Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

This Bud’s for us



I’ve been thinking about the Olympics ™ a lot lately. Now, to be both fair and honest, I’ve been — or, more accurately, hope to be — paid for thinking about them. But that’s not the point. It’s not the point because paid or not, once I started thinking about the Olympics™, it became impossible to limit myself to thinking about them within the terms of my engagement. An imagination is a terrible thing to waste.

It’s kind of like Prince Charles. I don’t think about Prince Charles too often… and there’s probably zero chance anyone’s ever going to pay me to think about him. In fact, I’m generally uncomfortable when thoughts of him pop into my head. I wonder about early-onset Alzheimer’s when things like Prince Charles appear magically in my thoughts. “Oh dear, more malfunctioning synapses. So this is what it’s like to… to… what was I thinking about?”

But the Olympics™ and Prince Charles have at least one characteristic in common — they take themselves too seriously. Prince Charles can’t help it. He’s been raised to take himself too seriously. Let’s face it, anyone named Prince anything is pretty much doomed to take himself too seriously. Call your kid Prince and you have no one but yourself to blame when he grows up without a sense of humour.

Prince Charles is a special case though and I feel his pain. I often wonder what I’d be like if the only job in the entire world I was, by birth, allowed to have was unavailable to me. Because my mother had it. And wouldn’t give it up. And I’d gotten into my 60s and never really done an honest day’s work in my life. And conned a beautiful woman into marrying me. Who left me for a department store heir.

No wonder kings and queens got murdered back in the good old days.

But despite the deck being stacked against him, Prince Charles has never really done anything to rehabilitate his image as king-in-waiting with all the warmth of day-old porridge. He’s tilted at modern architecture and organic farming but even when he’s going on about things about which he feels passionately, he comes off as a prig whose milk of human kindness has turned to cottage cheese.

I’ve often found myself thinking, “Ya know, if I was advising Charlie on how to warm up his image and standing with the British people I’d tell him to learn how to wiggle those ears.” Can you imagine? Chuck droning on about something, looking straight into the camera, winking ever so slightly and giving those big boys a wiggle. His popularity would skyrocket.