Monday, June 20, 2011
COLUMN: Royal Wedding
As a weekly columnist prone to writing about whatever's happened in my life over the past seven days, occasionally I worry about revealing TOO much. Not that I have any particularly embarassing skeletons in the closet or lead any kind of exciting double life -- but still, I can't help but feel that some things should simply remain private.
However, there's no good way to begin this story except to admit to you all that, in the wee morning hours of April 29th, I had bad gas.
So bad, in fact, that it woke me in the middle of the night. "Ugh," I simultaneously thought and said as I zombie-walked to the bathroom. By the time it was all over (a column I'll save for the next issue of Gastrointestinal Digest Monthly,) I sauntered back to bed far more awake than I ever cared to be at 4:30 a.m. That's why I decided to turn on the TV for a few minutes in hopes of getting lulled back to sleep.
And THAT, my friends, is how yours truly got an unintentional last-minute invitation to the Royal Wedding. The TV sprung to life at the exact moment Kate Middleton was entering Westminster Abbey, and by the time I fell back asleep, she was Mrs. Prince William Arthur Philip Louie Louie Me Gotta Go And The Revolution. And once again -- with all due apologies to ladies, Britons, and Elton John fans worldwide -- I just don't get it. But I think I've narrowed it down to a few select reasons, which I shall bestow upon you as an essay entitled...
Why Shane Doesn't Give A Flying Fascinator About The Royal Wedding
(1) I'm a guy. This means that I'm biologically predisposed to roll my eyes at any event featuring dresses, flowers and hats as major selling points. I'm just not a wedding kinda guy. Don't get me wrong -- when I get married, I'm going to care a heck of a lot about dresses and flowers -- but that's only because I know the future Mrs. Me enjoys that kinda stuff. But if it's a wedding that affects me in absolutely no way, shape, or form? Watching it unfold was about as exciting as watching paint dry. I found myself viewing it not unlike a NASCAR race -- waiting for any kind of trip, stumble, or misspoken name to liven things up. Sadly, the whole affair went as smooth and boring as I'd feared. Yawn. And as for the hats? No one can ever mock me again for my beloved ill-fitting Greek fisherman's cap, because the hats and fascinators on display that morning fell squarely into two camps: (a) things that looked like dead animals and (b) things that I'm pretty sure I saw Judy Jetson wear. If THAT'S what's passing for high fashion these days, my smelly cap should land me a GQ cover any day now.
(2) It's amateur hour for Anglophiles. For years, I used to run a website devoted to US fans of UK pop culture. I've got lifelong American friends who still to this day insert words like "loo" and "petrol" into everyday conversation. I used to stay up until 4 a.m. just to place mail orders with London record shops. If anybody's a fan of British culture around here, it's me. Yet last week, Americans were coming out of the woodwork to drink tea, wave the Union Jack, and cry over two people getting married a thousand miles away. There were girls in our office that held 3 a.m. Royal Wedding parties and talked endlessly about the Middleton clan as though they were on a first name basis with the entire extended family. When I used to DJ down in the District, we joked that no regulars ever came out on New Year's Eve. Same rule applies here. Let the amateurs have their royal wedding - come see me once you own the entire Smiths discography and can act out every Monty Python sketch from memory.
(3) What purpose doth the royal family even serve any more? Maybe I'd care more if these folks actually RAN the country they're supposed to represent, but they don't. As far as I can tell, the entire purpose of the royal family is to occasionally put on royal weddings. And if that's the case, well then I say "Brava!" Mission accomplished - it was a perfectly opulent pomp and pointless ceremony to befit such a pomp and pointless monarchy. Perhaps I'd have more of a vested interest in the whole affair if the Queen occasionally, oh I dunno, declared war on Iceland or something. And then she could force her army of knights into battle -- you know, such brave souls of combat like Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Ian McKellan, and Sir Anthony Hopkins... and they all have to occasionally don swords and fight Bjork. Then maybe I'd care.
(4) Hi-definition ruined the magic. I have vague memories of the wedding of Prince Charles & Diana Spencer, though I hope I didn't wake up at 4:30 a.m. for that one, too. What I remember was the same sort of spell-binding, fairy-tale, gag-me-with-a-spoon regal splendor of this one, but with a bit of a difference. With Charles & Di, it really did seem like you were watching a movie and catching an illicit glimpse of a Cinderella world you'd never be a part of. THIS wedding, though, I enjoyed in crystal clear hi-definition -- and I think it stripped the magic right off the affair. Suddenly, Westminster Abbey seemed royally REAL. It wasn't a fairy tale. It was just regular folk with the same pock marks and balding heads as you and me. We got to see the entire wedding as though we were there -- and that's no place for common folk like us.
(5) But most importantly, I don't give a flying fascinator about the royal wedding because no one asked me to come DJ the reception. You'd think the royal wedding planners wouldn't have made such a terrible oversight, but it appears they forgot to have me come play "Y.M.C.A." for the bridal party. What would be more fun than teaching Queen Elizabeth how to shake her royal fanny to the Cha-Cha Slide? And let's be honest, nothing brings out regal splendor quite like a good Chicken Dance (some people certainly had the right hats for it, that's for sure.) And tell me they wouldn't have made a KILLING from some well-timed dollar dances, no? It's all a huge missed opportunity.
It's enough to give me a stomach ache. Wait, nope, that's just gas again.