Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid | AspenTimes.com
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Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

If you’re like me, you could care less about the royal wedding, except to note that if William wasn’t a prince, Kate would have been way out of his league. Nice work, Willy. You done pretty good for yourself.

To be honest, though, I find the idea of royalty a little silly myself, and I do my best not to pay the wedding any attention. I’ve been purposely avoiding it as a writing subject because, one, I think it’s such an easy target, and two, I know that people who are not like me are way into the wedding, and I don’t want to tick everyone off.

How do I know they’re way into the wedding? Well, as example A, I’d like to present you with Niue, a tiny island nation somewhere in the Pacific Ocean that drew the ire of wedding fans (not to mention feminists) worldwide last week.

The 1,400 inhabitants of Niue (pronounced NEW-ay and commonly known as the “Rock of Polynesia” or, locally, as “the Rock”), though independent, are technically citizens of New Zealand, which, for some reason, makes them British, meaning Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state. As such, Niue, like all things British, is in a tizzy over the wedding.

Seeking to capitalize on global interest in the royal nuptials, the Niuean government in the capital city of Alofi (population: 581) has issued a commemorative stamp with the likenesses of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the words “Royal Wedding, 29.4.2011.”

The stamp sells for NZ$5.80 ($4.53 American) and looks very nice, but what has wedding fans all lathered up is the fact that it’s actually two stamps that can be torn apart, with the perforation splitting the prince and his betrothed in two.

On the one hand, I can understand why wedding fans are upset. I mean, how dare someone suggest that a royal wedding might end in divorce. Niue’s got a lot of nerve. In Niue’s defense, however, I’d like to point out that William’s parents were, in fact, both royal and divorced.

What has feminists outraged is the fact that the Kate stamp is worth a mere NZ$2.40, while the William stamp is worth NZ$3.40. (Actually, that might not be true. I have no evidence to back up that statement. I just assume feminists are outraged.)

In any event, the government of Niue has mounted a robust defense of the stamp, and I, for one, applaud their efforts and fully agree with them. Herewith, I would like to state Niue’s case, as I see it.

First of all, just because the stamp splits the pair in two doesn’t mean that Niueans think the wedding will end in a divorce. It’s a commemorative stamp. It’s meant to be kept in one piece, not torn in two and used as postage.

Secondly, if there are two stamps and tearing them in two doesn’t put Kate on one stamp and William on the other, how are people proposing it should be done? Should one stamp have both of their torsos on it while the other just has their legs?

Finally, Niueans don’t expect to generate much money from the stamps anyway. They’re mainly just looking for some publicity, hoping tourists will want to see where the stamps are from. With that being the case, let’s see what we can learn about this tropical paradise.

Niue was known for a couple of centuries as Savage Island because when Captain Cook tried to land there in 1774, he was repelled by natives who had been eating red bananas and hadn’t brushed, making their teeth look bloody. It wasn’t until late in the 20th Century that the original name, which translates – I swear I’m not making this up – as “behold the coconut,” regained use.

Niue, despite being called “the Rock,” is actually a coral island, one of the world’s largest. There’s great scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing, secluded beaches and some of the world’s clearest water. In fact, it sounds just perfect for a royal honeymoon (hint, hint).

And as for you feminists, who may or may not be outraged by the stamps, I would like to note that William’s stamp is worth more because he is of royal blood already, affording him greater status in British eyes. When Kate becomes royal herself, then we’ll talk about stamps being equal.

In the meantime, though, now that my little spiel is done, can I please go back to ignoring the wedding as much as possible? Thanks.


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