HOW DUMB, DUMB, DUMB CAN A MAN BE?

Sunday mornings around this household are a leisurely affair.  They consist primarily of my having my weekly cup of decaffeinated coffee but mostly of listening to the talk shows which dominate Sunday morning television.  Obviously I cannot see the images on the screen but I follow the dialogue with considerable interest.

Last Sunday, which was June 2, was no exception.  We watched the Chris Matthews program at ten o’clock followed by, as always, Bob Schieffer’s program.  At the eleven o’clock hour, we hear snatches of Fareed Zakaria, who is a learned gentleman.  Most of the eleven o’clock hour goes to a program by Howard Kurtz, who is an acerbic commentator on the American press.  The program by Howard Kurtz is most interesting to me because he calls a spade a spade, which is done all without ranker.

However, at eleven AM last Sunday, instead of Howard Kurtz, the broadcast on CNN was a live performance of the celebration of the Queen of England’s 60 years on the throne.  As we were often reminded, this was her Diamond Jubilee commemorating 60 years on the throne of England.  Perhaps at this point, I should mention two things.  First is that the author of this essay is an American whose ancestry is Irish and who thinks that the treatment of the Irish by the English for 800 years was nothing less than horrific.  The second is that the phrase “on the throne” means for all of those who speak the English language that it refers to the use of a commode in a sitting position.

But now, back to the live broadcast of the ceremonies honoring Queen Elizabeth of England for her 60th year of ruling.  I watched the program out of curiosity.  In former days, when Britain ruled the waves, the Queen of England would have met her subjects on her 60th anniversary by standing on the bow of a battleship such as The Invincible or The Intrepid.  But these are not the former days.  Instead, the Queen was allowed to float down the Thames on a barge while all of her admiring subjects stood on the river banks and waved to her.

As we were often told during this broadcast, the weather was less than balmy.  The temperature, as she floated down the river on the barge, was on the order of no more than 40°F.  But for the better part of five hours, the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, stood on the front end of the barge and waved to her subjects.  To use a word of English construction, this was a balmy exercise.  It made no sense, but in my estimation very little that the English monarch does makes any sense.

But now a sad note appeared.  When he completed his barge ride down the Thames, the Duke of Edinburgh seemed to have contracted a urinary infection.  His ancestry is Greek, of course; the Greek temperatures at this time of year are a good bit happier.  But maybe the Duke of Edinburgh knows something that we did not know.  The ceremonies are supposed to last for four days but he was hospitalized after the first day.  This means that he will miss the last three days of the grand celebration.  Again, I say that he knew something that we did not know.

Before the Queen’s ride on the barge was completed, a bolt from the blue stiffened my spine.  An English Queen is celebrating her 60 years on the throne and in this same year I will be celebrating my 90th birthday.  Those events were clearly heaven-sent.  We don’t make these things up.  Somehow the Queen of England and my birthday are clearly juxtaposed and entwined like the red rose and the bramble.  This is what gave rise to my comment at the beginning of this essay about being dumb.  I had overlooked this joint anniversary with the Queen of England and for that my dumbness must be widely celebrated.

I am so happy that the former Princess Elizabeth has been promoted to be the Queen because until 1917 she was not a Windsor at all.  In 1917 her parents changed their name from the German-sounding title of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.  It was of course ungainly for the British to have a Queen with a German name, particularly during World War I.  So now she is a Windsor and my admiration for her is unbounded.

As this is being dictated on Thursday, I am assuming that the royal celebration has now ceased.  I do not have the current word on the condition of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband.  I will bring that information to you as soon as I find out, taking time to confirm its accuracy.

Well, now to make up for my absolute dumbness, I am proposing the following formulation to cement English and American ties.  The first move would have to do with Buckingham Palace, the home of the Queen.  The Queen has a mean, nasty brat of a daughter named Princess Anne, who has a fleet of large dogs.  One report I read recently said that when Princess Anne visited her mother, she brought her dogs with her and, unfortunately, they had bowel movements on the lawn of Buckingham Palace.  Now if we can find a space on the lawn of Buckingham Palace that is free of dog poop, I would propose, in the interest of English and American solidarity, to make love to the English Queen on the lawn.  The frolicsome ceremonies could take place while the audience could view the proceedings via BBC and international television.  Furthermore, to cement the ties between England and the United States, I would then propose to repeat the performance at Yankee Stadium, using the lawn behind second base.

This is a monumental turn of events with the Queen’s anniversary and my 90th birthday happening so close to each other.  I can only conclude that it is a heaven-sent event.  As such, I think it should be treated with great reverence.

So now I leave you to prepare for the invitation to Buckingham Palace, which I believe will be winging its way across the Atlantic in a matter of minutes.  On behalf of American manhood, I hope to be up to the job that lies ahead of me.  As I prepare for that task, I will repeat the words, “Rule Britannia; Britannia rules the waves.”

 

E. E. CARR

June 7, 2012

Essay 665

 

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I told you he was vulgar. I don’t really even know what to do with this one, except click the “favorite” button with gusto.

Theme of the night is the United Kingdom and its affairs. That’ll be all.

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