Some royal annoyances

Kevin Cowherd

September 11, 1992|By Kevin Cowherd

There are so many annoying people in this world that it becomes hard after a while to categorize them, to say this person is more annoying than that person or vice versa.

To me, Barbara Walters has always been the single most annoying person one could ever hope to come across.

There is no more deliciously nauseous feeling than to watch the woman on TV, staring earnestly with those big, weepy eyes at someone like Sylvestor Stallone and whispering dramatically: "Breaking up with Brigitte . . . how much did that hurt?"

God, the thought is enough to make the room start spinning right here.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people -- and my wife is one of them -- who think Barbara Walters is terrific.

So there's no consensus there on how truly annoying the woman is, and the same happens to be true of other supremely annoying people such as Larry King, Arsenio, Roseanne Arnold, Jose Canseco, Madonna, the list is endless.

Thankfully, we always have the British Royal Family.

In terms of generating pure annoyance, the Royal Family is so far ahead of everyone else that if a trophy were given annually for the feat, they would have retired it long ago.

Certainly no two members of the Royal Family are more annoying than Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

This occurred to me again when, for the 200th day in row, I came across another newspaper article saying their marriage is in trouble.

That's all I ever read about these people: the marriage is in trouble, the marriage is in trouble.

This time the marriage was said to be in trouble because the two were no longer speaking to each other in public.

If this is the new criterion for judging the health of a marriage, then the divorce rate is about to skyrocket. Because I know an awful lot of married people who don't talk to each other in public.

Let me tell you a story that, in a terribly convoluted way, illustrates the point.

The other night my wife and I decided to go out to a nice place to celebrate our anniversary.

Anyway, we were sitting there in Denny's when . . . no, wait a minute. This wasn't Denny's, this was another place.

Anyway, we were sitting there when we began noticing the older couple at the next table. What struck us was the fact that neither person even looked at the other throughout the entire meal. He was staring down at his food, and she was staring down at her food.

For one solid hour, the two also did not say one word to each other. Not even: 'Hey, could you pass the salt?" or "How's the veal?"

Yet they both seemed perfectly content and when the meal was over, they were holding hands as they walked out the door.

The point is, I hardly think their marriage was deteriorating. Then again, even if it was deteriorating, at least this couple had the common decency to let it deteriorate in a small, shabby, out-of-the-way restaurant -- instead of having the whole thing splashed in every newspaper around the world like Charles and Di.

Of course, rapidly closing in on Charles and Di in terms of high Annoyance Factor is Fergie, the Dutchess of York, the loosest of loose cannons in the Royal Family.

Here again is a woman you simply can't get away from anymore.

I went out to the mailbox the other day and there she was staring at me from beneath a mound of bills, on the cover of my wife's People magazine.

Fergie made the cover ("Fergie's Final Folly?") because -- as if you don't already know -- she's been seen cavorting shamelessly with Texas businessman John Bryan. Who happens not to be her husband, but her (wink, wink) "financial adviser."

Well. It seems the two were recently photographed at a villa on the French Riviera, lounging poolside and smooching up a storm. Bryan was also pictured kissing Fergie's -- steady now, here's where it gets messy -- FOOT.

Did I mention Fergie was bare-breasted during the proceedings? And that her two kids (ages 4 and 2) were also included in a couple of these tasteful snapshots?

I should probably mention that.

The part that really got me, though, was that business about the foot-kissing, which was just bizarre enough to make every celebrity magazine, supermarket rag and TV talk show from here to the Falkland Islands.

You talk about annoying.

I'm sorry, but I just don't want to see things like that.

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