One of the blogs I much admire here on WordPress
is Ellen Hawley’s Notes From The UK.
She’s a New Yawker,
living apparently if I understand her right,
And today her topic was the differences between the UK
and the USA,
a topic I adore,
since I always learn so much from my Australian girlfriend
each time we meet up in London
(not as absurd as you think, she lives there)
and we swap those
“here, you can dine out on these for a week” anecdotes
(like the time she went to buy cellotape- a big roll, please.
Cellotape to Aussies is apparently Scotch tape to Americans,
and condoms in the UK.
Or the time I went to see King Lear-
Shakespeare in the original at the Barbican,
and a group of lovely blue haired ladies from Ohio
exchanged the following in the ladies’ room:
“Of course you can’t understand them, Jean. They are all speaking Cockney.”
Thus, I wasn’t much surprised,
when the generous Ellen
told me she liked a comment I wrote on her blog
(about telephone booths, and other antique things
the younger kids of today don’t really know what to do with
when they see one.)
And because of her kindness, I’m going to dump this comment on other readers.
And ask for comments.
Anything out there you find it amusing when others are baffled with it?
Especially when it was once such a major part of our world?
(I found it funny recently,
that in an NCIS rerun,
Gibbs saves the world-
momentarily in a power black-out –
by knowing how to use a mimeograph machine.
Especially since, as a young teacher,
I was practically married to the one in our teachers’ room for a year.
So here is my comment to Ellen:
Just explain that a phone booth is a Tardis in almost any color other than blue, and is bigger on the outside than the inside. It is most commonly used for writing obscene messages about people, with a telephone number attached, seeing how many football players you can stuff inside, or calling the fire department and then running like crazy. (I unfortunately went to high school in the San Francisco bay area.) Oh, and it also makes a good storage place for the tomato jello the school serves for lunch, and women’s undies, stolen in panty raids, but too many to all run up the flag pole. Ps I once got attacked, while trying to telephone, by a cat trying to get out. It’s a bit like trying to use Facebook today and being attacked by all the cats.
Can’t wait to hear from y’all.
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9 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Too Much Cellotape, And When King Lear Speaks Cockney.”
How many times on Facebook have I seen a photo of clothes on a clothesline with the question something like: Did your granny do this? People in my neighborhood hang clothes on clotheslines all the time and we’re not (all) grannies.
We also know how to cook, peel our own vegetables with a hand-held peeler (!), make small home repairs, and sometimes cut the lawn with a hand mower!
And we know how to create a website, do online research, etc, etc.
Thank you so much. I’m a midwesterner at heart, and was raised with survival skills like home repairs and hand mowers and hand-held peelers. And knowing that clothes smell wonderful if you dry them outside
Imagine my surprise at stumbling into this post all unawares and finding my own name in themiddle of it. So I figure I’d better come up with something outdated and baffling. A pack of the neighborhood kids were at our house once back in Minneapolis (we were the adults in the situation) and one of them wanted to call her mother. We pointed her at the phone and left her there. She came back almost in tears. It was a rotary phone and she had no idea what to do with it.
I can’t remember how we happened to have a rotary phone so long after the asteroid had killed off all the others, but we did. It was not inside a phone booth.
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I enjoyed reading that.
My mother is British, father American. When my mother first came over to the States, she and my father stayed with my father’s parents. As they all went to bed early the first evening, everyone wanting to get up early the next day, my bright-eyed mother promised to “knock everyone up in the morning…”
My mother’s generous British offer to wake the house up in the morning led the misconstruing American grandparents to wonder just what kind of morals their new daughter-in-law had.
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Loved this comment. Still laughing. Welcome to the page.