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Sunday, July 04, 2010

A July Fourth Message from Her Majesty

The following chestnut has been around for a while but it's too good not to post it as a humorous reminder of why we celebrate The Fourth of July. (And, to celebrate why we are The Episcopal Church and not Church of England.)

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

(You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

1. Look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour', 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

8. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!


Anonymous said...

Hear, Hear.

I couldn't agree more - God Save the Queen!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Indeed, Mark. No one but God could save Herself. It's a good thing I love you, my brother from across the Pond.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are having a wonderful 4th July ... we miss you all! Take that as you will :)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

We are home from church and getting ready to head out to the community pool. It's blazing hot here and the only sensible thing to do.

I miss you, too. Having grilled salmon on the barbi in the rectory back yard is one of my fondest memories of being in England. Great food, wonderful company, a grand time.

Raise a glass for me tonight and I'll raise one in your honor.

Freedom Bound said...

soooo funny - except no Brit calls Ketchup "catsup"........

Bateau Master said...

With a smile:

To the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:

As always, we're amused by your quaint belief that you're actually a world power. We hate to ruin your tea-party here, but the sun has, in fact, set on the British Empire! Cheerio!

We regretfully have to decline your offer for intervention. On one hand it would be amusing to see you try to enforce your new policy , but after much deliberation, we have decided to continue our tradition as the longest running democratic republic. It seems that switching to a monarchy is in fact considered a "backwards step" by the majority of the world.

To help you rise from your current anachronistic status, we have compiled a series of helpful suggestions that we hope you adopt:

1.Realize that language is an organic structure, and that you aren't always correct in your pronunciation or spelling. Let's use your "aluminium" example. Sir Humphrey Davy (an Englishman) invented the name "aluminum" (note spelling) for the metal. However, in common usage the name evolved into "aluminium" to match the naming convention of other elements. In 1925 the United States decided to switch back to the ORIGINAL spelling and pronunciation of the word, at which point we dominated the aluminum industry. We'd also like to point out that the process of actually producing aluminum was developed by an American and a Frenchman (not an Englishman).

2.Learn to distinguish the American and Canadian accents, and then we'll talk about the English and Australian accent issue.

3.You want English actors cast as good guys? How about Stephen Fry playing Oscar Wilde in "Wilde"? How about Rupert Everett in "The Next Best Thing"? Oh, you want English actors cast as STRAIGHT good guys! Ahem. If you want English actors as good guys, then make your own movies. Don't rely on us for your modern popular culture. We liked "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels", "Trainspotting", and "The Full Monty". We've also heard good things about this "Billy Elliot". But one good movie a year doesn't exactly make a cultural powerhouse. However, you're doing pretty well with music, so keep up the good work on that front.

4.It's inefficient to have a national anthem that changes its title whenever your monarch dies. Let's not forget that your national anthem has an extremely boring tune. We suggest switching to that Rule Britannia ditty. It's toe- tapping. Or maybe Elton John could adapt "Candle In The Wind" yet again for you guys.

5.Improve at your national sport. Football? Soccer? You last won the cup when? This just in: United States (where SOCCER is a hobby), England, and the Commonwealth Toadies all had the same result at the World Cup. Sure Ghana kicked us, but they didn't last. Learn how to use instant replay. We know its technology, but don't be afraid.

6.Learn how to cook. For your own sake if nobody else's. England has some top notch candy. Salt 'n' Vinegar chips are quite yummy. However, there's a reason why the best food in your country is Indian or Chinese. Your contributions to the culinary arts are soggy beans, warm beer, and spotted dick. If the French can figure it out, you should be able to.

7.You're doing a terrible job at understanding cars. The obvious error is that you drive on the wrong side of the road. A second problem is pricing; it's cheaper to buy a car in Belgium and ship it to England than to buy a car in England. On the other hand, we like Jaguars and Aston Martins. That's why we bought the companies. Ground-based wiring? What the ???

8.We'll tell you who killed JFK when you apologize for "Teletubbies".

P.S. Regarding World War II: You're Welcome.

Bateau Master said...

All said with a smile ... and must disclaim .... wasn't my own work.

altar ego said...

Love it! Thanks for posting.

Frair John said...

I find nothing here to disagree with. Points 3, 5, 9, and 10 should be made compulsory anyway. Offenders to be put in stocks, and if unrepentant pilloried.

Have I mentioned I work in a public high school? It would reduce the number of teachers and administrators on any given day, but the reduction in students would all work out in the end.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Freedom: What DO Brits call Ketchup?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bateau Master: Hysterical. I'm going to have to make sure my friend Mark sees this response.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Friar - Actually, if I'm honest, I agree with most of the criticism, too. But I think the response posted by Bateau Master is equally hysterical and I'm thinking not too many Brits would disagree.

Janis Bland said...

Yeah, I'm blatantly pasting this to my own blog. With attribution. :) Heehee. Oh, and Bateau's rebuttal, also funny. Taken. :)

Word verification: "cowpi". LOL.

Caminante said...

I could certainly go with point 5.

Anonymous said...

OK - Here goes...

We call Ketchup, Tomato Sauce. Now please be very careful how you pronounce that, I would hate to be offended again!

As for the rest, well most of it made me smile!!!

Hope you have all recovered from 4th July.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

"Cat-sup" is it not? Good to see the old British humor still working. Miss you

Lapinbizarre said...

Catsup was a standard "English English" spelling of the word in the 18th thru' the mid-19th centuries, when ketchup (whose use in English it precedes) won out, presumably because, to some, it sounded more refeened. Hannah Glasse and Eliza Acton, the greatest English cookbook writers of those respective centuries, used "catsup".

Why don't the English .....

[The word derives from Malay Kechap.]

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sorry for the delay in being able to publish comments. Blogger seems to be having some hiccups.