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Monarch of Madonia: Mad Mona’s Monkey Business
I’m not even sure how we ended up here. Majesty Mona actually had what one could consider a lucid day yesterday, and I was hoping for a repeat today, but it was too much to ask.
So now we sit at the International Spaghetti Eating Contest amidst a crowd of ravenous noodle-ists. Who knew there was such a thing? Mad Mona–excuse me–Her Royalness found out from somewhere. Whoever is to blame for this, I shall never know nor forgive.
The sea of people wearing red and white checks in whatever fashion they choose is enough to make my eyes pop out of my head. Her Queenliness insisted we wear the traditional contest colors as well, so I find myself wearing a makeshift cape she designed. It’s a table-cloth from her favorite Italian restaurant. Call it what you will. She says it’s quite dashing.
“Doyle, look over there!” Majesty Mona says in a stage whisper. “It’s Duchess Dragona.” The way she drags out the ‘o’ in the duchess’ name gets a little old after the two-hundredth time, but I only give it an eye-roll of attention.
“Yes, Majesty. I see her.”
“Oh, Doyle, we cannot let her beat me! I must be named the winner of the spaghetti consuming contest. Quickly, tie my apron on tight. It musn’t be allowed to get in the way of my eating endeavor.”
I move to tie the strings of her matching checked apron, complete with Majesty Mona logo on the front. The strings barely touch in the back, and I try not to make a scene while I match the two ends together in a little knot.
“My goodness, but I think my apron has shrunk. Did you wash it, Doyle?”
“I don’t do the laundry, Majesty.”
“Knit-wit. I know that, but as far as I know you’re the only one who’s touched my apron other than me, and I certainly didn’t shrink it.”
“I only bought it this morning, Your Supreme Spaghettiness.”
“I like that name. Yes, it’s perfect for the day. Do announce me as such when the contest begins, Doyle.”
There is only one announcer, Majesty.”
“I’m queen, Doyle.”
There’s not much I can do. She is, in fact, the queen of Madonia, but we are now in our neighboring country of Pastarea where her powers of persuasion have no bearing other than with me. And sometimes I wonder why I don’t move to Pastarea.
A long table stands at the front of the astonishingly large crowd. I follow my monarch to the front, zigzagging like wet noodles amongst the pasta partisans. Each seat is marked with the name of the participant.
“Oh dear me! I cannot sit next to Rutherford Hanover. Move him, Doyle,” she orders me in disgust. “He smells of sea scallops on a hot day. I’ll lose my lunch!”
“I cannot move–”
“Doyle,” Mad Mona says in warning.
“Yes, Majesty.” I quickly shift the chairs over by three to put a buffer between and Her Majesty seems satisfied, but the look the officiating judges give me is not one I care to endure.
“Oh, Mona, cousin deary!” Duchess Dragona calls from down the table, complete with a floppy hand wave in our direction. She tip-toes on fat little feet down the makeshift stage, and the two ladies kiss the air on either side of the other’s puffy cheeks.
I can see Her Majesty is on the verge of losing the little sanity she has left today. How to step in? How to avoid the–
“Drag! You ol’ fire-breather! You’re going down in flames today. I shall roast you with my saucetastic superior spaghetti shenanigans.”
Mad Mona’s eye brows do a little dance. I roll my eyes again, too late to interrupt the side-show.
“Well, I never!”
“That’s all you’ve got, cousin dear?”
Duchess Dragona walks away in a huff, and I’m just relieved there was no bloodshed. “It’s time to take a seat, Majesty.”
“Doyle, I’d rather stand. Now, do announce me.” Her Majesty straightens her chef’s hat and slaps the back of my gray head for good measure. I’ve grown a callous on that spot.
The crowd is still chit-chatting, out of their seats and wandering the room, but I begin anyway. “Announcing her Supreme Spaghettiness, Majesty Mona of Madonia!” Not a one person turns to acknowledge the announcement.
“Doyle, why do I bring you anywhere?”
“Good question,” I mumble under my breath.
Before I know what’s happening, she’s up on the table, holding a plate of spaghetti above her head. I reach out in a useless attempt to stop her, but before I can even catch a breath she’s tossed the plate into the middle of the room, splattering spaghetti all over some audience members. There’s quite a gasp and then silence as every head turns to stare at the mad monarch of Madonia, towering tall on the table.
“Much better. Now you may announce me, Doyle.”
I stare right along with the crowd, unable to formulate a reply.
“Doyle, wake up!”
After a bit of a sigh and doing my best to ignore the deep red heat of my cheeks I turn and announce her majesty once again. I can feel the anger and annoyance, but my queen beams with such pride in her red and white checkered apron, I just can’t interrupt her happiness.
If only we were all mad.