PAT NEAL: The royal visit

IT’S BEEN ANOTHER tough week in the news with the recurring snowmaggedon, the heartbreaking Seahawks playoff loss to the Packers and the month long shutdown of the Coho ferry to Victoria. This wilderness gossip columnist is left with no way to sugar-coat what is turning into one of the worst cabin fever seasons in the recorded history of the Olympic Peninsula.

Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The days are getting longer and there is a new feeling of peace, hope and enlightenment now that members of the British royal family have expressed an interest in returning to Canada where they spent part of last Christmas just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Vancouver Island.

There in the sleepy little town of North Saanich the royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, settled into the community. Gracing North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market, they thrilled the locals by ordering a clubhouse sandwich which was instantly renamed the Royal Clubhouse in their honor.

I know what you’re thinking: Who cares? Members of the British Royalty fan club, of which I am a rabid member, that’s who. We were thrilled and delighted at the prospect of not only this fortuitous geographic proximity with the royal couple but with the celebration of clubhouse sandwiches everywhere.

This American fascination with the British royal family is a mystery to many, including citizens of the United Kingdom who cannot understand our obsession with the inner workings of a medieval anachronism that was abandoned by most of the rest of the world many decades ago.

To which I would only ask, as compared to what? As colonists we revolted against the British monarchy on the principle of taxation without representation, which we exchanged for a system of taxation without cessation. The American experiment in democracy has run amok to the point where the scientists are out to lunch and the lab rats are running the show. Our three original branches of government — the legislative, judicial and executive — have been replaced by the big banks, big pharma and the military industrial complex which has resulted in the predictable trickle-down exploitation of the working people of this county.

Do the math. Tax rates for peasants in medieval England were around 20 percent. Compare that to the myriad taxes we pay now and you can figure the peasants got off easy compared to us.

No wonder the British monarchy appears so attractive. At least they have standards of basic human decency and proper social behavior. You screw up like Prince Andrew and you’re out. Compare them to our current crop of degenerate self-serving panty-raiding politicians spending our country into a black hole of debt at the bidding of a greed-soaked oligarchy whose only business plan is to sell our country out to the lowest bidder.

No wonder we like the royals. They are 10 feet tall in my book. And now, after the clubhouse sandwich story broke the real bombshell went off. Harry, Meghan and their son Archie plan on spending more time in our sleeping giant neighbor to the north, Canada. The queen is cool with the move so speculation on the royals’ future has gone wild.

While this wilderness gossip columnist cannot at this time confirm or deny the royal’s prospective visit to Oil City to accept the keys to the city and serve as grand marshalls in the Oil City Skunk Cabbage Festival Parade, they have not said no to serving as honorary judges at the chili contest. We certainly look forward to welcoming the royals on any future state visits.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing and rafting guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patnealwild

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