Leading article: In the teeth of it

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The Independent Online

The news that Tutankhamun's "beautiful face" and "wonderful smile" have been restored to us in all their glory is cheering to those of us whose looks are going after only a few decades. Isn't it heart-warming that one can look so good after more than 3,000 years in a coffin underground?

And of course, if Tut can be restored and "brought back", albeit in a virtual sense, more than three millennia after his death, it begs the question of who will get the same treatment 3,000 years hence.

Forget Elizabeth II. Yeltsin? Nigella? Duh! The big wonky teeth ought to give it away. There can only be one future Tut.

Imagine the scene. The great leader's body, embalmed and enclosed has been laid to rest in a golden casket in an ornate temple amid the beating of drums and the tootling of pipes in the year... well, within the next century... in the Valley of Presidents (of Europe. That's one clue).

Long forgotten, it is recovered at some point in the sixth millennium by a team of political busy-bodies. Of course, they all die horribly, or rather their careers "die", for they foolishly ignored the curse pronounced on all who should break the silence of the great leader's final resting place.

In fact, the "curse" is worse than mere career death, because they are condemned to follow the great leader's own career path, i.e be forgotten in their home countries and have to drift off to try and "solve" the Middle East instead.

Yes, you've finally guessed it! The face recovered in all its original beauty in 5000-and-something will be that of our previous prime minister.

Sic transit gloria Tony-i!

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