Dear Your Majesty, The Queen:
I am writing from across the pond to inquire about getting knighted. Now, I know you give knightships to Americans because I read that Bill Gates got one. So did Alan Greenspan, who said upon receiving his, "It's a very unusual day for an economist."
Hear, hear, as you English say.
We Americans - and I am speaking on behalf of all 292 million of us - thought knights were guys who looked good in metal. Sort of a medieval version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. We assumed it had something to do with lances and jousting and whatnot.
Turns out pretty much any Tom, Dick, or Elton can get one. Elton, of course, refers to Elton John, who was, as you know, awarded a knightship some time ago. I assume he received the honor for his undeniable contribution to eyewear. But, again, being American, I could be wrong. It might have been for keeping a career going for the longest period of time without having a hit song - which, I should respectfully note, is quite an accomplishment given his competition.
Take, for example, Sir Paul McCartney. First of all, he's a bass player. Let me say that again: a bass player. I have to say, Your Majestarialness, I admire an empire that would give one of its highest awards to the most invisible member of a band. What's next? Drummers? (Hello. I'm Sir Ringo.) Most of us, and, again, I am speaking here on behalf of most, not all, Americans (since some of us are bass players), thought that a knight had to be at least a guitar player.
And not to put too fine a point on it, but Sir Paul doesn't even have a band. Does he? Maybe he does. I don't know. Nobody knows. That's the point. This this uh bass player hasn't had a band since 1971 or whenever it was that he fell out with his fellow fun-loving moptops. Oh, yes. He did have that other band. Fins. Beaks. Whatever it was. But let's let lying birds sun themselves, as you English are fond of saying.