Really, I promise not to make a habit of it but this week my blogging subject is… something I saw on YouTube.
I know, I know. That’s just about the blogging equivalent of an aging Rod Stewart releasing seven consecutive covers albums, isn’t it? Although in my case, of course, the ‘money for old rope’ equation is merely half true. (And nor am I shamelessly exploiting credulous housewives – albeit, I must admit, only for the lack of opportunity).
Either way, here’s the (brief, and work- and family-friendly) clip:
What can I say? In my own non-celebrity way, I feel Hugh Laurie’s pain. I mustn’t make it sound like too much of a complaint, but as an Englishman in America, it probably is too easy to feel something of a novelty. Which is fun for a while, but not quite so much after six years…
Admitting the small sample-size of my little life, why, I wonder, is being British such an endless source of fascination to so many Americans? You can’t, for example, imagine a British chat-show host getting any real mileage out of a guest being from America. Graham Norton asking a ‘game-for-it’ Zach Braff to affect his broadest New York brawl for the sake of light entertainment? Go on, just say, “gimmie a howt dawg” a couple more times, it’s such a hoot… We’d be flipping over in a heartbeat, wouldn’t we?
In any event, what’s so interesting about anyone being from anywhere? I just don’t get it. You could be from the dark side of the moon and still be a boring old bastard. You could even have some distant connection to Ireland and still somehow not be the wittiest, most charming and most lovely person you could ever hope to meet. Even if you do call yourself ‘Irish’ without a moment’s hesitation and therefore suppose it, for the rest of us, our divine duty to bow down and kiss the craic of your emerald arse. (Of course, I’m writing this in New Jersey, so naturally everyone here is Italian.)
Anyhow, for my part, yes, I did have the magnificent good fortune of being English born, but, no, that’s not actually the only thing about me. For example, I also like cricket (which is not the same as croquet or polo) and that’s one of many other things I’m always happy to talk about. The same goes for the television career of Steve Coogan (the guy with the bad teeth in Tropic Thunder), and, let’s see now, crisps, biscuits and chips, the true identity of the Stig, Boris Johnson’s strange rise to power, the Stone Roses, Radio 4, canal boats in Camden, Brighton Pier, the Wetherspoons pub chain, feeding ducks with leftover bread, Peter Cook, and trying to get a ton-eighty in darts.
…And on the other hand. No, I don’t know the queen. No, I don’t know Tony Blair. No, I can’t record your voicemail message. No, I don’t stop whatever I’m doing at 3 o’clock every day for the purpose of drinking tea. No, my wife is not here to translate (there’s really no other way of saying “coke,” and anyhow if you can’t understand my words, ask me to repeat them.)
And lastly (and I really can’t stress this enough): No, I’m not from Australia.