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Her Majesty's Kickbox Challenge
Sandra Martin
The Globe & Mail (1/12/02)

Pity the Queen. All she's ever wanted is to serve Her God and Her People. And what has she got for it? A lot of former colonies demanding their independence or trying to become republics -- like that upstart Australia.

But such ingratitude is nothing compared to the grief her own dysfunctional children have caused with their sexual shenanigans and marital hijinks. As for that turncoat Edward and his family videos, what a viper in the royal bosom he's turned out to be.

Now in the 50th year of her reign, just when Her Majesty deserves to sit back and listen to some Elgar while checking out the racing forms, a threat to her crown comes from the most loyal of her Dominions -- Canada.

A "white-hat hacker" and aspiring standup comic named Shane MacDougall has challenged her gracious majesty to a kickboxing match or a math test (no geometry). Having sought refuge in the republican states, the impertinent MacDougall has issued his challenge from New York, on a Web site (

He has deigned to allow the Queen to choose the type of match and the location of the bout, but he has imposed a bitter deadline -- July 1, 2002 -- the joyous date on which her loyal subjects should be celebrating the 135th celebration of Confederation.

Although he was born and bred in this country, MacDougall confessed in a telephone conversation from his American hideyhole that he has always been an antimonarchist. "I hate the idea that in a democracy, our head of state is unelected and has only been in Canada 192 times [Days not times! SM] in her life. She wouldn't make the basic citizenship requirements that we insist landed immigrants pass."

The treasonous seed for this outrageous duel was planted, apparently, over port in an after-dinner conversation with a now-retired academic at the University of Toronto. MacDougall had sought advice on a royal recall mechanism. Thwarted, he went home and contemplated the ways in which the monarchy has been challenged in the past. War, revolution, murder, execution -- none of them seemed feasible in the 21st century. That's when he hit upon the kickboxing match.

MacDougall wants to "give the old biddy a fighting chance" to defend her title. "I've got a bum leg," he says. "I've already broken my ankle twice. If I kick her once, I'll probably snap it again and go down in a heap of pain. Besides, it doesn't have to be kickboxing. Remember I put in the math-test proviso, and I have the math IQ of roadkill. All she has to do is drag her rich butt over here and do it."

Don't you realize, I inquired, that the Queen has a monarch's right to appoint a huge and really tough champion to take you on?

"Hey, this is mano a queeno," he retorted. "This is between her and me, not one of her flunkies from the Monarchist League."

If the Queen doesn't respond before Dominion Day, then MacDougall wins the match by default and becomes the de facto King of Canada -- sort of like the late Al Waxman, he says, but on a bigger scale. Instead of the "tens of millions of dollars" that MacDougall says it costs Canadians annually to maintain the Crown, he promises to pay his own room and board and transportation costs.

But wait, there's more.

If MacDougall becomes King Shane on July 1, 2002, he promises to show his gratitude by programming a shock-wave game on his Web site so we can kickbox the virtual face of our new monarch. "My wife would certainly play it for hours," he boasts.

Come to think of it, inviting all Canadians to kickbox the king might solve our national unity problems for once and for all. Especially if we gave Bernard Landry first kick at the computer.