Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Get Down With The Ruler

You know those terribly awkward moments at parties when you’re introduced to people you really don’t like? It happened to me on Saturday when a mutual friend thrust my hand into that of the evil Eighties magician, Professor Rubik. I feigned a smile and idly wondered where the hors d'oeuvres were.

As Ruler Of The Known Universe, I once saw fit to create a company policy to invite over all the pretenders to the throne, the most ambitious and dangerous of you lot - mainly to keep an eye on them, but to also to show them a PowerPoint presentation as to what would happen if they try an usurp me again. That always goes down well, particularly after dinner.

My loathing of Rubik wasn’t to do with his hair being like a mad woman’s breakfast, but of the fact that he’d almost succeeded in the slyest possible way. He had sat in his castle for years, coming up with this time-consuming device, a cube that people compulsively had to solve. The whole populous almost fell foul until we planted a guy on Blue Peter to solve it in under ten seconds. After that, people just felt like a retard if they couldn’t do it in under a minute. The cubes were simply defeated by apathy.

Oh, and we made sure you could just take the stickers off too. That really fucked it up.

I asked Rubik what he was up to these days, staring over his shoulder in a manner which, in retrospect, was incredibly rude. But Will Young had just turned up – a further attempted ruler - and I had a slap with his name on it I was desperate to hand out. Rubik claimed he wasn’t doing anything bar gardening and listening to Radio 4, but I knew that was a lie. I’d seen deliveries of glue and coloured plastic being driven into his castle at night.

We’d finally managed to close down Rubik after he fragrantly bent the laws of physics with his last attempt at domination. He’d produced ‘Rubik’s Revenge’ – making no secret of his anger at defeat. But this time, it was a four-by-four cube, not the three-by-three standard. If you think about it, the three-by-three works because you can put a spindle through the central points and rotate around that. Rubik’s Revenge – there is no central point! How does it work?

Black magic, that’s how.

This was the final thing we got him on. You can’t give kids toys that disobey the fabric of the universe – it’s just not on. So we pulled him in, gave him a real dressing down and confiscated anything square or cuboid from his castle. He was really pissed he couldn’t make Oxo gravy, you know.

He was still holding on to my hand after his diatribe about the shipping forecast so I managed to extricate myself by feigning a heart attack, something I heartily recommend in awkward situations. One of my guards pointed him in the direction of our Nintendo GameCube, and he wandered off with an eager glaze over his eyes.

I dusted myself off, and looked around. Both the hors d'oeuvres and Will Young were coming into arm’s reach. I mused that the party may turn out to be fun after all…

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