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Royal Flush

Dear readers,

Who the hell is Meghan Markle?

I’m serious. I could really use some help with this one. All this week, that’s all Gladys has been jabbering about: Meghan Markle, this, Meghan Markle, that. Did you hear what Meghan Markle said to Oprah? And I kept saying to Gladys, “Wait. Back up a second, darling. You’re going to have to explain to me who this Meghan Markle person is and why I should care.”

That’s when she flashed me a look somewhere between sheer annoyance and outright contempt. State of our marriage, I suppose.

Well, I admit I was curious, so I went to the library – finally open again – and did a little snooping. Apparently, Meghan Markle is married to some man named Harry, and this man is the son of some fellow named Charles and some lady named Diana. Oh, and I guess his grandmother is the Queen of England – or so she claims – and all of this makes him famous in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries.

But none of that explains why an American should give two cents about any of this balderdash. Since when is it my business what the (so-called) Queen of England does or doesn’t do? Since when should I care, to any degree, about the particulars of her (frankly) hideous offspring?

The whole happy gang.

Excuse me. Forgive me. Maybe I’m confused. Maybe I’m an old man who forgot to take his medicine today. But I’m pretty sure we fought a goddamn war so that we’d never have to concern ourselves with the squalid affairs of the British Crown ever again.

Now, I mean no offense towards the British people, for whom I’ve always held a special affection. No, no, I’m talking about this weird unseemly obsession some Americans – mainly women, I hate to say – have with British royalty, mannerisms, and deprecated social arrangements. You know what I’m talking about. All those period pieces about British upper society, usually from the turn of the century, with the ridiculous costumes and obnoxious accents and so on.

For example, I know one snobbish woman who prefers the British spelling for common words. She actual writes flavor as “flavour” and color as “colour”. I swear, every time I read one of her goddamn emails, it makes me want to “cosh” her right on the “noggin” with a “great bully truncheon”, awroight, awroight…? Speak American, lady. I’m not gonna warn you again.

For the love of God, stop paying so much attention to these people. Hold your heads high like the free-born American women you are. We acknowledge no king in this country. We are aware of no princes. All men are created equal. Perhaps you’ve heard of that one before? Well, to the extent that it means anything, it means heredity nobility has no truck in this land.

It makes me sick just to contemplate. Twenty-five years ago, everybody was cooing and awing any time that Diana woman sneezed or wet her pants. Like she was your goddamn pet or something. It boggled my mind then and it boggles my mind now. Celebrity worship is moronic in all its forms, but it becomes especially loathsome when the celebrities do nothing to earn their fame except by being born into it. If you ask me, all this "royalty" business is simply a phoney-baloney excuse for grown adults to play dress-up and put on crappy plays.

Which brings us along to Miss Markle. First of all, why does she spell her name with an extra “h”? Was she awarded that additional “h” when she married into the royal family? Did they have some kind of elaborate ceremony at Westminster Cathedral? What’s wrong with plain old Megan? Are you implying you’re somehow better than all the other Megan’s in this great wide world of ours? Huh? Is that it?

Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Oh, and apparently our dear Meghan is black, but you could’ve fooled me. She’s every bit as black as a five-foot man is tall – that is to say, only by comparison. Yeah, yeah, yeah, her mother was black, or whatever, so that makes her mixed. Fine. But I don’t think you get to rub out your diversity orgasms to a woman whose blackness is so slight as to be regularly missed by the casual observer.

Personally, I think that’s a slap in the face to all the black women out there who don’t look white and who sometimes struggle with conceptions of their own beauty - as unfortunate as that may be. Talk about tone-deaf. Hey, everybody! Look at this pretty tan woman marrying some royal prince! Isn’t this amazing? It’s like a modern fairy tale! Because she’s black!

Seriously, Oprah should’ve gotten out of her seat and smacked the shit out of her. Mind you, I’ve never been madly in love with Oprah, but at least there’s a woman who built herself up from nothing: a woman of uncommon talent and ability, who overcame genuine adversity to rise to the top of her field. She’s the spitting image of the American Dream in many ways, and I would much rather that American girls and ladies look up to Oprah than to some whiny snotty gold-digger.

Because let’s be real here, that’s all Meghan Markle is. She’s a professional bimbo who went to London to catch herself a fish. She’s a shining example of the modern feminist ideal: use men like stepping stones on your road to glory. And once you’re at the top, don’t forget to decry all the monstrously unfair privilege that exists in the world – privilege that you certainly don’t enjoy – and take up every faddish cause under the sun.

Again, did I miss something? Was the moral framework of Western Civilization completely rewritten by eighth-grade girls yesterday? I know I tend to sleep a lot these days. Please wake me up the next time something like that happens.

From your press clippings, I gather that you, Miss Markle, steered your husband away from the royal family and into a kind of limbo arrangement. It seemed the wealth and trappings of royalty suited you immensely, but the duties and responsibilities? Ah, those not so much. Now, you’re displeased your son is not being granted the title of “prince” by the very same royal family you insisted your husband distance himself from.

At this point, I just have to admire your balls, lady.

I guess there’s this whole intricate protocol about who gets to be a prince or princess. It’s pretty goddamn stupid – but far less stupid than the notion of princes and princesses divorced from any such protocols.

I mean, shit. If there were no rules to hereditary monarchy, then I could just declare myself Emperor of Chappiqaw County and start issuing outrageous demands. Ye, bring unto me comely maidens from every household that doth lie within my dominion. And lo, liverwurst sausages in number of three per acre. So sayeth Emperor O’Flannery, thy lord and god. Bow down and tremble before me!

Do you see where I’m going with this? Anyway, why anyone – especially any American – ever gave you the time of day is beyond me. Still, I have to give the devil his due. Two days ago, I didn’t have a clue who you are, and within forty-eight hours, I’ve come to despise you beyond description. You really have to be a horrendous train-wreck of a person to pull that off. Congratulations, your highness... I hope you're proud.

And Harry? Honestly pal, a part of me just feels bad for you. I know you didn’t choose to be born into that golden cage they call royalty, but on the other hand, I can’t let you off the hook either. Grow yourself some goddamn rocks and tell that gold-digging psychopath of yours to hit the bricks. Get your son out of her grimy claws while you're at it too. Just this once, for maybe the first time in your life, it's time you took control of your own destiny.

Look, kid. There’s a whole ocean of females out there just dying to mate with you. That’s one perk of the whole royalty thing, at least. And even though it hardly makes a difference, you ain't a bad-looking cat either. C'mon man! Do like your ancestors did and go a-wenching along the downy fens of Shropshire and Staffordshire. Jesus, this shouldn't be that hard.

Anyway, that's all I have to say on this subject. Now, let’s no longer concern ourselves with the sordid personal lives of these in-bred limeys ever again. Awroight, awroight...?



James O’Flannery


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