Awhile back I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column poking a little good-natured fun at England's Royal Family, and some readers didn't understand that it wasn't supposed to be taken internally.
I was accused of offending the Monarchy in general and Queen Elizabeth II personally, and that if Her Highness ever got her bejeweled mitts on me she would personally do some drawing and quartering.
I may have also made a snide remark about Prince Charles' ears resembling the Royal Coach going down the road with both doors open.
Not wanting to be known as the Bully of Buckingham I would like to sincerely apologize for ruffling any royal feathers and to state for the record that I was joking when I said Her Majesty should trim her own darn toenails. The pampered old biddy would probably cut her toe off. (Sorry – there I go again.)
The truth is, I nurture a degree of personal bias. My ancestors and the Brits have a somewhat testy history.
Martha Woody (1651-1718) was Paul Revere's great-grandmother. Martha's pop, Captain Richard Woody, was among the first Englishmen to wash ashore in Massachusetts in the 1620's.
The Woodys came to the New World from England where their family crest can be found today: crossed rum mugs with a giggling maiden in the background.
I'm kidding, of course. The actual Woody coat of arms is a sword and a shield embossed with a snarling lion and a Latin inscription that translated means: "Jeepers – Get a Load of Ye Olde Lion!"
No, seriously, Captain Woody's daughter Martha really was Paul Revere's great-grandma and down through the years our family has maintained a treasured Colonial tradition: Every April 7 at midnight we hang a lantern in a church steeple and run down the street shouting, "The British are coming!"
It unnerves the neighbors but – so far – our neighborhood remains free of Redcoats.
Back to 1775: the Brits, noted for their lack of humor, said if they got their hands on Paul they'd hang him and the horse he rode in on.
That could explain the tensions between the Reveres/Woodys and the British Monarchy.
Actually it goes back even further: recently-discovered records indicate that another Woody ancestor, Sir Wellington-Wentworth of Worcestershire Sauce (Bubba to his friends) was flogged for poaching the King's deer, and another, Peeping Tom of Durber'ville was thrown in the dungeon after being caught lurking in the royal bushes one night.
Still, I admit that's no excuse for poking fun at Queen Liz and suggesting that it's time for her to get off her royal duff, get a job, and stop sponging off her subjects and her predicates.
I likewise apologize to Prince Charles' for joking about his Dumbo ears, even though it's a medical fact that for him a "waxy buildup" could be terminal.
Speaking of Prince Charles, did you ever notice that he has no last name? And that nobody ever calls him "Charlie" or "Chuck?"
Anyway, I'm willing to forget the Brit's vow to dangle my ancestor Paul Revere from a gibbet and other 18th century unpleasantness. All that's water under London Bridge and I say let bygones be bygones.
But admit it: you'd like to see Princess Kate working the midnight shift at the Waffle House, wouldn't you?
Larry Woody can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.