Here in the fantasy offices of The Curmudgeon, we like to dream about our new world headquarters. I say “dream,” because we can never actually afford to build it, but then we don’t have the American taxpayers to foot the bill. Not so for the U.S. Government, who can build a $1 Billion embassy with your money and they don’t need your permission.
The move is desirable to the people who live near the current embassy, hassled by new security measures adopted since 9/1/1. More than 100 citizens took out a full-page ad opposing the new security measures, not to mention the ₤32 million in congestion charges and fines, which the U.S. refuses to pay, saying they are exempt. This caused the then mayor of London to call the then Ambassador “a chiseling little crook.” I would have thought he would say “scoundrel” or “cur” or something Dickensian.
In defense of the U.S. on the traffic fines issue, living in Manhattan shows you how the Diplomats from the United Nations scoff at the law, parking wherever they damn well please and even committing crimes of a much greater import, and they are immune to any retribution. Nothing but a bunch of sofflaws. So the same should apply to us when we are guests in a foreign country.
And so the embassy will move and build a giant ice-cube for $1 Billion, and that’s not counting the 17.5% VAT tax, which the U.S. also refuses to pay. It will have a power plant, the aforementioned moat 100 feet wide, and rolling parkland that will separate the building from the main road, protecting it from would-be bombers.
A new embassy is understandable, but a moat? What? They are expecting maybe an attack from the Visigoths? Riding their sturdy stallions in full fighting armor? “Sound the alarm! Lower the draw bridge! Man your posts! Prepare the boiling oil!”
Chances are if you have ever been inside of a U.S. Embassy it was on some unpleasant business. Perhaps you lost your passport, or worse, were in some sort of trouble. Did an Ambassador ever say to you, “Well, Mr. Smith, if you have no place to stay, perhaps you can stay in one of our visiting dignitary suites, and your attendance at the Embassy Ball is requested. Perhaps some kayaking in the moat? After all, you own the joint, Mr. Smith.” No, no, I think not. More than likely, you were treated like trash that must be tolerated.
No, the only way to go is to be an Ambassador yourself. But where would you go? I’ve perused the possibilities. Definitely keep away from places like Rowanda. You could always choose a major country like Ireland, Scotland or France, but you’d actually have to work so that’s no good. One interesting choice would be the Maldives, but as usually the case, you have to know somebody or have scratched someone’s back. The ambassador to the Bahamas, for example, is the daughter of a Motown record executive, and she was chairwoman of Obama’s Campaign fund on the west coast. Obama himself appointed her.
But I’ve made my choice, and coincidentally, it is the only current vacant post: Granada. It’s stable. Its small. It’s beautiful. It’s Caribbean. Perfect.
Now, who do I know?