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Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015
King Me!Posted Monday, April 21, 2008, at 10:37 AM
My subjects come to escort me back to Gatwick.
I was doing some research on the Internet and discovered that I am descended, through some fairly complicated branches, from Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, by his second wife, Isabel Despenser, widow of the Earl of Worcester. (I started out looking for fat guy pratfalls on YouTube. I honestly don't know how I ended up here.) By the way, that's Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, son-in-law of John of Gaunt, not Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who was beheaded by Edward IV. People often get them mixed up. And clearly you can't tell me somebody descended from the third son of Edward III doesn't have just as good a claim to the throne as Henry Tudor did! (That would just be silly.) So once Edward V and his little brother were murdered and Richard Plantagenet died at Bosworth in 1483…
Well, long story short, between Google and Wikipedia, I was plenty confident that I'm the King of England. So I headed over there to claim my throne.
I went to Buckingham Palace straight from the airport. I don't know if you've ever been there, but the place is huge. The front gate was locked, so I tried to get the attention of one of the guys in the big furry hats to come over and let me in, but they just ignored me. I made a private note that once I was King, these guys were going to get assigned to one crappy detail, brother. Then, just when I was about to get really frustrated, one of the big doors opened and out came Queen Elizabeth with her big entourage and a couple of corgis.
So I waved the papers I was carrying and yelled, "Hey! Hey! Queenie! Hey! Over here!" And she was like, "Who, me?" And I said, "You see any other queens around here?" So she sort of gestured for them to let me in. I went up to her and I said, "Look, this is going to be a little bit of a shock, but I tried to give you a heads-up and you wouldn't return my calls. So we gotta do it in public." And I handed her my print-outs with the family tree on it. "It's all legal," I said. "I'm king now. I know I'm an American and Americans have traditionally been against tyranny, but you know we're also a very adaptable people."
She was just looking through the pages with her little glasses on the chain around her neck, so I went on: "I know this is going to take a little getting used to, and I'll try not to move too fast. But the first thing we need to do is change the picture on all the money. I brought a new one. Here, fancy pants, get that to the mint for me, will you?
"As for your former majesty, I think the standard procedure is to have you locked up in the Tower. And I am going to have to behead you. Nothing personal. I've read up on this, though, and it seems that every time the new ruler doesn't behead the old one right away, he has nothing but trouble out of it in the long run. If it's any consolation, I don't think I need to mess with your son, Charles, since even after I behead you I'll probably still be more popular than him."
She seemed to take it pretty well, but then she's well-bred, after all. It's tough to shake that woman up. She just said, "I see," in that high-pitched Queen voice she has. And then she handed her purse to the attendant next to her and started un-pinning her little hat she was wearing and she said, "There is another tradition, however. A monarch may demand the issue be settled in single combat." And then she started kind of hopping around and shadowboxing.
Single combat? I didn't see this coming. So I said, "You know, as the new King, I don't want to run down any of the old English traditions, but you're what, 81, 82 years old? I'm not going to beat up an 82-year-old woman. I was raised better than that. I might have her beheaded, but I'm not some kind of…" And then all of a sudden she bobs up to me and says, "I shall now belabor you about the ribcage!" And she kind of threw a little jab at my nose.
The jab didn't connect, but it made me blink. And before I was done blinking, she had hit me about eight times. Bam bam bam bam bambambam! All the air went out of me like a sat-on whoopee cushion.
Then she was all over the place! She was like some kind of gray-haired blur, and punches were coming from all directions. And to make it worse, those little corgis started snapping at my legs, which seems kind of dirty if you ask me. Finally I had had about enough of this, so I said, "OK your majesty, you asked for it!" And I faded off a little to my left, then jabbed hard and brought up my right upper-cut and caught her right on the chin. And that's the last time I laid a finger on her. She took a step back and then came at me like a threshing machine. And everywhere I swung, she wasn't there. What was worse, she was talking to me the whole time. "You think you're the first punk to come after me? This one's for Trenton! That one's for Yorktown! Declare Independence from THIS!!"
And down I went.
When my eyes kind of focused again, three or four of those Coldstream Guards or whatever they are had picked me up, and Her Majesty was pinning her hat back on, not even out of breath. Then she said, "All right lads…take out the rubbish!" And they threw me over the fence. And that's a real high fence. And the whole place is nothing but cobblestones. So I was just like a heap of old clothes out there, and it was awful with all the tourists taking pictures of me.
Now, you might think that would be that. But I don't give up so easy. My credit card is maxxed out now, but when I've paid it down a little bit I'm going back, and this time I'm going to Scotland first and raise an army.
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