Trope-a-Day: What’s Up, King Dude?

What’s Up, King Dude?: Played straightish.

In its straightest form, even the Imperial Couple expect to be able to walk the streets, visit the shops, have lunch or a coffee, etc., outside the Imperial Palace without requiring the closing of streets and the emptying of stores and vast security perimeters, etc., etc. Sure, they do have a discreet member of the Sovereign Protectors on hand and probably some well-disguised Imperial Guards here and there, but even if they had the authority to close down public property and kick people out of private property in the first place, which they don’t, it is generally considered that needing to go to those sorts of lengths to avoid assassination is a pretty sure sign that you’re Doing Things Wrong, which tells you everything you need to know about the sort of people who believe they need to go to those sorts of lengths to avoid assassination…

(And, for that matter, the sheer sense of authoritarian entitlement that lets you repurpose other people’s bits of the world as your own personal mobile bunker. Hell, even the grounds of the Imperial Palace complex are open to the public if they feel like strolling on in.)

In another, it is definitely not considered a good thing for the people running things to be generally out of touch with the citizen-shareholder on the street, and as such part of the job of the Imperial Household’s Office of the Citizenry is to ensure that random selections of citizen-shareholders are invited to dinner at the usual intervals, to hold the equivalent of Big Block of Cheese Day, and so forth.

(The protocol is obvs. not quite as informal as the trope name implies, and people who have specific requests know perfectly well that if it can be dealt with through the proper process, it should be, you will be told to not waste the Imperial time, and it will actually get you quicker results, but the bubble is far, far thinner that we would imagine it to be.)