Royal Pain in the Ass

April 29, 2011

Bladebone Inn, Bucklebury, England

8:30 a.m. through ENTIRE DAY

Notable Matter: Old woman dressed as the Queen of England; royalists; racing ducks; trotting sheep; old men dancing around, bells on ankles, hankies in hand.  

“The beer tent will open at 10 o’clock with the duck race,” says the Royal Wedding announcer who has been talking about beer since 8:30 a.m. with good reason. We’re – myself, a few residents of this tiny town and 30 media hacks – are waiting to pack into a tent sheltering a massive TV to watch two strangers get married. It’s disturbing.

I’m sitting across the street from the Bladebone Inn in Bucklebury, England, the hometown of queen-to-be/duchess/whatever Kate Middleton. From my vantage point under the tea tent, I see the following:

Morris Men, a group of crazy old men wearing colorful rag jackets and white tights for the purpose of dancing in a circle and waving hankies. I don’t get it.

Royalists. Equally as nutty as the Morris Men, this international crew obsesses over the royal family going so far as to plan vacations to destinations where they might get a glimpse of the family, places like Bucklebury on the day of the royal wedding. I had my first encounter with these people last night. Man and wife. Woman dressed in red, white and blue, easily mistaken for a fat, American housewife on the Fourth of July. Last night she placed her half-pint of Guinness between the legs of a stuffed, royal wedding teddy bear.

Animals and blimps, namely ducks that will spend the rest of the day racing one another.

Young men drinking from well thought out BYOB backpacks. I get them, would love a Foster’s, bitter, anything really.

Police. Is there really risk of a riot?

Bookies, for the duck and sheep races, naturally.

Announcement: “The duck race is starting. MSN and CBS from the U.S. have each sponsored a duck. We thank them for their sponsorship.”

The papers have been full of this whole royal wedding to-do for weeks, examining every possible wedding/relationship/royalty angle including the type of toilet the new couple will use in their honeymoon suite (it’s an original Crapper).

The Sun, a British tabloid, hired African rain dancers to prance about yesterday in hopes of avoiding this dark day and ominous clouds. I’m freezing my ass off. I don’t think the dance worked.

What do I think of this whole shebang? I think it’s stupid but no one cares about my opinion because I’m a yank and the U.S. doesn’t have a title laden social hierarchy so we therefore have no class. Or so I’m told.

These people are lunatics. I must get to the beer tent. I have to get to the bottom of this insanity.

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Porn. Links. Comment.

December 6, 2010

Words. They are beautiful, painful, meaningful, empty, random, cathartic, misunderstood, abused, destructive, empowering and confusing.

ThumpMe is a great word. It generates a staggering amount of interest from the adult entertainment industry. Usually they contact me via Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, but one commented on the Sexy Nine post. The comment was OK — “this is the best post ever seen…ok!” — but when I stalked him via the link associated with his name, I ended up in Porn Land, which I can deal with unfortunately, the girls on the site were minors so now MSNBC’s “To Catch a Predator” is probably going to send some 16-year-old in a short skirt and thighs highs to my house. Great. At least it will make for an interesting story.

This week we’re launching Fiction 440, a flash fiction event designed to get people playing with words. We give them three prompts that they have to use some where in the story, a 440-word count and a deadline. Our first prompts: Balls. Cufflinks. Glassware.

If ThumpMe were a flash fiction topic, the prompt would be Porn. Links. Comments.

We can play flash fiction with The Acts too. They’re a snooze. If I wanted to listen to that much courtroom drama, I would have gone to law school. My God. Workable prompts for The Acts include: Gentiles. Romans. Miracle.

“If it weren’t for miracles, the Gentiles, Jews and Romans would chill out and allow me to read things of greater importance such as “I love you but…”

Seriously though, we’re so flippant about syntax. Take the word miracle. In the Bible, miracles are unexplained situations that heal deaf people, jolt the crippled from bed and revive weaving widows.

My miracle criteria are a bit more blasé. “It’s a miracle I’ve survived six Michigan winters.” “It’s a miracle that I haven’t lost my ‘jade is the new black’ nail polish.”

Sometimes I use it correctly. “It’s a miracle I didn’t get raped when I followed a few Dominicans to ghetto fab ‘dance clubs’ in a seedy barrio.” “It’s a miracle that women can make bones, brains and skin.”

Today I looked at the top “miracle” Google news alerts.

1. Keizer Miracle of Christmas lights

(It’s about a Christmas light festival. Really?)

2. No Bobb miracle: Detroit Schools Have Failed

(Poor guy couldn’t save the Detroit schools, which, I suppose would be a miracle.)

3. I’m skipping this one. It’s too stupid for consumption.

4. After ‘miracle,’ shooting victim gives thanks

OK. Getting shot in the face and outpacing death by .5 centimeters counts as a miracle. The others, not so much. But if you don’t believe in a higher power you can’t use the word “miracle” because Merriam-Webster defines miracle as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”

Guess I’ll have to excommunicate myself from miracles.

Stopping Point: Paul’s Letter to the Romans

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