Welcome to Part Twenty-Nine of our current Tale for Our Time, my sequel to and contemporary inversion of Anthony Hope's Ruritanian runaway hit of 1894, The Prisoner of Zenda. If you prefer the original or over three-dozen other classic yarns, you'll find them here.
Meanwhile, in tonight's episode of The Prisoner of Windsor, Rudy Elphberg's nemesis explains to him why lookalikes are so passÃ©:
"I admire what Roger Severn did to Robert Rassendyll. He stole his identity. 'Identity theft'. I thought one only did that on the computer. Much easier than hiring a..." He paused to savour the word. "...a lookalike to start going around town in Mr Rassendyll's clothes. For most people today surely their real identity is on the computer anyway: The passwords for their online banking and specialized pornography interests. So there's something charmingly old-fashioned about you, Mr Elphberg, running around mimicking the voice and romancing the wife. Utterly charming."
He smiled again. "But not so effective."
Instead, ours is an age of thinkalikes. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part Twenty-Nine of The Prisoner of Windsor simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
Ontario Steyn Clubber Nicola Timmerman detects a not so hidden ambition in this Ruritanian fantasy:
Okay, Mark, avoue! Do you secretly want to replace Boris as prime minister?
Have to say you might do something about all those landings of migrants not to mention the grooming gangs!
Well, it'd be kinda cool to be the first Canadian prime minister of the United Kingdom since dear old Bonar Law (of what's now Rexton, New Brunswick). But no, I have absolutely no desire to occupy Number Ten: Boris's naked ambition was obvious a quarter-century ago, and he's welcome to it. As I've said a couple of times before, I had a modest desire to be Governor General and spend my days tootling around Manitoba and Nunavut pinning medals on deserving Canadians on behalf of Her Majesty. I visit more provinces in an average year than the present non-occupant of Rideau Hall, and it's getting to the point where I'm less "controversial" than her.
If you've yet to hear any of our more than three dozen Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club - and don't forget our special Gift Membership. Oh, and please join me tomorrow for Part Thirty of The Prisoner of Windsor.