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Opening Salvo: Hurling Stones Across the Pond

As many of you know, this June’s Carolina Day commemoration was rather muted, as it came so close on the heels of the Mother Emanuel Nine tragedy. As one reader said, there was no reason for festivities when no one feels festive; the traditional (and particularly meaningful) church service was the sole event.

With no heat-soaked parade to sap our strength, however, the Mercury office was left with an unanticipated amount of energy to muse upon the legacy of America’s victory over the British. Not just on Carolina Day, but in the Revolution, the War of 1812 and ever since.

We came to the realization that Modern Britain only makes sense if we realize one thing: They’re trying to get back at us, their rebellious former colonies. Honestly, if the British had half-a-chance, they’d re-invade our Charleston, stealing our shrimp and grits and iced tea and pouring warm beer and mushy peas down our throats.

Don’t believe me? Well, consider the following pieces of the lobsterbacks' plan:

BRITISH CARS: The only way to explain the British automotive industry is to look at it as a mechanized form of suicide bombing. What else explains Lucas Electrics? Maybe your headlights fail in the middle of the night; perhaps your wipers conk out in the pouring rain. Fires, randomly timed and located, are also on the list. How many unsuspecting Americans thought they looked snazzy in a new Triumph Spitfire, just to experience all three?

Happily the threat has abated; the Japanese and Germans now build the perfect British sports car (The Miata) and the perfect British compact (the Mini); on the opposite end of the spectrum, fellow former-colony India is now responsible for Jags and Land Rovers. And I notice we’ve driven those Black Cabs off the streets of Charleston, too. Good riddance to bad rubbish, or as we say in America, “trash.”

TELEVISION: The Apprentice. Big Brother. Dancing With the Stars. Wife Swap. Unable to sell their four-wheeled death traps in the 21st century, our oldest enemy has stopped attacking America’s garages and now targets our living rooms via reality television. British-backed brainrot has even wrapped itself in the Stars and Stripes: American Idol? Used to be the U.K.’s Pop Idol. America’s Got Talent? Nope, Britain’s Got Talent!

Even scripted programming isn’t immune. English import House of Cards (originally known as Ye Olde House of Cardes, I bet) is a transparent attempt to make Americans as distrustful of our government as we are of Kevin Spacey’s terrible, terrible South Carolina accent.

FOOD: Kippers or fried catfish? Pease pottage or grits? Steak and kidney pie or pit-cooked barbecue? Spotted dick or Moon Pies? There’s no contest between our cuisine and theirs. We’ve even beaten them at tea, which is a bit like Oxford beating Clemson at football. If you don’t believe me, think about which you would prefer sitting on the porch in the summer, a tall, cold glass of Wadmalaw’s own American Classic, or a fussy cuppa Earl Grey?

[It’s at this point in the argument that the Anglophile is likely to bring up Nandos, a popular chicken chain in the United Kingdom. Well, sorry, not only is their food Portuguese, but they originate from South Africa, which isn’t part of Britain at all. Which bring up my next point …]

THE COMMONWEALTH: It’s like the United Nations, but more useless. Dangerously, though, its largest member (1.6 percent larger than the U.S.A.!) hangs perilously over our northern border. How many times did we try and drag Canada to freedom, only to be rebuffed? Well, if those maple-flavored mollies want to tip their toques to Liz Windsor, they can go right ahead. Any intrusion from their moose-back mounted infantry could surely be beaten back by a few SUVs full of tough Junior Leaguers.

Of course, this isn’t about violence. This is about England’s sour grapes over America “getting above our raising.” Don’t believe me? Consider this.

The most fun thing you can do at Cambridge or Oxford is push a flat-bottomed boat around a ditch. Most fun thing you can do at Clemson or Carolina is tail-gate from sunrise to sunset, then go watch the two battle it out on the field with 80,000 of your closest friends.

The Brits invented mini-skirts. We invented Daisy Dukes.

The Brits invented the mini-car. We invented the widebody jumbo jet.

The Brits invented wellies. We invented the weather satellite.

The Brits invented cricket. We invented NASCAR.

The Brits’ head of state will occupy their “tellies” until she finds her jewel-incrusted exit ramp of life, at which point her son will sit on the throne, but Ladbrokes will give you five to one that he will not leave Balmoral (and the start of the grouse season) in August for pomp and circumstance in London — should mama pass.

But, long as there’s another Windsor in wings, there’s nothing to look forward too in ol’ Blighty. We’ve got less than 460 days left of Obama on our throne, then he’s out to pasture, never to be heard from again.

Is this a great country or what?

Image courtesy flickr, user slgckgc, CC-BY-2.0

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