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The Queen and the Wasps

Queen Elizabeth II

The wasps were actually pretty light this year on the island, about one per picnic. Not like a couple years back, when everybody was doing the wasp dance and we gave up picnics altogether. Even the Queen.

Don't ask me how I know this, but I swear it's true: When the Queen was hob-nobbing around BC in 1994, part way through her tour, she disappeared. In fact, where she disappeared to was a private island at the north end of the Strait of Georgia. The island is owned by a cousin of Prince Phillip.

It was to be a genuine retreat for the Royals. Not even the kitchen staff from the Britannia were invited. The cousin would take care of everything, meals included. But here is the rub: he decided, this cousin, that the night she arrived, the Queen should have a picnic on the beach and eat... tacos.

Not everyone thought this was a good idea. Picture it, the Queen, sitting on the sand, holding a taco - I mean, has she ever even seen a taco? - trying to figure out how to eat it, bits falling out the ends onto the royal lap... Suffice it to say, there was opposition. But the cousin, who was, after all, the host and a relative to boot, would not be dissuaded. Tacos on the beach, he insisted.

But then someone from the next island (I am sorry, I cannot divulge which one) asked innocently, "But what about the wasps?" Would this be the Queen's welcome? There she is, butt on the beach, taco in one hand, other arm flailing wildly against a dozen of the things (and in '94, there would have been too)... The Queen? Doing the wasp dance?

The cousin looked chastened, as well he might. And so there was no picnic and no tacos. The Queen had chicken in the dining room. Two days later, looking refreshed, she returned to her round of appearances, banquets and parades -- blissfully unaware of the peril through which she had passed.


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