I Am One Of You People

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“They are a totally different type of people. (On a standard-class train) there’s lots of children, there’s noise, there’s activity. I like to have peace and quiet when I’m traveling.” — Sir Nicholas Winterton, conservative member of Parliament, on why legislators should be allowed to travel first class to avoid exposure to the common man.

Sir Winterton takes the podium at a press conference. He is wearing oversized Burberry pants and a Looney Toons T-shirt. He places an Orangina on the podium.

SIR WINTERTON: My fellow Englishmen, good afternoon. I’d like to clarify a comment that I made a few days ago. It seems as though I suggested some faint distinction between the common man and myself.

REPORTER: You said, “They are a totally different type of people.”

SIR WINTERTON: Impertinent man! Were you raised in a barroom? I did not solicit your crayon-scrawl of an opinion.

REPORTERS roll their eyes.

REPORTER: You know, we’re recording this.

SIR WINTERTON: Indeed. And here is another thing I know: the conservative party has been maligned as an out-of-touch cadre of elitists for far too long. I’m here today to correct this misconception. (Adjusting monacle and patting his sides, absentmindedly talking to himself.) Now where did I leave my 18th century pocket watch given to my family by the Duke of Modena? Ah — yes. I loaned it to the King on a whim.

SIR WINTERTON remembers press conference.

Er — does anyone like my shirt?

No one responds.

SIR WINTERTON: I rather like it. It’s — comfortable, and allows for easy movement of the limbs while communicating a sense of humor and a lack of impolitic self-aggrandizement. (Pointing to the shirt’s cartoon decal.) Silly Daffy Quail.

REPORTER: You mean duck?

SIR WINTERTON: Uh — yes. Right. I do not profess to be an expert on fowl. Perhaps my father had time for such pleasantries, but a legislator in this day and age cannot bother himself with the titillating pastime of cataloguing bird species. He does not have time to sketch such astonishing specimens as the yellow-throated scrubwren. He certainly does not have time to keep pheasants and name each one after a distinguished member of his genealogical tree, and he most undoubtedly does not have time to take Vicomte Radbury to the best avian veterinarian when his wing coverts seem less shiny than usual.

SIR WINTERTON takes a sip of Orangina, winces.

SIR WINTERTON: What a refreshing beverage. (Under his breath to his aide, not realizing that he’s still speaking into the mic) What is this, sweetened ass piss?

REPORTERS titter.

SIR WINTERTON: Why are you laughing? That was a private remark that I made to my assistant. Ah, I see why you chuckle. By “ass” you thought I referred to the posterior of a human, rather than an Equus africanus asinus, or donkey, which is what I meant. Well, I don’t fault you your merriment. I enjoy a ribald turn as much as the rest! In fact, a love of the salacious is one of the many things that we have in common. Here is one naughty bon mot that never fails to tickle me:

What did the under gardener say to the on-site limousine repairman as he remarked on the grace of her ladyship?

REPORTERS groan.

Oh, wait — never mind. I did not come here to tell jokes, but to vindicate my fellow conservative legislators and myself. We are a normal, relatable bunch of every-day fellows, I tell you. I follow Beckham gossip, as you do. Their marriage is a sham but Victoria’s clothing line, especially the denim offerings, is excellent. I neglect my dental hygiene despite the vast strides made in this field. I like keeping abreast of sales events, and eating Haribo candies. Am I not one of you?

REPORTERS are silent.

SIR WINTERTON: I have a Dell and used a coupon towards its purchase.

SILENCE

SIR WINTERTON: (Breaking out in a sweat.) I don’t buy groceries at Harrod’s, indeed I think that would be a waste of my hard-earned guineas.

SILENCE

SIR WINTERTON: (Barely able to utter this last attempt.) I…liked Diana, and believe she was a victim…not a flashy little trollop who got what she deserv–

REPORTER: You’re a pretentious blowhard!

SIR WINTERTON: And you, sir, have the brains of an Anseranas semipalmata, or Magpie Goose — the sole surviving member of a Mesozoic lineage and truly one of the most unintelligent waterfowl to roam this planet! Did I not just verbally cane your proverbial schoolboy bottom?

REPORTERS laugh.

SIR WINTERTON: Oh, how I wish I had not come.

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