Monday Morning Mark • 91
Friends Don’t Steal From Friends • Charles Needles Eleanore • The Secret King Of England
One Minute Wit
Friends Don’t Steal From Friends
Usually, kleptomaniacs don’t make for very good friends.
Unless they are both kleptomaniacs.
Then they can take turns inviting each other over so they can steal their own stuff back.
Three Line Conversations
Charles Needles Eleanore
“Stop your flirting, Charles, we got work to do.”
“I’m just saying your needlework is a reflection of your own beauty. That’s all.”
“And I’m just saying I will use this needle on your mouth if you don’t get busy.”
During the Great Depression, surplus materials were used to craft quilts, helping Southerners survive the hard times. Quilting Bees were held with neighbors to lighten the load and as a welcome source of social interaction.
Photographers from Farm Security Administration documented quilted activities in small towns throughout the United States. These photographs (like the one this story is based on) can be found in the Library of Congress.
Quilting and quilting bees are a centuries-old tradition in America. From necessity to folk art, quilting is as varied as the quilters themselves.
Harriet Powers was born a slave in 1837, and married young, to Armstead Powers. Sometime after the Civil War, they became landowners and raised nine children. Harriet crafted elaborate quilts with historical legends, Biblical stories, and natural phenomena.
Later in life, out of necessity, she reluctantly sold her quilts. The sales resulted in two quilts surviving and being displayed in the Smithsonian and The Museum of Fine Arts In Boston.
Three Line Conversations were inspired by Haikus. I borrowed the form of three lines, but without the syllable counts. And dialog instead of poetry.
The Secret King Of England
If I were the King of England I wouldn’t tell anyone.
I’d keep it secret.
Kings have to attend too many boring events and make too many speeches. Plus, they have to decide who to behead and worry about colonies revolting, and stuff like that.
I don’t need those kinds of hassles.
But let’s say some unfaithful royal servant, who would then find themselves shoveling up royal horse poop for the rest of their career, couldn’t keep a secret and revealed that I actually was the King Of England, here are some of the things I would do.
I would use my powers to make cherry pie the official pie of the UK so I could have it every day. I think it is ridiculous that a relatively small island can muster the bravado to conquer a huge chunk of the world and create an empire, and yet not have an official fruit pie. And don’t get me started on cold meat pies. No wonder the Colonies revolted. Pie should contain berries or other fruit. Because they taste delicious. As King, I would share this wisdom with my kingdom by making proclamations like: “Apple Pie. It’s not just American anymore. Pass me a hot dog.”
Of course, I’d learn to play polo because it’s expected. But I would use water cannons instead of mallets. And really, what else are you going to do with all those royal horses?
And I’d have command performances at The Royal Albert Hall once a week so I could see some cool concerts and plays. But I would secretly ask performers to perform instead of commanding them. No need to get all Henry VIII about it.
In fact, I would secretly pay the performers because I’d be ridiculously rich. Then after the show, I would give them each a cherry pie and a cool t-shirt that said “I played for the King of England and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. And a cherry pie.” And they would laugh because they actually got paid in secret. So it would be an inside joke. Musicians and actors love those.
And I would hold massive games of Hide & Seek at Hyde Park. And force grumpy businessmen and politicians who give boring speeches to take part in the game for an hour every day until they weren’t so grumpy. And the winner would get a cherry pie baked by the Royal Bakery, which specializes in cherry pie, and a t-shirt that says “I played hide and seek at Hyde Park and now I’m not nearly as grumpy.”
And every day I would go outside and look at Big Ben, and then look at my watch and pretend I was checking to see if my watch was right. But it would really be an excuse to talk to some of the fine citizens of London who happened to be walking by. And if I enjoyed our conversation I would invite them in for a slice of cherry pie. And tea. Because, well, it’s England.
And I would constantly make the same jokes about everything being “king-sized.”
“I just woke up and realized my bed is king-sized.”
“Wow! This sandwich sure is king-sized.”
“I’ll have a king-sized slice of cherry pie, please.”
The jokes will be annoying after the first time, but I will be able to get away with it because I’m the King. And if anyone ever had the courage to say, “Your Highness, I really must advise you to stop making those jokes about everything being king-size. Not only do they diminish your reputation as a serious sovereign, they are DRIVING ME CRAZY!” Instead of beheading them, I would promote them to King-Sized Advisor and give them a raise. And I would stop making king-sized jokes. This is called kingly wisdom. It is how kings discover who is worthy of trust.
I am pretty sure I would also arrange some kind of Double Decker Bus races. Who wouldn’t want to see that?
And I would spend every day thinking of other stuff to make the United Kingdom better.
But if I was able to keep it a secret that I was the King of England, I would remain anonymous by wearing a t-shirt that says “I wonder who the Secret King of England is? It’s not me.”