This is a guest post of a book-recomendation from King Charles III for the novel Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh, as a novel to pair with a Day Trip to Cambridge University.
Thinking of what I was going to do when I was finally named king took a lot of thinking. A lot of thinking. Who’s had more thinking time than me, after all? I mean, honestly, Ottessa. Three quarters of a f*&king century I spent thinking about what I was going to do for my job.
An investment banker spends, what, a year, at best, thinking about what they're going to do before being named investment banker. Before that, what does your average spoiled little young yuppy London suburb brat actually ever really think about?
Let’s break down what investment bankers have to think about, year-by-year, before being named investment banker:
1-3: Which Disney Junior show to fight over with your big sister, who is equal to you in status. (Can you imagine?)
5-6: Where to paste red little fuzzy balls on Rudolph's nose for school Christmas crafts.
8-14: Which sport to suck at the least.
14-16: Which sport to suck at less than 90% of the people who try out to make the high school team.
12-16: Repeat steps from year 0 to 1.
18-20: Which major to choose because you really just want to help people.
20-22: Which real world major to choose because London landlords charge more than retweets for rent.
23-24: Which shoes to buy at Dillard’s for an internship at an investment firm.
24-25: Which Spanish tile to choose to update the London flat kitchen.
25-26: Which song to play on apple earbuds on the morning commute on the London Tube.
And here is, year-by-year, all I've ever had to think about:
My first quarter of a century alive: What to do when I'm named king.
My second quarter of a century alive: What to do when I'm named king.
My third quarter of a century alive: Still think about what to do when I'm named king. F%#k.
Anyway, here is where you come in, Ottessa, in that you’ve changed the way I was thinking about things after three quarters of a century thinking about things in the exact same way. Do you know what my conclusion was after 75 years of thinking what I should do when the time came for me to be King? I'm sure you can guess.
I wanted to bring it all back to the good old days when being king meant actually ruling as God’s supreme representation on Earth, above reproach or consequences. I'm talking king. I'm talking subjects. I'm talking no ceremonious roles. King. King! None of this cutting ribbons with giant heavy scissors I have to hold up by myself to open a new car wash in the dodgy part of town, just for the papers to mention nothing of their brave king but of how brave Kate Middle-class Middleton was to pair black shoes with a brown belt or some stupid s%$t like that.
Joke: What unit of measurement best describes the weight of the middle class bringing them back down to where they belong?
Do you think that like in Lapvona that as lord I don’t want to hoard the delicious melting spring snow in a secret pool hiding in the woods of my giant estate while the dirty peasants have to hike for miles to a stagnant dried up lake? I’m sick of this tap water bulls#@t.
You think I don’t want to send bandits into town to murder and rampage so that the locals believe they are being punished by God for their greediness of demanding livable wages from the grain that they pulled from the Earth? I’m sorry, but those traveling singers I hire to entertain me by the fire while the locals freeze to death aren't going to pay for their own way here. If those Lapvonians want a piece of the cut of the grain they raised on the land owned by the lord, then they should have majored in musical theory instead of not going to college and being farmers, the lazy arsewipes.
The enemy of this beautiful lord/peasant relationship is Edu-fu*&ing-cation. That's why the first thing I was going to do when I became king was to declare all educators as outlaws! After all, people don’t question you if they think the boils on their faces aren't from their lacking in obedience towards me, their God's representative on Earth.
Reading, after all, is the only real form of empathy that exists, and, unfortunately, after reading your novel, and seeing things, for once, from the perspectives both emotional and physical of the other side, that of the peasants, made me feel bad that other people were feeling so bad.
Bulls$&t as that might be, I’m now concerned for what I always detested: empathy and sympathy for other people. I guess they really do matter.
So after much thinking, after all of that other thinking, I guess I've decided that places like Cambridge should exist so that people can learn to farm in drought, pray out of freedom and not fear, and engineer ways to trap water out of my secret stash. And Kate Middleton, middle class though she may be, isn't all that bad. She does make brave fashion choices. And she’s a hell of a team player compared to little miss she-who-must-not-be- named and whose name rhymes with Texan Tarkle.
Well, maybe I’ll still keep the water for myself. I do hate tap. The peasants can learn everything else for themselves at places of light and not darkness like Cambridge.
To the light of education,
Charles the Third, King. Bi%$hes.
Sent from my carriage, bi&@hes.