Wednesday 25 May 2011

O'Drama, Dance and Tap

Everyone is SO excited here in Streonaeshalch, in the lovely country of Northumbria; the flags, bunting and banners have been madly flapping in the high winds, and there's a pervasive air of festivity around the place. The reason for this new outbreak of enthusiasm is the recent arrival of His Royal Highness Bugrake O'Drama - the Emperor of Ultima Thule - to these shores, and everyone is joyfully occupied with making the place spick and span for His Nibs' visit.

King Bugrake O'Drama has sailed over from the far-flung reaches of his substantial empire to pay a state visit to King Alhfrith and his potty-mouthed Queen Hillida, and to grace the national Witangemot with his presence.. Whatever.

The Ultima Thule Emperor is a suave, smooth-talking man. One can imagine him - were he to be denied the trappings of nobility and royalty - selling used carts or old horses to undiscerning members of the public, or engaging in the business of persuading the gullible to part with their groats in exchange for some well-spun tale of fantasy. Words of golden eloquence easily tumble from his chops, but this Cat can't help wondering what kind of gold it really is. I suspect it's the fool's variety. He seldom fails to impress those who fall under the hypnotic cadences of his voice and his streams of grandiloquence.

Whenever an Ultima Thule dignitary visits these shores, one invariably expects to hear a great deal of rhetoric and rhubarb about The Special Relationship between the two kingdoms which, in reality, means that Ultima Thule - the larger of the two countries by far - extorts trade and military loyalty from the Northumbrians in exchange for the latest crumbs and leftovers cast from their lavish table. This visit has been no different.

At the Royal Banquet last night, the after-dinner speeches began after the copious consumption of mead and ale. When King Bugrake O'Drama started to give his address to the King, Queen and assembled window-licking throng, the band suddenly and unexpectedly struck up with that ancient Saxon air 'Roll Out The Barrel,' and the assembled multitude - without thinking - started to dance as their reflexes took over. (I believe that the conductor of the band is being hog-roasted tonight.)

The Emperor also visited the leading politicos and Caedmeron, and shared some hot jokes and golfing tips with them. Edweird The Milliner could scarcely conceal his delight: he was like a dog doing the Dance Of The Seven Tails.

But behind all this theatre and ritual dancing, what has the Emperor really come over for? Nobody really knows for sure; previous occupants of the Ultima Thule crown have usually drummed up some more trade or a pledge to throw more soldiers into one of their battles, but in these straitened times, O'Drama's the king of a bankrupt castle - much like his European counterpart Emperor Jose Borracho, the power-crazed megalomaniac Commander-In-Chief of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire).

Since Northumbrian groats are presently being used (at the expense of the long-suffering taxpayer) to help the Irish overcome their severe financial embarrassment, and since King Alhfrith went over to Ireland on a State Visit recently to survey his new property, this Cat can only conclude that Bugrake O'Drama has come over to tap the King up for a loan...

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