God Bless America

Lets get this absolutely clear. I love America. Many wonderful and amazing things come from there.

The world invents something, often Japan, the plucky Brits, the odd Frenchman – and America runs with it and turns it into something amazing.

Take the modern internet (but h/t to top Brit Tim Berners-Lee for actually inventing it) for example – there’s no doubt that the US is the centre of the internet these days – I have no idea where this page is actually physically hosted, but I’ll bet it’s in the good ole USA.

This trusty and very desirable MacBook Pro that I am typing on – it’s a computer, invented in other places, manufactured in China or Japan or Taiwan or someplace, but designed (by an Englishman as it happens) and lovingly created in, yup, you guessed it, America. You don’t see the Brits or the Spanish or the Australians doing stuff like this. I don’t know why really.

Anyway, on to my point, and this is where many of my American friends will have to take a breath and realise I am not having a go at them, not at all. I love you guys (to coin a phrase). So, the story:

My wife (tee hee, still makes me giggle) is writing a book – it’s an Australian book, Aussie characters who say Aussie things. She went on a forum for critique, and got slammed for stuff that really highlights something deeper.

She got big red underlining and very rude comments for spelling. Words like neighbour, colour, realised, specialised, mum (I’ll come back to this one) and recognised.

Now, lets just take a minute here – these words are actually spelt like this everywhere outside of America – its quite well known. The dropped ‘u’ and ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ are American specific spellings. Now, when we get books and magazines from the US over here, we don’t melt in a puddle of rage at the misspelling, so why should everyone else in the world have to pander to them?

She also got slated in her book for things like when kids leave school, when they get a driving licence, car types and names, the use of the word ‘Ma’ when describing your mother (it ‘has’ to be Mom, apparently, ‘Ma’ is too redneck). Well, I’ve got news for you, America – people from Yorkshire who have emigrated to Australia often call their mothers ‘Ma’ – more to the point – no one outside of the US calls their mothers ‘mom’, but somehow in books and films that get exported around the world from America, we can get past this fact as we know that’s just the way it is in America, things are different, its ok.

So – why do we have to change stuff that’s not American? Why does Hugh Laurie, an English actor famous for his voice, have to play Dr House with an American accent when it’s not relevant to the story?

Listen up America – there’s a whole wide world out there that does things differently, spells stuff the differently (some may even say the correct and original way, but you’re big enough and ugly enough to have your own way if you want) and speaks differently. This is a good thing and we’ll be buggered if we’re going to change stuff to suit you.

Celebrate the differences, understand there are differences for good reasons and don’t try to make everything uniform American colour. I want to see actors from Australia (Sam Worthington in Avatar for example) speak with an Aussie accent in films – why should he have to speak with an American accent – hell, other people in the film speak with different accents – I don’t get it.

So, America, I love you, but I will never spell colour as color or attempt to disguise my (very) English accent. It’s what makes me me.

I see dumb people!!

Yes, I feel like Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense, only with less creepy 10-year-old girls under the table with poisoned sick coming out of their mouths.

Went out this morning to get presents for Henry’s birthday for when I go back to England next week and also a few other bits and bobs and oh man, the dumb people are out in force today.

We’ve had people taking ages to pull away from traffic lights so they are the only ones to get through, morons not stopping at zebra crossings, blocking aisles in the shopping centre, driving the wrong way round car parks and people blocking roads waiting to turn into a drive through bottle shop.

All in the space of an hour.

What is wrong with you people!

1. Acceleration. It’s the right hand pedal of the two or three that you have. When the lights change, you press the pedal and go. I know this will come as a terrible shock to a lot of people, but the go part of that manoeuvre should happen within seconds of the light changing, not at some point before end of the day. Also, you have to *keep* pressing the pedal after the initial press and continue to accelerate. So many people just stop accelerating once they start going. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else in the world. It can take minutes to get up to the speed limit sometimes behind some cars. I know we don’t have to rush, but I’d like to get home before I have to retire.

2. Zebra crossings. You have to stop at a crossing in Oz, same as in the UK. It’s not an option like in France or Italy, it’s a mandatory thing. So, fucktard in the carpark today where the road rules still apply, almost running us and another couple on the next crossing down means you’re an arsehole. Pure and simple. I hope your knob rots off.

3. Blocking aisles. I don’t think teenagers get taught respectful behaviour any more. 5 teenage kids totally blocking one side of the narrow bit of the mall today so no one can get past. Are you not embarrassed by this? Does it not penetrate into your tiny hormonally challenged brains that there are other people who might want to get past because, wait for it – newsflash – it’s a fucking Saturday at the busy shops. And no, it’s not funny when someone tries to squeeze past.

4. Wrong way around carparks. There are big white arrows on the ground and entry or no entry signs on the end of each row. It’s not really too hard to follow these really simple instructions. Except it is for some people. If you can’t obey the simplest direction, then you need to give me your sorry excuse for a car and take the damn bus. It’s not even funny – I wonder what else they aren’t paying attention to or don’t care about on the roads?

5. Waiting to pull into a drive through. I hate drive through’s. They are a haven for fat and stupid lazy people who can’t be bothered to get off their fat arses and walk into the bottle shop (liquor store/off licence) or fast food joint and actually pick the items up for themselves. I know these places are for fat lazy stupid and thoughtless people as there were several matching just that description today just waiting in the road to turn in to the bottle shop as there was a queue. So rather than drive 10 metres, park, go in, buy the beer and walk back again, you’d rather queue in the road and inconvenience everyone. A lady was trying to pull out of her parking space, but you were in the way – but hey, you were waiting and why should you move? So she just had to wait, trapped in to her space, as did we have to wait behind you in the road. You couldn’t reverse a few feet to let her out, or even realise how much of an obstruction you were causing to everyone and park and go in on foot. Selfish, dumb jerkoff.

So yeah, moronic idiots – how these people manage to earn any kind of living is beyond me. They all have to be on welfare, they are way to mentally and socially challenged to be able to do any kind of paid work.

And now, we’re staying in until 6pm until the dumb people have all gone home.

Open letter to the lady in the Landcruiser

Open Letter Tuesday* (actually, this happened on Monday, but I’m just slack)

Dear lady in the Landcruiser parked next to me in the carpark at the kids school

To the woman in the diesel landcruiser, turn your fricking en... on Twitpic

Thank you so much for leaving your engine running for 40 minutes whilst you waited for your daughter to come out of school. I understand that when its really stinking hot, sitting in a car is not that pleasant and you might want to sit in air conditioned comfort, but as it was only 27 degrees yesterday, that was hardly necessary, I was in perfect comfort in my car with just the window open and the Fremantle Doctor (breeze) blowing in.

But here’s the problem, lady, keeping your car running means that you pump out stinky diesel fumes for me and everyone else, including the children playing tennis just feet from your exhaust pipe and that’s not a very nice thing – for you to think thats ok indicates to me that you’re pretty selfish.

However, giving you the benefit of the doubt, this is a Christian school, its not a very Christian thing to do for me to leap to conclusions so quickly, so I thought maybe you just hadn’t thought things through properly and would give a little embarrassed ‘of course, how thoughtless of me’ comment when I tapped on your window to please ask you to turn off your engine so I and the tennis playing children didn’t choke to death.

However, to blank me as if I wasn’t there was a little odd, so I figure you must be on the phone or something, so I leave it another minute, watching you to see if you were somehow occupied, but no, its obvious that you’re not. So I ask again, with a little rat tap tap on the window. I know you can hear me, its a Landcruiser, not some kind of armour plated Hummer, so why on earth do you just pretend you cant hear or see me?

So, you miserable cow, your initial thoughtless behaviour has turned to plain rude and almost unbelievable. I hope you are happy in your little bubble of ignorance. Maybe you think that a $70,000 car means you don’t have to deal with anyone so obviously less well off as I (although I don’t expect you realise that owning your car on credit is not actually owning it at all)? Maybe you’re just a stuck up cow who doesnt give a shit about anyone else.

I hope, then, Landcruiser lady, that you don’t need the assistance of anyone outside your little air conditioned bubble, because, Christian or not, you might find that people don’t give a crap.

Love and Kisses
Charlie

*with thanks to Salt, from whom I stole the open letter idea 🙂