For men of great power, the machinations of political fortune or misfortune are most often shrouded from the prying eyes of the public — a silent, unscrupulous waltz in the inky shadows of dimly lit parlor rooms.
Sometimes, however, your political rivals simply drop dead.
So it was that Giorgio Carbone, erstwhile Prince of Seborga, died — and in doing so removed the last great obstacle in my quest to reunite the ancient thrones of Greater Paximiliano. Seborga — a tiny province nestled adjacent to the Italian riviera — is not the final step, but it has proven the most intractable, thanks to the admittedly awesome rule of Carbone:
After convincing his Seborgan neighbors of their true significance, Giorgio Carbone was elected prince in 1963. He gracefully accepted the informal title of His Tremendousness, and was elected prince for life in 1995 by a vote of 304 to 4. Voters then ratified Seborga’s independence, which, by the prince’s interpretation, it already had.
Prince Giorgio established a palace, wrote a Constitution, and set up a cabinet and a parliament. He chose a coat of arms, minted money (with his picture), issued stamps (with his picture) and license plates, selected a national anthem and mobilized a standing army, consisting of Lt. Antonello Lacala. He adopted a motto: Sub umbra sede (Sit in the shade).
While Carbone was my rival lo these many years, I plan to keep Lt. Lacala in his position. I cannot afford to lose the support of the military. I will also keep Carbone’s picture on the money and retain the national motto, because it would take forever to photoshop new Seborgan dollars and, let’s face it, sitting in the shade is awfully relaxing.