Imagine the Queen of England hitching up her tartan skirt and twirling around one of the large, but I'm guessing cold, drawing rooms at Buckingham Palace with U2's "In the Name of Love" transmitted down her earholes via characteristic white earphones.
Yes, President Obama has just gifted the queen an iPod.
Now we can all delight in the mere thought that the Her Majesty, or Liz, as some in her native land call her, will be perched over a MacBook and downloading a little Celine Dion or some early Snoop.
Four years ago, when she was conferring an honorary knighthood upon the burdened shoulders of Bill Gates, the queen admitted she had never used a computer. But these days she is no tech-illiterate. She has her own BlackBerry, just like the president's.
And I have very bad news for the president. The queen already has an iPod. At least two, it seems.
CNET's Ina Fried reported in June 2005 that the queen sent one of her retinue down to the Apple Store to get her in the iPod groove.
Then she was reported to have received one from her grandson, Prince William. He gave it to her in 2006, and on this one she stores her favorite British classical concert--the so-called Last Night of the Proms--at which the British all stand and sing "Rule Britannia," "Land of Hope and Glory," and the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen."
Well, perhaps it isn't the Sex Pistols' version.
It is, therefore, a little unfortunate that the president, who clearly tried very hard after he was criticized for giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown some DVDs that were, allegedly, in the NTSC format and not the European system, PAL, has given her another iPod. Even though this one enjoys footage of her visit to the U.S. in 2007.
I know you'll be wondering what the queen gave him in return. Well, um, a silver-framed photograph of her and Prince Philip (sometimes known on those shores as Phil the Greek).
While it seems the president's entourage has made another gifting goof, I am disappointed that the queen didn't try to technologically one-up President Obama by, I don't know, giving him a Palm Pre. Or a robot that can sort out Wall Street and pays its taxes on time.