Will Rogers Writing Contest Winner: God Save the Queen

queen“God Save the Queen” is the title of Dan Baxter’s entry, a satire about Queen Elizabeth’s finances. Nearing 70, the retired physician said he has “lived more lives than an unlucky cat.”

He was raised in wheat and cattle country of northwest Oklahoma and worked in radio and television 12 years before medical school and practicing 30 years as an obstetrician-gynecologist in Oklahoma and Tennessee. He writes an essay every week for a life writing class.

Dan Baxter – Third Place, Will Rogers Writing Contest 2015

God Save the Queen

I read recently that Queen Elizabeth’s personal funds have fallen below the one-million pound mark for the first time. This means she has only about a million and a half dollars to spend. It may be time to cut back on the Corgi kennels or lay off an unneeded princess or two.

While pondering the Queen’s plight, I found myself wondering how one finds out such a fact. Does the Bank of England send over a notice that they are refusing to cash checks because of insufficient funds? Do they wait until she tries to purchase a big-screen television and tell her at Harrods that her credit score is dropping? I know she is not buying any new castles, so she’s not trying to prove her ability to pay off a mortgage. Maybe she just sticks her head in the door at the Royal Exchequer and notices the stack of money against the back wall of the vault is smaller than she remembered from previous visits.

So England, ruled by an elderly monarch with a dwindling bank account, is seeing this small-scale economic crisis as something which much be addressed — short of levying new taxes on the commoners.

I think there is a perfect solution. The Queen should consider retirement and pass the throne to her son who has been waiting in the wings through two wives. Prince Charles has been pacing the halls at Buckingham Palace for years pointing out to anyone who happens by that his mother is long past retirement age and that he has been practicing his royal signature since grade school. If she doesn’t trust Charles to do a good job, she could sneak down the hall some night and give the crown to his son, Prince William. She could just leave it under his bed if she is afraid of public reaction to direct intervention by the Royal Grand mom.

Should that not be kosher, she might just go out on the streets of London, find someone who looks trustworthy, hand them the crown and scepter, and tell them to take care of things while she attends to some personal business. Then, packing up a Corgi or two, she could come to Arkansas to take a job as roving celebrity greeter for Walmart.

Before you say I’m crazy, just consider what an asset it would be for Walmart if shoppers coming through the door of the local supercenter, expecting to see the usual senior-citizen greeter, were surprised by the one and only Queen of England, Her Royal Highness Elizabeth II. There she would sit, on that stool by the door, with her purse hanging off her left arm and her right hand giving the royal wave — palm out, hand upright, rotating the hand at the wrist back and forth with minimal movement of the forearm side to side. She wouldn’t even need to wear the oficial crown so long as some sort of sign told people who she is; just a simple, tasteful diamond tiara would be adequate.

I don’t think Target, on its best days of trying to outstrip the behemoth of Bentonville, could come up with anything showing more class than the actual Queen of England, symbol of the British Empire, greeting shoppers at Walmart.
After a few weeks, the Queen could go back to London with some real dollars in her purse to fix any leaks which develop in the roof at Buckingham Palace. Of course, the U.S. currency would not have her picture on each bill, but she knows what she looks like — or at least what she looked like several decades ago when they did the official portrait for the British pound sterling.

Nobody could accuse her of snobbishness; and, after dealing with Walmart shoppers, she may consider Prince Charles a little less off-kilter than she apparently does now. There is nothing like rubbing shoulders with the “People of Walmart” to cultivate the common touch.

-by Dan Baxter

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