It means honesty and virtue. Tolerance and decency. Pride and compassion. A steadfast adherence to values like trust, patience and free will. A citizen of Britain never veers from these deep-seated norms unless contaminated by a substance called ‘lager’ when he is miraculously transformed into a red-faced, small-minded, sweary, racist thug.
Different Types Of Briton
The relatively uninterrupted seclusion of an island has bred a diverse race of Britons and to truly understand how to be British means taking the time to experience all of Britain. Travel north to a place called ‘Scotland’ where men in skirts indulge their love of heroin, offal and cirrhosis. Travel west to Wales and then leave a few minutes later. Go as far east as is possible and marvel at the number of mobility scooters. And head to the far Southwest and see the famous Morons Of Devon, swamp-dwelling illegitimates who eat mud, speak in grunts and who, at weekends, occasionally play in midfield for Plymouth Argyle.
In recent years Britain has developed an international reputation for gastronomy to suit all tastes and palates. But make the effort to experiment and eat as the British do. 3am is the time to experience one of Britain’s famous kebab outlets where a specialised restaurateur will guide you through the various strains of listeria and salmonella on offer. Play ‘match the food to the photograph’ with one of the famous laminated menus and celebrate as you raise your ‘Britishness’ quota by six points while simultaneously reducing your life expectancy by up to 14 years.
All around London you have the chance to see how countryside melds with metropolis and how the Briton rejuvenates at the many stretches of semi-rural heathland such as Clapham Common and Hampstead Heath. Travel there at dusk and you might be lucky enough to catch glimpses of cropped-haired young men in leather shorts beckoning you into the undergrowth. A little adventure and you could find yourself face-to-face with senior Liberal Democrats or face-to-arse with the lead singer of Wham playing traditional male-on-male folk games such as ‘Feel The Monkey’, ‘Touch Yer Toes’ and ‘Intruder In The Basement’.
It’s a British cliché but essential if you are to fit in with local society. The average Briton apologises 56 times an hour and not just to people but objects too, including chairs and ironing boards. In 2011 alone, 642 people died from starvation after finding themselves trapped in an eternal apology loop. Unable to move on – and unsure who was actually in the wrong – they ended up apologising each other to death.
With around 50,000 pubs across the UK you will soon realise that they are the centre of the British universe and an important social facilitator. They are as much a meeting place as they are a forum so make the effort to play much-loved traditional pub games such as Darts, Did You Spill My Pint?, and What Are You Looking At?
Talking About The Weather
A conversation about the weather is the ultimate sign of being ‘one of them’. ‘Ooh isn’t it cold?’ and ‘nice day, isn’t it?’ are all forms of British code for ‘I’d like to talk to you – will you talk with me?’. Under long-established shared rules, the correct response to any weather remark is ‘Mmm yes, isn’t it?’ As a foreign visitor this will seem inane and dull, even bizarre. But stick with your weather conversation, however boring or strange it may seem, as 72% of conversations about the weather culminate in full sexual intercourse.
Your Private Space
Being British means an unspoken willingness to accept your compatriot’s private space, tacit boundaries of intrusion and entitlement to freedom of movement and freedom of thought, as Britons weave between each other regardless of speed or direction. All this changes the instant you lock yourself inside a small car. Now everyone is your enemy and you can do whatever you want. The normal you unzips and your inner Hitler screams detestable abuse at pregnant women and pensioners and you wave disgusting hand gestures as you exit slowly out of the Waitrose car park.
British society metes out harsh penalties for the wanton law-breaker. Whether it is daubing a wall in graffiti, vandalising a car or stabbing a stranger to death – all breaches will be met by the twin sanctions of nervous tutting and the exaggerated shuffling of a broadsheet newspaper.
This is a nation of queuing, sunburn and underdogs that has been made great by cultural landmarks such as Nectar points, Bill Nighy, and chasing bits of cheese down steep hills. So remember that, however repressed, pale and creepy this country may appear, every day the British Empire stands firm as Britons all across the world win silent territorial disputes by putting their towels on sun loungers in foreign hotels.
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