Monday, October 25, 2004

The special relationship takes a battering….

Is it an equal partnership of 50-50 between Blighty and BurgerWorld?
More like 98-2 in their favour, I think.
We kid ourselves don’t we that ‘they’ are as aware of ‘us’ as we are aware of ‘them’?…. But they’re most definitely not – I think most of them have never heard of us.

And if they have, don’t we all come from ‘London, England’?….
"Glasgow, London, England"…
"Great Britain, London, England"…
"God knows where, London, England"…..

I once introduced myself to a guy from Chicago, Illinois as coming from "Liverpool, Edinburgh, Lancashire, London, England"… He didn’t get the irony – just the bizarre address.

The special relationship is a somewhat one sided state of affairs, imagined by British politicians in the virtual world of self-delusion and self-importance. Unknown to U.S. Presidents – until they want something from us.

This was brought home to us last Friday night as we tried to order stuff over the virtual super highway. Virtually super impossible. My nephew is engaged to ‘April’ - a Southern Belle from Dallas, Texas. He’s over there teaching kids ‘n’ Moms how to play ‘Saacca’ – I think he actually does his keepy uppy on the grassy knoll…. but that’s another story. They are getting married over there in mid December – then coming over here with ‘Randy and Tammy’ (the in-laws) for a right good pissup just after Christmas.

Their wedding list is with Macy’s, the biggest retail store in the world – and the idea is, you log onto the site, access the wedding list, select the prezzy you want to buy – and pay for it be card. The gift is then wrapped was sparkly stuff and delivered to the apartment near the grassy knoll, Dallas, Texas. ….. Nimps.

Unfortunately, all the cheap prezzies had gone. No fondue sets, no toasters, no towels. We did, however notice that they had a ‘Playstation 2’ plus an assortment of games still up for grabs….. Some chance.

We settled on a mundane (and cheapish) set of pans. Simple and elegant, in a Soviet-Stalinist sort of way, form and function fused to provide the discerning pan user with years of happy panning…….. apparently.

We set about the ‘simple’ procedure to buy them via plastic.
Once, twice, three times we tried. Each time knocked back by the auto refuse message that sprung up every time we pressed ‘send’. Frustrated, we decided to ring Macy’s HQ, Noo Yawk.

I mean, how bloody hard can it be to order ‘The Breznev Range’ of pans - and send them to an apartment just by the grassy knoll in Dallas, Texas?

We rang. Someone called ‘Hubert’ answered the ‘phone.
Hubert in telesales gave us the spiel, how we were today, how he could help us, were we having a nice day, if we should find anything wrong or discourteous ……..

We interrupt the diatribe.

"We just want to buy some bloody panza!"

Hubert has our undivided attention. We have his virtual balls in our rapidly tightening virtual hand – and he knowses it alright.

We order – no problemo. Just the card details then.

Hubert asks which State we are calling from.

"Oh, we’re not calling from America. We’re calling from ‘Britain’…….. B-R-I-T-A-I-N ….. You know, the Country?"

Hubert didn’t know. He’d never heard of us. He’d barely heard of Europe.

Hubert’s entire orbit of consciousness started at Alabama and finished at Wyoming. Everywhere else was No-where’s-ville….
Frustrated and insulted, we, the entire OK nation broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S.A.- there and then.
We told Hubert where to stick his pan-handle. He confirmed it was in Texas.

The OK household are now buying the happy couple a nuptial edition of a Playstation 2 - plus games, bought from Blighty’s own Argos catalogue. Well - it’ll give Randy and Tammy something to do when they visit the apartment near the grassy knoll…..

And as for cooking food via ‘The Breznev Range of pans’? They’ll just have to buy TV meals instead…..