Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. I have just been (I swear I’m not lying) busy being responsible at work. This exercise I’m working turned out to be kind of a big deal this year, mostly due to the fact that I ran my mouth about wanting lots of big time players to come visit and well, I got what I asked for. The big guys came and went and were happy as can be and I get to walk away *winning at my job.
And, as a bit of a reward, during my big portion of the exercise, I got coined by a three star General, which in this world, is kind of a big deal….for me at least.
Yep. Wicked happy.
But anyway. No one wants to hear about how I went to bed on time at night and showed up sober, showered and ready for work every day. You want to hear about my summer camp activities. Well, the difference between this year and last year is that last year it seemed as though I was attending summer camp. This year, I think I ran summer camp. So the ridiculous antics were kept to a minimum, which seemed to disappoint the world. And I do mean the world, or at least 40 countries. If I had a euro for every time I heard, “When is fun Heather coming out?” (never, she was locked in a closet at home) or “Where have you been for the past 4 days?” (hiding), I’d have enough money to buy a yacht and retire. But let’s be honest. I did find time to socialize and play Ambassador of the World, per usual.
One of my personal goals this exercise was to battle the British full-on, full-force. This is a typical task of mine throughout the year because they are a mouthy lot and they deserve to be put in their place. Fancy accents or not, they are a bunch of international hoodlums and one of my worldly duties is to knock them down a peg or two any chance I get. Hourly, if time allows. And so this episode of, “How to Beat the Brits” goes a little something like this.
Last conference, during some dinner or meeting or drinking event, I stated again, for the millionth time that it is fucking unbelievable that for two English-speaking countries (or few countries) it’s funny how we never understand what the hell the other is saying. Well, it’s not just that. It’s that and the fact that the British are so fucking literal. Example. What do you put beers and ice in during the summer? They would say ice box. It’s a cooler.
But it doesn’t stop there. There are a million words that just don’t match. And so it had to come to a game in which flashcards were made and surveys were taken. Below you will find the flash cards. Each flashcard features a picture of a common item found in the world. The game part of this was to print out these flash cards and bring them to social events and quiz countries in which English is not their first language. So, for the record, the fucking Irish don’t count. No offense.
I will admit, as of today, the last day of the exercise, the results are split. So far on my side I have one German (shock of the day), Canada (but fairness to me, FRENCH CANADIANS, who typically are on my banned list but for today’s purposes, are not), France and Denmark on my side. UK has taken another German (who lived in the UK for 5 years so really, he doesn’t count), Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Irish (they can’t even pronounce “th” in a word so um, yeah, they don’t count either) and I think an Italian. Obviously I need to hit a few countries like Moldova, Portugal, Montenegro and Serbia or something to make a real game out of this, which is exactly what I’ll do during the closing ceremony today when I’m supposed to be doing something normal like focusing or working or maybe just listening.
Anyway. Here are the flashcards.
And in case any of you need an English refresher that doesn’t involve a crown wearing old biddy, here you go. Flashcards are as follows.
1. This is a faucet. It’s not a tap.
2. This is a bum. Also acceptable is hobo, but hobos usually have bags tied to sticks and wander dirt roads. What this is NOT is a tramp. A tramp is nicer version of a slut. It is not someone who sleeps the streets. It is someone who WORKS the streets.
3. This is a wrench. It is not a spanner. I can’t even say spanner without shaking my head.
4. While I agree with the UK that this is a wardrobe, many of my fellow Americans would just say closet. Except really closets are set inside walls so I’m not really sure this slide is valid.
5. This is a mother fucking flashlight. I say this violently because in the UK, it’s a TORCH. Well. No. The. Fuck. It. Is. NOT. A torch is a piece of wood with some sort of cloth on the end that is lit by fire and then you walk around with it in the woods while wearing a fur carcass that you just skinned off a wild boar. That is a fucking torch. Flashlights run on batteries, NOT FLAMES and I don’t want to hear anymore about it.
6. That little thing on the baby’s ass is a DIAPER. It’s not a NAPPY. Nappy is what happens to my hair when I don’t use anti-frizz solution. Nappy is what I take on a rainy Sunday if I’m feeling really lazy. Nappy is not something you strap on a little person to catch the bad stuff.
7. These are sneakers. Not trainers. I know you’re training in them, but REALLY.
8. This is a pitcher. I SUPPOSE it can be a jug if you want but it’s NOT A POT. A jug is actually bigger and a pot is for plants.
9. This green veggie is zucchini. It’s not a courgette. Well, actually, it IS a courgette but that is FRENCH and hey, UK, you can’t tell me the fucking French word because I AM NOT BATTLING THE FRENCH THIS ROUND. You lose. But speaking of the French…in my survey with one French participant, his answer to, “What is this slide?” was, “Sex toy.” He’s a special one.
10. Same goes for the EGGPLANT. It’s not an aubergine.
11. Rotary. Traffic circle. Both fall above ROUND ABOUT, though I’ll admit none in this case are very fun or original.
12. This fancy yard tool is a WEED WACKER. Now I know that’s pretty literal, wacking weeds and all, but I’ll tell you one thing this is not is a GARDEN STRIMMER. What in the FUCK is a garden strimmer? And for the record, while we’re at it. The land behind your house is a YARD. A BACK YARD. It is not a garden. A garden is the luscious little plot of land in which veggies are grown. It’s not where you sit your ass in the sun to day drink and grill meats. Clarification.
13. And lastly, but most importantly, THIS IS A GRILLED CHEESE. It is one of the world’s most delectable treats and it deserves to be addressed with respect. It is not called a cheese toastie. It cannot be made in a Panini grill thing. It cannot be put in a sandwich press machine. And it most certainly cannot be put in a basket thing and dropped in a toaster. Are you fucking out of your mind?? Grilled cheese is to be made with special bread that crunches when it’s cooked. It involves processed cheese of the flourescent variety. It involves massive quantities of butter. And it involves a slow grill on level 5 or 6 on the stove to get a good crisp and melt. I am a goddamned master of the grilled cheese.
So yeah. For anyone that was worried that fun and crazy Heather had been replaced by some quiet, responsible imposter, there you go. I’m still the same and I’m back.
Hope you missed me. 😉