Dear Louis XIV:

I’ve been doing some reading up on you recently, about how you revoked the Edict of Nantes, persecuted the Huguenots, and exempted nobility from taxes, just to cover a few of the highlights. In addition to the many other kingly acts I read about, I stumbled across the bit about your wonderful patronage of the arts and how it earned you the title of “Le Grand Monarque.” Well to be frank, this title struck me as a bit of a misnomer and is why I am writing you today. I am certainly no expert in monarchies and what would constitute a grand one, but in my not-so-humble opinion I find this title to be less than accurate and in fact I would go so far as to call it a heinous lie. Furthermore, if I’m being honest, anyone who was responsible for bestowing it upon you (and I’m sure they were on the royal payroll if you know what I mean) must have been a stark raving idiot.

I bet by this point you’re really stirring in your grave, Mr. Sun King. I bet you wish you were alive to guillotine my ass right now for making such inflammatory claims. Well, I have my reasons, or rather I have my reason and I’ll share it with you now. Two simple words:


Yeah, the truth is out asshole. I read about how those Croatian soldiers came to visit you wearing brightly colored neck cloths to keep them warm and how those glorified scarves made you all hot inside (well maybe I’m making that part up) and that you made them into a symbol of royalty to be coveted by all, and how the fad quickly spread. Thanks a freaking lot, jerk. Because of you my neck couldn’t breathe through four years of Catholic high school, not to mention the countless job interviews and weddings. What the hell were you thinking, anyway? They serve absolutely no purpose, add little to no aesthetic value, and they cost like $30 for a nice one. Sure you can get them cheaper, but if I have to wear one then I’m going to look good. Don’t even get me started on the Bolero tie. That’s an entirely different angry letter just waiting to be written when I find out who is responsible for that one. I have to believe that even you couldn’t have seen that coming, so you’re off the hook in my book where Boleros are concerned. At any rate, I just thank God for corporate America’s move to business casual over the last ten years, because if I had to wear one of your little neck-chokers day in and day out you’d have a lot more to deal with than just an angry letter, my friend. And with that I’ll let you get back to whatever it was you were doing.

Michael Rossi

p.s. XIV is a stupid last name. And don’t you think it’s arrogant to capitalize the whole thing? How do you pronounce that anyway?

p.p.s. If my translation of “Le Grand Monarque” to mean that you were a great or grand king is somehow incorrect and instead it means something to the effect of asshole that invented the neck tie, then please disregard the attack I made on your administration for characterizing you as such. My mistake, I bear them no ill will. But either way, you’re still an asshole for the whole tie thing.

p.p.p.s. I took Spanish instead of French in school which might explain my poor translating. Maybe I’ll take a French class someday. You speak French, what do you think? Is it worth it?