I think I lived in Britain in a past life.
I don't understand a country where:
- Rose gardening is not a national pastime.
- Kids are not pushed to think.
- We re-elect our monarchy every four years.
- Sass and bite are not dispensed in the daily papers.
- There is no central unifying theme.
- We do not appreciate our history.
- Politicians don't know how to argue.
- We do not respect our elders.
- There is no thriving punk scene.
- We call a 30-year-old building "old."
- Movies are deemed more important than real life.
- People are horrified when a politician exercises the prerogatives of power and has a bit of it.
- Literary tradition is not understood.
- I feel like I have to apologize for my countrymen's behavior on the Net.
- The slightly off-center is not accepted as normal.
- People do not realize the importance of their leaders.
- I do not feel that the members of my legislature could throw a decent food fight.
- Improper figure skating technique is actually rewarded.
- I don't want to read the tabloids.
- People actually think "Excalibur" is a better representation of the Arthurian legends than Monty Python's "Holy Grail" movie.
- I can't get decent fish and chips.
- I wonder where all the castles are.
- I do not understand the mood of unquestioned adulation with no questions asked.
- A webmistress from a foreign country feels free to make remarks about Americans to me because she assumed I was British. (I agreed.)
- Foreigners understand my inside jokes better than Americans do.
And stow the "love it or leave it" comments. I plan to be out of here within five years.
Goddammit, I can't even pick on the royal press over here! Ain't no fun! What's to pick on besides poor editorial judgment? I can raise hell with the Sun all I want to!
U.S. college graduates who can't outwrite the Sun's front page? Y'all ain't even trying, most days!
The second I get over there:
- I'm doing the tourist run of London for three straight weeks.
- I'm finding a decent used bookstore. (can't even find Finnegans Wake over here without paying retail....)
- Why do I miss the sound of decent chanting? Westminster Abbey, here I come!
- I am not buying a car. And I won't have to be looked at as strange.
- I'm hitting Portobello Road. For some strange reason.
- I plan to satisfy my craving for decent cheese. Another of my Brit quirks.
- I'm hitting Fortnum and Mason for all they're worth, making paper roses out of the receipts, and dropping them at the KP gates. (You're warned.)
- Cranking Capital FM to full blast.
- Hitting the record stores. (I live in Funkytown, USA, and it's still hard to get decent imports?)
- I plan to grab one of every tabloid, hit a pub, and have breakfast while finally enjoying a decent hometown newspaper. (And I live in Thomas Wolfe's hometown? Am I the only one who ever paid attention to this place's literary tradition? Stupid question...)
- Ditching the "ain't got no common sense" act. Finally. God. YES!!!!!
- not feeling stupid as I actually walk to take care of my daily business. Or take a bus. Or the underground (sigh). Or Brit Rail. Oh, this is going to be wonderful! A decent subway system!
- Finally living among people who know what their country stands for.
- Hopping the Channel and going to visit that tunnel in Paris for myself.
Oh Lord, this is going to be wonderful!
I assume the most recent version of Netscape has a functioning back button. I'm not sure I trust Internet Explorer.....
I am going to throw stones at Oliver Cromwell's statue. The Southern fundies over here come from a long and illustrious line. And maybe someone over there will recognize my last name and know how to spell it....Y'know, my Dad was actually proud of it. My family has no sense.....
I will be able to crack smart comments without having to go look for my Kiwi buddy, my Welsh friend, or my fellow Southern friend who is also planning to escape ASAP. No wonder I save it for the Net....my most appreciative email is generally from other countries.
I really am starting to believe I was a Brit in a past life.
I really am.
Now where's that tartan-wielding wildman who sacked the castle and carted me off? I sincerely doubt he's hiding out at Beanstreets....
Where are those gentlemen who fought the duel over me? After I'd given them both swordfighting lessons?
And what I especially want to know is, where's that twisted little Oxford boy I met around 1910? He could sustain a decent verbal fistfight. He was cute. And he could (I promise -- I still remember this -- and it was great!) sing all the words to "God Save the King" while balancing a spoon on his nose.
Now that was talent, ladies and gentlemen.
And no, you're not pulling all the petals off my roses like you did that time, thank you! (Well, maybe you can have the yellow ones. We'll talk about it.)
Sigh....I wanna go back home.....