John Cleese’s Letter to America

John CleeseTo the cit­i­zens of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca:

In the light of your fail­ure to elect a com­pe­tent Pres­i­dent of the USA and thus to gov­ern your­selves, we here­by give notice of the revo­ca­tion of your inde­pen­dence, effec­tive today.

Her Sov­er­eign Majesty Queen Eliz­a­beth II will resume monar­chi­cal duties over all states, com­mon­wealths and oth­er ter­ri­to­ries. Except Utah, which she does not fan­cy.

Your new prime min­is­ter (The Right Hon­ourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world out­side your bor­ders) will appoint a min­is­ter for Amer­i­ca with­out the need for fur­ther elec­tions. Con­gress and the Sen­ate will be dis­band­ed. A ques­tion­naire will be cir­cu­lat­ed next year to deter­mine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the tran­si­tion to a British Crown Depen­den­cy, the fol­low­ing rules are intro­duced with imme­di­ate effect:

  1. You should look up “revo­ca­tion” in the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary. Then look up “alu­mini­um”. Check the pro­nun­ci­a­tion guide. You will be amazed at just how wrong­ly you have been pro­nounc­ing it. The let­ter ‘U’ will be rein­stat­ed in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neigh­bour’, skip­ping the let­ter ‘U’ is noth­ing more than lazi­ness on your part. Like­wise, you will learn to spell ‘dough­nut’ with­out skip­ping half the let­ters. You will end your love affair with the let­ter ‘Z’ (pro­nounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suf­fix “ize” will be replaced by the suf­fix “ise”. You will learn that the suf­fix ‘burgh is pro­nounced ‘bur­ra’ e.g. Edin­burgh. You are wel­come to respell Pitts­burgh as ‘Pitts­berg’ if you can’t cope with cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion. Gen­er­al­ly, you should raise your vocab­u­lary to accept­able lev­els. Look up “vocab­u­lary”. Using the same twen­ty sev­en words inter­spersed with filler nois­es such as “like” and “you know” is an unac­cept­able and nef­fi­cient form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Look up “inter­spersed”. There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jer­ry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad lan­guage then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to devel­op your vocab­u­lary then you won’t have to use bad lan­guage as often.
  2. There is no such thing as “US Eng­lish”. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-check­er will be adjust­ed to take account of the rein­stat­ed let­ter ‘u’ and the elim­i­na­tion of “-ize”.
  3. You should learn to dis­tin­guish the Eng­lish and Aus­tralian accents. It real­ly isn’t that hard. Eng­lish accents are not lim­it­ed to cock­ney, upper-class twit or Man­cun­ian (Daphne in Frasi­er). You will also have to learn how to under­stand region­al accents – Scot­tish dra­mas such as “Tag­gart” will no longer be broad­cast with sub­ti­tles. While we’re talk­ing about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devon­shire in Eng­land. The name of the coun­ty is “Devon”. If you per­sist in call­ing it Devon­shire, all Amer­i­can States will become “shires” e.g. Tex­as­shire, Flori­dashire, Louisianashire.
  4. Hol­ly­wood will be required occa­sion­al­ly to cast Eng­lish actors as the good guys. Hol­ly­wood will be required to cast Eng­lish actors to play Eng­lish char­ac­ters. British sit-coms such as “Men Behav­ing Bad­ly” or “Red Dwarf” will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy Amer­i­can audi­ence who can’t cope with the humour of occa­sion­al polit­i­cal incor­rect­ness.
  5. You should relearn your orig­i­nal nation­al anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after ful­ly car­ry­ing out task 1. We would not want you to get con­fused and give up half way through.
  6. You should stop play­ing Amer­i­can “foot­ball”. There is only one kind of foot­ball. What you refer to as Amer­i­can “foot­ball” is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world out­side your bor­ders may have noticed that no one else plays “Amer­i­can” foot­ball. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play prop­er foot­ball. Ini­tial­ly, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a dif­fi­cult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rug­by (which is sim­i­lar to Amer­i­can “foot­ball”, but does not involve stop­ping for a rest every twen­ty sec­onds or wear­ing full kevlar body armour like nan­cies). We are hop­ing to get togeth­er at least a US Rug­by sev­ens side by 2005. You should stop play­ing base­ball. It is not rea­son­able to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played out­side of Amer­i­ca. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your bor­ders, your error is under­stand­able. Instead of base­ball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders” which is base­ball with­out fan­cy team strip, over­sized gloves, col­lec­tor cards or hot­dogs.
  7. You will no longer be allowed to own or car­ry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or car­ry any­thing more dan­ger­ous in pub­lic than a veg­etable peel­er. Because we don’t believe you are sen­si­ble enough to han­dle poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous items, you will require a per­mit if you wish to car­ry a veg­etable peel­er in pub­lic.
  8. July 4th is no longer a pub­lic hol­i­day. Novem­ber 2nd will be a new nation­al hol­i­day, but only in Eng­land. It will be called “Inde­ci­sive Day”.
  9. All Amer­i­can cars are here­by banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you Ger­man cars, you will under­stand what we mean. All road inter­sec­tions will be replaced with round­abouts. You will start dri­ving on the left with imme­di­ate effect. At the same time, you will go met­ric with imme­di­ate effect and with­out the ben­e­fit of con­ver­sion tables. Round­abouts and met­ri­ca­tion will help you under­stand the British sense of humour.
  10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Bel­gian though 97.85% of you (includ­ing the guy who dis­cov­ered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a coun­try called Bel­gium. Those things you insist on call­ing pota­to chips are prop­er­ly called “crisps”. Real chips are thick cut and fried in ani­mal fat. The tra­di­tion­al accom­pa­ni­ment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Wait­ress­es will be trained to be more aggres­sive with cus­tomers.
  11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made with­in the dou­bled for tea made with­in the city of Boston itself.
  12. The cold taste­less stuff you insist on call­ing beer is not actu­al­ly beer at all, it is lager. From Novem­ber 1st only prop­er British Bit­ter will be referred to as “beer”, and Euro­pean brews of known and accept­ed prove­nance will be referred to as “Lager”. The sub­stances for­mer­ly known as “Amer­i­can Beer” will hence­forth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”, with the excep­tion of the prod­uct of the Amer­i­can Bud­weis­er com­pa­ny whose prod­uct will be referred to as “Weak Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”. This will allow true Bud­weis­er (as man­u­fac­tured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Repub­lic) to be sold with­out risk of con­fu­sion.
  13. From Novem­ber 10th the UK will har­monise petrol or “Gaso­line” as you will be per­mit­ted to keep call­ing it until April 1st 2005) prices with the for­mer USA. The UK will har­monise its prices to those of the for­mer USA and the For­mer USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol gal­lon — get used to it).
  14. You will learn to resolve per­son­al issues with­out using guns, lawyers or ther­a­pists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and ther­a­pists shows that you’re not adult enough to be inde­pen­dent. Guns should only be han­dled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out with­out suing some­one or speak­ing to a ther­a­pist then you’re not grown up enough to han­dle a gun.
  15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been dri­ving us crazy.
  16. Last but not the least, and for heaven’s sake.….it’s Nuclear as in “clear” NOT Nucu­lar. Tax col­lec­tors from Her Majesty’s Gov­ern­ment will be with you short­ly to ensure the acqui­si­tion of all rev­enues due (back­dat­ed to 1776).

Thank you for your co-oper­a­tion and have a great day.

John Cleese autograph signature

John Cleese

Gepubliceerd door Stijn Vogels

Natural born probleemoplosser met een oog voor usability, design, trends en details. Professioneel bezig met letterwoorden als SEO, SEA, SMO, DIY en CYA.