Well, we like to keep a weather eye on you Americans. Not a weather eye anything like Kevin Spacey’s in “The Shipping News,” or even that of his in Kpax, or was it 2Pak? No, he was the one who didn’t see it coming. Anyway, you’re being watched. From afar. Not strictly speaking observation as is commonly known.
We aren’t using satellites (except to watch your TV) and we aren’t using your phone networks (except when we use the U.S. part of the Internet) we’re watching you the same way someone who works as an author would watch a child with Asperger’s playing by a paddling pool while writing the latest novel. Or blog. Kind of through a window, a little disinterested, occupied with something much more interesting really, but nonetheless aware of the lurking danger.
Tony Blair ruined this for us by getting us too closely involved. All of a sudden we couldn’t watch you become involved with your latest war with a half-hearted interest, waiting for the movie of it to be released. We had to play as well. Still, it’s the fight on terrorism and all that. Gung-ho, semper-fi and WTF?
So anyway, this time we were all ready to give a helping hand, I mean, all of our boys had seen Call of Duty 2 and knew what was expected of them. But this isn’t the blog to discuss international warfare. Oh no. This one has its head firmly in the sand as it seeks newer and more trivial diversions, which is because it is being written by someone drinking a nice Italian coffee, with a cheeky little glass of Grappa on the side. To give the author the kind of warm feeling warfare somehow lacks.
We had an event, of sorts, last year that might have penetrated the media wall separating the US and UK. A “Royal Wedding.” We all took notice over here of course.
As we had been granted a day’s holiday in celebration, during which, I suppose, we were all supposed to watch the interminable televised coverage of it. Our leading supermarket chains, however, were first to rat us out boasting as they did, how shopping figures for that day were way above the seasonal average.
Anyway, Prince Harry I think it was got married to a Miss Kate Middleton – a commoner – and there was some kerfuffle I seem to recall as Miss Middleton has a sister, Pippa (a ridiculous name), who is the owner of quite a shapely backside it would seem, given the acres of press coverage it received.
This is all old hat of course, being a year old, what really interested me was the amount of coverage the American media gave the event. From the ridiculous, “Why do they have to get married at this time of day? It’s night for our viewers back home” as one network talking head said, to the sight of the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace turned into a parking lot for every networks satellite linked camper buses to spew forth expensively coiffed presenters intent on harvesting the opinions and emotions of each and every one of those present with the exception of anyone who was actually at the ceremony, who would consider such musings deeply beneath them.
For the life of me I cannot understand why you lot were in any way interested in the wedding at all. I seem to recall you went to some lengths a while back to avoid being ruled by our Royal Family. You went so far as to give Boston a reason to be known to the wider world. Quite a feat in itself, given it would be several hundred years before Cheers was first aired on national TV.
My theory as to why you are so interested in these type of events (seemingly more so than the average Brit) is based upon one of our major differences as well as our similarities. The difference is your right to bear arms. The similarity, that you too regard us with a jaundiced eye. Your eye has one fundamental difference however. A certain familiarity with the practice of closing one and aiming with the other, sometimes whilst making unscheduled bank withdrawals.
There are a couple of urban myths relating to our Queen which bear repeating. The first is that she thinks the entire world smells of fresh paint and the second that wherever she is to visit has to purchase and install a brand new lavatory seat, “just in case.”
Whereas the first has a certain charm to it, the dear old thing spends a good deal of her time in one castle or other, which, in my experience, always have a slight smell of damp about them. Not to mention the vague aroma of urine emanating from the many tweed wearing retainers and guests one finds at these places.
The second myth is one easily dispelled by simple logic. The Queen never carries money. Nor credit cards. Thus, her handbag is always empty and for decorative purposes only, except that I am fairly certain she has a catheter and or colostomy bag and her Norman Hartnell designed bag has an otherwise hidden and secret purpose.
Until now. The cat is out of the bag so to speak.
Whether this is true or not, one sees on at least a weekly basis some line of grinning simpletons bowing and curtseying as she passes by them, bestowing press coverage on their every endeavor. We regard her with a certain amount of amusement, if not awe, but nonetheless we view her as subjects ought. A vague, distant figure, not at all connected to our everyday lives.
The advantage that you have, is that should she ever decide to cross the pond and bestow a visit upon any of your dwellings deemed worthy of her presence, that you could, with the law on your side, eye her up and imagine what her head would look like over your fireplace.
My guess is that it would be quite a conversation piece. It would also be a diplomatic gaffe of sufficient magnitude to break our fabled “special relationship” and enable us to withdraw from the current war in Afghanistan with honor intact.
So her death would not be in vain. It would probably be in Alaska.