The French - and some other stuff (please if you're American, tell me if you think this is funny)

We do dislike the French, but not for the reasons you might not like them - because they didn't join in a war.  No, no, no. I'm mean really are you serious? Do you think when our grandfathers were stumbling up that beach in Normandy, you know that moment when the icy waters of English channel crept up to their balls and they looked up at a beach being strafed by German machine gun fire - do you think they were thinking "I'm so glad the French are on our side - it would be so much worse if they weren't."

No.  We don't hate they French because they won't join us in pointless and open-ended land wars.

We just hate them because they're all better dressed than us and their women are far more sexy - and oh yes HAVE SEX - and they have edible food.  Oh and their football, I'm sorry, I should say "soccer" team actual has a chance of not being beaten by the Germans in the world cup.

I must admit, I'm getting slightly paranoid now about using everyday words because far often than I expect it turns out they don't mean the same here.  So I'm walking around Walmart looking for shoe polish thinking well, I could ask someone, but they'll probably just look at me really strangely and then when I explain that I want something that will put a shine on my shoes, finally the penny will drop and they'll say something like "Oh! You mean cobbler's jism."

And it works both ways - this is a true story, an American friend of mine went into a tailor's shop in Scotland and said "Hi, could you sew some buttons on some pants for me, so I can use them with suspenders."  He got a very funny look from the Scottish tailor "I'm sorry sir, we don't do things like that round here."  It was only months later that he realised that what we call pants are what I think you call either boxers, or panties, depending on the gender.  And what we call suspenders - that's what I think you call a "garter belt."

See it's a minefield.

You American's seem to be getting very worked up about gay marriage - that seems to be a big issue here.  Did one of your presidential candidates compare it to marrying a horse? It's not really a big issue in England - gay marriage I mean. What English people really don't like is anyone enjoying themselves. I mean we're not very good at enjoying ourselves, we tend to just drink to much, get into a fight and then either go to casualty - I'm sorry "The Emergency Room" or go and eat really, really spicy Indian food - that's what we do when we try and enjoy ourselves, and it doesn't work mostly, so we don't like other people doing it, especially if they're any good at it.  

So actually we're pretty cool with gay marriage. We have no problem with that at all. We're like - I'm miserable, I'm married - why should they be cruising around have energetic sex with multiple partners guilt-free.  He wants to marry him? Let him. Let him come home from a day at work and be presented with a detailed list of his faults. Let him listen to a twenty minute tirade about how buying the wrong size mayonnaise from the supermarket just shows that "you just don't listen." On the other hand, another thing English people really don't like is cruelty to animals.  So there probably would be an outcry if anybody tried to marry a horse.

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