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Opinion February 2013

The British Keep Coming!

By John C. Liburdi

Then came the arrogant James Bond. How unnerving it was to see our poor CIA guys always playing second fiddle to 007, although there’s some consolation in knowing that both 007 and Prince Harry got caught with their pants down while in Vegas.

Many Americans have enjoyed visits to beautiful England — great historical sites and very polite people. That said, the British didn’t even discover America; yet, they intended to work our forefathers to death and tax them to death. Of course, the American Revolution got the British to finally wake up, smell the tea, and get the heck out of Dodge in 1781. Well guess what – it looks like they’ve been slowly sneaking back into our country.

This invasion first began in 1964 when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Not long after that, the Rolling Stones arrived here and began their search for satisfaction. Then came the arrogant James Bond. How unnerving it was to see our poor CIA guys always playing second fiddle to 007, although there’s some consolation in knowing that both 007 and Prince Harry got caught with their pants down while in Vegas.

We also had a British pied piper jump the border fence and spark construction of a commercial spaceport in New Mexico. From there, rich “astrotourists” will take joy rides aboard Virgin Galactic spacecraft; meanwhile, American astronauts have to humbly bum rides on Russian spacecraft. Even worse, the aloof British are judging our people on “America’s Got Talent.” And now they’re in many of our home and garden TV shows, trying to pass off designs they saw in Tuscany as their own original ideas.

And then there’s that British guy on CNN who replaced our Larry King — the great American icon with his colorful suspenders, thick glasses and gruff manner. Now we’ve got a dapper, smooth-talking Brit who interacts with guests as though he were a psychotherapist: “So you sawed off the head of your sister’s Barbie doll when you were a child; there certainly must be some merit in having done that. Let’s discuss it further after this commercial break.”

Plus, much to Detroit’s dismay, the British put Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles on our highways, thankfully with steering wheels repositioned so the cars travel on the right (proper) side of our highways. Not many of us lowly commoners here in the U.S. can afford those deluxe cars, so exporting them here was probably just a failed ploy to generate demand for English metric wrenches.

To be completely fair, the British did bring something wonderful into our lives. We used to have our own fairy princess in the person of Jacqueline Kennedy. When we lost her, the Brits shared the enchanting Princess Diana with us. Then, after her tragic death, our Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan each tried to assume the role; neither of them got it quite right. Finally, Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) came onto the global stage as the world’s new fairy princess, certainly a joy to most Americans.

We find Kate to be truly fascinating; likewise, the British are understandably enamored with America. Over there they drink brown ale and eat kidney pie; here they can enjoy premium beer and grilled steak. They’ve grown weary of their boring cricket and chaotic rugby games; now they’re keen on American baseball and football. And they know there’s no comparing Stonehenge – a pile of dumb rocks – to our awesome Grand Canyon. And, they find it refreshing that we don’t have nobility in this country; every taxpayer is a sir or a ma’am.

In the final analysis, we really should be more welcoming toward the British. But before we reopen Ellis Island, they need to eliminate one intolerable irritant. Their Cockney gecko is driving us crazy with his phony flamboyance and strange talk. The guy is on TV, on the radio, on the Internet, in the newspapers and in our junk mail. Planes flying above our beaches tow giant gecko banners back and forth all summer long, and gecko bobble-head dolls are beginning to show up on our car dashboards.

That slimy, bug-eating gecko needs to be replaced with one of our furry, nut-eating chipmunks, one that speaks bloody proper American. Take a hint gecko – even William Shatner (The Negotiator) knew when it was time to bow out. He did the honorable thing by faking his own death in a commercial.

Rest assured, we don’t want any real harm to come to the gecko, but we do implore the British to quickly relocate the tiny bloke. Perhaps he could be shipped off to somewhere in the British Commonwealth where his Cockney dialect and presumptuous manner would be more appreciated. As one suggestion, the people of faraway New Zealand would certainly welcome him into their lives. Cheerio Mister Gecko!


Liburdi's recent book "Italian American Fusion: Italy's Influence on the Evolution of America" is available at on-line bookstores and the Kindle Reader.

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