Youp van ‘t Hek on Ruud Lubbers’ wandering hands and Beatrix’ inside info on SNS Reaal.
Trix is calling it a day. She’s had more than enough of this country and its greed and amateurism. A bungled swearing in ceremony in Zeeland made her pensive. What if things go disastrously wrong in April? What if Alexander changes his mind, gives the finger to the people in the Nieuwe Kerk, takes his beautiful wife by the arm and legs it? It would be fun, wouldn’t it, but she mustn’t think like that.
She hates this country. On Tuesday the Kralingen stallion was yapping away about his meetings with her and how he had told her that she intimidated the hell out of prospective daughters-in-law with her frozen hairdo and that she should be nicer to Máxima, Mabel and Laurentien. According to Lubbers, the queen had responded that she would and had then politely requested he take his hand off her behind.
Ruud didn’t actually reveal that final bit. He did say he had had to set queen Juliana’s mind at rest. The old princess was worried Alexander didn’t have what it takes. Apparently Ruud said Alexander would indeed never match the dizzy heights of the con man, womanizer and adulterer she had been married to all these years, but that things would turn out well in the end. Of course, this wasn’t said by Ruud on Nieuwsuur but told to me by an anonymous source.
What he didn’t know was that his wife Ria was talking to Trix on the phone at that very moment. ‘Really and truly your majesty, this is the last live interview he’ll do. It’s those late nights in the pub with Jeroen Krabbé. It makes him go all devil-may-care! We’ll keep him inside from now on! I have to tell you he’s been acting very strangely of late. He went on a bender with Dries van Agt and wouldn’t take off his Palestinian scarf for three weeks! And he’s constantly messaging Gretta!
The queen will be so happy to be rid of all this in two months. That she won’t have anything to do with this sad little country in which all the banks belong to the state, except the Rabo bank which, thanks to epo, growth hormones, DHEA, insuline IGF-1, dynepo and blood transfusions, has managed to keep its independence. The board had no idea, of course. Flu jabs from an overly concerned doctor, that was all, they thought.
Those banks. Trix herself had already been tipped by ex-colleague Fabiola of Belgium and had wisely removed her hard-earned money from SNS Reaal. Banker friends had given her the nod as well. ‘Never rob a sinking ship’, her civilised friends told her over a civilised dinner. ‘You have to do it when it’s still afloat. That’s the time to strike’.
‘But wouldn’t that be awful for the boss of SNS?’ the queen had asked, not really meaning it. ‘He might be forced to sell the Big Issue at my local super market. Maybe Máxima can arrange a micro credit for him’. The whole table, led by Gerrit Zalm, had roared with laughter. They didn’t know the queen had a sense of humour.
The queen is staring through the window and thinks: magpies. That’s the word Alexander should shout at the inbred aristocrats and the toffs that like to bask in his company as he leaves the Nieuwe Kerk with his head held high. Magpies: what a wonderful word and how apt. But then she thinks of something better. Rasmussen (lit: sparrows, DN)
Youp van ‘t hek is one of the Netherlands best-loved comedians and writers