Cue the Fireworks

Dear Friends

May I take this opportunity to send you my commiserations. You threw the tea in the harbour (please note the CORRECT spelling) and ended up with Lipton’s; you fought for freedom on your streets and pavements, and ended up with sidewalks; you pronounce ‘vase’ and ‘herb’ ridiculously. Still, you wanted independence and by gosh, you got it. It’s a shame for you – you’re missing out on so much – lumpy mashed potato and gravy, boiled vegetables, infinite variety in canine, incisor and molar arrangements, the royal family, rain. Poor things.

Happy Fourth of July (please pay attention to the correct arrangement of date before month – it’s not hard to remember).

Yours lovingly


p.s. An American Independence perfume? Why, top notes of watery tea (can you really smell it?)and gunpowder; heart notes of coffee, caramel and creamer; basenotes of Jack Daniels, corn syrup, fried onions. Kisses.

Dear Bitter Former Brit Oppressor:

Your ancestors should have made a break for it when they had the chance.  We have a country where we are all kings of our castle, and you still have kings and queens in castles.  We are a nation full of Corn on the Cob,  champion steers, McMansions, White Lightning, Monster Truck Shows, the Cult of Celebrity instead of the Cult of Royalty, county fairs, hunks from Iowa and Nebraska with muscles, tans and great teeth.  Yes, we have no class or culture, but according to the Frogs, who did eventually show up to help us out in running away from home, neither do you Brits.  Even your soccer players are defecting, but we’d be happy to send Becks and Posh back.

Flawed and Egotistical as we are, everything that is great about us originated from our home country, except bad spelling, which we’re still working on cleaning up — enouGH sAId (spelling logic is not an English strong suit, apparently). 

‘Tis a shame we had to come to hostile action to get an amicable divorce and property settlement, but since we are at the day when that literary masterpiece from Mr. Jefferson was signed, we should all remember those who died on both sides, fighting for what they believed.   But we love you anyway because we all get along much better now that mum and dad aren’t fighting and live in separate houses.

xoxo  – P

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

  • CH says:

    Golly gee, you guys are just too hilarious! 🙂

    I can thank my father’s ancestor from Middlesex that came over to America in the early 1600’s and my mother’s ancestor (from the “Middlelands”) that made the brave trip in the late 1890’s for my uniquely American lifestyle. Or, I could be cursing them at the same time. We have the good and bad here in the US, just as any other country… 😕

  • Teri says:

    What fun to hear from both sides of the Independence equation.

    I’m fiercely proud to be an American and revere my cantankerous, anti-social, rebellious ancestors for their ability to craft a nation that, at one and the same time, celebrates sameness AND diversity.

    Many of we Americans are here because our forefathers were basically malcontents who couldn’t conform to the norms in their village, city or berg and chose to settle in ‘the new world’ because there was space enough for all to practice whatever religion, politics, economics, or philosophy they weren’t able to practice in their home country. For a bunch of ‘outsiders’ and ‘nonconformists’, I think they did extremely well by the generations which followed. There is also a legitimate argument that the original culture (Great Britain) from which many of our forefathers came, was perfectly good just as it stood and served hundreds of thousands of people perfectly adequately and continues to do so in the present day.

    It is rare and precious in our world today to have two countries so supportive, so akin to one another, that although we bicker occasionally over the small things like any family, in times of crisis we pull together as one.

    Here’s to both our independence and to our wonderful British ‘parent’ who gave us the cultural traditions and intellectual confidence that allowed us to strike out so successfully on our own.

  • Abigail says:

    This was a treat, thank you. 🙂

    To celebrate I’m wearing Tea for Two and drinking iced tea with simple syrup that is ALMOST strong enough to put hair on my chest. I do it to teach my husband how to drink real tea, who is a first generation (maybe first and a half, depending on how you count) American descended from real golly gee whiz British people. I’m not at all convinced that our tea is any more watery then what he was getting! Plus, he grew up with mushy peas! Mushy. Peas. Why are they that color?

    And now to watch the news to try to catch the bit where firemen VERY SERIOUSLY blow the heck out of watermelons with fireworks in order to educate us about the dangers of things that go BANG and not at all to teach us the fun of blowing up vegetables.

  • Gail S says:

    Ah, I still love you Lee! And I raise my huge frosty glass of iced tea to you and send you “W” (in my dreams!)to prove there’s no hard feelings!

  • TexasSnow says:

    Ah yes – the Americans and the Brits – a single people divided only by language…
    Live Free or Die! Yee Haw Y’all!

  • Kelly says:

    😡 Gads I love this group! >:d< Happy 4th! **==

  • donanicola says:

    Wot fun! (I subscribe to the Molesworth skool of speling) Happy 4th July!

  • helg says:

    LOL!!! You’re on a roll today!
    Happy 4th of July to those who celebrate it.


    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Helg! I figure the whole world can celebrate our Independence Day, it’s the day y’all officially got rid of us as a saporling. 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Hey, play nice, you cousins! Thanks for the fun.

    As for spelling, it might do us ‘mericans well to remember that those funny ones often have letters that were pronounced once upon a time-(those early scribes did what they could). Too bad about those Anglo-saxons and the Norman invasions, Lee.

    French spelling is worse, even-take all the spellings for the sound “o”-eau, eaux, au, aux, ault, etc. The linguistic urban legend is that the french scribes got paid by the letter, and got really creative!

    Tough spelling for foreigners and the learning disabled kids I work with, though. And me, without spellcheck.

    Hey, I love slope-shouldered, crooked-toothed, overly tidely dressed men-London, here I come!

    Happy and safe holiday to all!

    • Lee says:

      I teach language change, and actually love our mangled spelling legacy, but on the other hand recognise all the challenges it poses for others in learning. I just wish we’d still pronounce knight in that lovely middle English and Germanic sounding manner…

      You’re right about French though… Flippin’ word endings!

      And you can examine my wonky choppers any time…

      • Louise says:

        While I am usually tempted to call you a prince, today, please be my K-ni-chhhh-t, wouldja?

  • Judith says:

    Well, see we had to kick you out, or we couldn’t all become Anglophiles.

    My favorite (true) British story, told me me by an English grad student:

    When she was approaching the age of puberty, her mother sat her down and explained that she would get something soon. She told her not to be afraid or ashamed; it’s perfectly natural, and even the Queen has it (this was obviously quite some time ago):). She tried to puzzle out what the Queen had that she would be getting soon–and then became very excited; she thought she was getting corgis!!

    There will always be. . . .

    • Lee says:

      Well, it was slightly different in my slightly looser living house. When I first got mine, I was convinced it was called public hair…:o

  • Lee says:

    Let’s just say I did a fair amount of postgrad research…

    And we pronounce it a-loo-MIN-ee-um, so it makes perfect sense to us.

    As for spelling, I agree. George Bernard Shaw famously said, in his attack on the spelling system, that according to the rules of English you could spell FISH as GHOTI if you so wished. couGH, wOmen, ambiTIon. But that’s the other thing both our countries have in common – a mongrel inheritance. It may be messy, but being mixed-up is best…:x

  • March says:

    Hahahahhaha!!!! And I was wondering where I was going to get my Fourth of July fun from!!! Are you SURE you’re not an American? You’ve pretty much captured us perfectly.

    People who write aluminium have no place criticizing (sorry, criticising) our spelling.

    Also, you may have unloaded Becks and Posh on us (Bosh? Pecks?) but we’ve left you with Madge and whatisname her husband, and I’m not sure we didn’t get the better part of that deal. I hear she now speaks with an UC brit accent, which makes me spit Southern Comfort out my nose every time I think about it. Okay, off to drain the still and slop the hogs —


  • dinazad says:

    Oh, I just love you guys! Lovely post!

    Happy Fourth of July, everyone in the States!

    Everyone else: have a joyful day!

  • Gina says:

    Happy Fourth to all! And thanks for the great posts, Lee and Patty:d

  • Maria says:

    Here’s to the Special Relationship. Long may it continue! As long as there is an England, there will be Americans going weak in the knees at your accents. 😡

    OTOH, national indepence is a beautiful thing! Happy Fourth, everyone! **==

    • Lee says:

      I concur on the independence. As for the accent, well… :”>

    • pitbull friend says:

      Ah, Maria, you nailed it! I do still find British accents lovely, though I’ve come to like Canadian ones even better — they’re in between US & UK, and I understand almost all of their word choices. But I’m glad you Brits & your lovely accents are over THERE so as not to ruin it for me. When I moved to Minnesota 17 years ago, I was entranced by men who speak the somewhat-rural-Minnesota singsong (heavily influenced by Swedish). Now I think they sound a bit, well, daft, and I can’t wait for them to get to the point, already! I wouldn’t want to feel that way about “our” former oppressors, too. (“Our” is in quotes, because my family didn’t show up until pretty recently.) –Ellen

      • Lee says:

        There aint nuffink daaaft abaht the waiy Oi tawk.

      • Tigs says:

        Egads, Ellen, I’ve never heard anyone say they like Canadian accents before. (Well, except a waitress in Atlanta who told my family: “Y’all have the sweetest lil’ ack-cents!” That was quite a shock for us, because we thought *we* didn’t have any. But it was less of a shock than the grits with white gravy that came with our breakfasts.) I always thought of our accent as kind of neutral and flat – good for radio and TV broadcasting, but not much else. I was kind of offended that Americans thought the accents in “Fargo” sounded Canadian, but then I really listened and thought: Well, ya know, we do sound like that, hey?

        • CH says:

          I’ve noticed multiple accents in Canada. Some border on the British, some have a slight Scottish lilt, and some remind me of the movie “Fargo”! Either way, I love the country. I’ve been there multiple times (three times in Vancouver, twice in Victoria, once in Lake Louise/Jasper/Calgary). 🙂

          • Tigs says:

            Well, I’m a Central Canadian, and I think I sound a little Fargoian, but I’ve had East Coast friends mistake me for a Brit – I say “ah-tall” for “at all” apparently, and the like – and several Westerners have asked me if I’m Scottish (my granparents are.) So, CH, we probably are a mishmash that way.

  • tmp00 says:

    Dear Lee-

    As someone from a family that was packed off onto one of those boats by your monarch to send trees and crafts back to your country, I have to write “neener, neenerm neener!”

    i write that with love, and a triple chili-cheeseburger in one hand and a triple-gulp f Lite-beer in the other…

    Having written that, if dear Queen Elizabeth wants to take over for the next few years, I’m for it. I promise that we’ll keep Paris away from the boys….

    • tmp00 says:

      Can I just mention that I hate how this window is resized in Safari on
      My ancient iBook? From now on you’ll be seeing responses formatted
      like this so I can check my awful spelling. Blame the lite beer.

      • Lee says:

        Don’t worry about your formatting, son. You drink your beer and have fun. I’m just narked really that I have to work today whilst you folks get to play and have fun. As for national identity – even though I’m pretty damn british to anyone who isn’t, I’m not to anyone who is… if you get me…8-}

  • evilpeony says:


    this is why I look to you guys for erudite entertainment.

    Happy Fourth of July all!

  • Dusan says:

    What a treat!
    Happy Fourth of July!
    Srecan Dan nezavisnosti!