Recently, I wrote a post about questions I get asked about living in England. Beautiful, ridiculous, gloriously uninformed questions. I’ve had a number of people say to me that I should write a mirror post about questions that British people ask me about America. But honestly people, E4 single-handedly Americanised this country by airing every season of Friends on a continuous loop for a million years (::clutches chest::) And may that haggard old lady we know as E4 Friends rest in sweet peace.
Predictably, this means that the questions that I get from my redcoat compadres aren’t really that interesting. They instead regularly end with “…..and is that like Friends?”
But…and there is a wonderful but….there is something I have found that I love about these Brits. Something that has amused and baffled me time and time again. Wartime propaganda popularised the phrase, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Adopting this mentality (or holding firm to that mentality which already may have existed) has helped the Brits face and overcome trying times in their history. I fear, however, that they sometimes take this mentality too far and I can find myself standing, gaping, wild-eyed at something that has just happened. The American in me will jump, point, scream and wave my arms wildly at what has just gone down. The British person will stare blankly forward and walk right passed and pretend it never happened. Keep Calm and Carry On, Brotha. It’s either that or someone has laced the tea with sedatives.
So, here it is. A British Person Did That:
It was a weekday morning and my American colleages and I had just stumbled off of the double decker that had dropped us at the top of the high street in Liverpool. We were on our way to Starbucks for a
late breakfast meeting. For those who haven’t really seen a city centre before, Liverpool’s city centre, at any one time, has thousands of people occupying it’s quarters. It’s where people come to shop, dine, waste time, site-see — you name it. There is a road that comes out of the top of the high street just before the bombed out cathedral, a landmark. This road usually isn’t a road that has vehicle access, but occassionally, you’ll see a car drive on it. Clearly, the pedestrian we lazily spotted as we were chatting in our loud American voices was also aware that cars don’t usually drive out of this road because she wasn’t really looking when, and I kid you not, she stepped right in front of a moving car. The car struck her. We all stopped. One of my male colleagues leapt in the air and said, “WHOA! Did you see that?!” And we did because she had rolled up onto the hood/bonnet, rolled back off again and landed on the pavement. We all stopped and stared briefly wondering if we should run to her, call an ambulance, offer assistance – and so we waited, while we held our breath to see if she would move. For a few seconds, she sat still on all fours. We saw the driver start to move to get out of his car. Then, she got up, and not taking a moment even to look in the direction of the driver, she dusted herself off and WALKED AWAY! And then, the driver drove away. SHE ROLLED ON THE HOOD, PEOPLE!
A British person did that.