Open the Gates!!!!!
Guards!! Open the gates and lower the drawbridge!
The King hears a knock at the door and has decided to let them in.
Kingdom, we have a flurry of qualifiers seeking approval to enter into our Kingdom and The King has granted the first of those an entry pass that will forever change their lives.
Random Anth came to us through another recent qualifier in The Monk, and like all Randoms, was completely inappropriate for consideration. For a number of months, The King did not look sideway. Only occasionally did he notice a Random prepubescent contaminating his beloved Kingsmen peloton and he thought it's probably best he didn't reside within our walls, as he wouldn't last more than a week before the King had his way with him.
Time marched on and this young chap was able to learn from the errors of Teh Monk, quickly took the path of least resistance and saddled up and lobbied some of the more popular of the TKM crew, such as Sherps, Crack and Beaver, rather than go through the likes of a Bilby or Rabbit.
His cracking young boy look grabbed the attention of most and his ability to roll with the best in the hills saw him gain some respect. But where it mattered most....Noize....like all Randoms, he found it a difficult task to master, as he tasted POTA on his lips many a time. But perseverance and quiet observation of the King allowed him to learn and grow and eventually he was able to staple himself to the back of the Noize train and occasionally pop out for a roll. At this point The King finally asked one of his pole bearers, "who is this child like boy?" “Random Anth” was the response.
The King took note, but still refused to catch eyes, speak to, or even acknowledge his presence.
Random Anth became frustrated and continued to ramp up his time with other Kingsmen in the hope of gaining inroads to The King's heart, but alas it seemed futile as The King seemed to be further away than ever.
Depression set in and suicide-watch notices were issued. Random Anth started to believe that it was not to be, but unknown to him, this was in fact the start of the King's breakdown process. For a number of months this went on until Random Anth was nothing more than a dried up Autumn leaf waiting to fall from the tree
Then The King threw out a bone.
An invite to the TKM Road Champs and a chance to then be considered for Qualification commencement.
Then a touch of fate stepped in. The King, on a rare act of delegation of authority, allowed someone other than he to have the power to allocate room mates for the Road Champs. The King normally saddled up only with Grand Dukes who had earned the respect to share a bed with Teh King. But in these changed circumstances, chance had seen this dirty germ of a boy somehow end up bunking in with The King.
Random Anth's face drained of blood as he walked in, only to come face to face with the almighty King. He was speechless. Panicking, he took off his clothes and presented. The rest of this chapter is for telling over a beer, and we shall move on.
Random Anth rode and rode well. Random Anth, a shadow of the boy he once was, pleaded his case publicly and emotionally, and with the approval of 20 fellow Kingsmen, the canvas was ready.
Random Anth was approved for qualification along with 3 others. But it is Random Anth who has sailed through Qualification faster than his peers, which is perhaps a sign of things to come in what will be his new life within the Kingdom.
Random Anth completed all the requirements of the Kingsmen Constitution and as a consequence has now earned the right, and receives the blessing of the King, to pass through the gates of the Kingdom to become one of its men and enjoy all of the fruits that being on the inside of the walls has to offer.
Which leaves us with only one formality.
So the Lords were summoned to the table. In TKM tradition, The King gave the Lords the opportunity to tell stories of Random Anth and have input to his knighthood. In TKM Lord tradition, they were nothing but a bunch of incompetent baboons and again The King needed to shoulder the responsibility alone, for it is he that knows best.
So what do we call a young man who comes to us, who may not necessarily be the fastest on the inside but his perseverance and dedication makes him one of the toughest on the outside? He has proven himself, especially on the longer rides where some of the speedsters of Noize have found that eventually, Random Anth's slow and steady style resulted in him winning the race. No matter where others sit on the food chain, this kid is tough enough that even the top predators are unable to break him. What do we call a man who occasionally pops his head out for a roll and when he does he does it with vengeance? What do we call this man who may look innocent and friendly, but watch out as he packs a dangerous and unexpected bite?
With a glass of wine in one hand and the dog in the other, the thought clouds in King's head cleared. The answer had presented itself. It was done.
This Random is no more. He is now a member of the Kingdom and a fully fledged Kingsman and from this point forth, by the power vested in The King by The King, he shall be known as The Snapping Turtle!
In TKM tradition, that shall automatically be shortened to Snapper, Snaps, Snappo or any other derivative The Smackie finds relevant, or irrelevant.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our Kingdom grows and again we have allowed another suitably qualified canvas to come on board and assist in taking us to yet another level. I now invite you all to take out your paint brushes and start to create yet another TKM masterpiece.
So please join me in welcoming our newest member, and in TKM tradition I ask that Snapper reply with his email of thanks to The King and his Kingdom for bestowing upon him the greatest honour of his life to date.
I give you The Snapping Turtle.