Regular readers will know that I am British – or maybe just a weirdo from Britain.
The year 2012 has actually been quite a year for our little islands and I’m sure that the world has noticed us a little bit more than usual.
The Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics have all helped to put us on the map (we have always been there anyway – just off the North West coast of France) but perhaps more people have taken notice of us this year.
On my travels, people have asked me quite a lot of questions about my home country and in order to educate you, if you are from outside our islands, I thought I would share some of those questions – and, indeed, answer them.
I have genuinely been asked some of the questions below – others are just a few I stole from the internet with the aid of my good friend Mr Google.
The answers are all genuinely true – well mostly – possibly.
Do you live in London?
All people in the UK live in London – that’s 62 million of us. There is no other city or town in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
We were all born there too.
When the Romans invaded Britain in AD 43, led by Emperor Londinium, he was so enamoured with the River Thames that he decreed it to be the site of the greatest city outside Rome.
Why do American films always have a British bad guy?
The answer is simple; we are all evil megalomaniacs who want to take over the world – all 62 million of us – even James Bond.
It started with the Beatles in the 1960’s and since then we have conquered most of the known world, in a subtle way, of course.
Recently they were questions about Barack Obama when Donald Trump accused him of being born in Kenya. This is of course wrong. I can now reveal that Barack Obama was born in London, in the same street as me.
Furthermore, Vladimir Putin’s real name is Vince Putin and he was also born in London.
Have you met the Queen of England?
Liz and I are the best of friends. We have afternoon tea every day. In fact, she has contributed several posts to this blog. Can you guess which?
How can you be British AND English?
England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are all aliases for Britain, which is an alias for London and also the United Kingdom. Since we all come from the UK we are also Ukrainian.
Why do you all drink tea?
At 4pm in Britain, everything stops for tea. We down tools, go to a tea room where we are served lashings of tea served by men with silver trays, snooty faces and whose name is Jeeves or Perkins. Accompanying the tea are scones, tea cakes and a stiff upper lip.
It is tea that gives us all rotten teeth and stiff upper lips (due to grimacing when we drink an extremely strong brew).
Why is your beer warm?
Our beer is not warm – it is served at room temperature, which in Britain averages -10°C.
Does everyone in Britain sound like the Queen?
Yes. This young man from Scotland has a perfect British accent…
As does this guy from Birmingham (I used to talk a bit like him - really!):
Why do you spell words incorrectly?
Nobody in the United Kingdom can spell. Those guys across the pond have got it right.
I have been taking lessons to improve my spelling, actually.
I now know that:
Colour should be Color
Tap should be Faucet
Nappy should be Diaper
British should be Limey
Are you impressed?
What is a bloke?
The official definition of bloke in the Oxford English Dictionary is “not a woman”.
What language do they speak in England?
We all speak Latin.
How do you play cricket?
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!
Why is Monty Python funny?
I don’t know – you tell me.
I have a friend in London called John Smith. Do you know him?
There are 30,000 people in London called John Smith – and I know them ALL!
Who feeds the Loch Ness Monster?
There’s a little Scottish fellow who lives in London, who travels 560 miles to Loch Ness every week, with a lorry full of fish and spends three days throwing them into the Loch before setting off back to London to fill up his lorry for the following week.
Why are British people so grumpy?
Because we are constantly asked stupid questions.
And finally …
If you have any genuine and serious questions about life in Britain, please feel free to ask me and I will try to give you some serious answers (instead of flippant and facetious answers like those above).