April 23, 2004

That's All I Can Stand!

Since moving here, I've noticed that some people have a very unique way of dealing with humor-they are rather self-deprecating, but above all, they like to have a go at each other. This is called "taking the piss", and it basically amounts to light ribbing and joking around. It can, on occasion, get to be a lot bigger than that. The closer friends you are with someone (and therefore more comfortable that they won't take offense), the harder the teasing.

Now, this teasing is usually about something that someone can't change, their appearance, their attitude, something like that. You can't take the piss out of someone for coming from, say, Nigeria or China or India, since that would be construed as racist. They don't really make fun of Australians or New Zealanders (once you get past the sheep jokes that the Welsh and Scottish face, anyway). There is really only one country where it's absolutely ok to make fun of a person, and in fact it will be an Olympic blood sport debuting in Greece this year.

It's ok to make fun of the Americans.

And if you get a group of English together and there is one American there, the pack mentality sets in and it takes mere seconds to get the hounds ready to release.

Mr. Y and Lloyd absolutely love to have a go at me for being American. It is relentless, and it occurs almost every night. Occasionally it makes me very angry, but it is pointless to get upset since it only feeds their lust for blood, and the truth is I really don't mind since they really don't mean it. I get it all-when they hear Americans on TV, they start bleating "Wah....wah...". This, since Americans are known for being nasal and whiny, so they call us the Wah Wahs. I am used to this one, only I have to try to control the two of them doing it in public.

Or about the fact that people around me feel the need to say the town, then the comma, then the country. They think it's hilarious that in the US we say "Birmingham, Alabama" or "Dallas, Texas." They would just say "Birmingham", or "Dallas". I have tried to impress upon them that we don't always say it, and we generally only say it when we are talking about smaller towns that others may not know about, like "Killeen, Texas" and "St. Charles, Louisiana." But it's no good-now they say the city, the country, and they say the word "comma", so I get: "I believe the factory is in Atlanta, comma, Georgia." Or "It's being broadcast from Washington, comma, D.C."

And so on.

I get it all the time. From Mr. Y's stepmother about how fat Americans are. From Lloyd that we call it a supermarket (it called "the shops" here). From Mr. Y with the wah wah jokes. From Jeremy Clarkson on TV. From Alex that Americans can't pronounce English names correctly (don't fall into the trap: Leicester is not pronounced "Lie-chester". It's "Lester".) From Mr. Y's pub mates on Tuesday that 80% of Americans don't have passports.

Let's talk about that one-why should we? I mean, I remember when I would scrape together enough money once a year to fly to Europe. It was all I looked forward to, and I was so fucking broke the rest of the time, and others around me would ask: Why do you want to go to Europe? I would reply: It's such an adventure, don't you want to go away with your vacation? To which I would get a shrug and hear: Nope. We're putting in a pool.

The U.S. is enormous. You want a type of topography, you can get it there. Not to mention that families are spread out and holidays are spent visiting them. And the fact that you have to sell a kidney to pay for flights in the U.S. for your family. And above all that we only have 2 weeks holiday, which in most companies you can't take consecutively. So no-we don't really travel (for better or for worse), but I don't think it's because of lack of desire, more like logistics.

It doesn't piss me off, really-I know that they're just joking and I shouldn't take offense. Sometimes it gets on my nerves and Mr. Y knows when I reach that level (which doesn't mean he backs off, but at least he knows he's reached my threshold.) But I have limits too, one of which was reached this week.

I had a meeting with Dream Job people-many of whom I know, some of whom I don't-and we were talking about gerbil standards. Gerbil standards are different between the US and Europe, and so we were trying to determine which standards fit here (this conversation makes way more sense with telecoms terms, but since I think some details should be withheld...)

A grumpy old goat looked up at me. "The Americans use brown gerbils, and we all know that the English grey gerbils are far more superior."

"Actually, Ralph," I reply, smiling tightly, "the Americans have grey gerbils, too."

He snorted, and I watched his white nose hair quiver from the effort. "Well, they're only copying the English. The American gerbils couldn't get their gerbil wheel rolling if someone added a machine to it."

This guy was getting on my nerves. "I disagree Ralph. The American gerbils are just as productive as the English ones. Studies show that they just operate differently."

He snorted again, and looked at his fellow compatriots, who were grinning in support of him. "It's just because someone has a gun on them, that's the only reason American gerbils work. They only work 4 hours a day, the English ones work way more than that."

He laughed heartily at his joke. Something inside of me snapped-I'm ok with gentle ribbing, but this was just too much. He's not my friend, he doesn't know me, and he and his "jokes" could just fuck off.

I swiveled slowly in my chair towards him. I felt my manager's hand go on my shoulder, and he murmered "Easy, Helen." I looked Ralph in the eye.

"Ralph, the American gerbils have been specified to work within 6 hours of each 12 hour shift. In England, the specifications are similar however there are issues with gerbil muscles which makes it impossible to get this done, although work is being done to remedy this. Now, we can talk about this, but if you continue to sit there and insult my country, you can just talk to yourself, as I will be leaving the room. You finished now?"

The room was aghast-they hadn't ever seen my get annoyed at the piss taking of America.

Raplh nodded, we moved on, and people knew then that I have limits too. By all means, take the piss out of things that you think are cute or that don't offend. But don't start that "my country is superior" crap, or I am outta' here. No country is better than another one. We are all just different.


PS-Mr. Y is away this weekend to visit his kids. Lloyd and I are going to see that "Passion" movie and "Kill Bill 2", but I will likely be blogging since I will be lonely :)

Posted by Everydaystranger at April 23, 2004 09:11 AM | TrackBack

Yayyy Helen! Thanks for sticking up for our gerbils.

Posted by: Almost Lucid (Brad) at May 5, 2004 05:58 PM

Just a comment on Americans always saying the state, along with the name. I'm assuming that the cartoon TV show, The Simpsons is on over there. The show is set in the town of Springfield because there's a town named Springfield in almost all of the 50 states.

Here in St Louis, MO I'm about equidistant from Springfield, IL and Springfield, MO. The city of O'Fallon MO is much closer than O'Fallon IL, but they're both within a tank of gas. Around here, you have to be specific about which state you're talking about.

Posted by: Easy at April 26, 2004 11:14 PM

"And I think its funny here the way ppl say Shawnee, Oklahoma or Kansas city, Kansas(?), I mean..where else would Kansas city be!"


Posted by: Clancy at April 26, 2004 07:02 PM

Next time they comma you, off-handedly mention that IF there were any "British Empire" left, perhaps they, too, would use city-comma-province for the shear necessity to differentiate between all of the duplication in city names. Kinda like the "Colonies."


Posted by: Carlene at April 26, 2004 06:30 PM

Solomon said:
"Who would look at "Leice" and get "less"? . . . Rule 2 would simply give the "ei" the "a" sound, so Leice=Lace."

Yeah, I know it's a bit odd, but I was trying to show how the word can have two syllables (even if you don't agree with the first vowel sound).

It's the same with Worcester. It's not Wor-chess-ster, it's Worse-ster, because you have

worce="worse" + ster="ster"

so "Worse-ster"--two syllables.

Same with Gloucester:

Glouce="gloss" + ster="ster"

so "Gloss-ster," not "Glow-chess-ster"

While "Glouce" might not look like it should be "gloss," we can agree that it should definitely be one syllable.

Posted by: angel at April 25, 2004 09:19 PM

I don't get how anybody can hate Americans simply for being American, when essentially every other country has had an input to the population. For what it's worth, I like Americans (but I coouldn't eat a whole one !).

Posted by: Pam at April 24, 2004 04:52 AM

Actually, just as a point of order:

My country is way better than anyone else's. Seriously. It's amazing.

Posted by: Joshua at April 24, 2004 12:57 AM

Ollie, point well taken on the US giving McNasties to the world. And I needed the laugh on this Friday afternoon!

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at April 24, 2004 12:55 AM

I saw "Kill Bill 2" Didn't see the "Passion" and from yours and other friends recommendation I probably won't. It just didn't appeal to me to see a Hollywood depiction of the crucifixion of Christ. From Hollywood all I want is entertainment; like Tarantino gory jokes and cliche dialog. And maybe enjoy 'viewing' Uma, Daryl Hannah, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Izabella Scorupco, Annabella Sciorra, etc.

Posted by: Roger at April 24, 2004 12:10 AM

I always love when they drag out the passport statistic. Well, if I couldn't back up my car without crossing a border, I guess I'd need a passport, too, but things are on a different scale here. Plus, you don't need a passport to go to Canada. But the comment on how we give the names of our states with our cities surprised me; I hadn't heard that was thought of as odd before. Maybe they don't understand: 50 independent republics, baby! Despite the "new federalism," every state is different (I'm a big states' rights advocate). From the outside it probably all looks like the United States. I was a New Yorker stranded in Arkansas last week, and I may as well have been in Bosnia for all I had in common with the locals.

Posted by: CJ at April 23, 2004 11:44 PM

That's what I had heard about "The Passion".

Oh and BTW, before I forget to mention it, Jeremy Clarkson = berk.

Posted by: Ollie at April 23, 2004 11:15 PM

Kaetchen and Ollie nailed it, really-there are gits in every nation.

Many of whom I dated in my twenties.

By the way-if you haven't seen that"Passion" movie? Um...don't. Keep your 6 dollars/pounds/Euros and just watch someone beat a lump of hamburger.

Same effect.

Posted by: Helen at April 23, 2004 10:48 PM

If there's one thing we can agree on, it's that there are gits in all nations!

Look, anywhere you go, there are going to be dumbasses who think that their moral and/or national superiority entitles them to mock those who are different from them. It's not limited to the British, though certainly Helen's getting her fair share at the moment. There is no place on earth where dumbfuckery has been eliminated!

Good on you, Helen, for keeping the conversation work-related. That's not easy when you're being bashed. May I recommend note-taking to yourself when those fools are speaking? It keeps you balanced and provides a distraction.

Posted by: Kaetchen at April 23, 2004 10:27 PM

To be fair, I have heard my fair share of talk from Americans saying what "smelly, horrible, cheese-eating surrender monkeys the French are or various other national stereotypes.

Let's just say each country, each religion, each race, each town, each family, even each person, has a segment that is a bit twatty. :)

Posted by: Ollie at April 23, 2004 09:29 PM

Well, I've had about four glasses of wine at my local gasthaus, so who knows how coherent this will be.

I had the same thing in NZ - they call it tall poppy syndrome. As I've probably said before in a comment, I finally lost it after fifteen minuets of boring discussion about how they'd kicked our nuclear sub out of their harbor. Har! Har! We showed you Americans, horrible imperialist people. My husband had to pull me out the door frothing after I'd expounded on the fact that NZ wasn't even a blip on the U.S. radar screen, most of us got them confused with Australia, what's the difference anyway, and so forth. They didn't bring it up again.

My favorite reply belongs to two reservists that I sent down to Salzburg for the weekend. Both lovely Southern gentlemen from South Carolina trying to have a quiet beer. The Austrians attacked them verbally about Bush, etc. The reservists listened quietly, then said" Well we wish we could reply in kind, but no American knows who the president of Austria is - what does that tell you!?!"

Posted by: Oda Mae at April 23, 2004 09:25 PM

It's a pretty unsophisticated mind that takes a country's television characters and politicians as indicators of what its people are really like. There's all this talk among Europeans (I've heard it too) about Americans being stupid, oversexed, crass, etc. But man, you're watching Baywatch and Friends and reruns of 90210! I'm sure everyone in England is just like those kooks on Fawlty Towers....

Also, w/r/t the misconception that Americans get the spelling and pronunciations of English words "wrong" because we're just idiots: Early Americans deliberately changed the spellings of many English words to differentiate the American language from the Queen's English. And from there, language and pronunciation evolve within regional dialects.

Posted by: erin at April 23, 2004 09:22 PM

That's OK Solomon, I knew that. I just like gibbering on about stuff. :)

Johnny, can I just say:

"When the English go on vacation they become like women at a restaurant, they can't go anywhere alone, they have to travel in even numbered packs."

LOL! That is so true. Hilarious observation.


"- At least American's know how to cook other things than intestines and snouts."

I think the country that gave the world McDonalds is on pretty dodgy ground with a statement like this. ;) :D

Posted by: Ollie at April 23, 2004 07:43 PM

As you know, Helen, I've commented on my blog about this entry and about what people have been commenting...

Posted by: hetty at April 23, 2004 07:35 PM

Excellent rebut Ollie. I truly was just having fun as there are plenty of U.S. cities with odd spellings since they derived from other languages: American Indian (take your pick), Hawaiian, Eskimo, French, Dutch, Spanish, and others.

When it comes to spelling, exceptions are the rule.

Posted by: Solomon at April 23, 2004 07:32 PM

Oh boy, that must be a blast hanging out with a bunch of people all ripping on you all the time. Wheeee. A cavalcade of fun.

Need some return fire?
- When the English go on vacation they become like women at a restaurant, they can't go anywhere alone, they have to travel in even numbered packs.
- People go blind from accidentally staring straight at an Englishmen's pasty white knees.
- Without the US, the UK would be some European country's bitch.
- At least we don't have hooligans who live for nothing but going to socc-er-football matches so they can kick the stuffing out of other hooligans.
- At least American's know how to cook other things than intestines and snouts.

And if you really want to rub them.
- At least America has a president, England is going to have a gay king (not that there's anything wrong with being gay).

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at April 23, 2004 07:19 PM

Place names are difficult, because they often came about in times where letters were used in different ways to how they are used now. For example, f used to mean s and vice versa. In fact, standard English and received pronunciation are relatively new things, which coincided with when the first dictionaries were becoming widely distributed. I would guess it's a 18th century invention, standard English, but that's just a guess. For interest's sake, Leicester as a name is first recorded around the 10th century, and it was originally Ligera ceaster, meaning (Roman) fort of the people of Ligore, the Ligore being a tribe who were around at the time. Over time, with different letters being used and different pronunciations being attached to certain letters, that became Leicester pronounced Lester. Strictly speaking, not fitting in with the current 'rules' of English, but place names are an exception because they have evolved in times before a standardised English and before standardised pronunciations. I agree though, silly to take the piss out of mispronunciation of that,especially if you've never heard it spoken.

Posted by: Ollie at April 23, 2004 07:09 PM

'2. Leicester. Leice= "less", ster= "ster." Ergo, Less-ster. Lester.' That's much better...NOT!

Who would look at "Leice" and get "less"? 2 rules of thumb: 1) when 2 vowels go walking, the 1st one does the talking, and 2) "i" before "e" except after "c", or when sounded as "a" as in neighbor or weigh. Rule 1 would suggest the 1st "e" is sounded, the "i" is silent, and the 2nd "e" makes the 1st "e" long; so Leice=Lease. Rule 2 would simply give the "ei" the "a" sound, so Leice=Lace.

It's your/their language; do what you want. But don't have a word that doesn't fit the main rule and is even an exception to the exception, and then make fun of US for not getting it right the first time:)

By the way I stayed in Leicester for 10 days back in '87 and loved it and the people...but not the spelling:)

Different nationalities, pronunciations, and slang terms sure can be fun:)

Posted by: Solomon at April 23, 2004 06:58 PM

OK, here are the thoughts of a scummy Brit, if you don't mind hearing them.

1. Take the piss out of the Queen or my country or anything else for all I care, it really doesn't bother me.

To be honest, I don't agree that Americans are the only nationality that British people 'take the piss' out of, although I do accept that SOME Brits reserve special piss taking extremity for Americans. Maybe it depends where you are, but I've experienced first hand the French, Germans, Aussies, New Zealanders and of course all the British nationalities like Welsh and English having the piss taken out of them. Deriding the French is a national pastime. Personally, I prefer self-deprecation, as Heather can probably confirm. Self-deprecation doesn't hurt anyone, whilst sticking with the cultural tendency to take the piss. And I can laugh at myself. I'm a useless freak. I find that amusing.

As for the term 'taking the piss', I'll explain the origins. :)

It originated in the Second World War I think, and it derives from the 'deflated' feeling you get after having the piss taken. Piss taken = deflated = you have been mocked. Taking the mickey or mick, which is a milder version of taking the piss, is Cockney rhyming slang for taking the piss. Taking the piss = taking the Mickey Bliss = taking the Mickey or mick. I hope that clears it up. I never understood it before either. :)

And as far as I can gather, British people have mocked others for eternity. I don't know why, I can't explain that, however, it is a very difficult cultural trap to escape. It's such a large part of our upbringing. So in essence, I'm saying don't blame us as such, we didn't choose to be born British, it's the way we're brought up. And if someone says to me they don't like having the piss taken, I stop. Simple as that. I'm not in the business of hurting people. I also don't think it's an inferiority complex, and that's the honest truth. If anything, people, especially the Australians, hate what they deem as British arrogance. A lot of those typical little Englander Brits that I know have an enormous superiority complex. Personally, I think this country is a bit of a dump, and I don't feel I want to 'prove' the worth of the UK as a country. However, I do love our countryside and our buildings and such, in fact that's what I like about Europe as a whole. The people? Bastards. :)

Posted by: Ollie at April 23, 2004 06:25 PM

In response to the city comma state thing, I don't think many folks realize just how big it is here. Kansas City was mentioned, there are 4 of them, only one in Kansas. I live in Pasadena, CA, there are 4 other Pasadena's in the US. When you understand that California alone is over 3 times larger than England, you start to see why we reuse city names, and why the comma state is needed. Of course we could have just made up new interesting ways to spell names, but then we would have had a whole shitload of towns like Zzyzx, CA. I would love to hear that pronounced in the Queens English, HEH

Posted by: Dane at April 23, 2004 05:59 PM

I was exonerated, Mr. Grey Headed Stranger, when in Scotland Mr. Y and I stopped in Dallas, Scotland.

I even have the pics to prove it.

Posted by: Helen at April 23, 2004 05:47 PM

While serving with the British Army I had to remind them that we had a "London" in 12 states, a "Paris" in 9 states, and not to mention a Washington in 14 states, a Washington state, and a Washington, DC (plus several thousand other dupl-, tri-, quad-, cations, etc.).

You did well, like others I found that sporting back with good taste in humorous bantering built on our friendships but bad taste (ie no putting down the Queen for them and no putting down our patriotism/love for our country for us) was grounds for instant rebutal and potential loss of friendship.

And H, I have to agree with you, just as no state in the good old USA is better than any other, no country is better than any other (even France, which I personnaly despise, has some saving graces). Pride in one's land is great, over zealousness breeds agressive nationalistic behavior.

Standing proud in Killeen, Texas with just a few thoughts from an old......

Posted by: greyheadedstranger at April 23, 2004 05:32 PM

LOL...In New Zealand we say we are getting *on the piss* (drinking) then we get pissed (drunk).In the US if I say Im pissed,it means Im angry!
And I think its funny here the way ppl say Shawnee, Oklahoma or Kansas city,Kansas(?),I mean..where else would Kansas city be!
And Im amazed at the only 2 wks holidays..as you say Helen,how far can you get in a week at a time.
I laughed at mother-in-law calling you Helena..maybe its a posh English thing;)

Posted by: butterflies at April 23, 2004 05:05 PM

Oh how I wish we Americans and our country were respected more....

Posted by: Rebecca at April 23, 2004 04:59 PM

Oh, you kill me! (I love that you replace the names of telecomm tech gadgets with "hamster" or "gerbil," btw. It just makes it funnier to read.)

I don't doubt the guy was surprised by your reaction. They're used to Americans abroad being good-natured about the joking. For all we sometimes get slapped with the label "culturally insensitive," most Americans I know who are traveling to Europe do take some time to try to learn a little bit about where they're going, what the customs are, etc. And most of them, to borrow the British expression, stiffen the upper lip in preparation, because they know they're going to get some teasing about their origins. It goes with the territory.

On the other hand, I'd like the British to tell me why I should save my money, endure the hassles of intercontinental flight, renew the passport, exchange the currency, and spend two weeks' worth of hard-eared money in the U.K. to be mocked and derided.

I mean, really. I can get that treatment just traveling to New York.

Posted by: ilyka at April 23, 2004 03:54 PM

1. If British people didn't need a passport to go on a booze cruise to France or a weekend in Ibiza, 80% of them wouldn't have passports either.

2. Leicester. Leice= "less", ster= "ster." Ergo, Less-ster. Lester.

3. They won't stop, ever. Simon is right that they'll now think you're a pushy American. He's also right that it's their loss.

4. God forbid if you say "math" instead of "maths." God forbid if you make a sandwich without putting butter on both pieces of bread first. God forbid if you don't think it's weird to drive more than 2 hours to get somewhere. British people are delightfully petty about stupid things.

5. You'll notice soon that nobody in this country has any common sense.

6. Despite all of this, Jiminy is wrong.

Posted by: angel at April 23, 2004 03:49 PM

As an American datinga Brit, the phrase "taking the piss" really confuses me. Here, if you are poking fun at someone, you're "giving them shit." It would seem to me that it should be "giving the piss," since the person you are making fun of is the one taking the piss. Does that make sense to anyone but me? I just don't understand.

Posted by: amy t. at April 23, 2004 03:42 PM

Not to be the typical American on this site, but I have to disagree with you, Helen, about how no country is better than any other. This country is the greatest country that has ever existed on earth. This is in terms of military might, economic power, and the simple yet elusive quality of giving the most freedom to the most people. We've saved the world from totalitarianism twice in the last century alone. It's also the longest lasting continuous democracy in existence.

They can make fun of us all they want. Because, where would they be without us, the good ol' US of A? The smallest f-ing province in the Russian Empire!

Posted by: Jiminy at April 23, 2004 02:51 PM

For the English folk, who will know where this comes from:

Whatever you do, don't mention the war!

Posted by: Helen at April 23, 2004 02:36 PM

If they get on your nerves, remind them of the fact that we kicked the riff raff out of our country quite some time ago, something called the American Revolution. Then out of the kindness of our hearts we bailed them out of two world wars.

Posted by: pylorns at April 23, 2004 02:32 PM

Helen you make a good point about the 80% thing. And I for one will never mistake one person with an entire countries population. But... when did the President of the USA get his passport? When was the first time he travelled and saw a bit of the world? I think a person in his position should... :-). Miguel.

Posted by: msd at April 23, 2004 02:29 PM

Here's the thing...in Europe you can't go 500 miles in any single direction without needing a passport. In the USA you can't go 500 miles and need one.

Passion and Kill Bill2, eh? From what I hear they have about the same amount of gore. Hehe

Posted by: Jim at April 23, 2004 02:13 PM

Don't need a passport. I can get made fun of right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. Why spend thousands of dollars, risk my life on a plane, fly 9 hours, and stand in eternal Customs lines just to be made fun of? I can get that here for free:)

(This is written with a sarcastic, humorous tone...didn't want to be accused of being whiny) Who in their right mind would look at "Leicester" and pronounce it "Lester"? Who? There's no grammatical rule of thumb that says "ice" in a word that starts with "l" is silent. If they went around pronouncing "lice" as "l", I'd admit that I should have figured out Leicester is pronounced Lester. In the absence of that, just admit it's a terrible spelling. (end of sarcasm)

Some foreigners make fun of Americans for not visiting all the wonderful spots in America, and now I find we're being made fun of for not having (and I presume not using) a passport. If we made both of those groups happy, a third group would make fun of us for traveling so much:) What's a country to do?:)


Posted by: Solomon at April 23, 2004 02:08 PM

I don't know why they were ribbing you about 80% of Americans not having passports.

Some would argue that's a blessing ;)

Posted by: Gareth at April 23, 2004 02:01 PM

Ok, had a big long reply lined up ... can't be bothered ... started rambling ... will try again later ... *cough*whocolonisedyou*cough*


Posted by: Rob at April 23, 2004 01:55 PM

Feel free to point out America's superior dental coverage. Or just that we have some.

This is so yesterday, but still:


Posted by: Paul at April 23, 2004 01:53 PM

To be honest, I have never been around too many british people. But I have been in large groups of Canadian people and they seem to have a similar attitude about Americans. There are quite a few ironies to this:

1. They happen to be either attending American schools or working for American companies at the time.
2. They all plan to STAY and make AMERICAN MONEY.

My favorite is the debate we have about the terms "writing an exam" versus the american "taking an exam".

But to show how Americans never take it lying down, you have people like my fiancee and brother who are surrounded by Canadians, making jokes about their inferiority complex :)

Posted by: Amynah at April 23, 2004 01:44 PM

I've never been good at the superiority game. Unfortunately, I get it all the time, especially since moving down to Georgia. All of the people that I knew up North have a grand time explaining to me that my friends and neighbors are inbred and illiterate. Sorry, I've lived in the South for most of my life... I love stereotypes.
Crap, the sarcasm key isn't working.

Posted by: amber at April 23, 2004 01:28 PM

Woohoo! well done Helen!

*said while wearing plaid shorts, a striped T-Shirt, black socks and white tennis shoes, waving two mini american flags, and two more stuck in the brim of my truckers cap*

Posted by: Dane at April 23, 2004 12:06 PM

Americans are sooooo cute when they get pissed off. :-)

The only thing you can do is give it back to them, which is what you did. It will make them think you're a pushy American and re-enforce their stereotypes, but that's their loss, not yours. Or just not give a sh!t, which is what the British call "turning the other cheek". Given America is the world's superpower and economic powerhouse, and Britain is a pale shadow of its former glory, you can just consider it all a bad case of inferiority complex.

Posted by: Simon at April 23, 2004 10:14 AM

you are so right about the way the British tease people!
I cant really comment as i am pretty merciless about he Americans too, i dont know why but they do suffer at the hands of the British alot!

Abs x

Posted by: abs at April 23, 2004 10:01 AM
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