Thursday, 29 May 2008

Life in This United Kingdom*

I’ve often wished to share with you the amusing musings of Peter Mortimer, who writes for our local free paper. Unfortunately you in the US wouldn’t understand most of it, just like when I first came across I had no idea who was this person in women’s magazines, Anthea Turner; that ‘bloody’ actually counted as a swear word and not just an unpleasant body fluid; or that ‘taking the Mick’ meant ‘pulling my leg’ (and where does that come from, anyhow?) not swallowing a sleep-inducing drink. However, I saw this in last week’s paper and decided to give it a go, with a few translations.

He’s talking about an area of r
oad construction where speed cameras have collected over 4,000 fines totalling £267,000. “…Motorists, especially at rush hour, join the seemingly endless queue up to the Billy Mill roundabout. Many of these motorists are already stressed and irritable; their house prices are in retreat, they are rapidly becoming obese, food prices have shot through the roof, charvers have thrown eggs at their windows, they have shares in Northern Rock, they can no longer smoke in their local [pub], petrol is now the price of vintage wine and next week (if the tour operator doesn’t go bust and the air traffic controllers aren’t on strike) they’re flying on holiday via Terminal Five at Heathrow.”

He goes on to explain that this is why the drivers are speeding once they get out of the traffic jam – damn the 30 mph speed limit – and in any case, the road works are unnecessary being just a ploy to generate income for the Government via speed cameras (I think he’s kidding, but you’d be amazed how many people look at it that way – nothing to do with getting people to obey speed limits for their own and others’ safety).

Anyhow, I just thought I’d pass along the good news that things are pretty much the same on both sides of the pond…

*With fond memories of Readers Digest column, ‘Life in These United States’.

1 comment:

Rick Stone said...

Other than the language barrier it sounds like you never left Oklahoma. BTW, when are these blokes going to learn to speak proper English? ;->