More Observations From Across The Pond

A TV listing I’m pretty sure you’ll never see in the States:

BBC 2, 9:00pm, Dara O’Brian’s Science Club. Tonight, the world of theoretical physics.

The program is on BBC 2, which would be very roughly like broadcasting this on CBS. In prime time! And without commercials of course, so the whole sixty minutes of theoretical physics excitement is uninterrupted and completely fun free. I am, or was, an engineer and even I find the idea of watching sixty minutes of physics that I do not need for course credit intimidating and frankly, pretty much like a punishment. Maybe that’s the intent, English moms are all like, “Well, you children went ahead and set the cocker spaniel on fire, after I explicitly told you not to, so your punishment is that you have to stay up, past your bedtime, and watch a TV show about theoretical physics!”

“Aw, Mom!”

I learned something new the other day – winklepickers. I commented that the toes on men’s shoes here are getting so long and pointy that it’s just a shave and a haircut away from starting to curl up like those old shoes you’d see in Turkish harems in the movies. Yes, perhaps I might have watched a few too many movies set in Turkish harems, but then hasn’t everyone gone through that phase? Like this classic, which I just encountered a couple of months ago while channel surfing.  Anyway, Mary suggested I check out the wiki on winklepickers, which I’ve included here, because I’m all about sharing the informations. How shoes that rockers were wearing back in the Sixties have become bankers’ attire today is a complete and total mystery.

Speaking of bathrooms, which we weren’t but I thought this was an appropriate time to raise the issue, because otherwise I might have to fill the rest of this post up by talking about my feelings, and no one wants that. So, since we’re in a flat for an extended period of time, we’re experiencing life as locals live it, or so we like to flatter ourselves, and since no one else is going to flatter us, we have to take up that heavy burden ourselves. Anyway, we’ve observed in our keen and penetrating way, that Brits are apparently deathly afraid of electricity. I don’t mean the normal, perfectly reasonable, fear that electricity is a mysterious force that cannot be understood by mortal men, and to which we should pay obeisance, for to do otherwise is to insure that it may turn on us and destroy us utterly.

No, I mean Brits apparently think that electricity is an elemental force of great capriciousness and danger, that can only be used with extraordinary temerity. Bathrooms here have no light switches inside, I guess in the not totally unreasonable belief that a light switch anywhere within a dozen meters of a source of water is an electrocution just waiting to happen. All the light switches are located on walls outside the bathroom. Also, they tend not to place electrical outlets inside bathrooms, so if you want to dry your hair with a hair drier, you’ll have to go outside and do it in the hallway. I think if you gave one of these to a Brit, they’d be found a short time later all curled up in a corner and crying like a little girl. Actually, if we ever have to go to war again with the British Empire, like to wrest the recipe for pork pies from their clasping, clammy English digits, we can mail a couple of million of bathroom radios to residential addresses all over the British Isles, and then just waltz in unopposed.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.