Then, I read that Mick Jagger got knighted. I thought, Mick Sympathy for the Devil, Mother's Little Helper, Paint It Black, Sister Morphine, Let's Spend the Night Together, Street Fightin' Man Jagger? That Mick Jagger?

'Course, like Sir Elton and Sir Paul, Sir Mick hasn't done much lately either. At least his band is still nominally around, though. The Rolling Stones Ltd. (slogan: world's greatest rock-band-cum-financial empire) pumps out one recycled-hits compilation after another, which single-handedly must account for about half of the economy of the British Empire. Is that why Mick got knighted?

Keith Richards, I understand, considered Jagger's acceptance of the knighthood an affront to the rebellious, antiestablishment, blood-transfusing spirit of the Stones. "Wha a loa uh fre a' buh'n rllll," the Stones guitarist was quoted as saying. Sir Mick responded by accusing Keith of being jealous. The two then said the Stones were breaking up, adding that the next tour would - definitely, unquestionably, you-can-take-it-to-the-bank (literally) - be their last, and then they put out another greatest-hits package.

Since it seems that pretty much anybody can get knighted these days, I'd like to make a suggestion. I should warn you that it's pretty American. But so was rock-and-roll and, if not for that, half the people in England wouldn't be knights. So, here's my idea: Advertise, like we do, on late-night TV.

That way, not only can pretty much anybody become a knight, but the Crown makes some money from the whole shebang. The ads are simple. You get a guy, we'll call him Nigel. Nickname him "Crazy." Then let him go wild, flap his arms around, scrunch up his face right into the camera, and scream. Like this:

CRAZY NIGEL HERE.