Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Royal titfers

The mere wearing of a silly hat is not, in itself, funny: there must be some ancillary cause of mirth before we fall about laughing. When our own dear Queen opens Parliament the preposterous thing on her head—surely of a weight which would reduce a less hardy sovereign to tears—is over the top, but not riotously so: it is the addition of her spectacles which provides that touch of incongruity that is the hallmark of true comedy.

King Gyanendra of Nepal is much less admired by his subjects, so it is possible that his expression of gentle melancholy is deliberate, aimed at courting sympathy and at the same time giving his subjects a bit of a giggle. But perhaps it is quite unfeigned and arises from the distress caused him, poor fellow, by the need to wear on state occasions a tweed suit and a plumed and bejewelled pudding basin.

[This note caused great offence to someone who castigated me in an anonymous comment posted nine months later. I did not allow it to appear since I wanted to reply to it in detail, which I did in October].


Marc said...

So this post has been here more than a year, and the only comment made (poorly might I add) has been in the defense of the Nepali King?

Well, please allow me the honor of asking that which the title of this posts BEGS to be asked:


What's a titfer?

(I'm having a ball catching up with your 'Notable Hats' series, btw)

Tony said...

Dear Marc
Nice to hear from an old Texan friend.

Titfer is Cockney rhyming slang = tit for tat = hat

Now you've taught me something. I had to look up "rimshot".

Glad you like my hats. I have been accused of being a hat fetishist, but it's not true: they just make me laugh.

btw, my friend Hugh and his grand-daughter have some nice things to say about Texans over at http://shires.blogspot.com/2007/03/blog-post.html

All the best