1431 c/o Crispin Best

How to Rule Unopposed for 42 Years

The first thing is to put your dad in jail. Squirt him with kerosene, burn down an orphanage and tell the local dungeon to lock him up. Visit him once to tell him he is going to die in there. And so he will, three years later, halfway through his book.

The second thing is to use your wife’s fist to hit yourself in the face. She will hate it when you do that and she’ll begin to whimper. Take her hand and hit yourself again.

The third thing is to off your big brother, Bernardino. Walk with him to the cathedral. Go up the 539 steps of the spiral staircase to the top of the tower together. Enjoy the view. A boy will be flying a kite. A pig will be running directly towards a haystack. Say,

- Would you look at that, Bernardino?

- Would you look at…

And kick him down the first of the 539 steps and he’ll keep tumbling and you just look up, straight up, at nothing.

The fourth thing is to eat bagels. Have three. One cinnamon, two sesame seed. Look out of the window and lick your lips and think about the foods you don’t like. You don’t like raw sugar snaps. You don’t like raw cabbage. You don’t like black pudding.

The fifth thing is to off brothers numbers two and three, Pietro and Azzo. Bury them up to their necks in the dry soil and sit in front of them eating fruit from a basket. Leave a coconut one foot away from them. Two long straws will poke out that almost, almost reach their lips. When they cry, wipe their tears away.

The sixth thing is to pour out the last of the orange juice and there will be just exactly a glass and you can nod to yourself as you crush the carton in your hand.

The seventh thing is to off brother number four, Albobrandino. Purchase one of those tiny guillotines which are actually a magic trick. Proceed to chop a carrot but not Albobrandino’s finger in half. Next, buy an actual guillotine. Albo will clap his hands and stick his neck straight in there. Put your hands to your cheeks before the blade has even dropped.

The eighth thing is to learn the sackbut. Practice every day until you've nailed it. The acoustics are good in bathroom. Play it when you are furious. Nothing expresses fury quite like a sackbut.

The ninth thing is to produce an heir. His name will be Ostasio. His name will be Ostasio, meaning ‘abundant’. His name will be Ostasio.