“No,” said Patrick, leaning back over a desk that was really just a cardboard box soaked in varnish.
“Why the blue Jesus not?” I countered, angrily twanging at the the straps of my Union Jack emblazoned unitard.
“Because this is America, and nobody in America cares about the Queen. Just like we don’t care about the world cup or fish and chips or whatever it is you perverts get up to in your so called country.”
“But this is The Queen, Patrick, with capital letters and everything. It’s a diamond jubilee! Do you know what that means? It’s literally harder than any jubilee known to man.”
Patrick surreptitiously unfurled a giant American flag. “If our president had a jubilee it’d be a goddamned adamantium jubilee.”
I sighed. “Yes, because American presidents are equal parts Chuck Norris and Bruce Campbell- I’ve read the internet, Patrick old stick, I know the story.”
“Then why don’t you write an article about which president would win in a fight against Ultraman?”
“Don’t you think I haven’t tried, Patrick? Don’t you think I haven’t watched every single mind-boggling episode of Ultraman and then painstakingly researched the history of modern America?”
“Well, you’re right.” I snapped. “And do you know why? Because its The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and to do anything else but write an article about the Queen would be unforgivable heresy.” I unfurled my own giant Union Jack that I had hid in Patrick’s office three months ago for just such an occasion.
“Touché,” said Patrick, and then causally unfurled a marching band that began to play The Stars and Stripes.
“Amazing,” I said, because it was when you think about it. “But I am by no means deterred. I owe the Queen an article.”
“Why?” said Patrick, now shouting over the sound of the marching band.
“Because she’s the fucking Queen!” I screamed, punching a tuba player in the face. “When she’s around we can wave our flag without looking like a racist thug or a hipster prick! One day in a decade when we’re allowed to be proud of our British heritage despite the many, many atrocities we caused.”
Patrick nodded in understanding. “You speak, of course, of Ricky Gervais?”
“To name but one.”
“I’m still not sold.”
I sighed, sitting down on a different cardboard box soaked in varnish. “It’s alright for you Americans. You still have an evil-empire. We had to give ours up ages ago. They don’t even want us to keep Gibraltar, for pity’s sake. And that’s where the monkeys are. Would you see us lose our monkeys, Patrick? Do you hate us so much?”
“I don’t hate you, personally.’” Said Patrick. “But my fore-fathers did, which is why we teamed up with the French to kick your assess out of our country.”
“Yes, well done. The best man won. I can see your freedom and democracy is going just swimmingly. Kudos. Now let me write my fucking Queen article.”
“Look, man,” said Patrick. “Why do you even have a Queen? As far as I can tell she doesn’t do anything but not die.”
“That’s the point, Patrick, old chum. She lives, when so much of what we were has died. For generations we defined ourselves by imperialism, and then by winning a war against Germany that really the Russians mostly won. Now we have nothing. Nothing but our lovely, lovely Queen. She’s not a politician who’ll lie to us. She’s not a billionaire businessman who repeatedly implies how lazy and stupid we are for being poor. She not some plastic celebrity who insists that our lives can be just like there’s if only we adopt their values. She’s just an old woman in a nice hat who is very polite to everyone. And maybe, just maybe, that’s worth waving a flag for.”
Patrick wiped a tear from his eye. “That’s beautiful,” he said.
“So,” I replied. “Can I write my article?”
“Why the shit not?”
Patrick stood up, an evil glint in his eye. Without warning he ripped off his face, revealing it to be merely a clever mask. Underneath was a face that every god-fearing or god-ignoring Englishman knew from birth. “Because I am The Queen!”
I must say that I panicked, momentarily flustered. Having never met royalty I was unsure of the etiquette. I immediately put my hands behind my head and started thrusting my crotch. “God save The Queen!” I sang. “We mean it, maaaan!”
“I’m just kidding,” said The Queen. She ripped off her face, revealing Patrick’s underneath. “Had you going, though, didn’t I?”
“Yes,” I said. “Yes, you did. Congratulations, you tricked an idiot. How proud your parents must be.”
Patrick chuckled to himself and waved me away. “Go write your stupid limey article, Steve.” He said.
It was my turn to laugh. “Oh, Patrick you poor naive fool. I am not Steve. I am...” I ripped off my Steve mask, revealing the face beneath. “Jake Kaplan!”
“Impossible!” roared Patrick. “For I am Jake Kaplan!” He once again ripped off his face.
There was a period of uncomfortable silence.
“That looks painful,” I said.
“It is,” said Patrick. “It really is.”
“Left your Jake mask at home, huh?”
We stood in awkward quiet for a while.
“Would you like me to call you an ambulance?”