Monday, July 17, 2006

John Cleese letter to America

To the citizens of the United States of America, in light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II resumes monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.8% of you who have, until now, been unaware there's a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America. Congress and the Senate are disbanded. A questionnaire circulated next year will determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid your transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. Look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Check "aluminium" in the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you pronounce it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour'. Likewise you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary." Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed." There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you should not have chat shows.

2. There is no such thing as "U.S. English." We'll let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u'.

3. You should learn to distinguish English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). Scottish dramas such as 'Taggart' will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.You must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon." If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become "shires" e.g. Texasshire Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1.

5. You should stop playing American "football." There's only one kind of football. What you call American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.1% of you aware there is a world outside your borders may have noticed no one else plays "American" football. You should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). You should stop playing baseball. It's not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders," which is baseball without fancy team stripe, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

6. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns, or anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because you are not sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you need a permit to carry a vegetable peeler.

7. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday. It will be called "Indecisive Day."

8. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left. At the same time, you will go metric without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. Learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't French, they're Belgian though 97.8% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

10. The cold tasteless stuff you call beer is actually lager. Only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer." Substances once known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," except for the product of the American Budweiser company which will be called "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

11. The UK will harmonise petrol prices (or "Gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it) for those of the former USA, adopting UK petrol prices (roughly $12/US gallon, get used to it).

12. Learn to resolve personal issues without guns, lawyers or therapists. That you need many lawyers and therapists shows you're not adult enough to be independent. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

13. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

14. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

* John Cleese [Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers, Torquay, Devon, England]

11 comments:

Mike Gardner said...

Hilarious! Thanks, Trevor.

!an said...

Excellent! I'm telling all my friends about this letter. Bush is such a cockhead. I can't believe Americans can't see how dangerous he is and if they do, why they're not doing the needful to remove him. He's a complete embarassment to humankind.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Mike and !an - John Cleese is a funny man. Interesting that only about 10 episodes of Fawlty Towers were ever made back in the mid 1970's and yet it is still funny. A cult programme in many ways.

Dmitry Linkov said...

That's cute))) Laughed when I read it).

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Dmitry - it is hilarious!

flintstone said...

By Tim Frazier

To the citizens of Great Britain,

I obviously got your letter long after it was written. The last incompetent leader elected in the United States of America was Bill Clinton, and we did it as a joke. It was obviously a mistake and got quite out of hand. We apologize and will do our best to not let it happen again.

In a successful attempt to rectify that mistake, we have twice now elected George W. Bush, who has done a fine job of clearing up the missunderstandings which resulted from the Benny Hill type antics of his predecessor. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is welcome to exercise the same amount of political power over these United States as she does anywhere else. We really don’t think it will hurt anything and doubt that any of our citizens will actually notice.

The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP is welcome to come visit and give advice. We like him just fine, even if he is a labor—sorry, labour—party leader. People can be as liberal as they want as long as they jump in with us and start kicking butts when some back-woods mountain pirate in the middle east crosses the line. Here are our responses to the list of rules you sent us:

We looked up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. We don’t care. We checked “aluminium” in the pronunciation guide. We are amazed at the fact that we use this material than anyone else in the world yet you want to tell us how to pronounce it. We are working on a language efficiency guide for you, to demonstrate how additional unnecessary letters like “u” in many words wastes valuable computer hard drive space. I agree we took these efficiencies a little too far in the decade or two prior to Y2K but we have learned our lesson and will restrict our tendency to abbreviate to common words, not date and time stamps. We recommend you obtain a copy of the “Blue Collar TV” “Redneck Dictionary”. We agree that using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. That (and many other reasons) is why we wholeheartedly support your immediate aquisition of the state of California. We won’t lift a finger to stop you and only request that in return you put a very high, impenetrable fence between them and us.

You’re right, there is no such thing as “U.S. English.” Let us know when you plan to assimilate California and we will make sure we have moved the contents of Redmond to Silicon Valley prior to the aquisition. The software company you mentioned (I’m afraid to put their name in writing due to the proliferation of lawyers you pointed out) headquarted in Redmond could do with a little British intervention.

We don’t need to learn to distinguish between English and Austrailian accents. Why would we bother when we don’t listen to anything either of you say anyway?

Regarding your request for us to learn the words to “God Save the Queen”, we have never understood why the Queen needs to be saved. Hasn’t she been saved yet? It seems some Brittish gentleman should get off his keister (look up “keister” in the “Redneck Dictionary) and save her, because you’ve been asking God to do it for a long time and it doesn’t appear He feels it’s an urgent matter (neither do we, we tend to be on His side—look up “Abraham Lincoln”).

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. You mentioned “American” football. We also believe it should just be plain ol’ “football”. The kevlar body armor—sorry, armour since that’s what you prefer—see how inefficient that is???—is a result of the proliferation of insurance companies and lawyers. We’re working on it. We have rugby, but it is played at secret locations and times to avoid insurance auditors and lawyers. We have successfully disguised it as Hockey…don’t get me started on why we didn’t have a hockey/American Rugby season last year, it’s a whole different topic…

Regarding your demand for us to stop playing baseball, the baseball team in my area shows up on game day, but apparently has stopped playing baseball, so you win that one.

Sure thing on the guns, just come on over and start taking them from us. You might want to bring some of that American Football kevlar body armor and a whole lot of Australian army buddies with you. And plan on it taking a looooong time (look up “infinity”).

Regarding your demand we carry nothing more dangerous than a vegetable peeler in public: like I said, we’ll comply with this a soon as you’ve successfully achieved your goal of taking away our guns (look up “cold, dead fingers”, “NRA”, and “Charlton Heston”).

We agreed with the American Car problem a long time ago. Thats why the American car companies now own most of the Europeon car companies (look up “Jaguar is now owned by Ford”. We do need help with our traffic system. We can’t even get people to walk on the right side in the mall here. I think we’ll outsource our traffic problems to Sweden. They have Volvos (look up “Ford owns Volvo”) so they are used to designing traffic flows for heavy, powerful vehicles, not dinky underpowered British horseless carriages.

Belgium is a country??? I thought it was a chocalate manufacturer.

I can’t speak to the opinions of other Americans, but you have valid points regarding beer. Guiness, however, licks anything else you have hollow. Imagine what the Irish could do if you guys got out of their business!

US gas prices syncronized with UK: This is apparently already in progress. My Dodge Magnum burns $300.00 worth a month (Look up “Daimler-Chrysler” and “American Muscle Car”)

In regards to learning to resolve problems without guns, lawyers, etc. you should become familiar with our continuim of force policies. We’re working on getting rid of the lawyers and therapists and escalating straight to the guns every time in order to make the dispute processes less time consuming.

Who killed JFK? It’s driving you crazy??? So THAT’S what happened to you guys!

Regarding your desire to collect taxes here back-dated to 1776, you are welcome to do that as soon as you complete your project to confiscate all our guns. You might want to get those vegetable peelers banned as well. We’re funny about higher taxes and have been trained to dispatch tax collectors with common houshold items such as bananas and whiffle balls. You’d be amazed at how much damage we could do with a peeler.

Sincerely,

Tim Frazier
http://www.4fraziers.com
President of Fraziertopia
Grapevine, Texas
These United States (Except California)

Trevor Gay said...

Brilliant Tim - I love it!

flintstone said...

Thanks for the compliment. I am a big fan of British humor and your great nation as well. Glad you took it for what it is, humor. You would be amazed at how many have responded with incredible venom in other places I have posted it…the most notable example was from a woman in Switzerland. I thought they were neutral!

I have a Brit buddy who has been promising a counter strike for over a year now. If he is really working on it that long it must impressive, but I think he is just bluffing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franz,

It has been pointed out to me that a humorous piece has been doing the rounds on the internet with my name attached.

It's called "Revocation of Independence", I'd just like to make it clear that I did not write this piece, and know absolutely nothing about who did.

The last time this happened was about 18 months ago, when somebody circulated a quite funny piece, again with my name attached

The internet being what it is, I'm not sure what to do about it other than put a notice like this on my own website. If any of you have any better suggestions, please let me know.

John


https://www.thejohncleese.com/spage.php?ID=17&P=1778

jack said...

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Woody said...

Thanks for that Jack. Perhaps the material could be used for school uniforms in the US.