Preface: I swore I was done doing things like this, after the closure of my longtime blogging home at Every Day Should Be Saturday last summer. But once an idea gets in your head, sometimes the best way out is to just see it through.
But that’s why this wasn’t an email.
PRINCE HARRY, THE DUKE OF SUSSEX: Well, this place is nice enough, isn’t it? A nice, quiet place where we can adjust to normal life outside the palace and get acclimated to our new lives in North America. It’s not exactly Windsor Castle, but it does appear to have been renovated recently.
MEGHAN MARKLE, THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: [wrinkles nose] I don’t care for all the shiplap, to be honest.
HARRY: Every place I looked at here had it. Must be a local thing.
MEGHAN: I still can’t believe that they offered you this job. I mean, Harry, I think as highly of your abilities as anyone, but head coach of a college football team? You’ve never even played American football, let alone coached it!
HARRY: I was as surprised as you are, but they told me that “you’re handsome and a familiar name, it was good enough for Kingsbury at Tech.”
MEGHAN: Who’s Kingsbury?
HARRY: Must be some minor prince. Anyways, I’ve got a lot of preparation to do if I’m going to lead this Baylor football team to success. I’ll be in the [he pronounces it funny] garage watching film on their first opponent.
[a brick crashes through the front window]
MEGHAN: Oh my.
[she picks up the brick and examines it]
MEGHAN: There’s a note. It just says “GET OUT”.
HARRY: Well, my aunts and uncles have sent us plenty of those over the last few years, that’s nothing unusual. But here, in Waco? Who would want us out? Is it signed?
MEGHAN: There’s just an insignia at the bottom. Looks like a magnolia flower with a snake around it?
HARRY: Hmph. I knew moving to North America would be an adjustment, but I suppose I’ve got a lot to learn about your customs here. Anyways, off to film study. They told me the first opponent would seem familiar to me. They’re a decayed and decadent culture obsessed with the past, irrelevant for decades, led by a hereditary prince who can’t stop cocking things up wherever he goes.
MEGHAN: Oh, Ole Miss?
HARRY: You’re familiar!
MEGHAN: Every American is warned about Ole Miss when they’re young.
[later, at the Baylor practice facilities]
HARRY: I think I’m getting the hang of this game. I can’t promise you that we’ll be hugely successful this year, but it’s simpler than I realized.
BAYLOR BOOSTER HOUSTON “TEX” AUSTIN IV: Aw, don’t sweat your britches, limey, you’ll get there. This is a program that’s been dogcrap for most of my life ‘cept this last decade or so. The fans can bear a few losses if they feel like we’re movin’ ‘em back in the right direction. A good rebuild takes patience and a pretty face. That’s why we called you. We saw what you’d done over there in England — gettin’ all the attention even though your big brother’s supposed to be the important one. You’re a star, and if you keep these boys competitive this year, fans’ll eat you up.
HARRY: Now, I think I’ve got the offensive end of the playbook down, and I even have some suggestions. But, I’ve still got to get my head around how to manage a robust defense.
TEX: Aw, Hell, son, this is the Big 12, don’t you go worryin’ about no defense.
[later, back at their ranch house]
HARRY: We’re really making this work, aren’t we?
MEGHAN: I think so. You’ve got this football job, I’ve relaunched my lifestyle website The Tig, and the paparazzi seems mostly unwilling to travel to this part of Texas. Breaking away from the pressures of senior royalty was exactly what we needed to live our lives in peace and raise our child properly.
[an angry knock at the door]
MEGHAN: Now, who could that be?
[they open the door]
CHIP GAINES: who the HELL do you two think you are?
JOANNA GAINES: this is OUR turf.
HARRY: I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve been introduced?
JOANNA: Don’t you pull that shit with me, Oliver Twist, you know exactly who we are. Have you looked at a supermarket tabloid recently? Turned on HGTV? Wandered the housewares section of Target?? We’re Magnolia, motherfucker. We run this town.
HARRY: Oh, the lads with the brick. Right then, come on in. Can I offer you some tea?
CHIP: We’re not here for chitchat, Ron Weasley. You’ve made a big mistake moving in here. We’re the only royalty in Waco. People follow our every move, and they buy our cookbooks, our faux-vintage milk pails, and our upcoming line of freeze-dried survival foods. They adore us. We’re not about to see you take that away.
MEGHAN: I’m sorry, I don’t see how us living here affects your ability to do—
JOANNA: You know exactly how you’re affecting us. A moderately handsome redhead who’s still approachably messy, married to a significantly more attractive dark-haired woman?
CHIP: THAT’S OUR BIT.
JOANNA: People don’t follow us for our home renovation skills. We do the same uninspired crap every time! Our empire is built on characters! People find us interesting, even if they’re not entirely sure why! They can’t look away from what we’re doing, even the ones who claim to actively dislike us!
CHIP: There’s nowhere else we can be so handsomely rewarded for being anodyne characters who just smile for the cameras and have a bunch of cute kids!
[Harry and Meghan share a look]
MEGHAN: We have an idea.
[a week later, back in Britain]
PRINCE WILLIAM, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: I have to hand it to you, Harry, this was a stroke of genius. Gran’s so happy about the trade she’s stopped cursing at her staff for the first time in weeks.
HARRY: It’s a perfect fit, and—
WILLIAM: oh, shh, here it is:
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I present to you Charles and Joanna, the Duke and Duchess of the Brazos
CHIP: We’re still going to sell the milk pails.
ELIZABETH: Don’t cross me, boy.