LONDON – The iconic British poster exhorting citizens to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has reached its 2,000,000th recorded parodic variation, prompting Queen Elizabeth II to prohibit any more use of the phrase in any capacity or iteration effective immediately.
The Keep Calm and Carry On poster, initially designed as government propaganda during World War II, was rediscovered in a Northumberland bookshop in 2001 and has since become an iconic symbol of British stiff-upper-lippedness. It has appeared on t-shirts and other merchandise worldwide, both in its original incarnation and in variations with some or all of the words changed.
“I understand it was kind of cool and funny eighteen years ago when the poster was first rediscovered,” announced the Queen in a televised nationwide address from Buckingham Palace. “And it was also sort of funny to adapt it to whatever interest is pertinent to you, whether it be Star Wars or cupcakes or whatever. But it’s all been done now. Like, done, done. Many times over.”
The 2,000,000th variation on the phrase, “Keep Colin and Marry Colin”, was a wedding hashtag registered by Colin Sandersby and Ellen Murray in Shropshire, and the phrase was later printed on T-shirts for Ellen’s bachelorette party, prompting the English monarch to officially declare the trope over. The couple agreed it didn’t make much sense at the time and was only marginally funny, but that was in keeping with longstanding KCCO and wedding hashtag tradition.
“I am the Queen,” continued the Queen, “and that is my crown at the top of the poster there. I therefore have the royal right to decree that this brain-liquifying fractal of so-called parodies is no longer necessary and shall henceforth cease to be.”
At press time, economists speculated that the loss to the British economy from the removal of Keep Calm and Carry on merchandise had the potential to be “worse than Brexit.”