Madge, as my friend R. calls her royal Madge-esty, was recently looking for someone to handle her Twitter account.
You didn’t think the queen would do her own tweeting, did you? Those royal fingers have to be protected so she can cut ribbons.
If you check @britishmonarchy, as I just forced myself to do, you’ll find that the official MonarTweeter doesn’t try to impersonate the queen, because that would get into a whole tangle of decisions about whether to have her say I or one, as in “One has finished one’s breakfast and is off to a busy day of cutting ribbons.” Which might be too long for a tweet but I can’t be bothered counting. And more to the point, it would quite probably violate some law about impersonating a monarch. But anyway, the job of the MonarTweeter is to speak on her behalf.
I’d quote a few tweets but they’re really, really boring.
Screamingly irrelevant photo: An island in the Firth of Forth. Don’t you just love saying “Firth of Forth”? Photo by Ida Swearingen.
The same person will also be—or by now quite possibly is—in charge of her Facebook page and her YouTube channel, which are probably just as fascinating as the Twitter account. And will get paid between £45,000 and £50,000 per year. One of the requirements of the job is that you have to stay awake through all the dreary stuff you try to graft some excitement onto. And you not only have to keep a straight face about it all, you may even have to look reverent. Or at least preserve some small pocket of reverence deep inside.
I apologize for how slow I’ve been in getting this onto the blog. I know you’d have loved to apply. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have recommended using me as a reference. They wanted to hire someone who could “liaise with a broad spectrum of stakeholders” and I foam at the mouth when I’m around people who think stakeholder is a part of actual human speech. (As I type that I can’t help picturing a scene from a vampire movie. I’m the person holding the stake. Did you bring the hammer?)
And as long as we’re on the topic of British traditions, I can’t leave you without talking about the—. Umm. Is this a tradition? A habit? A thing?
Yes. The British thing about running races in costume—or fancy dress, as they call it here. A recent news article—.
Or, well, no. This isn’t really news. It’s the filler newspapers run to keep their readers from going suicidal over the real news. And it seems to work, because I’ve noticed lately that I’m still alive.
We all need stuff like this, and lately we need a lot of it.
So here, if you’ll be so kind as to follow the link, we have photos of people who’ve run races dressed as the Gingerbread Man, a dinosaur, a lobster, and Spiderman. Tragically, the print edition’s picture of a man dressed as a water faucet (or in British, a water tap) is missing from the online edition. But weep not, because by way of compensation you can follow this link and see a runner dressed as—or more accurately, in—a telephone booth, another one carrying a refrigerator, and some others dressed as a hippo, a telephone, and a large bird, possibly a parrot but I’m no expert. And yet another wearing a cardboard fig(I think)leaf and a bad wig. And not much else.
I don’t know what the temperature was when that last one was taken, but this country doesn’t over-indulge in warm weather. Let’s hope the running warmed him up.
Don’t you just love how ancient tradition survives in this modern world?