Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Britain is Repossessing America--- I'm John Cleese, and I approved this Message

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A. ----A Message from John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America:

"In light of your failure 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."

"Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 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:

1. "You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary, 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 '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 U.S. 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. You will relearn your original national anthem, 'God Save The Queen'.

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 American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. "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.

9. "The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. "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.

11. "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 British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. "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 McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. "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.

14. "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.

15. "You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. "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).

17. "Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season."

"God save the Queen."


Ben Witherington said...

I have now been informed by one alert reader that this may not be by John Cleese. Check the Snopes report.

Regardless, I am endorsing this pre-emptive strike by the mother country, and considering moving back to the family castle, Witherington castle, in Northumberland.


Peter Kirk said...

We will welcome you all back, and especially the tax revenues.

But one more spelling rule will apply to you personally: drop "Witherington" and use the proper name "Widdrington", for yourself and your castle. If you do, we will let you have the castle on condition that you maintain the ruins properly as a scheduled ancient monument and abide by the strict planning regulations which almost certainly forbid any new building on the site.

Ben Witherington said...

Ah, but Peter you are wrong. At the battle of Chevy Chase it was Witherington (whence comes our crest with the vivisected leg of Sir John Witherington who vowed he would not fail and as legend has it fought on on his stump until the battle vs. the Scots was won. Also, the various monarchs who associated with the Witheringtons called them such.

It became Widdrington apparently during good King James' reign, and both the town and the castle have been that way ever since. Sadly the Witheringtons back the wrong horse during the time of that earlier Prince Charlie, and my family came to America as a result.



Ben Witherington said...

P.S. William Widdrington was aka William Witherington, my ancestor, and I gather that it was not unusual for there to be multiple spellings of the same name, a pleasant part of British eccentricity.


sgreene25 said...

After reading that, and residing in Topeka Kansas, it is nice to know that I will still remain a U.S. citizen. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! Perhaps we are allowed our independence for being the cradle of the greatest sport on earth, basketball?

Tim Etherington said...

Hurray! We're saved!!

Ben Witherington said...

Alas, with only Kansas left there will be no 'United' States nor U.S. citizenship, and so I suspect you will need to rename yourself the Duchy of Kansas, or the Republic of Kansas, or some such title. My suggestion is your recall Dorothy from Oz and Toto to be your Queen and first dog :)


Anonymous said...

Those of us of Scots descent will not take this on our backs! We will thrash them once again as at Stirling Bridge. Unless, of course, we are again sold out by those claiming to be Scottish aristocracy. God Bless William Wallace!!

Jeff said...

"In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President..."

Now that's a true statement -- especially this year!

CP said...

Nice...lol...Very nice. I must say that as an aussie they really arn't too bad a people the brits..lol...enjoyable read.
Love your sense of humour Ben.

Unknown said...

Well, now, Pardner! What about Texas? You know we can be an independent nation again any time we want to, so revise your budget from tax revenues because we will keep all our oil, "natural" gas, cattle, pick-up trucks, and beautiful gals so get used to it! :o)
Texie from Texas

Kevin said...

As my family of Irish descent attests we loathe this forceful act and will again be forced to take up arms against these British invaders. Let 1918 be your warning... (As long as you allow us to keep our McVitties bici's and Cadbury's bourneville chocolate bars we'll behave.)

Kevin said...

BTW, you may also heed the Irish Rugby Club's yearly thrashing of the English as adequate warning as well...

Ben Witherington said...

Well Tex, you've obviously forgotten something--- you've already been invaded and taken over by the Spanish Armada from the south of you. And they showed up so quietly you hardly even noticed that in fact, all your food, and most of your service industry folks, not to mention most of your National Guard, half your athletes, not to mention your major tourist attraction (the Alamo) already have demonstrated--- YOU'VE LOST THE WAR TO THE HISPANICS! You've just ignored the truth.

Can you say taco Tex? I knew you could :)


Rafael said...

The former curate of Christ Church Fulwood (Sheffield) read a similar piece from the pulpit while my wife and I were sojourning in the UK. In his reading, the state rejected by HM was Utah. I found it unlikely that a woman with such extravagant tastes would accept Mississippi and New Jersey but pass by Utah. Now Kansas . . . that I can believe.

Hayne Begley said...

I will gladly welcome the British, so long as you do not forget to bring fish-n-chips with you. Since first having them I have tried to find some form of them here in the state that even remotely compared but alas I cannot. I have been spelling favour with the "u" since my freshman year, much the to dismay of my english teacher who couldn't understand why there were 2 proper spellings in the dictionary. However, I simply may have to move back to Donegal county, Ireland and set up my familys pub again, seeing as that is where the Begley, or O'Begley's are from.

Rev Tony B said...

I'm surprised you didn't add the (alleged) US responses - see http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blrevocation4.htm and http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blrevocation5.htm. They're rather good.

I used to be the Methodist minister for the area including Widdrington. There is now nothing left of Widdrington Castle, and the main community is a mile or so down the road at Widdrington Station. The landowner who owned the building we used in Hauxley a few miles north of there was Squire Widdrington, but he didn't live anywhere near Widdrington.

Perhaps they're just waiting for you to return. Flying the Union Flag, of course...

John Foxe said...

Good King James? I don't think we've had one of those.

Puritanically yours,

John Foxe.

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Tony:

Well I used to be one of the Methodists preaching in the Durham and Darlington circuit, and my cousin Herbert Witherington brought me to Widdrington.

The sheep farmer who then owned the piece of land where the ruined castle was told me I could 'have a piece of the rock' or actually the castle keep. So I have one. I gather the dowager's house is under the national trust and still standing however. As for the Union flag, I don't have one. I could bring a Confederate flag since I am from the south :) God save the Queen, or at least the fish and chips :)


Mason said...

Brilliant post Ben, made my day
I’ll welcome the Brits quite happily, we had a good run but clearly are unable to run our own country in a responsible way (years of most Americans and the US as a whole spending far more than they make ought to prove that, along with a lot of other examples, like how we think NASCAR is a real sport).
I would love if we could adapt real English and use the Pound. Granted, all the driving and metric changes would be confusing, but the trade off would be worth it.
My heritage is pretty much all English (Waddington and Slater, all from the UK), so I might be a little biased. Still, about half way through the primaries I said pretty much this same thing to my wife, we ought to just send a letter to Parliament begging them to take us back like a kid who moves out of the house and suddenly realizes that they have no idea how to function on their own.

Well I need to get to my toast and beans so I’ll be off, everyone have a great day and God save the Queen.

Steve and Andrea LaMotte said...

I laughed out loud reading this. Thanks!

tdunbar said...

hey, you guys can't even govern the Anglican Communion, do you really want to take this on?

Rodney Reeves said...

18. "You shall desist from referring to bangers as 'hot dogs.' Our dogs are never hot. That would be inhumane. Our pets remain inside and they are quite warm."

Tim said...

Thanks for the reminder of the real unofficial European sport: mocking other countries and complaining about centuries-old grudges! (I have never had more fun than getting English and French colleagues going at one another. :-)

Anonymous said...


You are right in that we have many Mexicans here illegally. On the other hand, there has always been a Mexican influence on Texas dating back to when the Spanish controlled most of South and North America. Many of the heroes of our revolution against our Mexican oppressors were Tejanos including Juan Sequin. Yes we lost the Alamo, but we won the war at the Battle of San Jacinto. We do love our Tacos, Dos Equis beer and Sopapillas. Yes, Texas has a history of allowing illegals, drunks, rapists, murderers and Tennesseans into our country. Texas can survive without the US or the English oppressors.

Ben Witherington said...

Howdy Tex: I can only applaud a state that could have Kinky Friedman as a real candidate for governor. As he once so eloquently put it---- They don't make Jews like Jesus any more!

You might want to listen to Peter Gabriel's song about San Jacinto before you call it a triumph over the oppressors.


Mike Myklin said...

Here, here! About bloody time! Why else have I been a sleeper for MI5 for all these years?

Anonymous said...

So long as they don't abuse us with British cars, food, dental care, debates, or music (after 1969), I'm fine with it. Even John Cleese, post-Monty, isn't much to brag about.

Michael Bridgman said...

Oh wow! I haven't seen humour like that since I was laughing at my own jokes like a total loony. Reading how the British are going to change our national anthem to God Save The Queen, suddenly my head became filled with visions of legislative error causing it to be changed to God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols. I can just see the stadium crowds standing up and placing their right hand on their hearts to sing: "God save the queen/the fascist regime/they made you a moron/potential H-bomb/God save the queen/'cause tourists have money/and our figurehead/is not what she seems". Instead of preaching nationalism from the pulpit on Repossesion Day, pastors could preach on the theological merits of John Lydon's desperate prayer that "God save history/God save the mad parade/Oh Lord God have mercy/All crimes are paid" in light of the eschatological teachings of Jesus on the kingdom of God. Even government mandated daily tea-time sounds really good with the many delicious blends in the kitchen.

Rev Tony B said...

"Even John Cleese, post-Monty, isn't much to brag about."

Do you include "Life of Brian" as pre-'post-Monty'? One of the best crits of religiosity ever produced.

But I still think "Fawlty Towers" is better than anything the Python team did. Wickedly observed, and so funny.

However, there is no such thing as British car any more..