20 Mar 2012

A misconception

For the most part the British are conceived as a stiff and cold bunch, void of warmth, emotion and affection. Certain topics are surely never discussed in British households and many subjects, clearly taboo. Keep a stiff upper lip and carry on. That's how we are conceived.

Allow me to educate you on the real Great Britain. Grab a cuppa and sit back for a few whilst I tell you a little tale, a true tale of something that happened in that stiff, puritanical country last week.

If the average American family visits the United Kingdom they will need to pack in their hand luggage two necessary items, one being a blindfold and the other earmuffs. I will start with the reason for the latter item, the earmuffs. They will of course be quite handy if you travel in the winter as we did, to keep your ears from freezing off your head but that purpose is secondary only to your need to slam them over your childrens ears should you at anytime walk past a television. I was watching television with my sister one evening, after the girls were in bed, and every other word was f*** or S*** or Bollocks. ( I didn't even use an asterisk for that word as most Americans have never even heard of it as it is one of our best kept secrets and one of my favourite words.) It wasn't an R rated movie just an ordinary show and it wasn't a one off thing. This is typical language on the telly over there. I know you are shocked aren't you that we Brits know and use such dirty words? But there you are the British swear and not just words like, "bloody and bugger" but horrid ones too. I am so used to that annoying little bleep emanating from my telly that I nearly fell out of my chair when the F-bomb shot out of it instead.

The other necessary item is the blindfold. This takes precedence over the earmuffs as the Brits, those Puritanical people that they are not, have no problem with nudity at all. Nope, not one bit. Not on the telly, in magazines, in adverts, not anywhere. Doesn't seem to matter where you you will see a naked person. It made Rosie giggle cos she is only 5 and Lily just said, Rosie, it's only a naked person. It's over here where nudity is taboo. People over here apparently have faces, ears, arms, hands, legs, feet and clothing.

My girls are used to the British way of life because of me. I want them to grow up with open and liberal minds. There is one little area though that took even me totally off guard. The day we went to London we took the underground wherever we needed to go. At first the girls were to excited to do anything but sit still with big goofy smiles on their faces but as the rides grew more frequent Lily started to read the signage and adverts. She was sitting opposite me and next to a businessman all dressed up in his suit and carrying his brief case. Out of the clear blue sky she asks, in a very loud voice, Mummy, what are condoms? The man in the suit cracked up and I followed her eyes above my head to an advert for safe sex. Oh no she didn't just ask me that on a crowded train? Oh yes she did. The man was waiting for my answer. I answered her briefly and told her I would tell her more when Rosie wasn't about.

Damn those Puritans and their straight laced life would surely never have such a thing on their trains. Not on the same trains that the school kids use to commute to and from school on. Well, they do. The one about Man Rape took a bit more explaining. I never realised that in one day we would learn about the worlds biggest diamond, buildings that are over 900 years old and condoms and rape and that so many subjects would be offered for free in a country where people supposedly say the word sex in hushed tones.

And I thought 4th grade was tough over here. IT was an educational trip this time around in so many ways.

Bollocks, next time I'm driving in London, I don't care how much it costs to park my car. LOL


Vivian M said...

HA! Isn't that the country where Monty Python was big? Argentina is the same way, they use sex and female Vegas-type show girls to sell anything, anytime. And beaches are practically topless and bottoms are barely covered with a G string. I never really noticed it until I moved to Florida - the South is pretty uptight, lol. And by the way, I thought Bollocks was an actress named Sandra, bwahaha!

val said...

OMG....people here have no idea do they? I love Vivian comment on bollocks!!

Andie said...

You would be even more shocked by TV etc over here in Oz, they are even more liberal here.

One Happy Mama said...

OMW ... I would have choked on my own words trying to explain that one in public to my youngin'. Jade told me she knows what a "men's club" is ... they talked about it at school. I asked her in private (she didn't want Jasmine to hear) and she was spot on ... OMW LOL

Tammie said...

Too funny! Most Americans do have that picture in their mind of the British. Personally, I believe that it is Americans who want to keep everything hush hush.


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