'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
ROYAL NEWS, OR ROYAL SNOOZE?
Friday, April 29th, has finally arrived. Like most people around the globe, I’m sure you’ve been waiting anxiously for this momentous day. It is THE day, the day the Red Sox begin a crucial 11-game home stand at Fenway Park against the Seattle Mariners.
Oh wait, I’m sorry. Wrong sport. This is also an important day in another sport, the popular pastime of “Gawking at the Royals.” (No, I don’t mean the Kansas City Royals.)
You see, Friday is the Royal Wedding. Great Britain’s handsome young Prince William, the “man who would be king,” is getting married to the love of his life, the gorgeous Kate Middleton. A generation ago, the world was all a-twitter over the nuptials of Prince Charles (another “man who would be king”) and the love of his life, the gorgeous Diana Spencer. Today a new generation once again is all a-twitter—not to mention all a-Facebook.
Although the big day has arrived, it’s not too late to purchase some official keepsakes by which to remember this historic event, such as the Royal Wedding commemorative plate, or a Royal Wedding replica ring, or a set of Royal Wedding steel-belted snow tires.
For those of you who set your alarm clocks for 4 a.m., so as not to miss a moment of TV coverage of the wedding, it may come as a surprise to learn that many Americans are not all that interested in this event. You see, a lot of the folks who were all a-twitter three decades ago are a bit jaded this time around. Sure, the Brits will put on a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry, but the whole “fairy tale” aura faded quickly with Charles and Diana. She was painfully unhappy in the marriage. He was, as always, painfully odd. They ended up getting divorced. She died in a tragic car crash. He married his old flame, Camilla, a woman whose name has never appeared in the same sentence with the word gorgeous (until this sentence).
Then there’s the whole “man who would be king” thing. That label has been hanging over Charles’ head ever since he was born 62 years ago. But his mother the Queen has turned out to be one of those people destined to live to, say, age 105. If Charles, after finally being crowned in his 80s, has the same longevity genes as his mom, Prince William is going to have quite a wait.
Maybe by then Great Britain won’t have a royal family anymore, so there might not even be a monarchy into which William can be coronated. Reportedly a growing percentage of Britons now question why their country still clings to the outdated concept of determining the nation’s leader based solely on being born into the right family.
In the modern, egalitarian world, the American model is much more attractive. Our leader’s are not determined by blood lines (unless you’re a Kennedy or a Bush). Rather, our political leaders are determined by who can deliver the most charismatic campaign speeches while promising to hand out money we don’t have. And our cultural leaders are determined by who has the highest rated talk show. Hmm, on second thought, maybe the British method makes more sense after all.
Anyway, for those of you who have been waiting breathlessly for months, the big day finally is here. Enjoy the royal spectacle. The rest of us will focus our attention on matters that have a real impact on real people in the real world, such as whether the Red Sox can overcome their horrendous start and get back in the pennant race.
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