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Reflections of a working writer and reader



God Save The Queen – Only He Can

From: Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
To: The citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
The Queen will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.
1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’
Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix’-ise’.
Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize.
4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent.
Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.
9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French Fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.
Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don’t try Rugby – the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.
13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God save the Queen.
Only He can.

(The above comes in different forms, one claiming to be from John Cleese. It is usually delivered via an email. We’ll probably never know where it originated.)

7 Responses to “God Save The Queen – Only He Can”

  1. Lee says:

    Terrific stuff. Where do I apply for my permit to carry a vegetable peeler? (Mine is even the UK Good Grips brand.)

    jb says: We tend to work out the details later, Lee.

  2. OutOfContext says:

    17) Embarrassment will replace fear as the national emotional state.
    19) Humor–Sorry, humour, will be dehydrated and distributed through government channels.
    19) Gregariousness will no longer be tolerated.
    20) British dental jokes will henceforth be punishable under our libel laws and, yes, you are now guilty until proven innocent.
    21) Your attitudes toward the French shall remain unchanged.

  3. Mike13833 says:

    I’m down with chips , the banning of “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine” (we do have some good beer – how about a “Local Beer Only” rule?;), and even adding “u” and saying “Al-yoo-min-ee-um” . Roundabouts are fine . I like them. (probably in the minority there.)
    However , you lose me on the sports and gun stuff . What you don’t realize as a spectator , is that they are FUN! Y’all don’t play everything, but we do . Those choices are the voice of experience. Then there’s those cameras, and the “anti-terror” laws . *sigh* If you’d be willing to make the gummint butt out, as we’re (those that notice :() trying to do , maybe we can talk some bidness. Until then, we’ll just come to visit every other weekend .

    – The kids 😉

  4. Mike13833 says:

    ps : It’ll go a long way towards convincing people , if

    22)Oprah is banned.
    23)Every self-help guru that’s been on Oprah is banned.
    24)Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Michael Jackson are exported to China
    25)The phrases and variations of “..tough on…” and “…soft on” are banned from all political ads and speeches.
    26)Florida is given back to Spain , at least for every fourth November.
    27)Texas is given back to Mexico . Except for Austin . “Weird” is good.
    28)FOX News is taken over by the BBC.

    jb says: OK, Mike, in the interests of compromise, Oprah is gone.

  5. Ann says:

    I’m all for tea-time and proper cups. Packaged Oreo biscuits/cookies must be outlawed, as well as Lipton tea in bags. All baked goods must come from local bakeries. I believe you will be unable to get Microsoft to change their spell-checker. Bill Gates may just purchase the English language, or England itself, instead.

    jb says: Hi Ann, agreed about the tea bags. But please don’t let Mr Gates get us. He hasn’t got us already, has he?

  6. susangalique says:

    I think this would definity fall under the Tory view of the American Revolution.

    That would be a good assignment for my student. I teach history at a local college, and you could say if an American read this and supported it would they be a whig or a tory?

    I do agree about the football bit, I was in the marching band in high school and never missed a game, home or away, and I still have no idea about it…baseball is pretty fun though! Now I can follow that

  7. Mike13833 says:

    Anne, :)))

    JB, I think Bill just has a minority share at the moment .

    “jb says: OK, Mike, in the interests of compromise, Oprah is gone.”

    Getting there . +baseball -FOX -Texas , and you might have a deal . 🙂

    jb says: Feeling under pressure here. We might do something on local brews. I dunno, gonna sleep on it.