"Getting Englished"

This is the phrase we use to describe becoming a victim of a certain irritating type of English behavior. Remember how the English love to crowd together for no reason? It is just. so. annoying. for us Wild Westers who like our sprawl and our open spaces.

We went to Birmingham yesterday (pronounced Birming-mmm; if you say it the American way oh boy is that embarrassing). Funny how it's only like 15 minutes from Kenilworth and it's the second biggest city in England with all kinds of amazing stuff and we'd...never...been there. What's wrong with us sometimes? We've been to France more often than we've been to Birmingham. Anyway. So we went on the train.

forget old buildings and stuff, it had awesome hedges

But the thing about big cities is, there's so much more potential to get Englished, because there are so many more people. So when you discover the greatest shop you've ever known, full of fantastic East Indian jewelry and shoes for £1, you go right in. As you stand there studying a wall of necklaces, wondering what kind of sweatshop labor produced these goods, other shoppers hoard in around you as if you weren't there. They stand so close they are touching you, and reach across you to grab stuff. If they feel that you have been standing there too long, they will sort of slowly nudge you out of your spot. All the while not looking at you or even acknowledging you are there. That is getting Englished.

Another way to get Englished is to go to the "cinema" on a Thursday afternoon, when the theatre is practically empty. In our case it was to see Harry Potter on Birmingham's IMAX in 3D! woa. So you're sitting there excited as can be, waiting for the show to begin in a sparsely populated theatre. There are like a zillion good seats still empty. A small family walks into the theatre and with miles of empty seats around, they sit right next to you. Why? WHY?!

Or let's say you're at Birmingham's famous Art Gallery. The room is practically empty, and you are standing in front of one particular painting, in the process of discovering that you really like it. Oh what a lovely moment, you and this work of art, communing. And then a woman who smells too strongly of perfume walks in the room and where does she choose to stand? I think you've got the idea by now: right next to you. No, not even next to you. Ever-so-slightly in front of you. Still close enough to be touching, but also succeeding in blocking your view.

English people! Honestly. I know you've had centuries of the need to crowd together for safety and survival. Sure, in the Middle Ages being separated from the crowd would mean horrible danger. But, we're beyond that now. Trust me. and back off already.


Super L said...

Aha! Perhaps this is why the British seem to love China so much . . .

Emily said...

Funny Rich was in BirmingHAM, Alabama this last week. If you say it there with the mmmm, you get the same embarrassing correction. I guess when people say Tooele or Hurricane wrong I'm going to be nice.

TheBenandKaties said...

Blogs like this make me wish that you guys lived a bit closer to us so that we could English you, and then play Jeopardy.

Singletonmd said...

I was in the movie theatre yesterday and someone sat DIRECTLY next to me in the almost empty theatre and I wanted so badly to turn to them and say, "listen buddy, maybe in England BUT NOT IN AMERICA!" Instead we made out... jk... but seriously what was he thinking was going to happen sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME!?