Saturday, 21 July 2012

Man Review: King Charles

King Charles is filming a music video on a beach in America. America, he says, is a more romantic country than England, but being an Englishman is more romantic than being a Yank.
     Coffee break. The bought females meander off set to scant and private consolations. Some cry down the phone to their mother, some drink or take pills, others sit raddled and unresponsive on the sea wall, looking down at the heaps of brown desiccated seaweed, but not really seeing it. It is low tide and the sand fleas are hopping.
     King Charles is wearing nothing but a pair of denim hot pants. His pubic hair forms an unpleasant continuum with his body hair. Front and back. He skips over rocks singing his favourite song: Lady Percy. I wonder if anyone has noticed that the chorus sounds like cotton eye Joe, he thinks to himself, crouching over a rock pool to examine his reflection in the water.
     His reflection smiles up at him: 'Nobody has noticed. You're still the King.'
     King Charles pouts and raises an eyebrow.
     'I'm still the King.'
     He bends forward to get closer to his reflection. An orange fish is startled by the looming shadow made by his giant hair and silly moustache. It darts for cover, disturbing the flat reflective quality of the water's surface. King Charles is outraged. His pout fails; his lips curl back over his teeth.
     His hand enters the water pointed, at a steep angle, like a diving bird. He plucks the orange fish from the pool and tears out its innards with his teeth. He snarls. There is fish slime on his chin, running down his throat. He spits into the pool and throws the remains of the animal over his shoulder.

The coffee break will be over soon. King Charles walks back to the set. On the way he sees a man beach fishing. The man is holding a long black rod; he is quite old, probably a local.
     'What are you doing, old man?' Says King Charles. The fisherman looks over his shoulder and is clearly startled by the stranger's physical appearance. But his voice betrays none of this: 'Oh, I don't know. Waiting on the big one I suppose.'
     'Fishing, is it?'
     'That's about the measure of it. Yes, sir.'
     'I think you're a very cruel and ignorant little man.'
     'What's that?'
     'What right do you have killing fish like that? It's...well, it's just disgusting!'
     'Now hold on there a minute boy--'
     'And just look at the state of you! Go on, take a look at yourself. You look like the Irishman who picks up dead branches on my father's estate!'
     The fisherman is outraged, but he sees a giant starfish approaching King Charles silently from the rear.
     'Just carry on talking, son.'
     'Oh, I will. Don't you worry, I most certainly will!'
     The fisherman watches the starfish draw closer. A wry smile appears on his face. King Charles is gesticulating, firing all manner of insults at him.
     'And just what the hell do you think you're smiling abo--'
     A blood curdling scream as the giant starfish latches onto King Charles' leg. The scream becomes muffled. There is a wet cracking sound from beneath the starfish. The screaming stops.
     The fisherman turns back to the sea.

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