Monday, July 05, 2010

In Awe of the Land of the Free

My gallipot yeomen, there has been another delay to Part 43 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”. The draft is just about ready to post, but the old synapses went off on one again.
That isn’t actually true, they went off on two.
Firstly, I was devastated to read that the UK National Health service is not going to be handing out ‘Pink Viagra’ on prescription. Such news would normally have me spewing words onto my keyboard like a teenager who’s overindulged on the scrumpy. It would have me berating the good people at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on behalf of the fairer sex. The article, by Dr Petra Boynton , suggested that the drug doesn’t work and there were side effects in its use. This confused this particular Hector. As the side effects included dizziness, fatigue and sleep problems, I thought that it must surely be that it worked too well!
Yet, the major synaptic disruption came when I read the blog entry in ‘Facts Are Strictly Optional. I read it and felt those all too familiar stirrings in my brain that often signals my synapses about to fire off in unintended directions (or that the cabbage was past its best in the Bubble & Squeak). I found myself replying, only to discover that my reply was too big for Blogger to cope with!
So, I suggest that you go read the ‘Facts Are Strictly Optional piece – otherwise you won’t understand what the hell I’m on about in the reply below!
Dear Michel,
Your blog on the wrapping prowess of US State Department staff has caused great interest and no little consternation in my country. The palace hasn’t had this much of a buzz since the unfortunate accident which saw my elder brother’s bed filled with several nests of the killer bee.
As Crown Prince, Head of State, Prime Minister, Lord Chief Justice and Head of the Army in my great country, I have had occasion to receive gifts from the land of the free (see Note 1). The wrapping of these presents is always greeted with great awe and wonder by my staff.
I had always assumed that it was because somehow the wrapping was devoid of kittens - here you cannot get wrapping paper that does not have young felines upon it. Our only wrapping paper factory is old and in much need of modernization as it was a gift from the Soviet Union. At the time, ideological thinking was that wrapping paper without kittens inflamed ambition of the Bourgeoisie.
As an aside, our lack of effective wrapping paper is something that could be easily rectified. It would help us  if your really nice president, when he next has to settle the White House utility bills,  could have a few words with the people at the World Bank while is waiting for a teller to come free. A few hundred thousand dollars would enable us to upgrade the factory and become a big player in the international gift wrapping market, thus helping to lift my people from poverty.   
After reading your blog and talking to one of my staff, I discover that this awe has nothing to do with the fantastic consumer choice in America. Their eyes do not open like saucers because of the lack of young cats in various humorous or 'awwww' inducing poses. Their jaws drop because of the way that the bundles of greenbacks (See Note 2) or the latest gadget (See Note 3) have been packaged without the apparent use of sticky tape (See Note 4).
Your blog is therefore an education to me. As a result, I have called together my countries greatest minds to ensure that we too can compete with the superpowers when it comes to gift wrapping and have our nation take its deserved place at the top table of international diplomatic relations.
However, it appears that our national treasury cannot run to the cost of an international trip to New York to purchase wrapping paper without kittens, so when your President Obama next drops into your office (See Note 5), please tell your President Obama to excuse the wrapping paper on the phallic tribal carving enclosed (See Note 6).
I am hoping for an invitation to your great country to meet with your president. I have so many questions, not only about the mystical gift wrapping skills. For it is a source of great mystery to me how he finds time to play golf with so many world leaders and still have time for gift shopping. My third wife says that he must send Hilary Clinton down to Macy’s, but surely she has little spare time what with having to pander to Ex-President Clinton’s well documented appetites?
Thank you again for your time and your country's generosity. I hope that it gives you great pride that your skills with the sticky tape cause such awe in my court.
If you do find yourself in my great country, please feel free to drop by the palace. I will personally organise some communal smoking of ganga weed, music and dancing by way of celebration of your skills. Should you wish to stay a while, I’m sure that I can ask one of my wives to let you stay in her hut, but I’m afraid your husband would need to sleep with the young warriors in another part of the palace.
Americas Staunches Friend,
Crown Prince Alba Marranga Betoovee.
PS. When the next round of international aid comes around, please could I remind the White House tailor that I am a 46 inch chest with a 30 inch long trouser. The last suit was rather uncomfortable in the summer heat and the trousers were a bit like a cheap hotel.

There you go then, my mischievous synapses are playing up again. I will return with the next part of “A Couple of Tenors Short” very soon. If you are stuck for something to read, you could try my ideas on ethical business taxation (if you haven’t already). If you still have some time left over you could go to the UK Government’s Freedom site and rate and comment upon my entry on that site.  

Note 1: I must take issue with your assertion that America is not the land of the free, for I have never had to pay for any of these gifts. I have only ever been asked to allow a small corner of our land be used by your military to store giant metal tubes of candy or some such totally innocuous content.
Note 2: For which I am eternally grateful, but would be better received under plain wrapper in small denomination, used bills.
Note 3: Which are always very lovely and shiny with a decoration of half eaten fruit, but totally useless due to the rather intermittent availability of lightening juice throughout my land.
Note 4: Here we do not have the luxury of many branded goods and are forced to use the much inferior European Sellotape brand.
Note 5: This is a very inefficient way of communicating. In my country we have a much more efficient way of getting people to bond, motivate people and increase physical contact amongst staff. We utilise the bonding and motivational qualities of group smoking of the ganga weed. If you like, I can send some over to President Obama, but tell him not to do the smoking of the ganga weed in the Oval Office because it will stain the wallpaper.
Note 6: Please make sure that your great president reads the instructions very carefully before he displays it at the foot of the bed he shares with his first lady. My cousin had one just like it and it inflamed the passions of his wives so much that he ended up ruptured and exhausted. We had warned him about using the powerful magic of the little blue pill, but he ignored us all. His death was a great shock to my people, but the poor man died with a huge smile on his face and eventually, we were able to nail down the lid on his coffin.

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