Assuming the Royal Baby breaches the Duchess of Cambridge’s earthly vessel sometime in the next 36 hours, this weekend proves to be an especially interesting one for revelers. Why, you ask, unwilling to let your eyes linger over your tattered copy of Thomas Carlyle’s history of the French Revolution and discover the truths therein? It’s Bastille Day this weekend, which means that, if you intend to cheer on the birth of yet another British royal and booze it up to the storming of the Bastille, you’ll be having a very oxymoronic time, on the one hand validating one of the oldest hierarchies in Europe, while on the other hand commemorating one of the bloodiest social revolutions the Continent has ever seen.
Of course, only in America, a land happily severed from its European umbilical moorings, could anyone dream of combining the birth of a British monarch and the anniversary of the first bloody footsteps in the overthrow of a decadent French monarchy. Hey, our Independence Day has come and gone. Labor Day is, like, a million years away, and then the next real holiday is Halloween. Nobody even gets time off for Halloween unless they’re a) under the age of ten and b) reared by incredibly permissive parents who think education is only a hurdle in the never-ending pursuit of candy. Facing this desert wasteland of hot summer workdays, Americans are trying to stock up on as many miscellaneous international holidays as possible, which is why some people might be having a dueling Royal Baby/Bastille Day extravaganza. It’s like going to the store and buying all the canned goods before a blizzard.
Americans, being children of a revolution, know how to celebrate Bastille Day already — explosions, food, booze. Easy. But how the fuck are Americans supposed to celebrate the birth of a new Royal Oppressor? Forbes has drafted a helpful guide of things one might do to behave like a dutifully excited royal subject, but there’s a caveat: all the cool stuff — the baby name and gender betting pools, the creepy unborn child merchandise, the pub crawls — is happening in the UK. What are loyalists in the Americas supposed to do to show the Queen that they’re really excited about the new divinely-appointed, state-subsidized future figurehead? I’m so very glad you asked.
Here are some suggestions for the proper way to greet the bewildered creature that has just entered the world innocent to all the crazy shit people have been doing to prepare for its existence:
- Eat an entire tin of shortbread cookies. THE WHOLE TIN. Wash it down with scalding hot tea to show that you burn with patriotism for Britannia.
- Watch the Battle of Britain on Netflix and drink every time Michael Caine does something unreasonably heroic/charming.
- Bet all the money in your savings account that the Royal Baby will be named “#” as an ironic gesture of faith that Will and Kate would never be so frivolous and contemporary.
- Fry some kippers for yourself, but do not eat them immediately. Instead, let them sit out, congealing, while you meditate on the inadequacies you feel for living in a democratic country and not having a clearly-defined place in a true hierarchy. Then eat the kippers, cold, like a true commoner.
- Put on a mackintosh and run around outside in the mid-July heat. Feel that warm, insolent American sun beat down on your insulated body. Only when you’re on the verge of fainting will you truly appreciate the merits of the UK’s near-constant fog.
- Annex your neighbor’s property, something small, like an umbrella or a doormat. If your neighbor questions you, just be like, “This is mine now because I discovered it while you weren’t paying attention. Also, you owe me mad tariffs, asshole.”
- Write a cranky book about the French Revolution. Misplace that initial manuscript and write an even crankier book about the French Revolution.
Congratulations! If you successfully performed any of these acts, you’re an honorary Briton for the weekend. At least, you’ve successfully pandered to the British monarchy, and, really, isn’t that what being a Briton is all about?
Image via AP, Lefteris Pitarakis