene, only he, Eric, John, Neil, and Carol were needed out of the Pythons. However, Graham idled about the outside of the castle, being filmed and interviewed by a crew from the BBC. All the Pythons, other cast and crew were present today, and Mike was sure that the other Pythons had informed everyone about his little tantrum. After washing up and changing into his Galahad costume, he mostly kept his head down and didn't dare look at anyone. He could just feel the inquisitive stares they were giving him, though. No matter what happened during the rest of filming today, he hoped that they wouldn't treat him any differently because of what happened; that they wouldn't be waiting with baited breath for him to lose his temper again. He was determined not to let it happen.

"All right, everybody together!" Terry Gilliam called. Michael slowly picked himself up off the ground and groaned softly. He noticed his bum was killing him, but it was probably from sitting on the hard surface for what seemed like more than an hour. He sauntered over toward the two Terry's, who were waiting along with John, Eric, Neil, Carol Cleveland, and the Castle Anthrax girls. He rolled his eyes as he noticed Gilliam tapping his foot impatiently.

Mike looked at everyone, his face void of all emotion, as he was still slightly embarrassed about what had taken place earlier. He then looked at Gilliam curiously, as Gilliam's narrowed eyes seemed to be focusing on Michael's hair.

"Geez, Mike, don't tell me we have to soak you again. That gorgeous hair of yours is nearly dry..." Gilliam stated oddly.

Michael's brow furrowed in confusion. "What?"

Gilliam shook his head dismissively. "Never mind, I don't know why I said that."

Michael looked at him a bit suspiciously.

Now Gilliam's eyes traveled down to Mike's crotch, which was hidden well by his tunic, but something didn't seem right. His eyes narrowed again.

"Uh, Mike, your codpiece is on backwards."

Michael's eyes widened. He looked down at his crotch, and then felt the area around his backside. He blushed.

"Oh bugger, I wondered why it kept riding up into my crack."

The others looked at him amusedly as he blushed even deeper.

"Excuse me a moment."

He ran back around a corner and adjusted the codpiece so that it was sitting the right way. Then he made his way back to the others.

"Sorry about that."

Gilliam shot him a bewildered look. "Boy, Mike, you're weird," he intoned.

"I'm weird? You're the one with the bloody killer cars and giant cats!" Michael said as he looked at him incredulously.

Gilliam snorted softly before a wide grin formed on his face. "Oh, thanks for the compliment, Mike!"

Michael blushed bright red and knew he wasn't succeeding at keeping his temper in check.

"I DIDN'T MEAN IT AS A BLOODY COMPLIMENT!" he shouted as he picked up a small chunk of earth and lobbed it at Gilliam's head.

Gilliam ducked sideways as the dirt missed him. He looked at Michael, who was still red in the face and his expression was a mixture of embarrassment and anger. Gilliam looked at him thoughtfully before a sly grin crept over his face.

"You're cute when you're angry, Mike!" he said mischievously.

Michael looked at him oddly, as if he didn't think he heard him quite right.

Graham must have had supersonic hearing, because while he was outside the castle, his ears suddenly perked up and he came running inside.

"HANDS OFF MY LOVE TOY!!!" he shouted at Gilliam.

Mike turned and looked at Graham with one raised eyebrow. Before he could say anything, Eric suddenly leapt off of the bench he'd been sitting on.

"Piss off, I was here first!" he yelled as he grabbed Michael around the middle.

Michael looked at them incredulously, and then thought that they had to be joking. Filming was taking its toll on everyone, and perhaps they thought that a little silliness would lighten the mood. Michael decided to play along. He glanced at Graham, Eric and Gilliam warily.

"Why wasn't I informed?" he asked in a quiet, shy voice.

The three Pythons exchanged glances before dissolving in laughter. Pretty soon, everyone was laughing, including Michael himself.

"Let's film this scene, eh?" Jonesy finally said after they all calmed down. Everyone agreed, Michael was soaked from head to foot once again, and they got on with the scene, never mentioning this little episode again.


As far as Michael was concerned, the rest of the day went by uninterrupted, at least for the most part. After the Castle Anthrax scene was finished, they prepared for the French Taunting scene, had lunch, were interviewed by the BBC for their "Film Night" program, and began filming the aforementioned scene. Everything seemed to go well, although Michael had gotten a bit suspicious when it seemed like the others were watching him intently. If he was paranoid, he'd immediately assume that they were waiting for him to throw another tantrum. But, no, being paranoid was silly and beneath him. Still, he was slightly suspicious after what happened earlier inside the castle.

They had arrived back at the hotel not too long ago, and he was in his room, changing out of his costume. He put on some casual clothes and headed back downstairs. He was going to join the other Pythons for dinner, even though part of him was wondering why he was doing so. He was still embarrassed about his tantrum.

As he neared the dining room, he noticed the others sitting at a large table in the center of the room. They all had fake smiles plastered on their faces and nodded at him, almost in a synchronized fashion. Michael raised a curious eyebrow.

"Hey, Mike!" Gilliam called out.

Michael nodded. "Terry..."

"We saved a seat for you, Mikey old boy!" Graham said cheerfully as he patted the seat next to him.

Michael looked at him for a second and then smiled shyly.

"Thanks," he said softly as he took his seat.

A couple of minutes later, a waiter brought them some menus. They weren't the usual menus, but they were special ones made up just for the Pythons. Michael scanned the contents and his brow furrowed in confusion. Each entree seemed to have the word "mud" in it. He didn't notice the rest of the group watching him intently.

"Something wrong with this menu?" he asked curiously. He lifted his gaze back to the others and when he saw them leaning forward with their piercing stares, he let out a small yelp.

"Oh! Sorry, I just didn't expect to see you chaps on top of me like this," he said, flustered.

"'On top' of you? Interesting choice of words there," Eric said slyly.

Michael looked at him strangely and then merely shrugged. He turned back to the menu and realized that someone at the hotel had been put up to this, probably to poke fun at him for having to crawl through the mud and throw a tantrum.

"What is the meaning of this?" Michael asked the waiter gruffly. The man shook his head innocently until Michael pointed out the multiple occurrences of the word "mud." He fetched the menus from them and left in pursuit of the kitchen staff.

Mike turned his head back toward the others when he thought he heard a few muffled giggles. They all looked at him awkwardly, a few clearing their throats.

"Er...so, imagine that...mud entrees," Jonesy giggled sheepishly.

"Well, I don't think it's very funny," Michael snorted.

"Oh, no, of course you wouldn't, Michael!" John said in a concerned tone of voice, which really began to worry Mike. He stared at John.

"No. I'm no longer hungry anyway. Think I'll head off to bed. I'm exhausted," he said as he picked himself up off the chair.

The other Pythons stared at him, eyes widened. They appeared to be just a bit disappointed.

"Right, I'm off. 'Night, everyone," he finished.

They just kept staring at Michael, not saying a word. He looked at them expectantly, raising his eyebrows.

"Oh, yeah, yeah, good night!" they all said, not nearly in unison.

Michael gave them a suspicious look out of the corner of his eye before leaving the dining area and making his way toward the stairs. Once he was gone from sight, the others began talking animatedly.

"You know, this whole thing is a bit odd," John began. "After witnessing Mike's temper tantrum, something I'd never ever seen before, I was left...intrigued. You know what I mean?"

"Yeah," Gilliam replied. "Mike is supposed to be the nice one. That tantrum really threw me."

"If anything, it reveals what a complex person he is," Jonesy suddenly broke in.

There was an eerie silence as the other Pythons gave him surprised looks.

"No, seriously!" Jonesy insisted.

"By jove, he's right!" Graham declared. "Mikey isn't just a simple, nice, boring chap. He's much more complex and intriguing. I find it rather appealing..."

"Mmm. You know, I do, too," Eric admitted. "I...I can't believe I'm saying this, but, strangely, I find myself...attracted to Mike."

"You're not the only one," John added. "There's just something about him, and I can't really put my finger on it. But he is one hot fidgety mama."

The other Pythons looked at John with wide eyes.

"I thought I was the only one who felt that way," Jonesy said in a relieved tone. "As I have the privilege of being Mike's best friend, I suppose I should admit that he's melted my butter since 1964."

Jonesy received looks even more wide-eyed that the last ones.

"I hope I'm clear on your meaning," Eric said warily.

Jonesy grinned and nodded, which caused Eric to sigh in relief.

"He really is something, isn't he‌" Gilliam said in a dreamy tone of voice. "That hair of his...I wasn't bluffing when I said it was gorgeous before. Just when I didn't think it could look any better, that hairstylist works her magic and makes that head of hair even more beautiful. The way it falls ever so slightly in waves, that tousled, just-out-of-bed look, the way it frames his face..."

Gilliam trailed off in a sigh as the other Pythons grinned and nodded.

"Hey, you think he's gone to bed yet?" John suddenly piped up. With that, they all straightened up, rose from their seats, darted out of the dining room and made a beeline for the stairs.

"Wait, wait," John spoke up. "Let's go about this the discreet way." He made his way up to the front desk and took a copy of the key to Mike's room, explaining to the man that Mike was ill and John wanted to check up on him. The man gave him a wary look, but presented the keys to him anyway.


"John giggled silently as he peered into Michael's room. He was nowhere to be found, so he probably didn't go straight up to his room yet. John gingerly crept over to the dressing table and kneeled down in back of it, hidden from sight. The other Pythons had all congregated in the room shared by Jonesy and Gilliam, waiting to hear any juicy details from John.

After a few minutes, the door creaked open and Michael made his way inside. Apparently he had bought something in the gift shop to take home to his wife and his two sons once filming on location was done. He put his things down and headed over to the mirror. John giggled silently as he lifted his head and peered in between the space between the mirror and the table, hoping that Michael would see him.

Unfortunately - or, perhaps, fortunately - Michael didn't see him. He surveyed his face in the mirror, making all the usual faces. John was tempted to say "Yoo hoo!", but thought it might give Mike a fatal heart attack, and that certainly wouldn't be good. After a few seconds, Michael walked away from the mirror and over to his bed, where he started getting undressed. John's eyes became as wide as dinner plates. As Michael removed his shirt, John began to salivate. When he removed his trousers, John began to pant...silently of course, so that he wouldn't be caught. He became rather disappointed as Michael stopped at the trousers and slipped his pajama bottoms over the boxers he wore. Michael disappeared into the bathroom and John heard the water running, so he presumed he was brushing his teeth.

"Oh, damn, this is all going wrong," he thought to himself. He thought he'd be able to get an eyeful of a nude Michael, but his plans were for naught. He then eyed Michael exiting the bathroom and heading back over to his bed. He put his reading glasses on and settled into bed with a novel. "Damn, damn, damn," John said silently. He was now trapped in the room with a clearly uninterested Mike, who was clearly NOT nude, and innocently reading a book.

"I'm sorry Michael, but I really need to go," he said regrettably as he finally showed his face and came out from behind the dressing table.

Michael's eyes widened and he yelped.

"What, didn't expect to find old Cleesey in your boudoir?" John continued, a crooked grin on his face.

Michael said not a word, but stared at John in amazement. Finally he began sputtering incredulously.

"Wh...what...h...how the hell did you get in here?" he finally intoned in a small voice.

John decided to play innocent and shrugged. "I'd forgotten my key and I asked the man at the desk for another copy, but he gave me the key to your room instead," he fibbed.

The look on Michael's face told him that he wasn't quite buying it.

"Well, I suppose I should turn in," John continued, avoiding the subject. Michael nodded slightly, still utterly dumbfounded.

John made his way to the door, and turned back to Michael before he walked out.

"Those glasses really suit you, Mike," he said, giving Mike a wink.

Michael's brow furrowed in confusion and he shook his head as if to clear it. He decided that John must have been drunk. He tried to push the incident out of his mind as he went back to reading.


Michael awoke early the next morning, having received an odd wake-up call from Jonesy. He'd knocked on Michael's door and said "rise and shine, sweetums!" At first, Michael was still half-asleep and his brain was barely registering, but it did seem to irk him a bit. All along he thought they'd been joking, but he was beginning to think the joke was going too far. He realized he was probably an easy target ever since that tantrum he threw, but enough was indeed enough.

He rose from the bed and stretched, his joints protesting slightly. He was still exhausted, as he hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. That odd incident with John was still bothering him a bit, and he was also kept up by Graham (who had the room next to Michael) screaming "BETTY MARSDEN BETTY MARSDEN!!" all night long. At times, he could have sworn that the name Betty Marsden was being alternated with the name Michael Palin. Was there something in the water that was causing them all to be even loonier than usual‌ He walked toward the door and his brow furrowed in confusion upon finding a small card on the floor, apparently having been slipped underneath the door at some point. He picked it up and read it.

"Betty Marsden fancies Michael Palin and thinks he's a delicious, naughty boy who needs a good flogging. Massage therapy to follow. Bring leather, whips and chains. Yours, etc., Betty Marsden (Mr.)"
Michael smirked and giggled softly, at first thinking it was Graham up to his old tricks. He shrugged and flipped the card into the waste paper basket. At once he heard a blood-curdling scream from Graham's room, as if in reaction to him having tossed the card.

"This is really strange," he muttered to himself.

"No, it's not!" a high-pitched, whiny voice from outside the room answered back.

Michael's eyes narrowed, and he began to think that he was dreaming. He headed over to the sink and began splashing cold water on his face, as if to wake himself up. While it refreshed him, it was painfully obvious that he was already awake. He sighed heavily and got dressed.

He cautiously peered out the door and breathed a sigh of relief upon finding no one around. He carefully made his way down the stairs and over to the dining room for breakfast, totally unaware of the soft pitter patter of feet behind him.


Michael sat himself down at a small table and smiled as the waiter brought him a menu for breakfast. His face blanched when he noticed the other Pythons making their way toward him, and he immediately hid his face behind the menu. The sounds he heard next were that of chairs being carried and set down next to him. He groaned inwardly.

"Hey, there's our boy!" Graham exclaimed. "What a peach, eh?"

Michael sighed miserably from behind the menu. He hoped the waiter would come back shortly so he could order his breakfast and then get away from them as soon as possible.

"So, did you sleep well, Mike?" Gilliam asked genially - a bit too genially.

Michael decided he would ignore them and keep his face hidden behind the menu. It didn't work for long, though, as John grabbed it and pulled it away from Mike. Each of them uttered theatrical gasps as they caught a glimpse of an exhausted Michael - dark circles under his eyes, hair a bit tousled, and a severe glare on his face.

The awkward silence was broken as the waiter brought Michael's food, and took the other Pythons' orders. For some strange reason, they all ordered the same thing. Michael didn't think twice about it and ate his breakfast in silence as the others watched him closely.

"Can I help you chaps?" he finally asked after he'd swallowed the last mouthful of his food.

Everyone shook their heads innocently. Another awkward moment followed before their food arrived. Finally, before they were about to tuck into their meals, Michael asked the question which had begun to plague him.

"I don't mean to offend any of you, but ... why are you all stalking me?"

The other Pythons were speechless for a few minutes. Michael folded his arms and looked at them expectantly, hoping for a reasonable explanation.

"Well, Mike," Eric began. "The truth is.... erm..... well, we find you..............attractive."

Michael's jaw dropped to the floor and he was unable to speak for several minutes.

"Wh....what?" he said in the most quiet voice.

"Yeah, believe it, Peach. We all love you," Graham confirmed affectionately.

"'Peach'?" Michael repeated incredulously as he raised an eyebrow and looked at Graham strangely. "Are you talking to me, Graham?"

"Oh, please call me Gray, won't you, Sugar Bum?"

"Oh, Sugar Bum," Jonesy sighed happily. "Wish I'd thought of that!"

"Well, erm...hmmm..." a very embarrassed Michael mumbled, hemming and hawing as only he could do it.

"Oh, I love it when you mumble, angel drawers!" Graham exclaimed.

Michael's face turned an even brighter shade of red and began sputtering in disbelief.

"Don't call me that!!" he shouted at Graham, nearly raising his voice an octave. "What is wrong with you blokes???"

"What's wrong with us? We're lovesick for you, buttercup!" John said as he began flirting with Michael.

"Yes! I'm surprised you haven't noticed it before!" Jonesy broke in. "We've been together for at least ten years and you never noticed my feelings for you, did you?" Jonesy said, sounding a bit hurt.

"Your feelings for me!" Michael said incredulously, his patience ebbing further away. "We wrote together, that's all! We're both married!"

"So?? What's THAT got to do with it?" Jonesy shot back.

Michael's eyes widened and he looked at them in total disbelief. Finally he threw his arms up and angrily stalked away from the table. The other Pythons sat in silence for several minutes.

"I think he's upset," John finally said.

"Well, you know him," Eric answered. "He's just so self-effacing and unassuming! He needs to be reminded that he's a stud muffin!"

"YES!!!" Graham declared, standing up. "What are we all sitting here for? We have to get our man!!"

They all glanced at each other quickly before pushing off from their table, chanting, "Oh, Mik-eyyyyyyy..." ever so lovingly in a sing-song voice as they hurried to pursue their disgruntled fellow Python.


Michael was about to head upstairs when he thought he heard the other Pythons' voices pursuing him. His eyes widened and he sprinted up the stairs, the others on his heels. He hurriedly dug his key out of his pocket, shoved it in the lock, and threw himself inside the room. Jonesy tried to stick his head in, but Michael was quick enough and slammed the door hard. As he dead-bolted the door and fastened the chain, he heard a high-pitched Welsh screech resounding just outside. He felt a twinge of guilt upon thinking that Jonesy might have gotten hurt, but he realized it was his own fault and the guilt left him.

Michael was utterly exhausted after all the madness that had taken place. He remembered that today was Sunday, so luckily they wouldn't be filming at all. He threw himself down on the bed, picked up the book and started reading again. Every so often there were a few knocks on the door. Each time he looked through the peephole and saw one of the other Pythons, he turned away and went back to reading. They tried many times to try to get him to open the door, even resorting to wearing disguises so he wouldn't think it was them. Michael was smarter than that, though. At one point, Graham dressed as a pepperpot and exclaimed in a whiny voice, "Oh, please, Mike, open up the door! I'm Gray's Mum and I brought you some home made scones, I know how you always loved them!"

Michael rolled his eyes and sighed. The knocking went on for what seemed like hours, and Eric even had the nerve to perform a soliloquy in front of the door, in hopes that Mike would answer it. Gilliam made odd cartoon-ish sounds, and Jonesy screeched at the door for a good 20 minutes on end. Finally, Michael turned on the clock radio by the bed, turned the volume all the way up, and tried to drown them out with some Led Zeppelin, Slade, Paper Lace, and other sundry rock bands. After a while, the loud music was beginning to get to him, so he turned it off and was quite relieved when it seemed that they Pythons had finally given up.

Michael went back to reading, but his peace didn't last long as he heard some distant cries coming from outside the hotel. At first he thought they were from local people.

"Bloody Celtic supporters," he snorted. After a while, the cries became louder and clearer. They sounded as if they were calling his name, although he hoped that it was for another Michael who was nearby. Nevertheless, his curiosity got the better of him. He pushed the curtains aside and looked out the window. What he saw made his jaw drop.

His fellow Pythons were actually scaling the walls up to the balcony so they could literally drop in on him! "Oh, my God," he groaned. Eric paused in climbing to look straight at Michael, and a huge grin spread across his face. Michael instantly pulled the curtains back across the window.

"Oh, God, that's it, I'm going to lose my mind," he whimpered. He sat on the edge of the bed, his hands covering his face. He sighed deeply and turned to the phone.

"Hello, front desk? This is Michael Palin, room 218. Yes, that's right, with Monty Python. I'm being harassed by five madmen. They've been stalking me since yesterday and they won't leave me alone. They keep knocking on my door, trying to disturb me, and now they're actually scaling the walls up to the balcony," he said, his voice trembling with fear.

"Who are they? Erm...well...they're my fellow Pythons... well, what do you mean you can't do anything about it? They're harassing me. I'm actually fearing for my life. I...."

Michael's eyes widened as the man on the other end of the line began laughing hysterically.

"Er, why are you laughing? It's all true! It's happening as we speak! Oh, bloody hell, now they're knocking on my window! I..."

Michael slammed the receiver down on the cradle. The man at the front desk wasn't taking him seriously at all, and wouldn't consider that what he was saying might actually be the truth. He suddenly felt really tired and decided to take a nap. He remembered he had some earplugs in his suitcase, from the last time he traveled, so he made use of them and settled down for a nap.


Michael awoke several hours later, feeling refreshed. He removed the earplugs and was greeted by a much welcome sound: quiet. There was no knocking, whether on the door or the window, there were no Python voices at all, anywhere. It was a wonderful feeling. He decided he would go down for a drink, so he fetched his wallet and opened the door.

A look of horror crossed his face as he found John standing in front of him.

"AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIII.... WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOOOOOOUUUUUUUU...." John sung in a loud voice, tone deaf as ever.

Michael immediately slammed the door in his face, dead bolted it and chained it once again.

"Damn, I was so close," he heard John say outside the door.

Michael put the earplugs back in and went back to reading. After a few hours he discovered it was lunch time. He was getting hungry, and he didn't have anything to eat in his room. If he left, though, no doubt the others would find him and harass him. An idea suddenly struck him. He would make himself look really frumpy, and hopefully they wouldn't bother him anymore. He raced into the bathroom, grabbed some pomade, and began greasing his hair back. He then dug his older pair of reading glasses out of his bag - glasses that had really thick, black frames and looked hideous - and put them on. He found an old, horrible-looking shirt in the bottom of his suitcase and threw it on over the shirt he was already wearing.

Surprisingly, he was able to enjoy his lunch without the others bothering him. They weren't even downstairs at all. Michael shrugged, thinking that maybe they'd gone to some restaurant, or something. After a quite good fare, he headed back up to his room and made his way inside.

All the good thoughts seeped away as he found them all inside his room, waiting for him. They all stared at him, surprised at his new look.

"Euuuuggghhh!! Mike, you look like crap!" Jonesy exclaimed, making a face. "I'm offended. I no longer find you attractive."

A smile grew on Michael's face, as he hoped that this meant it would be the end of the whole charade.

Unfortunately, the goal of that hope was unattainable.

"Mmmm, I don't know, he does look quite cute in that homely get-up," Eric said thoughtfully.

"Yes, he does. A homely peach is still a peach, nonetheless," Graham pontificated.

Michael shut his eyes and sighed, defeated.

"Come on, Mike, you know you can't hide from us," Gilliam said, a wicked grin plastered onto his face.

Michael whimpered softly as the other Pythons slowly advanced...............