Under the Black Flag

Laughing at Harry

Things have never been grimmer.  Wall Street wolves have become billionaires while rigging the system, rats like William Kristol are showboating on television and spreading lies about The Donald, and the most dishonest couple since Bonnie and Clyde are getting themselves ready to reinhabit the White House.

In times like these, there is only one thing to do: Lighten up, and then some.

I remember it as if it were yesterday.  It was the late 90’s, my friend John O’Sullivan was visiting me from New York, and we were sitting on my Swiss lawn, admiring the Alps while sipping some good white wine.  Osama bin Laden was already the world’s most hunted man.  So John and I concocted a scenario for my next Spectator column, one that was going to have some pretty strange consequences for yours truly for some years to come.

As I wrote that evening after three bottles of white, Osama had gone to Switzerland’s famed Rosey School—the school of kings, as it was then known, because lots of royals from Europe had attended.  His schoolmates had called him Harry Laden, and he had been quite popular because of his predilection for buying drinks for everyone at the very expensive Palace Hotel in Gstaad, where the school has its winter campus.  Harry kept a large suite at the palace, known as the Kandahar Suite, and entertained lavishly every weekend.  He was also...

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