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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Smile for the day

A good friend has emailed the following ‘open letter’ to me. I found it so hilarious that I couldn’t stop myself from putting it up on my blog. I hope nobody serves a court notice to me for infringing the copyright law!
A Message from John Cleese - British comedian
"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. 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.
2. Then look up aluminium, and nuclear, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing them.
3. 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').
4. 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.
5. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
6. 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, you are not grown up enough to handle a gun.
7. 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.
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 Nationon earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of 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.
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 Macdowell 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). In the meantime don't try rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, the way 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 totake 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, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God save the Queen!"

Now if only the British themselves had not sunk to a third-rate nation best known for football hooligans, beer gangs, hyper-obese children and creatures who think that Princess Diana should be rated at par with Shakespeare, Newton and Churchill, how wonderful it would have been to see John Cleese’s dream come true!


Rajdeep said...

A really funny post! Made me laugh all the way till the end! Thanks!


This post is a really hilarious one.You would be rather annoyed to know that job formats on various websites of IT industries,airlines and other service sectors have a provision for the kind of english an applier speaks;emphasizing on two types of english.The one who has a slightly accented english with an american "twang" and a truck driver slang added is the one who is praisingly promoted.
Such funny interactions with people speaking a so called US english really cheers up the otherwise gloomy corporate world.
Thank you Sir for this.

raspberryrains said...

This is absolutely hillarious! May I copy it and forward it to a few of my friends?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Ha ha! Yeah, I really could do with that bit of modification in the Microsoft spell-checker! It’s really tiring to add every “ise” and “our” ending word to the dictionary everytime I sit to type in the MS-Word.

Anyway, keep writing, Sir and thanks for gifting us with the smile and the laugh.

For your next post, I don’t have anything to say much: I hope your own students do that. Since, with time I’ve come to regard you as a teacher of mine, without being privileged enough to have been your direct student (and perhaps you’ve contributed more than most of my other teachers), all I’ve to say is this that I wish I could be with you, sir, at this moment. There still must be students who will reciprocate your faith and love and store a warm beating heart for you. I suppose, time will bring forth your real “pupils” who’ll give a true definition to the word “teacher”. Meanwhile, I must say that post ached me so much that I rang up my dear old Reshmi Ma’am, Padmalaya Ma’am and Sabu Sir to know if they are keeping fine (though they keep calling me and I had talked to them just a few days back. But, your grief suddenly reminded me of them…. God knows how much I’ve suffered living without their company for these two years in Durgapur…. They were possibly more my friends than my teachers…).

With warm regards,

ginger candy said...

Dear Sir,

Please take a look at this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14201796


Sayan Datta said...

Reading can be a delicious activity when one is running slight fever, as I am now. I enjoyed the post thoroughly; especially the part about reinstating the letter U in words such as colour, favour etc. and the sarcasm in the author's tone where, knowing the American people's lack of general vocabulary, he asks them to look up the aforementioned word in the dictionary! I loved the part about rugby and cricket and the excess use of the word 'like' (which is now a global phenomenon! The word is excessively used without context by many middle class Indians- we all know that. The other day I was watching a documentary about Egypt on the BBC, and I felt like throwing up as I listened to a young Egyptian lady use the word unfailingly glibly. I was also reminded of Suvro Sir's lament that the world is becoming too much alike...). My education of beer is too incomplete but the part on referring to the American brand as near frozen Gnat's urine got me laughing.
Thanks for the post, Sir.
Sayan Datta