Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spouse Sparrow observes America, Part I

When I came to America from Northern Ireland, I found that White Americans love everything Irish, and claim to be descended from anything Irish, Scottish, or Welsh (in that order). They won't boast about being English, which is understandable; I try not to tell people my father is from the south of England, I prefer to say he's in prison for rape and murder, it sounds a lot better.

My accent is a good mix of Scottish and Irish and has been described as "lilting," and as soon as anyone here hears it they tell me of their Irish connection. I love family history, so I ask "Where abouts in Ireland are they from?" They never know, they just have some vague memory of being told such. Their lack of knowledge of where they came from and of their immigrant ancestors explains why they treat the current immigrants with such disdain; they have theirs so f**k everyone else.

The old stereotypes of quaint pubs, politeness, umbrellas and "Top o' the mornin'!" is usually all they know about the U.K. and Ireland. Every year around St. Patrick's Day I get the dumb questions, "Can you get me some leprechaun statues from Ireland?" or "What's the best way to cook corned beef?" I have long since stopped trying to explain the politics and that I'm British, not Irish, because all I get is blank stares. I had a guy tell me his father was a "full-blooded" Scot from Glasgow, he even had his own bagpipes, as if this was the proof I needed to believe he was a real one. If I tell people "I'm not Irish, I'm British," they look at me as if I just shot their dog. I go by Scots-Irish now, it's less traumatic for them.

I have never seen so many coloured people in my life. I have nothing against them, it's just a culture shock. It's like London, only here the white people have trouble understanding my accent. I would have thought it would be the other way round, but no, it's like flies on a pane of glass; they just don't get it. I speak slowly and loudly as you do for foreigners, when you hear that everyone speaks English where ever you go, it's all lies, even, it seems in English speaking countries. I do split second translations: "pants" not "trousers," "chips" not "crisps," I'm "pissed" because I drank 10 beers, I'm not "pissed" as in being angry, but you're my best f**king mate.

I just let Mrs. Sparrow do the talking, which really throws them as people direct their questions to me, being the man and all. To add to the confusion, I also look after our almost-3-year-old Nestling Sparrow, I just know they are thinking, "That's so gay." Once in Wal-F**k (as my wife calls it), I couldn't change the baby in the bathrooms because as usual they were stinking so instead I chose a quiet corner of the crafts section and used my changing pad on the floor, and within minutes I noticed staff hanging around (Wal-F**k is famous for its lack of helpful employees that can melt into the floor so you can never find them). The staff were pretending not to watch me and trying to point me out to the security at the same time. It was hilarious. When I was done changing the baby, I had a tail following me which I took at speed around a few aisles, then I walked up to the group of people that thought they could take me down and said in a clear, loud, Scottish type accent (it slips out), "I was changing the baby, not stealing stuff!" They looked sheepish as if, "Oh crap, how did he know we were watching him?" I left that section with one of the women still following me.

America is very big and packed with people. It has mega crime, disasters, crashes, prejudices and stupidity. The people see things as black or white, with no room for compromise. It's like Paisley and the DUP back home performed mass brain washing, but these folks are too fat and lazy to riot.

Spouse Sparrow


johnnyboy said...

So, you're enjoying it, then ?

Foot Eater said...

I started reading this in a state of utter confusion. Fat Sparrow is British? Then I realised you were Spouse.

Interesting how you censor your curse words. Your wife has no such inhibitions.

Spouse Sparrow said...

Its like when I worked in france, a nice place if it wasn't for the people.

Most words I don't censor, I just don't like the 'f' word.

Me! said...

You need a slap. You shouldn't censor youself!

Kieran said...

This is gold, pure gold. It's about time we got that Bryson fucker back.