Monday, January 09, 2006

Its all English to me ...

In the news today is a government inspired poll of the population of England to nominate cultural icons that define "English" - Scots and Welsh need not apply because apparently their heritage is full of evocative icons, presumably drunks and sheep, in that order.

The "one million pound, two year poll" is seeking something, the ultimate thing that says "I'm English" to foreign visitors, nominations include the red London buses that were recently scrapped for new ones, the hymn "Jerusalem", Holbeins portrait of Henry VIII, and Punch and Judy.


To be English is to love losing at sport, we like winning, but we love losing. Australians can't understand it, they don't have "losing" in their sports repetoire but we love a sporting loser, when the Olympics come to London in 2012 we'll have an opportunity to showcase to the world how to lose gallantly at everything you do - at the last Olympics in Athens our womens marathon gold star, nailed-on, dead cert for a gold medal had to stop for a shit halfway around the course and lost by a huge margin, did we hate her for it ? No we got the Queen to give her a medal anyway just like Muttley always demanded a medal from Dick Dasterdly in "Catch the Pigeon", see, we don't need Olympic medals, we've got a Queen who'll give you a much bigger medal than the Olympic ones anytime you ask her.

To be English is to enjoy bad weather and rejoice in the fact that wherever you go abroad the weather is always better and when you get home its always great to tell your friends "ooh the weather was scorching, frying eggs on the pavement we were, oooh it was lovely" whereas the truth is that you fekkin moaned about how hot it was for the whole fourteen days that you were there, you couldn't wait to get back home to England where you know for a fact that if its too warm one day you just wait for ten minutes and it will start to fekkin rain again.

To be English is to love complaining about our greatest national institution - The National Health Service. Walk into any hospital anywhere in England with a broken finger and someone will bandage you up and send you on your way, no questions asked, no bills charged, no insurance policies checked, you don't need any of that crap, they just make you better and ask you to leave, you can't even force them to take money off you, they don't do it for money they do it for love, and yet all over England you'll find people complaining about the National Health Service saying things like "she had to wait for eight days on a trolley in a corridor before a doctor would see here, and when they examined her she was dead", well maybe she did die on a trolley waiting to see a doctor but at least it was fekkin free, no-one sent a bill to her house for the use of the trolley did they ?

To be English is to sort everything out over a "nice cup of tea". If we'd had our way over Afghanistan and Iraq we wouldn't have joined in with Bush's shooting parties, no we'd have invited them all around for a nice cup of tea and talked about it, told the Talibhan not to be so naughty the next time, asked Saddam to let those weapon inspectors into his Weapons of Mass Destruction Compound, go on, just for us, be a good lad, do you want more sugar in that, is it milky enough, yes, ok then, would you like a fancy cake then, Mrs Heckmondwike made them fresh this morning.

To be English you tolerate the Scots, patronise the Welsh, secretly hate the French but smile at them anyway, treat the Spanish like five year old children and mock their attempts to speak English when in fact its you that are visiting their country, grasp every opportunity to remind the Germans that they once voted for Hitler whilst ignoring the fact that we once voted for Thatcher, you have to put lots of milk in everything you drink, cover all your food in thick gravy or tomato ketchup, covet American takeaway food whilst telling everyone how bad it is for you and you don't want to get fat like those Yanks are and yes I'll supersize that please and no I've changed my mind make that two portions of fries with my burger, you sing the theme tune to Skippy the Bush Kangeroo every time you meet an Aussie and you ask every Kiwi you meet if they've got television over there yet, every time you walk into a bar you cannot leave until you are drunk especially if you are under 25 years of age, and it is impossible to board a plane at any airport in England unless they have to carry you on from the bar along with your 25 bottles of duty free gin and whisky and the first thing you ask the stewardess when the plane is off the ground is "give me a vodka love", we kill each other in shops to buy clothing that we don't need at prices that our parents would have had heart attacks just thinking about and yet we moan like hell when we get the stuff home and find its all been made in sweat shops in taiwan and what ever happened to our British clothing industry, we paid billions of pounds in the 1970's to establish our own oil fields out in the North Sea and one of the biggest oil companies in the world is British and yet we have the most expensive petrol prices in the world and we never bat an eyelid when it costs £50 and more to fill our normal sized petrol tanks, thats $75 (and the rest) to you Americans, no wonder you never travel any further than London when you come here its like pouring gold nuggets into your tank...

...and theres more, much more, but that will do for now.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Thank you for that wonderfully descriptive peek into what it takes to be English. I can't wait to visit someday!