"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 4 September 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.





For over a year now, the office of People's Princess has remained tragically, dangerously vacant. While at first it was generally assumed that the main consequence of this state of affairs would be a few more photos of garden-variety Hollywood aristocracy on the cover of People, recent events have proven otherwise. In short, the stock market is sinking faster than The Magic Hour, Russia is one case of vodka away from Absolut anarchy, North Korea is engaging in increasingly aggressive panhandling tactics, and a variety of floods and hurricanes around the world are threatening to give James Cameron fodder for his next sodden exercise in the triumph of the human spirit.

Clearly, our troubled planet is in desperate need of a symbol of hope - someone who can fill Diana's elegantly understated size-10 Catherine Walkers and inspire us, guide us, and, once again, fill our lives with meaning. But how to appoint a successor? The protocols for determining a People's Princess are woefully unclear. Must we wait until the callow William woos, weds, beds, then coldly ignores his own adulterous, anorexic broodmare? Or can we simply put a few likely candidates up to a vote?

Next ... Giving good figurehead

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