Tag Archives: Americans

Americans: This Is A Tramp

I was looking for images for this post, in which I will describe the differences between an American “tramp” and a British one, when I came across this British newspaper headline. 

Church Minister Shames Congregation By Dressing As Tramp 

The article ends with this – 

Chuchgoer John Sproston was one of the first to arrive at the service to see the “tramp” on the doorstep. 

He said: “We were all aghast when he took off his wig because he was very convincing.” 

If you are an American and you just read that PLEASE DON’T PANIC! The Minister was NOT dressed as a lady of loose virtue, because whatever you may think, that is NOT what “TRAMP” means: 

THIS IS NOT A TRAMP

He was merely disguised as a long-term HOMELESS PERSON. That’s what the word “TRAMP” means and you can’t argue with that, because – 

a) A newspaper agrees with me 

b) A representative of GOD agrees with me 

And here he is, being a TRAMP (the Vicar, not God): 

THIS IS A TRAMP (VICAR)

Life is funny isn’t it? When I set out to make a post about “tramps”, I didn’t think I’d end up posting a photo of a vicar and a photo of me.

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Americans: This Is A Fanny

So far, I have made two posts dedicated to teaching Americans the REAL meaning of words they don’t use properly. The response has been promising, although (like most people) Americans are a little stubborn about admitting when they are WRONG. Still, I shall continue to battle bravely on.  

As some of you will have seen, I managed to explain what “Jumper” meant and what “Vest” meant, in a very straightforward manner. Great stuff. However, explaining the REAL meaning of the word “FANNY” is going to be a little more of a challenge. Americans will now be grinning at the prospect of me having to discuss something as embarrassing as a “rear end”… Believe me, my Yankee friends, you (as you would say) ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.  

THIS IS NOT A FANNY

 This first picture is of a BOTTOM. A bottom is not, and never has been, a FANNY. Right now, I suggest those of you who are of a delicate disposition, should brace yourselves. If you are standing up, sit down.  

THIS IS A FANNY

I’m sorry about that… But it was necessary to post a second picture, in order to show you the REAL meaning of the word FANNY. As you can see (if you can bear to look again) FANNY  is the word for a lady’s sex-parts.  

I don’t know when (or IF) you will ever use the word “fanny” again – but if you do, you now know that you will be speaking of something a lot ruder than a BOTTOM. Normally I’d ask you to say the word “FANNY!” aloud (at this point) and stare at the second picture, in order to fix the proper meaning of FANNY in your mind… But I don’t think any of us want to dwell on this any longer than is absolutely necessary. And “fanny packs”? I’m not even going to go there. 

 Second picture: (The famous Sheela na gig at Kilpeck, England Image credit: Wikipedia | Rights/License: GNU FDL)

Americans: This Is A Jumper

We all know there are lots of words that Americans get wrong: They call crisps “chips” for instance, they call a lift an “elevator”… That’s all pretty well-known, Brits have got used to it and tried to make allowances for such mistakes. However, some words that Americans get wrong are more obscure and frankly just CONFUSING. As far as I’m concerned, Americans need to be re-educated about these words and taught to use them properly.

What if I wrote a blog entry about Brandon and said, “Bran was going out, so he put on his favourite jumper”? Americans would go “WTF?” and imagine my son wearing THIS:

THIS IS NOT A JUMPER.

They would, of course, be WRONG. Despite his admittedly camp demeanor, Brandon hasn’t been out in a DRESS yet. Not even a PINAFORE DRESS, like the one above.

So what would he be wearing then, if I said “jumper”? He would be wearing THIS:

THIS IS A JUMPER

Which is NOT a dress, it is a JUMPER.

Look at it, learn the name, FORGET the dress. Repeat after me “THIS IS A JUMPER”. Congratulations! You are now speaking English!

How I Resisted Becoming A Mormon

Last night, the Mormons came to visit us. As I mentioned  in a previous entry, Dave had invited them, after talking to them at a bus stop… Which freaked me out slightly (when I found out) but nobody in this house is normal, so I just went with it.

The Mormons arrived early and looked VERY young. Clean-cut, polite, friendly boys, in ties (of course), who smiled with the serene faces of people who KNEW they had the answer. Brandon mostly hid upstairs, getting ready for Cadets but stopping intermittently, to sit with his head in his hands, going “What the hell are my parents doing NOW?”. By the time Bran left, the Mormons had settled in and he was glad to get away.

The Mormon approach to evangelism seems to be made up of three things – spreading the gospel (according to Joseph Smith), a bit of gentle hypnotism and some hard sales techniques:

The gospel part of it was… I don’t want to be too rude but frankly I thought it was funny. Please look into it for yourselves. I love the idea that after The Ascension, Jesus didn’t just go to Heaven – He flew to America and taught Americans all the same stuff he had taught before, including a reprise of the Sermon on the Mount.

The “sales” part of the visit was very off-putting. The Mormons kept trying to dictate to US what was going to happen. They asked us if we would be prepared to be baptised into their Church, if we believed their scriptures. The obvious answer to that is “yes”. But then they somehow ignored the IF and started arranging for us to be visited three times a week, to be prepared for baptism on the 24th of July. WTF? We put paid to that notion, saying they could leave their literature and a telephone number, but nothing else should be planned yet. The last time I experienced somebody trying to “close a deal” in that way was years ago, when an American neighbour was brow-beating me into buying cleaning goods, from Amway International. It didn’t work then.

The scariest part of their visit came in the middle. It was the part where they seemed to be trying some hypnosis techniques on us. We had to read part of their scriptures with them and then close our eyes and listen to the next part. We were told in advance that as we sat there, eyes closed, we would feel the Holy Spirit filling us and making us feel wonderful. I think that’s called “the power of suggestion”. Then one of them described a scene and asked us to imagine we were there and what it felt like (which seemed like another classic hypnotic technique, to me).

He told the story of Joseph Smith, being visited by God and Jesus. A pillar of light descending, two “Personages” appearing, brightness and glory all around ending with “… hear Him!” and then a loooong silence. All this time I had been sitting there, eyes closed, thinking “They’re trying to hypnotise us!” – so (and when I told David this, after the event, he said it was proof that I was utterly insane) I filled my mind with the most silly, funny, unlikely “message” the Holy Spirit could give me.

“DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES?” I imagined the fake “Holy Spirit” asking. “DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES? DO YOU WANT SOME SAUSAGES? DOYOUWANTSOMESAUSAGES? DOYOUWANTSOMESAUSAGES?”. By this brilliant method, I made myself immune to hypnotic suggestion, blocked out any artificially induced “revelations” and also made myself laugh a bit (inside). Dave actually did do what they asked but didn’t “feel” anything much. As he said later; the Catholic Church had been trying to brain-wash him all through school and that hadn’t worked either.

Finally they left, giving us a pile of literature and a quick prayer on the way out. They were nice enough but being Mormon isn’t for us, which I think they knew. When Brandon got home from Cadets (however) we did pretend to be newly converted Mormons, for at least five minutes. You should have seen the look on his face – it made the whole evening worth it.

Manic Mormon Monday

A couple of nights ago I was out with Brandon, when I got a text from Dave (who was also out). It seems that he had been early for his bus and had struck up a conversation, with two American guys, at the bus stop. So anyway, I suddenly got a text, completely out of the blue, that said:

“I just invited some Mormons round on Monday evening”.

WHAT? That took me by surprise. I mean, I have nothing against Mormons, I love Donny Osmond… But why on EARTH would Dave invite them to our house? Talking to strange Mormons while you are waiting for a bus is  mental enough, without letting them know where you LIVE. Admittedly, a Mormon friend of mine (American) gave me the best advice a girl could ever get (“Clothes should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman but loose enough to show that you’re a LADY”) but still, I knew her on the internet – I didn’t invite her OVER.

When I got home, I took Dave to task.

“Why did you invite Mormons to come round?”

“They seemed nice and it’ll be funny”.

You’re an Atheist and I’ve just started going to the Anglican Church… They’ll be wasting their time. WE will be wasting their time.”

“No, they will be telling us about their religion and we will be learning something. You’re getting into religion, so you should be interested!”

“I’m NOT interested in being a Mormon, they wear magic underwear!”

“Stop being a bigot.”

So it looks as though we have Mormons coming to preach to us, on Monday night. Bloody hell – I can’t even offer them a cup of tea, because they might get too stimulated by it. I read up on their beliefs (on Wikipedia) and the whole thing sounds BIZARRE  but Dave wouldn’t listen – when I tried to tell him he called it a “Spoiler Alert” and put his hands over his ears.

Men.

EDIT: Hahaha! Just as I was proof-reading this, Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the front door, with a leaflet. Thank goodness *I* answered it.

World Cup Team USA: How To Do A Post Match Interview

So, England and the USA are both still in the World Cup – although it pains me to admit, the USA won our Group, whilst we qualified to continue in the competition as the “runners up”. Oh, the shame.

Does this mean I will now stop trying to educate Yanks about football? Of course not! Today’s lesson is about the Post Match Interview.

Yesterday, after watching England’s thrilling win against Slovinia, Dave and I watched highlights of the USA’s victory over Algeria. At the end of the highlights, there was an interview with USA goal-scorer, Landon Donovan. I have to say, the American interviewer had no idea how to talk about football and nor did Donovan. Dave and I were actually CRYING with laughter at them both.

Let me give you an example of what a PROPER post match interview (with the winning goal-scorer) SHOULD sound like:

REPORTER: Great goal, how do you feel?

SCORER: Over the moon… I hit the ball, the ball hit the back of the net and the rest is history.

REPORTER: I bet you and the boys will be celebrating tonight?

SCORER: We’ll have a few beers, yeah.

Now let me compare that with random quotes from the American post match interview:

LANDON DONOVAN: “I’ve been on a long journey, for the last four years…”

AMERICAN REPORTER: “What does it say about the player you’ve become, and the leader you’ve become, that you were able to pull this off …?”

LANDON DONOVAN: “People who know me closest, know how hard I have worked for this moment…”

I don’t know if I can really explain this properly but football is a very complex thing. It is both a religion AND a solid, no bullshit, working class game – where men talk like men and scoring a goal is poetic enough, without poncey sentiment and navel-gazing. The post-match reaction should not sound like an Oscars acceptance speech, or an endorsement of football as “therapy”.

Remember: Nothing introspective, no long words, no sentiment and don’t thank God (or your parents). Ball in net, men glad, drink beer.

You’re not in Hollywood now, Team USA.

Forgiveness? It May Be Too Soon…

Today, the Archdeacon of Manchester visited our Church. He seemed like a very nice bloke and he gave quite a moving sermon, on forgiveness. I was with him right up to the point when he suggested somebody we might all consider showing forgiveness to at the moment…

Robert Green, the fumbling England goalie, who helped America to draw with us in our first World Cup match.

Lord, why must You test me like this?