New Clothes

new_clothes-170

By Bob Hazlett

“Sir, I need to see your driv — my God, you’re naked.”

“Are you daft? I most certainly am not naked.”

“I don’t see a stitch of clothing on you.”

“You must be totally blind.”

“Okay. Tell me what you’re wearing.”

“I’m wearing the finest, most expensive fashion of the day. Way beyond the understanding of a peasant like you.”

“I see. Describe it to me. Start with your head.”

“Of course. Can’t you see this large flat hat with the beautiful plume?”

“Oh, sure. I see it. What next?”

“Look down here. See these beautiful blistered padded breeches — the latest thing at court.”

“Yeah. I saw those in this month’s GQ.”

“What’s GQ?”

“Never mind, keep going.”

“Look at my shirt. It’s the latest fashion.”

“I see it. How does it work?”

“I pull these laces and the collar frills out. Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Awesome. What’s next?”

“You’ve got to love this waistcoat. It’s purple satin, embroidered with my initials.”

“I’ll have to get one like it just for me.”

“You certainly cannot have one of these.”

“Why not?”

“I guess I shouldn’t expect a mere constable to understand the Sumptuary Laws.”

“That’s right, just a mere constable. What are ‘Sumptuary Laws’?”

“To wear black genet, you must be royal; to wear sable, you must rank above a viscount; to wear marten or velvet trimming, you must be worth over two hundred pounds a year. I’m sure you don’t qualify for any of those.”

“Sure I can. I’ve got three quid left from my lunch money. I’m going to pick one up right after my shift ends. What else you got to tell me about?”

“My shoes, of course. Notice the broad cut and the mound at the toes. The silk and jeweled trimming are the latest fashion. But you wouldn’t know that.”

“You know buddy, this is getting boring.”

“Don’t you dare call me Buddy.”

“What shall I call you?”

“Since we have become friends, you may call me ‘Your Lordship’.”

“Okay, Your Lordship. Are you into some kind of reenactment?”

“What is reenactment? I don’t act, enact, or reenact. I am royalty. Just on the way back to the castle from my tailor with all new clothes for the ball tonight.”

“All new clothes, Eh. What’s your name?”

“I told you to call me ‘Your Lordship’.”

“Enough! What’s your name?”

“Emperor.”

“All right, Emperor. You and your new clothes are off to the tower. Get out of the carriage.”

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Word Count: 411

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