You can have many brilliant ideas but if you don’t get it quite right it’s easy for someone to come in and take all the credit. Take my friend Tony for instance.
I always went to my grandmothers each Sunday. I always went early and it watched her cook.
She used to make the tradition roast dinner. If I was lucky she would make toffee or,in season send me off to pick blackberries and she would make a pie.
One Sunday when I was about ten years old I saw this hobo walk up the back street, he shouted across to my grandmother for food,
She happily gave him some roast beef and some water. He thanked her and walked on.
I never expected to see him again. Many years later a car park attendant came across to me when I was parking in town. He seemed familiar. A friendly chatty guy.
He had a big limp, and each step looked as if it could be his last.
I saw him later in the pub. It ended up Tony became one of my best friends.
He would be happy quoting the Brothers Karamazov as he would telling me of the time he took LSD in the Navy.
I finally realised he was the hobo I remembered when he told me he walked from Portsmouth up to Berwick when he left the Navy. He slept in the back street of the pub just down from my grandmother’s house.
One day he told me his story.
The Queen’s Hand
Tony always loved animals and used to keep mice and train them. In his Navy Barracks in Portsmouth he became quite well known for the work he did with mice.
One day, in 1976 he was called into the Admiralty. Tony expected to be fired. Keeping mice in the barracks was illegal. Everybody knew about it.
The meeting was all about the Silver Jubilee. Next year the queen was celebrating 25 years of being crowned and would be touring round the country – into 36 different counties,as well as other countries in the commonwealth.
You can imagine how tiring that could be. Never mind the crowds and the constant smile, the Queen’s major concern was the constant waving.
The Admiralty had an idea that Tony may be able to help.
Tony was a staunch royalist and you can imagine how proud he was.
He got to work, and was able to come up with a trial solution within a few months.
The Queen would start using his invention at the start of their jubilee tour on May 17th in Glasgow,Scotland.
Tony was worried they had not done a trial run but they were so confidant in his abilities.
The Queen’s Mouse
When I was twenty-one I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God’s help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it.
On May 17th 1977,The Queen and Prince Phillip started,what was to be the biggest tour ever by British monarchs.
Perhaps if you were in Glasgow that day you would see the Queen looking a little smug.
There would be no waving that day – not by the Queen’s hand.
Tony’s invention was set up on the back seat next to the Queen.
The Queen’s mouse started to pedal on his little cycle and the false silken jubilee hand started to turn slightly as if it was making a wave.
I only know this as Tony told me and I’m duty bound to tell you not to repeat it.
Back in the 70’s it was much easier to get the press to play along and suppress news.
So the reports of the day were never published.
The queen was in the back seat of the car. The car approached the first of the crowds.
I can imagine how proud Tony must have been that day.
The mouse sat on his stationary bike and pedalled away. The queens hand turned, slowly waving to the crowd.
The hand kept turning an turning even further.
360 degrees. Turning and turning. It was like something out of the exorcist.
The day was a disaster.
Tony never heard from the queen again and was encouraged to leave the navy.
Lord Hume of the Hirsel a renowned Hamster keeper and former prime minister had heard of Tony’s efforts with mice.
Using his connections as a Lord it was easy for him to locate someone to iron out Tony’s design faults and complete the Queen’s hand.
By the second week of the tour Tony’s invention had been reconfigured using hamsters.
For the rest of the tour the queen could smile while her hand relaxed and the hamster did the waving work.
The Royal Hamsters
To this day, the queen still uses hamsters as her waving prosthesis simulator.
There is now a team of hamsters and officials who are responsible for all the royal families false waving hands.
With all modern electronics, they could easily be replaced, yet the royal family are staunch traditionalists.
Lord Hume of the Hirsel was more well known for his short term as prime minister.
His work on the Hamster Hand being forgotten.
Although a tiny hamster is visible on his family coat of arms.
My friend Tony,whose best work was stolen, is left with his memories.
Many think he was mad, but I know the truth.
Are you blonkers?
Were you ever in a situation where you did all the work and someone else took credit?
Today is one of the Queens birthdays. She’s had about 185 so far.
They say if you stand in one place long enough a royal entourage will go past you.
I urge you to go and stand in the street for a while and pay close attention when they drive past.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
when you have a team of hamsters to wave for all of them.