Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Only in America (part #912)

I was at somebody's office the other day and while I was waiting for my appointment the owner tried to make small talk. And he came out with a remark that I hear a lot from Americans, and I have no idea what the appropriate response is. It goes: "You're from England? My sister's cousin lives in Ipswich!" Am I supposed to know her?

If you're American and wondering why this is funny, imagine the reverse scenario. You go to Britain and somebody says to you "American, eh? I have a distant relative in Toledo." Exactly.

The most bizarre part of this is, it has apparently been going on for decades. I recall British comedian Jasper Carrott doing a bit about this exact topic back in the 1970s after his first trip to the US: "British, huh? Do you know a Mrs. Jones in Southend?" "Maybe. Two eyes? Legs? Hair? Yeah, I think I do know her!".

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