This week marks the 338th anniversary of Louis XIV’s decision to move his court and the entire French Government to Versailles. This was a massive undertaking, and we certainly want to go and watch this happen. It nothing else; it will be a grand show of schadenfreude. If you come with us, do not forget your list of things not to do so that you can hopefully not cause a tear in the time continuum.
Top Ten Things Not to Do in Moving Louis XIV’s Court to Versailles in 1682.
10 If you go to the move, do not offer to unpack the crystal. If you do, at best, nothing will get broken. At worst, it will be your luck to pull a sizeable Venetian glass vase out of the box, and it is in two pieces. (Well, Leland. As luck would have it, you happen to have some crazy glue with you. I think you should work fast cause the last guy caught breaking a crystal piece is still back in Paris in a very dark room in the basement.)
9 If you go to the move, do not help Tiny the WWF champ unload that harpsichord. If you do, at best, Tiny will want to do it himself. At worst, Tiny, who just finished moving school, will let you have an end. (Too bad your side is the heavest, Lars. Try not to drop that silver and gold-encrusted instram—. Oops, too late, I think. Tiny is not going to get over this very soon. Let him give you an arm lock. You’ll both feel better.)
8 If you go to the move, do not tell Louis XIV that his beautiful silver chairs and throne need to be melted down to pay for the cost of the Nine Year’s War. If you do, at best, he will give you a head start. At worst, although he knows you are right, you are the messenger. (The old rule of taking it out on the messenger is once again at play here, Linus. Don’t worry. Someone will release you from the dungeon after Louis comes to his senses. Yes, you make a good point. It might take years.)
7 If you go to the move, do not think you can pick up a game of catch in the Hall of mirrors. If you do, at best you will be throwing a pillow. At worst, you are using a wooden croquet ball. (Just when you thought you had it, Lamont, the ball skips off your fingers into the seven-year bad luck zone. Don’t even try to clean up the mess. Just run.)
6 If you go to the move, do not complain about the size room you get. If you do, at best the person hearing your complaint has heard it all before. At worst, your claim is given to someone who has a smaller room than you. (That did not work well, Laurence. Yes, you have a larger room, but unfortunately, it is in the stable.)
5 If you go to the move, do not think a bottle of wine will be an adequate house warming gift. If you do, at best, it will get lost in the rush. At worst, Louis XIV will personally read your card out loud. (To add insult to injury, Leopold, your gift got the cheapskate of the day award. Don’t worry about being a laughing stock, right now, Louis is commissioning an artist to do a statue of you and your bottle of wine.)
4 If you go to the move, do not give anyone decorating advice. If you do, at best, the person you are talking to is in charge of the landscaping. At worst, you give your opinions to Charles Le Brun, the head of interior design. (That sound is Le Brun laughing at your suggestion for a more minimalist treatment of the interior design. If you are lucky, Lon Le Brun won’t have you escorted off the property. On second thought, those husky guards seem to be intent on just that.)
3. If you go to the move, do not volunteer to organize the first state dinner. If you do, at best, you’ll be turned down. At worst you will be given the job. (First off, Leander, there are over six thousand government, court, and courtier personnel that would be expecting an invitation. Second of all, if you slight one who is important, your future will look bleak indeed. Good luck with this. Have a nice day.)
2 If you go to the move, do not forget to check the wagon for anything left. If you do, at best, all the items have been unloaded. At worst, you’ll leave the symbol of le Roi Soleil (Louis XIV the Sun God) in the back of the wagon. (Nice going, Layton. That symbol is pure gold, and it would take you a lifetime to pay it back if lost. Better start hunting now before the king notices it missing. Uh oh. By the look on the face of his royalness, it is already too late.)
1 If you go to the move, do not offer to clean the bedrooms. If you do, at best someone will tell you there is a staff for that. At worst, you’ll get that assignment. (Since there are 700 bedrooms in the palace, Lyndon, you might consider the fact that you now have a guaranteed job for life. Here tale this Swiffer. You might need it.)