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Monday, March 28, 2005

Guffaws, Guns and Glasses.

A while ago I was sent a very funny email, which began:

by Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers, Torquay, Devon, England

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the
USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the
revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all
states, commonwealths and other territories. (Except Utah, which she
does not fancy.) Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony
Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that
there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for
America without the need for further elections. Congress and the
Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will 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:

It went on to detail 17 rules, including:
2. 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 account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize".

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

14. 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 adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

Snopes have now done their thang, and completed a piece on the original, and development of this letter, including two rather funny responses to us Brits from USA. Including:
Roundabouts will be banned. What is the point of turning left in order to turn right? They are confusing to Americans and are death traps. You will start driving on the right with immediate effect. Most of the world drives on the right already. You will be allowed to turn right on a red light if safe to do so though you must check local county legislation as this is not permitted in all areas.

All inter-personal communications between family members, even if resident in the same house, must be through a lawyer. It is compulsory to sue somebody at least once per year - be inventive. It is compulsory to have therapy three times each week and to recover false memories of your childhood which allow you to sue your parents and/or your therapist. Therapy will take the place of speaking to family members. You will be given compulsory courses on how to become dysfunctional. Name your children after interesting medical conditions.

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 Brittania ditty, it's toetapping. Or maybe Elton John could adapt "Candle In The Wind" again for you guys.

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

The whole thing has rather cheered an otherwise dull morning!

Also on snopes is a (true) story about a man doing a presentation on gun safety during which he accidentally shot himself in the leg. It kind of proves the point that gun + safety are not compatible. Guns are designed to kill and maim, and they are just not at all safe. Ever.

I didn't watch the video of the incident, but it is there.

My absolutely favourite Ian McMillan was just on the radio on You & Yours, talking about how marvellous we spectacle-wearers are. I couldn't agree more :)