Esther Rantzen once famously said “One must choose in life between boredom and suffering.”
I am the first.
Here’s a story about love, loss and despair:
The moral of the story is that a stitch in time saves nine.
Now, a history lesson. Today’s subject?
Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
There once lived a man called Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He played in a really well-known indie band, the Kaiser Chiefs. Despite their fame, fortune and that they enjoyed many years of success, something was amiss.
On the 28th of June, 1914, everything changed for the magnificently moustachio’d bastard. Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist wasn’t happy. Not happy at all.
So, why not?
Well, it all started with a hilarious misunderstanding at a cocktail after-party involving an argument over the meaning of the ending of The Remains of the Day (I touched on this before, and would just like to re-emphasise that this film is solely the reason for all war, poverty and famine in the world today). So anyway, a very drunken Princip staggered out of the room to laughter from the Archduke and the rest of his minions.
“You’re all wrong!” Princip exclaimed, falling into a priceless antique vase (although at the time, it was brand new, so worth very little). He was convinced that it was all just created to prove that you can bore people even in an era where there was very little to do other than declare war on other, smaller nations.
Immediately, Princip formed a group to play a prank on the Archduke, involving a bomb which, when detonated, would cover Ferdinand in orange jelly, making everyone laugh at him and making him run home crying.
After excruciatingly long days of planning, the plan was set into place. It wouldn’t be long before the jellification, and surely it would put all those pranks in Home Alone to shame.
At 10.10am on the day of the attack, Princip’s good friend and ally Nedeljko Cabrinovic hurled the bomb at the Archduke’s car, giggling to himself at the thought of him being covered in jelly. Unfortunately for Cabrinovic, Ferdinand had already planned for this, and was driving a car made out of rubber. The bomb bounced back and exploded under the car behind, as the Archduke stuck his tongue out and his fingers in his ears and shouted “ner ner ne ner ner”.
Cabrinovic, so ashamed of his failure, attempted to eat a cyanide pill to end his life. This too failed miserably, as it just made him have an upset stomach and vomited all over himself. It was truly the most embarrassing day of his life.
“Mr Mayor, I came here on a visit, and I get jelly bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous.” – Archduke Franz Ferdinand, shortly before the following incident (no spoilers).
Understandably annoyed at the failure of his plans, Princip went to a local sandwich shop which almost certainly wasn’t Subway for a sandwich of unknown origin. He was delayed, trying to upload an instagram photo of his lunch with the caption “Gavrilo 1-0 Franz!”. This failed, due to wi-fi being very poor in 1914.
Ironically, this delay allowed him a rare window of opportunity.
Franz Ferdinand’s convoy was diverted because of the bomb, afraid that down the road there might be a rake which had been placed so as to spring up in his face as they drive over it.
So, where was it redirected to?
As chance would have it, straight past the sandwich shop that Princip was in!
Princip leaped into action, grabbing a handful of cheese from behind the counter and sprinting at the Archduke’s car, shouting “Death to the Infidel!”, spraying hot, molten cheese all over Franz Ferdinand’s face with his cheese-gun.
Taking a second to admire his handiwork as the Archduke picked cheese off of his nose, he appeared triumphant.
Quite the unexpected event happened next. Uncharacteristically, the Archduke started giggling to himself and said “I’m covered in cheese! What a glorious day! Come on Gavrilo, I’ll buy you lunch.”
They were forever friends, and the rest is history.
As always, thanks for reading.
The Walrus has spoken.