. . . and the little mobile phone rang happily ever after

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The Independent Online
'THE Princess of Wales is always referred to as a fairy tale princess,' writes a reader, 'but nobody has ever bothered to specify which fairy tale she comes from. Can you help?' Certainly. Here now is that lovely, but sad, old story:

The Tale of the Lonely Princess

ONCE upon a time there was a lonely princess who had no friends except a little mobile phone.

'Oh, little phone,' she said to it one day, 'will I ever be married to a handsome prince?'

'Why do you want to be married to a prince?' asked the phone, who was no fool.

'But isn't that what a princess must do?', asked the princess, whose name was Bulimia.

'Not at all,' said, the phone, who had been around a bit. 'My advice to you is to get some work experience, travel a bit, then talk to your parents' friends and get a hack job in London somewhere, maybe in the art department at Sotheby's if you can't find anything better . . .'

But Bulimia wasn't listening. She was reading Hello] magazine.

When she left school, Princess Bulimia asked her parents if she could move to London and meet some of the exciting people she read about in Hello] magazine.

'Move to London, yes,' said her mother, 'and see how you get on. Then later on perhaps you can meet some interesting people, although I am not sure if your small talk is up to it yet.'

So she moved to the big city. And one day she was passing the royal palace in London when she met a whole crowd of Londoners all looking sad and shaking their heads and behaving in the manner which is called doleful.

'What's up?' she asked. 'Why are you all so sad?'

'Because our prince is not married,' they said. 'He is getting older and older, and if he does not marry soon, he will have no kiddies and will be succeeded on the throne by his younger brother Andrew who is a bit of a twit, and then we really will be doleful.'

'Why does the prince not get married?' she asked.

'Because any girl who wants to marry the prince has to answer three questions,' they said. 'And they are the hardest questions in the world.'

'I am not frightened,' said Bulimia. 'I will ask for the prince's hand in marriage.'

There was a loud ringing noise. It was her friend, the mobile phone.

'Yes, sweetie pie?' said the princess, for that is how she talked to the phone, not knowing what sort of an impression it made on other people who happened to eavesdrop.

'Stop now before it is too late,' said the phone.

'Oh, stuff and nonsense,' said Bulimia, tossing her blonde hair and looking quite amazing. Then she knocked at the palace gate and announced that she had come to ask for the prince's hand in marriage.

'The first question is easy,' said the prince. 'It is this. 'In a society where the normal communal links have been broken down by the demands of the techno-industrial complex, how can architects be encouraged to design buildings which will restore that kind of traditional . . .'.'

'Oh, stuff and nonsense,' said the Princess Bulimia. 'If you got out and about a bit more, went to a few rock concerts and things, you wouldn't be sitting around asking silly questions like this. I'll leave you my phone number if you want to go out one evening. Bye]'

'No, wait,' said the prince, forgetting the other two questions, and falling in love with the beautiful princess as he stared at her. 'How would you like to come to a polo match on Saturday?'

There was a ring on her mobile phone. She answered it.

'Excuse me,' she said to the prince. 'Yes, honey bunch?'

'Don't do it,' said the phone. 'Don't go to the polo match. It's a dreadful game, played by dreadful people, and you will get involved in a scene that you will rapidly tire of.'

'Look, I am no stranger to the polo scene, OK?', said the princess. 'My stepfather is a polo player, for one.'

'Proves my point,' said the phone.

'Anyway,' said the princess, 'I've got to take my chances with the prince, because if I don't get married to a prince, what else am I suited for? I am not trained for anything else.'

'If you think being married to a prince is easy and doesn't need training,' said the phone, 'then you have got one big shock ahead of you.' And he rang off in a huff.

'Yes,' said Princess Bulimia. 'I'd absolutely love to come to the polo match.'

'Jolly good,' said the prince. 'Would you like to stay the night at the palace as well?'

Part Two of this lovely old fairy story tomorrow . . .

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