Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Some nocturnal observations of a part-time insomniac
It is amazing how many real names begin with paired and consecutive letters of the alphabet: Arnold Bennett; Charles Darwin; Eric Forster, etc. They tend to tail off a bit toward the end, unless you resort to ancient characters in Greek tragedies. All of us in the North West Hemisphere are very lazy when it comes to naming things, stopping right at the beginning of the alphabet and avoiding the more exotic letters. 'Never let your daughter marry anyone whose name ends with a vowel', has been a maxim I have adhered to all her life.
The last drop: Is it more painful to die of asphyxiation by kicking the stool away from underneath your feet, or by the approved method of falling through a trapdoor to have your neck broken? The girlfriends of highwaymen would often hang onto the legs of their dangling loved ones, in the belief that it speeded up the process. Personally, I think I would find that a bit of a distraction when I was trying to concentrate on meeting my maker.
Royalty did not have to consider such banal questions, as they were always beheaded - that method being deemed more dignified, 'humane' and less painful. I'm not so sure. Some of those axe-men lacked - for obvious reasons - experience, and often botched it up horribly. There were even some cases of half-beheaded victims turning to the executioner and telling him to get his act together and finish the job properly.
Henry the Eighth cared for Anne Boleyn so much, that he had an expert swordsman brought over from France to do the job. The swordsman was such a professional that he hid his sword under the straw on the raised scaffold, and when Anne was blindfolded and kneeling in front of him waiting for the inevitable, he quietly picked up his sword and shouted "Bring me my sword!" to an imaginary assistant. Anne relaxed a little and turned toward his voice, offering the perfect target. Her head was off in one swipe, before she had a chance to flinch. That's what I call class.
What is the best way to avoid being chased around the street by a huge, American, vintage car full of teenage joyriders, as I was last night in my dreams? You simply make sure that the rear wheels are not in contact with the road surface. And what is the best way of doing that? Easy - you just overturn the whole car with the occupants still inside. You should have seen the looks on their faces! As is often the case with noisy teenagers in the street, they were quite harmless once out of the car, and I did not need to use the artist's easel that I had picked up as a weapon to defend myself.
And you wonder why I look so tired in the mornings...