"Wouldn't it be wonderful," said Lady Di to Prince Charles, "if John McEnroe was the best man at our wedding?"

"That would be smashing," Prince Charles said. "I don't think an American has ever been best man at a royal English wedding."

"I wonder if he would do it," Lady Di said.

"I'm certain he would, particularly if we explained how much it would mean to all our subjects."

"I must say the British people do love him. What magic do you think he holds over the empire?" Lady Di asked.

Prince Charles said, "If I had to sum it up I would call it savoir-faire. The chap seems to have been born with it. Remember when he went up to the lineswoman at Wimbledon and joked with her about her call? The dear woman was so charmed she was speechless."

"He also had a sense of friendliness about him that is lacking in most Yanks. He'll interrupt in the middle of a match to talk to the head umpire. No one ever interrupts what he's doing to talk to the umpire anymore."

Prince Charles said, "Do you think I should call Mum and ask her if it's all right?"

Lady Di said, "I don't know why we have to call Mum. I believe if we kept it a secret from everyone it would be a marvelous surpise. Everyone else will be in uniform and John will be standing there in his Wimbledon blazer holding his trophy over his head as I walk down the aisle. Won't that be a sight?"

"Daddy may laugh," Prince Charles said, "but I'm not sure about Mum. How can we get him to come?"

"Why don't you calll him up? All he can say to you is go suck a tennis ball."

"I'll do it. Hello, is this John McEnroe? This is Prince Charles of England . . . No. I'm not calling about Wimbledon. I know you're really not a bad person. Yes, of course, it was all the press' fault. Isn't it always? Mr. McEnroe, I called about another matter . . . Yes, of course, I'll give the Wimbledon organizers a message . . . I see. Well, maybe it wouldn't be proper for someone from the royal family to give that message. Perhaps I can get one of my stable grooms to do it . . . What I'm calling about, John, is Lady Di and I were wondering -- yes, we did see that call in the semifinals . . . Lady Di and I thought it was out by a mile . . . But then one has to leave these things to the linesmen and women, don't we? We don't? You're asking what the royal family is going to do about it?

No. John, we can't cut off the linesmen's hands. They do those things in Iran and Saudi Arabiaq, but we're powerless to do anything like that here . . . No, Mum can't even order it. That isn't how our monarchy works. If someone makes a mistake at Wimbledon we try to forget it . . . John, will you listen to me . . . I can't put them in the Tower of London . . . Yes. Well, John, Lady Di and I were calling to extend our congratulations to you for your magnificent win at Wimbledon. You have brought Great Britain and the United States closer toegether . . . Goodbye, John."

"Why didn't you ask him to be your best man?" Lady Di asked.

Prince Charles replied, "It just didn't seem like the right time."