by Ye Royal Scribe
One day the King asked his Royal Advisor what he should do about an illness plaguing the land.
The Royal Advisor, who was also a doctor and a scientist, gave the King a long list of things he could do and should do.
The King took a look at the list, then called some of his buddies who were not scientists or doctors over to a big table to look at the list.
“What should I do with this list?” the King asked his buddies.
“#@$% the list, and #$@% the Royal Advisor,” his buddies said.
The King rubbed his round belly and scratched his round head.
“I know. I’ll give the royal subjects a warning,” the King said, proud that he’d come up with the idea on his own. “My subjects are reasonable people. They’ll heed my stern message and wagging finger.”
“But what if they don’t?” the Royal Advisor explained, waving her stack of recommendations in the air.
“Why I’ll give them a sterner warning,” the King explained. “I might even scowl.”
“But warnings never work,” the Royal Advisor said. “We must do something soon.”
The King scratched his round head again and patted his round belly, contemplating what he’d just heard.
Just then, one of his buddies around the table farted quite loudly.
“That too is a good idea,” the King said of his buddy’s flatulence. “Let me ponder these two important considerations equally.”
And so, it came to pass that the King gathered some of his royal buddies and the Royal Advisor together to warn his Royal Subjects.
“My Royal Advisor tells me that people are getting sick and that our Royal Physicians are getting tired, and that many of you are running around sneezing on one another and hanging out in large groups touching stuff.”
The King let these details sink in before raising a boney but stubby finger and wagging it in a scolding fashion.
“We all need to do our part and stop sneezing on one another, and stop visiting one another, and stop touching things or one another. You’ve been warned, and so I’m going to go back to my castle to do some other stuff. Now go about your business, just not together.”
As the King turned to go back into his castle, One of his royal subjects yelled, “@#$% the King.”
There was a snicker, then a laugh, then laughter erupted from half of the Royal Subjects who began chanting, “$@#$% the King! $@#$% the King! $@#$% the King!”
The other half may have been saying it, too, but they were all wearing their masks and walking away from the castle spaced six feet or more apart.
The King did not turn back to look at his Royal Subjects. He just went into the castle, muttering, “I’ll show them. They don’t want me to go back out there in two weeks and warn them again.”
The Royal Advisor, who was waiting inside the castle, rolled her eyes when the King passed and said under her breath, “He’ll be back out there in two weeks.”
Two weeks passed, and the King was back in front of the Royal Subjects.
He was well prepared this time.
This time he raised two boney but short fingers, which he wagged vigorously like a pair of windshield wipers in a snow storm.
But this time, the King only got halfway through his sterner warning before half the Royal Subjects began snickering, and laughing, and chanting “#@$% the King! #@$% the King! #@$% the King!”
It was almost like little laughing faces, and little angry faces were floating into the air as the King spoke.
“This is the second time I’ve warned you people to stop sneezing on one another and stop hanging out in large groups, and to stop touching stuff and each other.
“And so to punish you, I’m going to take away your mead at 10 O’clock. No more mead for you people after 10 O’Clock, and you have to leave the mead hut by 11 O’Clock.
“I have spoken.”
The King turned abruptly and stormed back into his castle, his Royal Buddies following right behind him, and the Royal Advisor behind them, rolling her eyes and shaking her head in disbelief.
Deprived of their beloved mead and late-night access to their mead-huts, half of the Royal Subjects drank their mead in their hovels alone, listening to “I drink alone” by George Thorogood and Ye Olde Delaware Destroyers.
The other half gathered in large numbers in their hovels, singing “#@$% the King!” which someone with the Kingdom’s only mandolin had now made into a protest song.
Two weeks passed, and a maskless King, after licking all the door handles in the castle, staggered out of the castle, and coughed.
“You failed to heed my warning or my sterner warning, and so now I am making it illegal for you to gather in your hovels. I am also making it illegal for you to gather in your mead huts, or your coffee huts or your eating huts, unless you do so with your family. And I’m cancelling sportsball. PS – you can still go gamble because we need tax revenue in case we need to put out a sterner warning.”
The Royal Subjects gasped – half of them from the illness sweeping the land, others from the shock of the decree.
“And if you don’t heed this Royal Decree, I shall come back in two – no make it three weeks – and cancel Christmas,” the King exclaimed.
There was a snicker, then a laugh, then laughter erupted from half of the Royal Subjects. Soon, half of the Royal Subjects were laughing and yelling $@#$% the King.
And that is how the King cancelled Christmas.