I tried to watch the season premiere of The Bachelor on abc on my computer and was greeted with the expected:
You appear to be outside the United States or its territories. Due to international rights agreements, we only offer this video to viewers located within the United States and its territories.
I could be wrong but I am pretty sure last year I got rejected only because I wasn’t in the United States. I am glad to see the “territories” called abc out on its unPC-like behavior. Get yours, Guam!
So anyway, it’s times like these when I wish England could be a territory too. Then I could watch my tv shows legally, digestive biscuits would be called graham crackers, and Target would miraculously appear.
The New York Times ran a book excerpt column New Year’s Eve day titled “My American Friends” under the column name Letters from London. You can imagine my trepidation at reading what Geoff Dyer had to say. Instead the article shocked and awed me, calling Americans “friendly”, “polite” and “charming”! The cherry on top? Finally an explanation I like of why we speak so loudly, and why British people mumble (I’m sorry, but some really do.). Check it here.
I didn’t even realize that it is a uniquely American thing to address a serviceperson as “sir” or “ma’am”. What else would you say? And to think all along I thought the British trumped us with their fork and knife eating of french fries. Brutes.
It’s sort of, oh I don’t know, sad (for lack of a better word) how wise Americans here get to the inefficiencies that abound. This week was apparently “the longest cold snap in thirty years.” To put this in perspective for my American friends in wintry climes, what the BBC means is you have to wear a coat. So off I go on my merry way wearing a coat and yet, and this is where I kid you not, many other segments of the population and large operating systems are unable to cope. Just three true-life examples we observed yesterday:
- The cafe at my department store was closed due to “much of the staff having to leave early because of weather conditions and cold.” (The weather condition being you have to wear a coat. If I may repeat.)
- Gymboree announced on Wednesday that it would be closed on Friday due to “weather conditions and poor heating in the room.” Gymboree is inside a mall. And somehow they could see into the future.
- Some people do not go to work. It’s possible they don’t own a coat. And it’s wrong to discriminate against people who don’t own coats. You get 25 days of holiday, 8 bank holidays, 12 sick days and 4 too-cold-to-not-wear-a-coat-but-no-coat-can-be-procured days.
When England becomes a U.S. territory I hope that we can have one really big coat drive.
Dad, Happy Birthday. You are my favorite Bill Bryson-loving Anglophile.