Let’s Phase Out The British Monarchy

I’m a traditionalist who opposes ending the monarchy in England. I do, however, support phasing it out.

Let’s start with weekends. When was the last time any country, much less England, was in need of a monarch on a weekend? Weekdays are when the real action happens – visiting heads of state, decrees to sign, Wimbledon… you get the idea.

British readers may wonder in what position am I, an American, to take a position against British monarchy? (i.e., “Who the hell are you?” or “Where do you get off?”) Firstly, I have my own blog. Who do you like them gravitas! Do you think they hands these blog deals out to just anybody? It’s not as if you can start one for free and publish it on your own little corner of the internet. Geeze.

Secondly, I have very strong opinions about the British monarchy. On numerous occasions  I have shouted down those who disagree with me and been known to  throw rhetorical firebombs in order to make my point. And in this age of very loud punditry, that’s all the credentials you need.

I am not a extremist on this issue. There can be little doubt that England still requires a king or queen for diplomatic and ceremonial purposes. But when it comes to popping down to the butcher to procure some Black Forrest ham or 6 ounces of prosciutto? Please – Her Majesty should have to take a number just like anybody else. Under the system I propose, rules against favoritism, such as cutting off a little more meat for Her Highness while charging only for the requested quantity, would be strictly enforced.

Royal protocol would remain in place for reasons of good taste: you can’t have the Queen being greeted as if she were just another earthly person possessing the usual assortment of rights and responsibilities: she’s the Queen for crying out loud! What – you’re going to countenance Lance Armstrong just extending his hand without first averting his gaze and stuff? The British people wouldn’t tolerate it, and they’d be right not to.

Taxing the royal family is a welcome development but in fairness – and especially in light of current budget deficits – the government should really levy, in my estimation, 800 years of back taxes. If her HIghness cannot afford this she should put up Windsor Castle and that thing she receivd from the King of Cambodia as collateral.


I Have A Cold Again

I’ll be honest with you: I thought writing this blog would be easy. I am, after all, the “creative type” – just check my tax forms! But seriously, writing anything more than the bite-size comedy that has served me so well  has proven difficult. Newspaper headlines (Shark Braves Cuban-Infested Waters; Storm Leaves Millions Of Afghans With Electricity, Running Water) come to me so easily sometimes that I have to write them down just to get them out of my damn head. I’m like the proverbial antennae that way. Same with jokes about my marriage. When I tell audiences that using “air quotes” while exchanging wedding vows is not a good idea, believe me, I didn’t have to lock myself in a secluded cabin in order to come up with it.

It occurred to me to “live blog” something or other, such as a week without coffee. This idea excited me and quickly became, for practical reasons, a day without coffee. Then – again, for practical reasons – I scrapped the idea altogether.

As of about two years ago I began experiencing more colds. I figured myself as average in the cold department, maybe a little healthier than most. But now something’s definitely changed. Much of my mental life consists of staving off boredom and colds facilitate that. Having a cold was a novelty for me: “Oh, this is kind of neat. Man, that’s a lot of snot!” But now I’d say I’ve had one at least ten percent of the time over the last two years. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Also, they’re nastier than average. I’ve had more than one cold in the last two years that lasted over a month. I hope it’s nothing serious: God forbid I’m cold prone. 

It’s said that people with problems tend to accumulate more problems. That’s certainly been my experience. Last week I was driving my son to kindergarten and my nose began running terribly. So I closed one nostril shut with my index finger and inhaled as hard as I could. No sooner had I done so than I tweaked something inside my left shoulder blade. It was immediate and obvious: just like that I felt acute discomfort in this difficult-to-reach region.

Like I said, this was a week ago and I still have this knot in my lower shoulder. I think of it as a cold-related injury. My wife can feel it and when she massages it firmly it’s slightly nauseating. This morning I woke up early and leaned with my back to the wall and rolled up and down against a silicone juggling ball. It elicited the same feeling provoked by my wife, without, of course, the scathing criticism of my lifestyle.

I just googled “How to blow your nose”. Having read a couple of links and watched a couple of clips, I’ve gathered that it’s essential to blow one nostril at a time. So I wasn’t entirely off track. So important is this facet, in fact, that so far as I can glean, everything else is not worth mentioning. When it comes to the actual blowing, most experts also recommend  a “steady-as-she-goes” approach which does not fly well with my more shock-and-awe mindset. Part of me thinks that somewhere in me is a snot-producing tumor which can be expelled with sufficient force. I keep imagining that if I blow hard enough I’ll produce the culprit – in my mind it’s always the size and shape of a whole bulb of garlic for some reason – and the source of my sniffles will be gone for good.