Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Once I was the King of Spain...

Now I eat humble pie. (Hey, wouldn't you know it, Canadians wrote that song!)

My name is Joseph the First - Drunken Joe, they called me - and I reigned in Spain for six years. You may have heard of my younger brother, Napoleon. After he triumphed in Spain, he made me king, and I have to say, I didn't want to go. I was perfectly happy being King of Naples. NAPLES, people - as in neapolitan ice cream and pizza and the beach. Why leave that for dry, dusty, landlocked Madrid?
check me out!
I arrived in Spain just in time to see the sh*t hit the fan. I told that shrimp things did not look good, but did he believe me? No. There were just not enough afrancesados - Frenchified folk - to back us up. And they weren't too keen on Masons, either. And my army officials kept going behind my back to check things out with Nap. It's no wonder I took to the drink. Also, no pizza here, but more than enough good, cheap wine. Hmmm, maybe that's where my nickname came from. Pepe Botella - Joey Bottle...

I tried, really I did, but it's hard being the older brother living in the younger one's shadow. Especially when that shadow should have been tiny. He wasn't even Tall! Well, at least I left my mark on Madrid. Have you seen the royal palace? Have you noticed how....French it looks? It's the largest palace by floor area on the continent, and today it's jam-packed with goodies: heaps of paintings, a well-stocked armoury (hmm, that would have been helpful back in the day...), enough porcelain for a thousand troupes of Greek dancers, and the only Stradivarius string quintet collection in the world.

When I left Spain, I took some "insurance" with me - the crown jewels. I sold them to set myself up in the good old US of A, living the American dream. I ended up in New Jersey and built myself another palatial home - not so grand as what I left for Madrid (you're welcome, Spaniards), but still big enough for some great parties.

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