By Jeff Girod
Most of us don’t know our Big Ben from a beefeater. But the birth of England’s most recent royal baby has made news throughout the world. For the last three weeks, every TV show from TMZ to the View has been scrutinizing Kate Middleton’s uterus like a deep, dark hole on Groundhog Day.
Then shortly after the royal birth came this royal announcement: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce they have named their son George Alexander Louis.”
Bloody hell! Middleton and Prince William couldn’t have picked a more British sounding name for the future king had they named him Teddy Ruxpin Coldplay of Marmalade.
The happy couple and newborn are reportedly enjoying “bonding time” in Bucklebury (which apparently is a real place and not just a square on the Candy Land board game). More importantly, why does anyone outside of England care about a royal anything?
For centuries monarchies like this have conquered, enslaved and terrorized everyone from India to New Zealand. The pilgrims who founded our own country risked drowning, plagues and murder to get as far away from England as possible.
Then later, Americans fought two wars against the Union Jack just so that we’d never have to be ruled by a king named George. Now we’re celebrating the birth of the next King George on everything from Twitter to OK! Magazine.
England has a new future king. Big deal. I would be 100 times more excited if someone gave me an English muffin.
There is no point to the royal family. They’re like decorative cake toppers. They serve no real purpose other than to stand in one place, be attractive and provide a sense of festivity for any occasion.
Gender, racial and socio economic equality have taken literally centuries. Yet somehow we’re whooping up and down like meerkats in the Lion King just because another white male billionaire added his name to the long list of white male billionaires who get to live in a palace in England.
Prince Charles is so Caucasian he’s practically see-through. His gene pool is shallower than a diary entry by Justin Bieber. And the only thing he and his blue-blooded brood ever have to do is ride around in Cinderella carriages, wear fancy medals they didn’t earn and hold giant novelty scissors at ribbon cuttings.
It’s time to see Prince Charles do something really impressive, like slay a dragon or wriggle his ears and fly to Ireland.
The baby portion of the equation I understand. Babies are a reset button. They’re wide-eyed, pinkish optimism. When you look at a baby, you’re simultaneously trying to imagine a future 20 years from now, and recollecting your own childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut, a Dodgers shortstop or even a slightly less cynical version of yourself.
But you don’t have to travel to England to find babies. Babies are everywhere. Just look at Facebook or the 700 window decals on the nearest SUV. And I know I just finished describing how wonderful babies are but, really, it’s the idea of babies and not actual babies themselves.
Real babies are awful. They cry. They smell. They vomit. They have no sense of humor until they’re between ages 2 to 100.
And have you ever seen a baby right after it’s born? Holy God. I don’t know if I’m supposed to shave it, iron it or shoot it with a dart.
I say this all lovingly of course. I have a two-year-old son. But I look back at those newborn photos—his scrunched up, geriatric gooey face pressed against mine—and I wonder, How did I not set him out on the curb with the recyclables?
Everything about childbirth is gross—from the thing coming out of the other thing, to cutting the cord. While she’s trying to push it all out, you’re doing your best to hold it all in.
So celebrate the birth of England’s future king if you must. Force it all out like a big, joyous, effusive afterbirth.
I’m going to search for an English muffin.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org