I'm stepping away from my San Francisco travelogues for this week, due to the big hoopla over the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in the United Kingdom. Don't worry, though, because San Francisco will be back next week.
The royal wedding circus got me thinking of something. It has been brought to my attention in the past that a lot of the lifestyle of the British monarchy is taxpayer-funded (I've heard Queen Elizabeth II referred to as the world's biggest "Welfare Queen" because of this). Castles are maintained, and events are paid for by the taxpayers.
That includes this week's royal wedding, or should I call it the royal welfare wedding?
Now, obviously royal welfare does not look like welfare as we know it in America, but it got me thinking. What would a royal welfare wedding in America look like (I'm talking about two Americans getting married, keep up with me people).
Really, the reason why I'm saying this is an American couple, because I dare not mock the British royal family, out of fear for my life. Now, keep in mind, this is America's Southeast, so to make it more culturally real, we'll make it welfare with a touch of redneck, by way of the trailer park down by the river.
Let's take our imaginary American royal couple, Walter, the Prince of the corner of Peachtree and Ponce (in Atlanta), and his bride-to-be, Colleen Yokel (she's a "commoner" from Unadilla, which is a real town in Georgia for you out-of-staters).
First off, the dresses and tuxedos worn by the wedding party will be purchased at Kmart, and the wedding rings will be pop tops. The flowers will be faux flowers, made of plastic and wire, with a touch of fuzz on the petals (to give them that real classy look).
Rapper Jay-Z, and his wife, Beyonce, are expected to sing during the wedding of William and Catherine, but at a welfare royal wedding in America, you could not hope for such high-profile entertainers. You will have to settle for a duet by Flava Flav (fresh off his stint as the owner of a failed chicken restaurant in Iowa), and 92-year-old Ellen Albertini Dow, who played the rapping granny in the movie "The Wedding Singer."
After the wedding is over, the bride and groom will exit the church as they are assailed with the downpour of saw dust (hey, it's easy to get off the bride's dress. Her hair? Not so easy.). Now, it's time to party.
Everyone get out your food stamps, uh, I mean tickets, so you can all get into the reception. It will naturally feature a buffet line catered by Zaxby's. The vegetable offerings will meanwhile come from the garden at the home of the prince's Aunt Jolene, the Dutchess of the D'Lo, Miss. trailer park (actually she's just the Dutchess of the three trailers in the back of the park).
What will everybody be drinking out of at the reception? Fine glass goblets that have been polished to a perfect shine? No. You'll get the plastic Champaign glasses that have the detachable bases. Don't like that? Fine, then you get Dixie cups -- the childrens' Dixie cups, with pictures of Snoopy and the gang on them, that you get at the pediatrician's office, to be exact.
But, oh Lord, the bride's family made a contribution, so that means a sweet upgrade (actually, Catherine Middleton's family reportedly wanted to pay for the wedding, but the royal family would only allow them to make a "contribution" to help cover some costs).
But, the Yokel family is not as wealthy as the Middleton's, so their contribution to this American royal welfare wedding was not that great. Still, they are a modestly affluent family (they can afford Walmart), so their contribution means there will be plastic forks, painted to look like metal forks at the reception.
And, that folks is how you have a royal welfare wedding.
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.