If you’ve ever known English people, accompanied them when traveling, or just hung around them, you’ll find that although they no longer own most of the known world, they act like they should. Wandering around places like India and New York they’ll be looking about with an aloof air, running their fingers along surfaces to check for dust, like a mother who has come to see how her son is doing in his new apartment. It’s not arrogance, it’s just the subtle imposing of ‘we used to own all of this, but good luck and everything. Really, it looks fine. I like what you’ve done with the place, but I don’t think much of these columns…’
English stoicism is prominent and pretty much pointless, but you have to admire the stubbornness, inability to ’cause a fuss’ and their remarkable ability to queue.
Quoting Jack Dee heavily here (he sums up what it is to be British really well), being English means you don’t show your passport to customs officials, you slap them aside with it. ‘Reason for visit? Imperialism!’ That sort of thing.
So, fireworks. You get to blow things up only once a year, as far as Illinois law goes anyway. For those who don’t live here in the U.S. of A, the states (like provinces) operate on a kind of feudal system, where the lords (governors really, but with less groveling) swear their fealty to the throne, abide by all the main rules, but secretly pass a load of their own ones, in preparation for the day when they get to be their own little countries. You think I’m joking, Texas keeps trying to secede from the mainland. Everyone else thinks it’s kinda funny, but next thing you know, Texas will be invading Alabama. Mark my words. Mark them a D+.
The fireworks thing. In England the only time we get to light fireworks is when we commemorate the capture and then the hanging, drawing and quartering of the dastardly, mustachioed and therefore English terrorist. Hang on a minute? Celebrating the death of a terrorist? That’d never work in America… (oh, and by the way, the hanging drawing etc thing? No exaggeration, that’s exactly what they did, and after the quartering they placed the separate pieces at each corner of the country, either to serve as a reminder about what happens when you try to blow up the Houses of Parliament, or to prevent Mr Fawkes from doing a Terminator 1000 liquid-metal reassembly thing. Either one, I forget which).
Anyway… oh yeah, I was talking about Independence day… erm… Woohoo America… enjoy the fireworks. As the Quickie-Mart owner said: “Celebrate the independence of your country by blowing up a small part of it.
Right, I’m off to find a Union Jack flag t-shirt and hoping that the community round here has a sense of humor, otherwise I’m going to get my fingers broke, preventing me from writing any more of this seditious nonsense.