Monday, February 13, 2006

Great! Great. Uh, Can You Go Away Now Please?

Hey all,

Sorry I’ve been silent for the past few days, trust me, it was with good reason. Basically, every post topic I could think of had something to do with the new puppy, our cat’s reaction to it, or other cutesy pet stuff.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but to me at least, there’s nothing more boring than listening to a long diatribe about the cute things other people’s pets do. It’s like “We know, your puppy is acting like a puppy! What a shocker!”

It’s the same with babies. When it’s your child, everything it does is miraculous. The rest of us just think it’s a baby. As a side note, have you ever noticed every single baby you ever meet is always ‘advanced for its age’?

“See the way he moves his eyes? Not all babies can do that! The doctor says he’s very advanced!”

Just once I’d like for someone to get a new pet or child and say “Yeah, he’s completely normal in every way.”

However, in case you have some weird OCD disorder, where you really have to know about other people’s pets, here’s the ultra, super condensed version:

Puppy’s settled in, and has started acting like a boisterous puppy. Cat didn’t like it. Cat ran away from home. Cat came back two hours later when it got cold. Puppy ate, drank, did all kinds of cute puppy stuff and fell asleep. Cat now sleeps out of the puppy’s reach.

(Deep breath)

Ok, I think that about covers it.

Today’s post is actually about something that’s very British to talk about. The weather.

Ok, Americans… your weather sucks.

There, I’ve said it.

You see, there are 4 seasons in Britain: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.

In America (or at least the South) you have two seasons . Two seasons that I like to call “Far too bloody hot.” And “Far too bloody cold”. There isn’t even a couple of short transition seasons. One day it’s 110 degrees in the shade, the next it’s 20 below.

We’re currently in the middle of a powerful cold snap. Cold enough to have three full sized heaters running in our living room alone, and if you turn just one off, it’s 50 degrees in that room 5 seconds later.

The only good side of this is that our refrigerator gave up the ghost a few days ago, so the food that was in the fridge will actually still last for a while. The outside of are fridge was actually colder than the inside.

However, I don’t want this post to be purely about weather differences. I like to save that to freak out people when they ask me inane questions about England.

You see, one of the downsides of being an immigrant is that you CONSTANTLY get asked what your home country is like. In order to keep that flimsy grip on my sanity, I have to continually make up creative ways to describe England in the hope that:

a) I won’t completely lose it one day upon being asked the “Do you live in thatched cottages over there?” question for the 14 billionth time, and:

b) You may freak out the questioner enough that they won’t ask you any more questions.

For example, here is my current answer to the question: “What’s the weather like in England?”:

I stay quiet for a few moments, think a while, then respond:

“Well, rainfall is a considerable factor, yet there is also the situation where over 65% of our days are overcast, which instills in our populace a kind of strange introspective melancholy, that is both undesirable and almost totally alien to our West Atlantic counterparts. In fact, many a sage thinker believes that it is this meteorological induced melancholy that has led to the ironically ‘dry’ and caustic British sense of humor. Although, the fall of the British Empire may be at least partly to blame for the state of our national conciousness…but I don’t think we’ll ever explain why we find men dressed up as ladies so comically appealing.”

This, of course, delivered in stark contrast to my old reply which used to be:

“Like here, but colder and wetter.”

Another good ‘go away’ answer is the one that leaves the asker both bewildered and slightly scared. For example:

“So what do they do in England?” (I never understand this question. For fun? For work? What?)

My answer:

“Well, I personally like to paint my toenails like talons, so when I pick mice up with my feet, I can pretend I’m an Eagle.”

You get the point.

However, one question which will never have an answer is this:

Why is it, in the dead of summer, when it tops 100 degrees in the shade, do we turn on our air conditioning, and only feel comfortable when the temperature in our homes drops to around 65-70 degrees. Yet in winter, we only feel comfortable when we heat our homes up to about 80?

I mean, totally! WTF dude?


MC Etcher said...

I have an inane question about England - I just finished a nonfiction book, and the author mentioned that there were packs of wild foxes running around in London - I wondered if you heard of this, and if it is true?

MC Etcher said...

Also, I like to hear about pets since we can't have one where we live. Kids too, cause we don't have one yet. Guess that's why I like Dooce.

Paulius said...

Seeing as it's you, I'll give you a non-inane answer.

The are foxes in london, but they're pretty rare, and stick near the outskirts.

It's not like you bump into them on Oxford Street.

OzzyC said...

Your "foreigner" thing applies to people from other states too. When people find out that I'm from Iowa, I frequently hear "Oh, the potato state."

"No, that's Idaho. I live in the corn state."

"Are you close to Cincinnati?"

"No, that's in Ohio, and I don't know what they make."


"No, Ohio. Now go away."

MC Etcher said...

Ohio! Woot!

Kato said...

Ozzy is right, we ask each other what our states are like, which seems kinda silly. I always assumed the UK was like Washington state (weather wise), only with fewer Starbucks.

As for your comment "There’s nothing more boring than listening to a long diatribe about the cute things other people’s pets do" that's why I stopped posting about my dangly parts.