Thursday, 16 February 2017

Good night, sweet prince...

Once, I went out into the city on Valentine's. 

In a suit.


I had nothing to do. It was Valentine's, and I wasn't doing anything, so I put on my best suit, withdrew £50 in cash, put that (and nothing else, besides by Oyster card) into a small wallet which I then put in my breast pocket. And went into London.

Oh, and I was a prince.

I'd done some research. Quite a lot of research, in fact, to the point that I'd been writing stuff down in a notebook and memorising it. I chose a little-known country with a monarchy, looked up the name of the monarch and heir apparent, then traced a line down and along a bit, worked out the generations and slotted myself into a generation. I invented a fictional nephew, gave him a name and a backstory, and assumed that identity. Hooray, I'm a prince!

I'm a republican, so I have no idea why this appealed to me so much. Mind you, I once declared myself king, so maybe it's somewhere in my blood. Or I have too much time on my hands.

I think that my thought process went somewhere down the line of "it would be much easier to pull if I was someone famous". I see famous people falling out of nightclubs all the time, usually with someone equally famous and stunningly beautiful, no matter what they look like or what character traits they have. That's the draw - power and money and whatever else. I don't have any of either, so my brain short-circuited and said, "fuck it, I'll be somebody nobody's ever heard of."

So off I went, a fake royal crest appended to my suit, and a cord from a set of headphones hanging from my hip so it looked like I could call someone for backup if I got into trouble.

I went anywhere I could think of going in London, telling everyone I met - including the guide at the Natural History Museum, the street artist I wandered into (and bought a print from), the guy buying the drinks at the bar in Canary Wharf and the drunks on Wardour Street - that I was a minor royal. I even talked to a few German girls (in German), telling them that I was in London under orders from my private tutor to learn more English, "otherwise... massive deduction of marks." I went into the Hilton and enquired about room prices as if I could seriously afford any of them; I talked to the lady selling tickets to private parties, but she said I had to have a lady with me to get in; I even ended up in the cocktail bar in the City ordering mocktails and watching idiots walk into walls.

Forget pulling, I was lucky not to be arrested.

In the end, I made my way back home. I hadn't gotten lucky at all, or even made any lasting connections. I didn't know anyone who lived in central London, and I hadn't gotten any specific destination in mind, so even as a prince, I was very much ill-prepared for such a venture. But at least I'd survived the night.

So I bought a fake crown from eBay, put it on and went back out again a week later.

Yes, this really happened.

I didn't pull then either... but I randomly dropped off a CV at a shop I passed. And got the job.

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