Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Practical Jokers Afoot in Imaginary 18th Century Europe?

A few days ago, a large package arrived by courier at gates of Krankenstadt Palace. Upon examination, it was found to be for Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II from the Graf Maurice von Hirschbock of distant Stagonia. Graf Maurice presented Irwin-Amadeus with a costume lobster claw, to replace the missing left claw of the original costume.

Unfortunately, Irwin-Amadeus now wears his costume with TWO (yes, that’s correct, TWO) right-handed claws. Stollenian ministers and advisors are concerned that this apparent mistake -- some openly suggest that a practical joke has been played on Stollen and its ruler— will only cause Irwin-Amadeus to lose the slight grip he has left on reality even more quickly than has been the case in recent weeks.

Given the serious nature of the current situation developing just over the frontier in the Electorate of Zichenau, and the need for rapid, informed decisions, those around our Grand Duke are troubled to say the least. For his part, Irwin-Amadeus seems terribly pleased with his replacement claw and sends his deepest gratitude to the Graf von Hirschbock.

Stollenian ministers and advisors are not as thrilled however. Since recent summer weather has been quite warm here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, the atmosphere surrounding Irwin-Amadeus II in his lobster costume has become, to put it delicately, fetid. There is even talk in the palace of forcibly marching the Grand Duke at the end of a three meter pole into one of the fountains in the palace formal garden for a good soak and scrub down.

Of course, that cat has yet to be belled! However, a certain source in the palace reveals that the job may fall to the ultra-proper and reserved Minister of War, Herr Heinrich-Schatzi von Pelznikkel. Offiering his comments on the circulating rumor, the Prussian ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Stollen, the jovial Herr Heinz von dem Salat, chuckled, shook his head, and said, "Now that I would like to see!"

Others closer to the Grand Duke have stressed that this piece of gossip is just that -- gossip. Keep in mind that practical jokers may be behind this bit of information too. If Herr von Pelznikkel has, in fact, been informed that he is to bathe the Grand Duke publicly, he has yet to issue a public statement about it. We at Die Krankenstadt Tageblat do, though, have a difficult time picturing Herr von Pelznikkel engaged in washing down the stiflingly ripe Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus! As more details unfold in this developing story, you can read about them right here.

-- Katrina Bettina von Heffelfinger, Die Krankenstadt Tageblat

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