Life In London: June 2005 Archives
A Short Poem, Inspired By The Local Pronounciation of A Certain Location in London
by Jacob Sager Weinstein
One day, as the Queen walked through Leicester
Square, she ran into a jeicester
who fondled her cheicest.
She exclaimed, "I'll be bleicest!"
then hanged the man as a moleicester.
Good news for Londoners: our fair city's bid to host the 2012 Olympics has been officially endorsed by space aliens, as proven by this shocking crop circle photo captured by The Sun:
Further details of this breaking story can be found at The Sun's website.
The Chunnel trains currently arrive in Waterloo Station, making "Waterloo" the first place a Frenchman will visit on his arrival in the UK. I can't prove it, but I've always suspected this is deliberate piss-taking by the Brits.
Sadly, not all decision makers share that cheeky sense of humor. In a bid to avoid offending England's neighbor across the Channel, an upcoming re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar will not feature the British defeating the French. Instead, it will commemorate that historic day when the Red Team defeated the Blue Team.
Alas, I have once again failed to make it to one of Great Britains' most moving and important traditions: the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling. Fortunately, the brave cheese runners carried on without me, even if it meant bruises, abrasions, and broken bones. Some see the perpetuation of cheese rolling as a continuity with ancient pagan practices; I see it as evidence that lawsuit culture has not yet taken hold here with the same fervor it has in the US.
I've lived in London long enough that most of the archetypal US/UK differences no longer catch my eye; I look to the right when crossing the street, and it now seems more natural to say "flat" than "apartment." But there's one thing that still strikes me several times a week: the English walk their dogs differently than we do.
In the US, you generally keep your dog on a lead--er, I mean, a "leash." And if you let your dog run free, you generally let him run in front of you so you can keep an eye on him.
Here, though, leashes are the exception, rather than the rule. And the proper way of walking your dog seems to be to stroll forward while he gambols behind you--sometimes as much as a quarter of a mile behind you. The result is that one frequently sees dogs trotting through the street, seemingly unattached to any human being, but there's no way of telling if they're lost or just a block or two behind their human.
Are English dog owners too careless, or American ones over-protective? I have no idea.
Matt Kirkby's video for Basement Jaxx's "You Don't Know Me" is a fascinating and accurate peek into a little-known facet of the Royal Family. (It's also a little NSFW in one spot.)