As the crisis in the Middle East escalates, the instability of the world economy increases, and the revelation of just how many fault lines you can build a nuclear power station on becomes clear, in the UK, our obsession turns to…the Royal Wedding and the referendum on voting principles. These two headline staples are about to reach fever pitch, and I find myself fairly indifferent to them both.
The ‘wedding of the century’, which appears to be sending journos into palpitations on both sides of the Atlantic, is between two people that most of us have never met, who, for all I know, may be very charming and worthwhile individuals, but who appear to come across as chinless toffs with only a marginal connection by birth with the rest of their country. And at a time when we’re supposed to be riding out a serious recession (with Boy George Osborne at the controls, Gawd help us), do we really need to bring the country to a halt, buy a jobload of Chinese Union Jack bunting, and watch a procession of upper class twits parading around London in stupid clothes? Actually, we had most of that at last week’s London marathon.
Just how ironic is the concept that this event was going to be a toned down event to reflect the nation’s austerity? I’m particularly indignant about this, because my marriage to Mrs E, 21 years ago* was conducted for the princely sum of £27.50, plus the cost of her dress. To be fair, being the well bred lady that she is, she’s never revealed to me the cost of the dress, but given that she bought it from a second-hand shop in Norwich, it’s unlikely to compare with that of the People’s Princess. And, while I’m on the subject, neither did Mrs E attract my attention by parading along a catwalk at a posh university in a transparent dress. Far more romantically, we met one night in the infamous Jolly Butchers’ nightclub, when both of us were blind drunk and unable to focus or speak coherently, and after she’d spent two hours asleep on the toilet floor**. Class.
I’m not a fan of daytime drinking, but should you find yourself alone on Friday with a bottle of vodka and a TV set, I would recommend the following game. Just knock back one shot for each of the following:
– Hushed commentary with the words ‘his late mother’s ring’ in any sentence. All rather creepy, therefore worth a drink anyway
– Reference to Kate Middleton’s humble roots; extra shot for coal mining reference, but one shot deducted if the £30k annual school fees and millionaire father are mentioned in the same sentence
– Heartfelt commentary, being broadcast across 300 countries to a billion viewers, about how important it is that the royal couple are able to live away from the glare of publicity
– Broadcast of any street party north of the border
– Interview with slightly weird Royal enthusiast, who has been camped out for 48 hours on the Mall, saying that Kate looks ‘every inch the Princess’
Obviously, you can add or subtract your own key phrases to taste, not least to pace your drinking. There is a danger that if you follow this directly you’ll be smashed by about 1130; although this may be the only way to get through the rest of the day.
Personally, I’ll be spending Friday creating my own art installation. Inspired by Spencer Tunick, I’ll be employing 500 uniformed public schoolchildren to lay down on a playing field, spelling out the word ‘Austerity’ in 20 ft high letters.
Anyway, that’s my balanced view of the Royal Wedding. Don’t get me started on AV, however, I’m really cross about that one. More of which later.
*And never a cross word
** Mrs E is at pains to point out that her condition was due to an unfortunate incident with what I believe is called a ‘Tardis’