Monday, 13 October 2008

Tis The Season

I'm pretty sure I've read this article, or something very much like it, a few times before. In short it goes something like this:
Confident, possibly attractive New York women fails to pull at some event or other.
Realising the problem isn't her, or her judgemental, condescending manner, she looks for another possibility.
She comes up with one. English men's fear of sex, say, or, in this case, English drinking habits.
Generalises to whole country.
Includes flight to notorious drinking spot (Dublin, Ibiza or where ever, in this case Prague), so she can compare her normal, rarefied society to the oiks.
Writes article about it for quality rag (maybe also gets book deal).

The hilarious follow up to this is the stampede of English people rushing to furiously agree with her in the comments, because Englishness is nothing if not the ability to look at other English people with revulsion, followed by a handful of denials and at least one sarcastic reply.
I went to a dinner party the other night. The new yorker sitting next to me was brash, rude, passive-aggressive and generally unpleasant, so I stayed quiet for the first part of the meal while enjoying a little wine to dull the pain. Later I made sarcastic remarks about her she didn't understand.

Then, probably, a second wave of responses will come when the Guardian, seeing how many hits the Times piece is getting, writes a piece asking if the English (or British, as it tends to be for these things, though I doubt that Sarah Lyall met a single Northern Irish or Welsh person) are really like that. Normally concluding that, despite the Guardian (and Times for that matter) readership being sensible people who like a bottle of red wine or two with dinner but don't have a problem and who aren't generally loutish on holiday, well yes we guess the British really are a terrible lot, except when we aren't.

Really, though, to top it all off Ms. Lyall should have made the now de rigueur trip to Rotherham and had an awful experience in a Working Man's Club. Though may be that's in the book.

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