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Saturday, 6 July 2013

image for Dorking celebrates local medieval character
King Cunbert also invented the backscratcher

Dorking Museum has today opened an exhibition to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the death of King Cunbert the Anachronistic of Dorking. He ruled the area briefly during the Forgotten King period, when Dorking lost contact with the rest of the country and didn't realise that there was still a King of England, so they installed their own.

King Cunbert was fascinated by the science and technology of the time, primitive though it was. As well as being the first monarch to ever wear a portable wrist-sundial, he was also instrumental in developing the world's first horseless carriage. This was pulled by pigs.

Cunbert was also fascinated with the field of communication. He believed that two people could talk to each other over long distances through shells, and talked about "shell phones" in many of his writings. However, he was never able to get the system to fully work. Every time he put a shell to his ear he would hear the static noise that indicated there was a bad connection.

However, in one area King Cunbert could be truly said to be a pioneer. In Dorking Castle, he developed a system whereby he and his courtiers could communicate freely about the boring details of their everyday lives. Writing on pieces of bark which had enough room for about 140 characters, they would send messenger boys to a loud-mouthed town crier who would announce their bark writings to the entire castle. These ranged from simple announcements of the menu for dinner, to Queen Cunbertetta complaining about the quality of the toilet leaves, and the court jester calling the executioner a troll. These "barks" are clear predecessors of todays "Tweets".

Many of the surviving barks form a centrepiece of the museum's exhibit. However, it is expected that even they will be outshone by King Cunbert's "eye pad", a wooden tablet where he would keep his glass eye.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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