Thursday, March 22, 2007


Writing has not been easy for me lately, what with a busy schedule and family responsibilities. And I’ve also been dealing with the crushing weight of depression brought on mostly by my realization that I will never be a peer in the British House of Lords.

I have for some time believed that sitting on the House of Lords would be a pretty cushy gig. Once you’re appointed, you’ve got a job for life. And from what I can tell, you don’t have to do much if you don’t want to. The Lords simply debate laws, but all they can really do is prevent a piece of legislation from taking effect for a year. It seems pretty hard to mess that up.

But what the job lacks in authority, it makes up for in titles and cool clothing. We’ll start with the title: Lord. How cool is that? Lord Workman. Looks nice in print, doesn’t it? It rolls off the tongue quite nicely as well. Lord Workman. I can imagine hours of fun each day as I correct people who address me:

Guy: Hey dips@#%, move your car!

Me: That’s “Hey Lord Workman, move your car.”

I doubt that would ever get old. And don’t even get me started on the outfits. You get this awesome red cape with white fir trim. Technically, it’s a robe, but having a cape sounds more fun. I’m not sure if powdered wigs are required anymore, but that would just sweeten the deal for me.

I believe the manner of discourse in the House of Lords would suit me as well. Unlike that stuffy old House of Commons, the Lords don’t have to be recognized by the Speaker to make a speech, you just get up and start blathering. I don’t even know what the Speaker does, other than sit on his woolsack.

(Note: I don’t actually know what a woolsack is, but I know there is one in the House of Lords and the Speaker sits on it. From the name, we can probably infer that it is a sack of wool, which doesn’t sound all that comfortable to sit on.)

In many ways, my ascension to the House of Lords seems like a perfect fit. They appear to be a bunch of old white guys with gray hair who talk a lot. I talk quite a bit, and my hair is going gray, and I’m white, and I’m getting older every day. What’s not to like?

But even in the best of circumstances, there are a few big obstacles to getting me a peerage. The first lies with the fact that I’m not a British citizen. While that’s no small thing, I figure it could be overcome. The types of people who would appoint you to the House of Lords are probably also the types who could line you up with citizenship. I was also a bit concerned about the fact the job is unpaid. It seems like a big shot with a title like “Lord” would get paid, but I guess not. Do they have to buy their own capes? That would be a shame.

Then I read the fine print and discovered that they are paid about $400 per day that parliament is in session. (It should be noted that they get nothing when Funkadelic is in session.) In many lifetimes of television news, I’m unlikely to ever make $400 per day.

But there are changes afoot that could pretty much wipe out even the slimmest chance of sitting in the Lords. That’s right, those pansies in the Commons have decided to “reform” the Lords by making most of them stand for election. What’s that crap about? It’s not a done deal yet, but this is clearly a wrong move.

If the House of Lords stops being a wacky anachronism with actual power, then what fun would it be? Sure, you can still say things like, “My noble friend will remember that we are a wacky anachronism with little power,” or “The noble duke will kindly remove his head from his posterior.” But it’s just not as fun.

Apart from the fun factor, the election is also a problem. Putting aside the citizenship issue, I think my American accent would be pretty much a deal breaker in any constituency. I guess I could try to pretend, but if Madonna can’t get away with it, neither can I. Now, if I were appointed to the Lords after delivering a truckload of money to a Labor party official, the accent wouldn’t be much of an issue.

But that’s not likely to happen now. So I’ll need to set my sights elsewhere. I hear they may be stripping the king of Tonga of much of his power, so that could be just the kind of job I’m looking for. Perhaps I can send a resume and cover letter their way. King Matthew the First has a pretty nice ring to it, too.

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At 7:17 am, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I don't know if this helps, but at places like VistaPrint you can print free business (or personal) cards. I had a batch printed that read "Aspiring Dignitary" under my name. I distributed them among friends.

You could always make up some Lord Workman cards and live the life that way.


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