“Of course I am delighted to hear the news of the birth of a Royal baby boy” I said to Biffo and Spike Righteous down the club this evening “of course I am but it does make my succession to the throne that slight bit more difficult…I am now only 150th in line to the throne of England”. “I didn’t know you were royalty Thackeray” Spike replied, who had his bicycle helmet painted in the Union Jack colours in support of the future King. “Well…I don’t like to talk about these things Spike” I replied but now that you mention it…not many people know this….but royalty has been in the Thackeray bloodline of every major civilisation since time began”. “Oh here he goes again” Biffo interrupted rudely “telling us how famous he is…my family is famous too you know”. I fixed Biffo with a cold eye “Looking exactly like all your relations for ten generations isn’t royalty Biffo…that’s just incest” I guffawed. “But I thought that was what royalty was” Spike intervened, filling the water canister from his bike with Heineken before drinking it. “Oh do shut up” Biffo and I said together. “Now getting back to me” I said loftily “I shall explain the blue blood that courses through my veins…firstly on my mother’s side there was the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun Thackeray or known affectionately in the family as King Tacky Tut…he believed himself immortal as I do and built himself a great big pyramid in the desert…and obviously chaps it is no coincidence then that I like Toblerone chocolate”. “That’s a good point….he does like his toblerone’s” Spike said positively, nodding his head to Biffo who looked away in disgust.
“Then of course there was Alexander Thackeray The Great, a fourth cousin twice removed on my father’s side” I continued “Tacky Alex as he was known loved horses and music…was a huge fan of Boney M and even named a city after one of their hit songs “By the rivers of Babylon”. “I remember that song” Spike shouted excitedly and started singing whilst clapping his hands “By the rivers of Babylon…there we sat down…ye eah we wept….when we remember Zion”. “They weren’t the only ones that wept” Biffo sighed, ordering three double brandy’s for himself.
“Now as you chaps know” I explained theatrically “I have always been quite partial to a Chinese takeaway”. “Especially on a Friday night after ten pints of Giggle Water” Spike interrupted, laughing hysterically. “Very true Spike…very true” I agreed “this is no doubt due to my great great great great great grandfather’s identical twin brother….who was reputed to have looked nothing like him… but like me loved a no.24 special Peking Duck ….and so decided to become Emperor Ming Thackeray”. “Was he anything to Ming The Merciless” Spike asked inquisitively. “No he wasn’t Spike…but there was a connection ….well spotted” I said, patting him on the shoulder and he winked with pride at Biffo who again shook his head. “Cousin Ming’s main rival was…as Spike so aptly spotted …Ming The Merciless….who wanted to overthrow him and change the menu”. “Oh no…what happened then” Spike asked, holding his hand to his mouth in fear and grabbing hold of Biffo’s shoulder. “Well…wily cousin Ming was too smart and hired Flash Gordon….Saviour of The Universe… to zap him with gamma radiation” I declared. “Yeh…good old Ming Thackeray….I know that song” Spike said, relieved at the happy ending. “Don’t even think about it if you value your life” Biffo shouted and Spike lowered in head in disappointment.
I paused to finish my pint and tapped the counter for Tracey the man-barmaid to fetch me another before beginning again “One of our most famous Uncle’s of course…was Julius Thackeray Caesar… who was a great friend of Shakespeare…and William liked him so much, he wrote a play about him” I said, turning around in one swift movement to grab the pint from Tracey man-barmaid and nod to her that it was on Biffo’s tab whilst his back was turned. “Didn’t John Wayne….play your uncle when that was turned into a film….I’ve seen that you know” Spike said, nodding his head. “Oh sweet Jesus” Biffo replied, putting his head in his hands. “Oh I’d nearly forgot” I roared “thank you Biffo…there was of course a first cousin of my mother’s… Thackeray Jesus of Nazereth”. “Who was he Thackeray…tell us…please?” Spike asked, sitting on the floor cross-legged before me “oh alright then Spike…just one more before your bedtime” I relented “We don’t really talk much about Jesus Thackeray….he was sort of the black sheep of the family….rode around on the back of an ass all day talking and curing sick people….walking on water that type of thing….had no tailor of any significance….wore rags really…like they do in Fermanagh….got in a lot of trouble because he said he was the son of God….not a shred of evidence of course….no jewels…no money…no harem…nothing…in the end anyway…they got sick of him and nailed him to a cross” I said despairingly, throwing my hands up. “I don’t like that story very much…it’s too sad” Spike said, almost crying. “That’s not the sad part…the worst of it was…he gave away the rights to a book they wrote about him…best seller of all time or so they tell me…not a red cent have I seen”. “So what happened to you Thackeray” Biffo scoffed “what have you done?”. I took a large sip of Biffo’s brandy before answering “I became the most noble of them all…I….became an Accountant”. Being noble…still it seemed like a good idea at the time…