And now that you're here (suckers!) the title of this diary has almost nothing to do with the content. Less than almost nothing. It was a cheap ploy. Accept it. Move on.
The truth is that some of my best friends are firefighters. How tight am I with them? So tight, that there were ten of them just hanging out in my driveway at 2AM this morning. So tight, that when I picked up the phone and said, "Yo. Party at my place. And bring your respirators, because my Carbon Monoxide detectors are OFF the HOOK.", they came, ready to put their thing down.
I'm SO TIGHT with them, in fact, that when we all get together, nobody says anything about my inability to pick up street slang that post-dates the Kid & Play House Party movies.
There always has to be one guy, though, right? The guy who brings every party to a screeching halt? And last night, that guy was our town's fire chief.
"Our guys didn't pick up anything.", he began. "Looks like your detector upstairs is faulty, and it triggered all of the other detectors in the house. I'd recommend getting it replaced."
But check this: when I thanked him, and inadvertently let out a yawn, he chuckled and replied, "Look on the bright side: you lost some sleep, but now you're awake for the Royal Wedding!"
The record scratched. The crickets chirped. Everyone held their breath. And my Accusatory Finger of Doom slowly made its way to a spot pointed directly between his Democracy-hating little eyes.
"Get. Off. My. Property. You. Constitutional. Monarchy. Loving. Turncoat."
At first he thought I was kidding. But as my words hung in the air, and every extra period ricocheted off his forehead, he knew I meant business.
I hoped that, perhaps, daylight would bring some fresh perspective. Maybe I'd ultimately conclude that he was just making friendly small talk, and didn't mean anything by it. Maybe I'd reach a place where the Revolutionary War, The Spice Girls, and Simon Cowell didn't matter any more.
Yeah. Sure. Daylight just seasoned the wound with extra festering.
As is the custom at my house, I like to watch the local news as I get ready for work. In a fifteen minute block, I learn what weather conditions I should dress for, what team the Red Sox lost to, which God the weaselly "radio ministry" guy wants me to pray to, and which LePage administration statement I should apologize for, as I go about my day.
There's an urban legend which suggests that King George III's diary entry on July 4th, 1776 was as follows: "Nothing of importance happened today."
And it seems that, this morning, the American newsmedia wished to return the favor: "Nothing of importance happ-... wait! This just in! Royal Wedding!!!!!"
I simply don't cope well with life's minutiae intruding on life's macrutiae. And so my poor wife and daughter, as interested in fairy tale weddings as the next set of hopelessly romantic colonial ne'er-do-wells, were forced to endure my ongoing commentary this morning, featuring deadpan impersonations of Matt Lauer, and Random British Guy Who's Probably Big on The Beeb, But Completely Unknown To Me, Pip Pip, Cheerio, Guv'nah:
Matt Lauer: If you're just joining us, we're here in London, where it's a balmy 64-degrees, with clear skies; the perfect weather to watch a parade of Rolls Royces with tinted windows drive along at five miles an hour.
Beeb Commentator: 64 degrees? Five miles an hour? Do you Yanks have any measurements in your country which AREN'T derived from the length of some dead earl's swinging cod?
Matt Lauer: Ha, ha! That's that dry British wit that those of you at home have probably heard so much about.
Beeb Commentator: Wanker.
Matt Lauer: The, ummm... cars are black, as you can see, and ummm... the specs from Rolls Royce suggest that they feature a stereo system with iPod connectivity. So if you're as much a fan of the Royal Family as I am, be sure to put THAT bit of trivia in your scrapbooks.
Beeb Commentator: Bloody ponce.
(Four hours later.)
Matt Lauer: Kate Middleton, soon to be the next Duchess of Cambridge, is making her way down the isle. Now... I understand that the flower girls were all picked by a process of elimination, and that, if under the constraints of the grueling ten day trial, any of them broke formation or cried for their mothers, they were immediately sent off to Newgate Prison.
Beeb Commentator: That's correct. Everything must be perfect. Everything must meet a particular level of decorum. There's simply no room for embarrassment or error in a wedding with as many eyes on it as this one.
Matt Lauer: Waiting for her at the end of the aisle: Prince William, accompanied by his brother, Prince Harry. You know, once upon a time, many Americans felt that William was the charming one, having inherited so many of his mother's features. And Harry? C'mon. That second-string ginger wasn't getting anywhere NEAR the throne.
Beeb Commentator: Oh, make no mistake. That was very much the impression here, as well. But now if you look at them, I think it's safe to say that the tables have turned. Prince Harry looks virile enough to ravage a locker-room full of cheerleaders, and still have enough stamina to finish himself off. William? Not so much.
Matt Lauer: He... heh... he kind of reminds me of that Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch that Monty Python used to do. The goofy teeth. The male pattern baldness. What happened?
Beeb Commentator: A life of leisure, Matt. And lots of English Toffee.
(Ten hours later.)
Matt Lauer: The wedding party is now participating in the Chicken Dance. Did I hear that this was requested by Queen Elizabeth?
Beeb Commentator: Indeed, Matt. When she and Prince Philip were first wed, Philip famously stated, "My dear, I am not yet drunk enough for dancing."
Winston Churchill, who had been invited as a guest, overheard the whole exchange, and said to the despondent Princess, "Your Highness, if it in fact pleases you, I AM drunk enough."
As the story goes, Churchill's arm-flapping antics on the dance floor that night are what gave birth to the modern day Chicken Dance. And since then, the Queen has had quite a soft spot for both it, AND the Cha-Cha Slide, which I suspect will be coming up next.
(Fifteen hours later.)
Matt Lauer: We're here in the bridal suite, where Prince William seems to be fumbling around a little bit in the dark.
Beeb Commentator: Is it really any surprise, Matt? I don't care if you're the Earl of Sandwich, the Duke of Earl, or the King of Queens: eleven shots of Yager will fuck you up. This marriage is not likely to be consummated tonight.
Matt Lauer: In fact... is that snoring, I'm hearing?
Beeb Commentator: I believe so. Quite tragic.
Matt Lauer: Then with that, we bid you farewell from William and Kate's bridal suite, where the newly anointed Duchess has decided that late-night reruns of 'John and Kate Plus Eight' will tide her over until morning, when this fairy tale romance will devolve into the same petty sniping at relatives who didn't bring gifts, and catty comments directed at what some of the guests were wearing, that we've all experienced on Day One of our own marriages.
From London, this is Matt Lauer signing off for NBC News.
Lest I be accused of Royal-bashing (And why would I EVER want to bash people who exist primarily to provide tabloids with a constant revenue stream?) I'd like to point out that this last bit of faux-reporting is largely taken from NBC's coverage of my own wedding, seven years ago this June.
Meh. Marriage consummation is overrated, anyway.