Wednesday, 4 February 2009
The King Is Dead, Long Live The Squire – A Regal Romp (Part The First)
Part The First – To All Things, A Beginning...
I lounged upon the throne, adjusting my crown to a rakish angle, and languidly stretched forth an idle hand to ring the delicate silver bell situated on the plush velvet cushion nearby. A slight gesture of the hand and one of my nymph-like concubines rushed forward to pop a freshly-peeled grape into my majesterial mouth. This scene of regal relaxation was rudely shattered by the arrival of a group of foul-clothed and fouler-smelling revolutionary types. This was not the response that I had been expecting to my silver-belled summons. That fact that they were extremely heavily armed was doing very little to assuage my newborn sense of panic. As the Royal Guard lay down arms and inexplicably let them forward and a filthy burlap sack was hastily scrambled over my head, I began to suspect that being the ruler of one's own country wasn't going to be quite the wizard wheeze that I had been led to believe...
How had your dear Squire come to find himself embroiled in this oh so stickiest of wickets, I hear you ask? How else does one normally find oneself up the proverbial without a rowing implement? Family, my dear friends, family...
I had been on my way to ensconce myself within the welcoming embrace of the Actonian Gentleman's Club when I found my way barred by what can only be described as a monolithic slab of a man. I excused myself but his impassive stare seemed to indicate that he had no intention whatsoever of unblocking my progress. As I attempted to circumnavigate his gargantuan bulk, a second behemoth hoved into view alongside. Turning back, my original path was now similarly blocked by two more man-mountains.
My attempts at conversing with this wall of meat were as doomed as my bids at bypassing them. Eventually, they conveyed to me their desire that I should step into a waiting carriage (admittedly, this was mostly communicated by the time honoured method of grunting and gesturing). Faced with few obvious choices, I could do little more than acquiesce to their monosyllabic demands.
Upon entering the cab, I discovered that I was not the only occupant. Had I stumbled upon some nefarious scheme to round up the great and the good, England's finest, the jewels in the crown... well, maybe I am laying it on a little bit thick but it's not every day that a chap gets kidnapped by walking blocks of granite. A flare in the dark as the other occupant lit his pipe illuminated not only the carriage but also the situation somewhat. Revealed in the glowing embers was the face of one of the most reviled men in the country – the Prime Minister and, loathe though I am to admit it, my brother, Kirk The Younger.
"Bit of a rum do, old sock, accosting a chap in public like that," I protested.
"Well, would have you have come along if I'd asked nicely?" countered he.
"Fair point, The Younger. What occasion has called for you to let slip the bears of war out there?" I enquired, gesturing at the Brobdingnagian bulks outside.
"Ah, you see, the thing is..." I always enjoy seeing the poor fellow look awkward so let him prolong his obvious misery a little while longer. "I... that is.. well, really.... I need your help."
After he patiently waited for my paroxysms of mirth to subside, he outlined exactly what it was he wanted my help with. My face was nearly rent in two by the large grin which spread across it. If I knew then what I know now, that grin would have been nowhere to be seen....
To Be Furthered