Dear Valued Customers,

On behalf of the entire Furniture King team of Elk Hill, Maryland, I would like to apologize for the recent advertisement that aired midway through a controversial Fox News anchor’s program.

My marketing team cautioned me smartly that occupying the ad-space abandoned by dozens of the program’s original corporate sponsors would be a risky PR move, but then, these are the same people that unanimously approved a motion for me to appear in ads in full Furniture King regalia, down to the crown and the jeweled scepter that has “SAVINGS!” engraved in fake rubies along the hilt. I assure you, I take running my store like a 14th century fiefdom extrememly seriously.

So I take all of their proposals with a grain of salt.

Still, the voices of protest have been heard, and I’m here to let you know that your Furniture King cares, as does your Furniture Queen—my lovely wife, Marion, who declined to personally contribute to this letter, still aggrieved by my imperious behavior at home, but a Furniture King does not brook disagreements, nor does he permit his kitchen wench to deny him dinner at a reasonable hour!

Regardless, your local furniture superstore does not agree with the views expressed during the Fox program in question insofar as protesting students are concerned, and quite to the contrary, we count several protesting students amongst the ranks of our Kingdom. Even the Furniture Prince himself recently took part in a school walkout—my charming son, Darren, similarly refused to put his stamp on this missive, alleging that his Royal Father was as “disconnected” as the electricity, a quip perhaps lost on those of you without the background knowledge that I’ve long since switched my house to pure candlelight, as was the standard for kingdoms like mine.

The Furniture King’s September Edict made perfectly clear that intention, so sayeth the Furniture King.

This is not to lose the main point of my letter, which is that I, and the entire Realm of Furnituria, situated in the scenic Elk Hill Strip Mall & Metroplex, am deeply sorry. We have read your more than 12,000 Tweets—or rather, one of our scribes has—and while we feel the viewing public missed the greater message of OUTLANDISH PRICES and YE OLDE SAVINGS present in our ad, we understand the upsetting juxtaposition.

The Furniture King would like to take a moment to address some of the more unjust accusations leveled against his monarchy in the aftermath of this fiasco. First, the realm’s hygiene is unassailably correct. The 14th century was a time when man was exposed to the depredations of the Black Plague. The ubiquitous mice that skitter across our sofas and loveseats are therefore not “gross” or “repulsive.” The phrase I believe you were looking for is “historically accurate.”

Similarly, equipping several of my more zealous cashiers in full Templar garb was not the most calculated public outreach move we could have undertaken, but the Catholic Church, to which we’ve directed a full-third of our profits in the form of lavish tithes, suggested that such action would result in Eternal Bliss. [EDIT: My lawyer has required me to represent that the Catholic Church has since disavowed any connection with Furniture King, and has launched a motion to have me excommunicated. At least they’re behaving in a thematically appropriate way.]

Nor do I regret having proclaimed our new marketing campaign, “The Hundred Years War Against High Prices,” though in the face of the student protests against gun violence that spurred this whole debacle, I might have been better off framing the sale in terms of something more peaceful and uplifting from the 14th century, such as Boccacio’s Decameron or Dante’s Divine Comedy.

I aim to run this Kingdom in a way that would have pleased Thomas Aquinas, right down to the tonsured haircut that I require all cleaning and maintenance staff to adopt.

This is all to say that, while there were some good nuggets of truth contained within our 30-second advert, I acknowledge that it was one of the more poorly-timed business decisions I’ve made in my life. It falls second only to my attempt to wed my 12-year old daughter to the 30-year old manager of the nearby Mattress Empire. While I maintain that Rebecca’s large dowry and impending fertility would have made an excellent link to bind together our two monarchies, I believe my proposal letter calling myself “King of Kings” offended the manager’s sensibilities. He must have thought I was talking about King Mattresses, squarely his domain.

In closing, We would like to once again offer our apologies to the scores of viewers that found fault in our ad, misconstrued as a political statement in support of the controversial Fox News anchor. We have merely been caught in the crossfire of a movement beyond our control or grasp, like the Protestant Reformation, or the Mongol Invasion, or my wife’s divorce lawsuit that threatens to split the realm in twain with civil war. From now on, we shall only run advertisements through local outreach, such as the town crier I’ve commissioned to hawk our wares.

To Our Humble Subjects, from the Elect of God, His Consecrated Majesty,

Frank III, of the Collicchio Dynasty

Long May He Reign