"Modern World, Ancient King"
By King Henry VII of England
The Home Depot
-What Ho, good people of the Kingdom of America! It is I, once again accordingly, King Henry VII. Whence we last corresponded, I informed you of my absolute awe with a hostelry known informally as the Motel 6. I tell you, and I tell you honestly, that I have never known such comfort in all of my reign. Why, I was not attended to so well even on the eve of my coronation at Westminster! And my admiration for this great nation grows as I am exposed to more of its wonders. Take, by way of example, my adventures this week.
-It seems that Plinny, my trusted but dim manservant, had once again forgotten to polish my throne. Irate, I bade him polish the throne at once for we had been beckoned swiftly to the mighty kingdom of Wayne, New Jersey, and a King does not sit upon an unpolished throne when attending to his divine duties. Plinny, the foolhardy young lad he is, begged not to be amiss with him for he had run out of polish. "How dare you not bring enough polish, you were fully aware that I will not rest my posterior on anything but the most varnished of thrones!" I screamed at the boy and slapped my kingly glove across his boyish face. Poor lad, he wept great tears and begged me to forgive him. I am a nobleman, and one quality of chivalry that I take with the utmost seriousness is the knight's ability to forgive. Forgive the young lad I did, but not before I bade him promise my highness that he found another acceptable polish and complete his duties for the day.
-Now, the royal polish is provided by a tradesman named Barnaby Boggs who operates a small shop on Fleet Street in London. This Boggs fellow, whom I have never had the pleasure of having an audience with, makes the finest throne polish in all of England! I believe his recipe calls for an ounce of beeswax from the Yorkshire Dales, mixed lovingly with some sort of curd extract from the Kentish Coast. I know not the mysterious alchemy with which Boggs' polish is made, for a King does not bother himself with such matters, but it a wonder nonetheless. The task of finding a suitable replacement for Boggs' throne polish was a heavy one indeed. But like the great Hercules of ancient times, Plinny undertook the task with a ferocity not often seen outside the jousting courts on May Day!
-After a brief constitutional, which the royal surgeon has suggested I indulge in every day to help ease the pain of my gout, I awoke to find Plinny beaming proudly at my couch-side. "What Ho, Plinny? How goes the search for throne polish?" I asked of him. "Sire," Plinny replied, "The greatest event has transpired since the angels of sleep took your Kingly head to the dream land. I have, by way of inquiry, secured the location of a retailer which claims to sell not only fine polish, but a variety of fine polishes. We must depart at once for the Home Depot, your Magesty!" And so, with a head heavy from sleep, the royal touring party entered our horseless carriage and made way to the Home Depot which lies on alongside a toll road a fathom or so beyond the horizon.
-I have never been one to become awestruck at the sight of a simple shop. I rarely visit the shops in London for I have royal attendants to such things for me. It is not like a King to grace a shop with his presence, but at the sight of the Home Depot, in the township of Bloomsburg in the principality of Pennsylvania, all but brought a tear to my eye.
-Before the royal touring party even entered the great store, I was amazed by the sheer size of the thing. I say, the Home Depot look as though it could retain the entire royal fleet, that being 14 man-o-wars and 19 captured Spanish galleons, within her great walls. Mistakenly, I assumed this to be not a store, but a royal residence. Its high walls gleamed with the finest grey brick and its defenses had been painted bright orange, as to show attackers that the Castle of Home Depot had not a need to disguise or camoflauge itself. "Plinny!" I raged at the boy, "You have brought me to a castle, not a retailer of fine polishes. Foolish boy, I command you to be whipped in the Tower dungeon Tower upon our return to London! Ten" no, Twenty lashings for you!"
-It is lucky for Plinny that Cardinal Ampersand came to the boy's defense, telling me that this was indeed the retailer Plinny had secured and not a mighty castle. I retracted by punishment, but commanded that Plinny spend half of an hour in the stocks for failing to inform me that this Home Depot was, indeed, the store we had been searching for. Oh Plinny, what will I do with such a foolish manservant?
-As soon as the royal walking carpet lain before me, I stepped from the horseless carriage and made haste to enter the mighty store. I stopped perhaps a stone's throw shy of the entrance so as to let Bartholomew, the royal attendant whose only concern is the opening and closing of doors, pull back the mighty transparent doors of the Home Depot. Bartholomew approached the great doors but then the most magical of things happened. By some devilish trick, the doors parted themselves. "Treachery!" cried Bartholomew, retreating with haste to the horseless carriage. But I am a nobleman and have fear of nothing; "Foolish man," I cried after him, "watch as I enter this mighty enclosure unafraid of these mystical doors! Why, "'tis only the work of some wizard, such as the great Merlin whom cast his noble spells for the noble King Arthur in times past!"
-I will not trouble you with detail, as you peoples of this land have doubtless seen such wonders before, but the stores of the Home Depot were stocked to the highest peaks with furnishings of every kind! Why, I could build a thousand siege towers, outfit an entire fleet, or make ready twenty castles with the materials climbing high on these mighty shelves. The sheer immensity of the place made my trusted concubine, Gwendeline, cower with fear for she is not used to being enclosed in great buildings as such. But I gripped her shaking hand and bade her follow me.
-Like the Beefeater gaurds which patrol the Tower, the Home Depot had robed its subjects is a strange orange frock which matched the color of the buildings defenses. I ordered Plinny to place an inquiry with one of these guards as to where we might locate some throne polish. "Hi, my name is Tyler", as the guard was known by way of a piece of transparent parchment affixed to his frock, informed us that the Home Depot did not stock throne polish as such, but that if the throne was made of aged mahogany, as it is, we could locate suitable stores in aisle 8. Even though the guard went by such strange nomenclature, in him we trusted and, on the advice of the honest Hi, my name is Tyler, we made haste to aisle 8, for we were due in Wayne, New Jersey in less than a fortnight.
-Hi, my name is Tyler did not fib when he informed us that there would be suitable polishes for my throne in this aisle 8. I say, arrayed before me were no less than one hundred different makes of polish. My head started to spin with the sheer amount of choice here and I called upon the royal surgeon to asses my condition. He recommended that Plinny select the polish and I not trouble myself with such a harrowing task. Before I took my leave of the Home Depot, I bade Plinny to find if this store stocked any of Boggs' polish. He agreed to do as such and, taking Gwedeline's small hand, I made haste for the exit.
-I know not what brand of throne polish Plinny selected, but I have never seen the throne shine so much in all of my reign. It was though Plinny had captured some deity and rubbed her into the throne, her diving light spilling out of this noble furnishing. I say, I would much like to acquire a Home Depot in London for military purposes. But I fear that my faint condition would keep me from entering the enclosure ever again. However, be I as faint as I was, upon my exit I bade Cardinal Ampersand bless the Home Depot with good fortune for they had helped a King" A King in need of the finest polish in the land!
*Where will King Henry, Plinny and the rest of the royal touring party stop next? Log on next week to find out or send me a suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org