Sheer Worlds Apart

Everyone in the vast arena is silent whilst the Holy Man ascends the tiny podium on which there is sitting the Man Who Would Be King. He whispers strange and meaningless words and ritual incantations before raising and then lowering the world's most useless hat until it is only an inch above the world's most useless head. A moment's hush is gone and the crown is gently placed onto the head.

Immediately - being a sudden and staunch patriot, despite my earlier misgivings - I start to applaud wildly, cheering loudly, whistling like a madman and leaping about the place fisting the air, making the crudest of victory symbols. I am ecstatic. I am privileged and honoured.

I think of the heathens and the pagans who didn't know what it was like to attend massive coronations like this one, who didn't know what it was like to be ruled by a King. I think to myself - Damn and blast them all, and - Damn them all to hell! I think I even shouted these words out loud.

All at once I realise that the rest of the arena is quite silent, all eyes focused on me. I feel like a real prick.

The Archbishop eyes me sadly and shakes his head. A couple of other white-gowned people beside him are also shaking their heads. Very soon, the entire congregation in the building are shaking their heads at me.

- Give us that back, says the Archbishop, yanking the crown off my head and putting it back into a bag marked 'Harrods'.

I mope off homewards and recommence smoking, a habit that I had earlier thought certain I had kicked. So much for willpower.