First, We’ll Kill|All the Pundits

     Thank God it will be over soon, and we can go back to our lives again.
     I’m talking, of course, about the Installation of the Lord Mayor of London.
     Since 1189, the Worshipful Companies of the London Guilds have elected their Lord Mayor on Michaelmas Day (Sept. 29, heathens) then installed him — of course it’s a Him — round about now.
     Since 1959 they’ve installed him on the second Saturday in November — so as not to be accused of trying to swing the U.S. presidential election at the behest of the Worshipful Companies of Brewers or Fruitermen.
     Which might not be a bad idea.
     I hardly need tell you that the oldest Great Twelve City Livery Companies bear the highest rank, and will lead the procession, as 98 other guilds trail in, droopy drawered and draggly assed behind them.
     Last, at No. 110, will come the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
     Cut bait, Arts Scholars: Go make art!
     Honor and precedence go, by right, to the oldest companies of the Worshipful Whatevers.
     The Worshipful Company of Bowyers — longbow makers — come in at 38, a rather low ranking, what with Agincourt and all.
     The Worshipful Company of Musicians rank No. 50, surely too low, though as a musician myself, I presume they will be hanging out with the 69s, the Worshipful Company of Distillers.
     Right behind them, the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards — No. 75 — will be trying to get the musicians and the distillers into a game.
     Watch yourselves, Worshipful Musicians!
     It hurts me to my soul to report that No. 100 — the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, which received its Royal Charter in 2010 — will precede the Worshipful Company of Educators (No. 109), which did not receive its Royal Charter until 2013.
     Too busy correcting homework to send in their application, I suspect.
     I am, however, glad to report that the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders (No. 82, chartered in 1960) will show their regally chartered butts to the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants (2004, No. 105), the Worshipful Company of International Bankers (same year, 106), the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers (2005, No. 107) and the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (No. 108, 2008.)
     Elizabeth! My queen! (OK, not officially, but I’m a single guy.) You are 90 years old, my sovereign! Enough with these latecomer lallygogging layabouts.
     Did you have to charter a Worshipful Company of Arbitrators (No. 91, 1981), a Worshipful Company of Actuaries (1979), or — be still, my beating heart — the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (No. 86, 1977).
     Wales, Your Majesty?
     Worshipful chartered accountants in Wales?
     I have to lie down.
     Your Majesty: When Shakespeare lived and breathed, six of your 12 Worshipful Companies were high-tech concerns in the cloth trade. That was as high as technology got for Elizabeth I: the mercers, the drapers, the skinners, the merchant tailors, the haberdashers and the clothworkers.
     Coming in at 13 to 15 were the dyers, the brewers and the leathersellers. Worshipful companies all.
     Those were the days, my queen. Since then, your kingdom has granted royal charters to knitters (64), gunmakers (73), surveyors (85), and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (87, in 1977).
     Your Majesty! I am damn near as old as you are. Before we meet in Heaven, or I send you a long-distance phone call, please promise me one thing.
     Do not charter a Worshipful Company of Media Consultants.
     This I ask you on bended knee.
     And while you’re at it in Heaven, Your Majesty, could you kill all the pundits?

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