Hey there, peeps… er, loyal subjects. It’s been months since I put this heavy old crown back on and rendered some kingly pronouncements. To get back in the mood, I revisited The King’s Speech, that wonderful 2010 movie starring Colin Firth.
Good thing that Lionel Logue, King George VI’s speech therapist, had such moxie:
Logue: Why do you stammer so much more with [your brother] David than you ever do with me?
King George VI: ‘Cos you’re b… bloody well paid to listen.
Logue: What is it about David that stops you speaking?
King: What is it about you that bloody well makes you want to go on about it the whole [bleep] time?
Logue: Vulgar, but fluent; you don’t stammer when you swear.
King: Oh, [bleep]!
Logue: Is that the best you can do?
King: Well… [bleep] to you, you beastly [bleep].
Logue: Oh, a public school prig could do better than that.
Full disclosure: it took me months to summon enough gumption to fire up the king burners again without stammering from nerves. It is such dad-gummed daunting (phew, no stutters) work. But recent events compel me to shake off my torpor, haul my royal garb to the cleaners and shine up ye old crown. (Brasso worked well and it’s so nicely suited to getting down to, ah, brass tacks).
My first order of business is a pure joy. It is done while recognizing that if we are to ever survive this grinding (see Colorado, ugh) political season, it will be women coming to the rescue. Again. Rosie the Riveter’s daughters, granddaughters, and nieces unite for your fantastic country! As I suggested in “Men and Women” several summers ago, ladies have it all over men. In general.
What could be more kingly than recognizing Allison Anderwald of Portland, Texas, a smallish five year old who saved her mother’s life recently? When Tracy, 34, had a seizure in the family swimming pool, she lay under four feet of water for several minutes. Motionless. Intrepid little Allison dragged her mom to the shallow end and rolled her over. Once Tracy’s face surfaced, Allison ran lickety-split for help and saved the day. And her mother’s life. Allison has been swimming since she was a toddler. May she enjoy being near the water for the rest of her very, very long and happy life. Become a queen, perhaps.
In this Allisonian spirit, we must also recognize the titanic goodness and selflessness of one Jodi Schmidt of Oakfield, Wisconsin. Her former kindergarten student, Natasha Fuller, was critically ill with Prune-Belly Syndrome which necessitated kidney dialysis. The 8-year old girl and her grandmother had been traveling to Milwaukee three times a week for treatment but Natasha had lapsed into renal failure. Otherwise happy, sassy and cuter than any royal button, Natasha and Jodi have been confirmed as a healthy match for a kidney transplant. Between Ms. Schmidt and Allison the little mermaid’s stories, the king was left in royal tears. Go ye forth, ladies, and see what even greater good your magnificent examples may prompt in these trying times.
I did say “in general” about women having it all over men. The King also recognizes how great dads can be. Check out J.P. Morgan Chase Bank’s “Mastery 2.0” commercial from New York based ad agency Droga5. It lovingly illustrates how a dad, too, might do just about anything for his children– even dressing up as a fairy princess just to make his daughter laugh at her party. How very cool.
As for issuing rapid fire royal directives, I came up with a king sized list. Here is a small sample. Roll the good times, guv.
- Refined spoken and written language binds society, transmits culture, elevates us above sand fleas, for example. Effective immediately, subjects will refrain from starting every other sentence with a meaningless “so.” As in, ‘What looks good to you?’ ‘So I’ll have a cheeseburger and a diet Coke.’ Or, ‘How was your trip?” ‘So we had a really great time, Kingster.’ The word “awesome” is likewise hereby banned. No more ‘That (burger, dress, pool party, you name it) was awesome.’ Once everything is awesome, nothing is. Try superb instead. Or terrific. Maybe just great. Use your imaginations, people. Think crowning achievement.
- Medical ads all over on TV will be consolidated on their own cable channel, MEADTV. No longer will everyone be inundated with ads for conditions that only a handful of us actually have. Got really weird skin, can’t stop sneezing around Aunt Jessica or her cat, get heartburn just thinking about spicy food? Go to MEADTV. After an hour or two of this nonstop torture, you may come crawling back to the rest of us. (For rug burn relief, return to MEADTV.)
- No more zoos. If you love animals or want your kids to become more attuned to them, get out in nature, sweethearts. Watch the National Geographic Channel. Volunteer at an animal shelter. How would you like to live the rest of your life in jail like a caged animal does? And don’t backtalk me with nonsense about open-concept places like San Diego. A zoo is a z-z-zoo. (Uh-oh, it’s happening again!)
- All you Bernie Sanders supporters, here’s the deal. In the real world, you won’t be getting free college. But fear not! For a limited time only, you can borrow my Royal Time Machine and transport yourselves back to 1941. Join the Army, Navy, or Marines. Survive WWII. Then sign up for the GI Bill and go to college on the government. Finally, return my time machine, and please bring it back with a full tank. Cheers!
- Speaking of our armed services, I’m feeling generous and willing to make Bernie Sanders an honorary officer. I dub him Colonel Sanders. He will be advised to please open a Colonel Sanders restaurant in Beaufort. With really good fried chicken on the menu. And mashed potatoes. And coleslaw. At reasonable prices. If you get acid reflux (feelin’ the burn, y’all?), check out (yep!) MEADTV.
Just three quick and easy ones to finish up for now:
- Forget oboes and bassoons. They sound too gloomy. All oboe and bassoon players can trade in their quacking clunkers for banjos and harmonicas. Much more cheerful, don’t you think?
- Someone locate the pensive looking lady I saw outside the Lady’s Island Publix the other day holding the new issue of Lowcountry Weekly. She wore jeans, a white polka dot blouse, and a Clemson cap. Medium height and weight lady, short dark hair. Intelligent expression. Ask her what she was thinking at that point… the King is a curious chap.
- All DMV employees will have their salaries doubled. OK, Bernie-ites, make that quadrupled. That’s how thankful the King is for DMV flagging his terrible eyesight last fall. Three day work weeks. Two hour lunches. Free college. Speech therapists. Whoops! That would be just too awesome. So I take it back.
OK, that’s it for Ye Old Kingster today. I’m on Medicare now and tire easily. This king for a day stuff is just exhausting. But all kinds of fun, enough to keep the Brasso handy.