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April 23, 2006 / gus3

Shaggy Dog

Hugh DeLong (don’t ask me why he has that name, ask his parents) is a forward-thinking artist living a Bohemian existence in Manchester, England. His all-black clothes are partly for the respect of his fellow artists, and partly just to hide the dust and grime from walking outside.

His art is noteworthy for its expressiveness and social awareness, capturing the joy of a wedding or the Herculean efforts put into earning money for food and rent in Manchester. The anticipation of his new works generates a lot of chatter around town. As a result, he decides to donate half of his earnings from every other exhibit to local charities, like women’s shelters and drug rehab centers.

Such outstanding character does not escape the Queen’s notice. As His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is leaving Manchester after consulting with the Lord High Mayor, he asks his driver to stop at the DeLong exhibit as they pass by. He is particularly impressed with one sculpture, and tells his Mum… *ahem* the Queen about it.

Within a few weeks, Hugh DeLong receives a letter from Buckingham Palace, stating that he has been chosen to receive an "inheritable title as a Knight of the British Empire, and that the assigned family crest shall consist of a charge of two lions rampant, on each side of a shield with a Solea solea d’or, before a field of azure." DeLong is tremendously honored, but his artist’s mind doesn’t quite grasp the family crest.

The day of his dubbing arrives. He is standing before the Queen, wearing an all-black tuxedo chosen specifically for this occasion. His family crest is to his right, with a strange fish in the center, staring at him. It makes him feel a little uneasy, but bears it for the sake of his children and their children. As he kneels, Her Majesty touches his shoulder with a sword and proclaims:

"I dub thee DeLong, Dark Knight of the Sole."

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