I was going to use this column to mock and belittle the ongoing fascination with the British Royal family.
But frankly, the sun has finally emerged from behind the cold grey clouds (I assume a hobbit finally threw the One Ring into Mount Doom, or Aslan killed the White Witch, because we've been released from perpetual, soggy, grim winter) and I'm in far too good a mood.
Anyway, I have no issue with the royals as people. It's the institution that I find mind-boggling.
So instead of mocking, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon. I hereby declare myself king. Or possibly King. Or KING! Or maybe Grand Duke, or Emperor, or Shogun, or Pharaoh. I'm really not picky.
I'm also not fussy as far as territory goes. I mean, if someone wants to anoint me Emperor of North America, I'd be happy to wear the ceremonial beaver robes and wield the moose antler sceptre of office. But I don't want to step on the feet of Emperor Norton's heirs. Norton once ruled the United States. (Really. Go look him up. It's what Google is for.)
Or I could simply be King of Canada, Grand Duke of Cascadia, or the March Count of the Muddier Bits of the Lower Mainland.
I'm afraid that my qualifications are slimmer than most of the world's currently reigning royals. I am not, in fact, descended from a line of hereditary dictators and/or large-scale mass killers. However, like most modern royals, I am fairly boring and polite. I can shake hands, and do the screwing-in-a-lightbulb wave, and I can smile on cue. And I have more hair than some royals I could name.
I promise to fulfil whatever boring royal duties will get me a really big castle to live in, and a steady taxpayer-supplied income. I realize that this may mean spending a royal honeymoon meeting Stephen Harper, the world's most boring prime minister. ("And this is my collection of boxes partly filled with sawdust. As you can see, I have seven of them now, and I hope to add an eighth this fall.")
I know different people expect different things from their royals, so I will try to be all things to all my subjects.
For those who prefer tradition and stuffiness, I will spend even-numbered days being calm, aloof, and wearing navy blue blazers. I will clap gently at polo matches so as to not startle the ponies. I will take high tea and pronounce "terribly" as "tebbly," as in "Tebbly good to meet you, old chap."
But others prefer their royals scandal-plagued, filling the pages of tabloids and gossip websites with outrageous incidents. So on odd-numbered days, I will be seen jet-skiing nude on Lake Shuswap, I will announce my intention to marry a cat named Mittens, and my chauffeur will spill the details of my late-night drunken parties with the cast of Spamalot!
As I am a member of a pluralistic and multi-faith community, I have no desire to impose a religion on my subjects. So I will take on all of their religions, instead.
I will spend January attending Christian churches, February at the Sikh temple, March chanting the Buddhist sutras, and so on. By November and December, I will set aside a few weeks to get blitzed on ayahuasca with shamans, go mad with Cthulhu, and slurp some noodles to honour the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
You may not think much of my qualifications to be king. But I'm afraid it isn't up to you. Monarchy is a mysterious, non-democratic institution, and now that I've declared myself king, there's not much you can do about it.
Except, I suppose, get the Queen to fight me for the title. Shall it be mixed martial arts, laser tag, or light artillery at 200 paces?