"What is a wedding? Webster's Dictionary defines a wedding as 'the process of removing weeds from one's garden.' " -- Homer Simpson
With less than a week away until the royal wedding, it's starting to look like I'm not getting an invite. I just don't understand it. Could the prince have been using E-vite instead of a formal letter through the post? E-vites generally get slotted into my junk mail, so it's possible it was missed that way, but come on, I've seen "The King's Speech." We all know the royal family has a long tradition of being afraid of technology. King George was afraid of a radio, and Prince William is probably terrified of computers. He saw the Terminator films as a young lad and believed them to be true. Given how it was "SkyNet Day" just last week (i.e. the day in the Terminator mythos when SkyNet gains sentience and launches a nuclear assault on humanity), perhaps William thought the machines' attack would actually happen, hence his late scheduling of the wedding. "What's that Kate? You won't sleep with me until we're engaged? Hmm...okay, then let's get engaged! Yeah, that's the ticket! And we'll have the wedding anytime after April 21, 2011. Heh heh, it's the perfect crime! No, there isn't any particular reason I'm tenting my fingers."
But anyway, the royal wedding. I'm apparently not going. This pisses me off. Firstly, as a member of the extended Commonwealth, don't I have a right to be in attendance? Some might argue that no venue could possibly hold every person in the world that lives in a Commonwealth country, but to this I say Maple Leaf Gardens is available. Secondly, I was expecting an invite due to my personal history with Prince William. That's right, this has all been an elaborate preamble to some AMATEUR DREAM ANALYSIS!!!!!!!!1111
DREAM: I'm at the Tower of London, touring around the place with my mother. Who else should happen to be at the Tower that day but Prince William himself, accompanied by a couple of bodyguards as he joins our tour group like a garden-variety commoner. Suddenly, our group is taken hostage by a pack of apparent domestic terrorists, bent on taking the prince hostage within the Tower itself. The bodyguards are quickly dispatched (not sure if they were killed or what) but all 12-15 of us in this tour group are led at gunpoint into a side room and left to ourselves.
Immediately the prince stands up and apologizes for all of us getting mixed up in this situation, and then pulls a gun from under his jacket. "Fortunately, I have military training." He then produces a second gun that he tosses to...me? I should note, everyone else in this tour group is either north of 60 years old or south of 10 years old. "Do you know how to use a pistol?" "Uh, sure?" The prince then leads us out the door of the room, carefully looking out for the terrorists as we creep down a hallway. The tour group makes it to a door at the end of the hall, and we're surprised to learn that this door leads us right outside the Tower area and into a throng of concerned citizens and gawkers, since news of the hostage situation is all over the BBC. Our escape is greeted with a big cheer, and after firing a few celebratory rounds in the air (WTF?), Prince William gives me a hearty handshake and my mother asks for his autograph.
ANALYSIS: Okay, for starters, yes, this seems like a spec script that's missing both a second and third act. I'm glad Hans Gruber and his crew didn't just up and leave halfway through Die Hard, allowing Holly McClane to just escort her co-workers down the elevator and out the front door, or else that movie would've sucked. I mean, the terrorists just LEAVE? Where'd they go? Did MI-5 send in a team of assassins to slaughter them elsewhere in the Tower, and the MI-5 gang just forgot about actually rescuing the hostages, one of whom was the heir to the throne? Did the terrorists celebrate their successful hostage-taking by cracking over a case of beer and drunkenly forgetting the rest of their plan? Or maybe there was no second step to the plan -- they got the prince and some civilians into a room, and suddenly realized they had no demands or a way to get out alive. (Step one: kidnap the prince. Step two: ???? Step three: profit!) Also, I should mention that these terrorists were also just your garden-variety caucasian British blokes, so my subconscious is very politically-correct. Maybe they were Guy Ritchie gangsters; that would explain the lack of follow-through, since none of those guys' plans ever go right.
I have, in fact, actually been to the Tower of London. My mother and I indeed visited the place together while on vacation in England in 2004. The 'Tower' isn't really a tower, but rather a fort-type of enclosure, and it's well worth a visit if you're ever in London (though, we were out of there in, like, maybe two hours tops). I had a good enough time that I certainly didn't think about how the afternoon could be spiced up by a random kidnapping.
Also from real life: my mother loves autographs. In the late 1980's, while in the Dallas airport with her Sweet Adelines group, she noticed a group of very tall men making their way through the terminal. She asked one of the guys if they belonged to a basketball team, and yes, in fact, they did. This fellow was even nice enough to sign her program. The player? LARRY BIRD. My mum is no big basketball fan, but this was the late-80's! How could you not immediately recognize Larry Bird?! I think this one takes the cake, though there was also the time my family were all in an elevator in a Toronto hotel....(I've told this story before)...
[My mother] is also the woman who, on an elevator ride with a long-haired degenerate and a young boy who was clearly excited by the presence of this degenerate, asked "Excuse me, are you someone famous? Could you sign my autograph book?" The long-hair grunted and signed, and then got off on the next floor. The excited kid then yelled "You didn't know who that was? That was the Renegade!" Crickets chirped. After we got off the elevator, my mother asked the front desk if anyone famous was staying at the hotel, and in fact, the star of the Renegade TV series, Lorenzo Lamas, was checked in.
So yeah, whether you're Larry Bird, Lorenzo Lamas or anyone else on the celebrity fame ladder, you'll get hit up for an autograph. The prince of the Britons is no exception. Surely my mother could have waited for longer than five minutes from safety before bugging this surely somewhat-traumatized prince for a signature, but that's not how she rolls. There's nothing really wrong about this, per se, it's just a never-ending source of amusement.
Since the whole point of this post is about why I'm not going to the royal wedding, I should probably get around to the presence of Prince William in this dream. While I'm admittedly an anglophile, I don't have anything but a general historical interest in the royal family and the history of the British monarchy. If I could be guaranteed that the real-life kings and queens were as awesome as Shakespeare's versions of them, I might be more keen. I mean, Richard III wasn't even actually a hunchback! Come on, historical fact! Throw me a bone here! Frankly, I think this is less a psychological insight into my brain than it is a reflection of all these goddamn TV ads I've been seeing about the wedding. I even like Tracey Ullman, but I have to see her blasted CTV "I'm your guide to the royal wedding!" commercial again, I'm going to lose it.
So, here are the lessons my subconscious is telling me...
1) my greatest flaw as a writer is my consistent inability to come up with decent endings to stories
2) I want to be a hero, but don't really want to do anything too risky to achieve that status. So, basically, carrying a gun through an empty hallway and never having to use it is the perfect scenario
3) even fictional versions of my mother have no qualms about asking for an autograph in a possibly inappropriate moment
4) CTV, always on the cutting edge of pop culture, hires a comedienne who hasn't had a hit in at least 10 years
5) Prince William and I would apparently get along great if we ever met, which is all the more reason I should be invited to this wedding. I'd work my way up to groomsman status in no time. Odds are I can even parlay this into a dukedom, or perhaps even a lordship.