“The English are so nice so awfully nice they are the nicest people in the world” begins the DH Lawrence poem written some 100 years ago. For me personally, growing up in the United States, it was less about their being nice and more about their being classy. For instance, if you were to sell an upscale car–whether English or not–you would have people talk in an English accent. If you have a butler or some form of manservant, then obviously he must be English as well.
I’ve never been quite sure as to where this came from given that the US is founded on the basis of telling the Brits to “please go suck it”. Perhaps it’s a “grass is greener” issue wherein we feel we were better off society-wise when part of the British crown. Or maybe it’s just an infatuation with actual royalty given that we seem to really want to have have some in the US whether it be a Kardashian or a Lohan. Of course, the British have their version of everyman royalty as shown in the above photo of Katie and Andre above who shit class like a diarrhetic poodle, so, I don’t really get the infatuation.
It’s on that last subject wherein the concept of the English being the least bit classy starts to wear thin. This was shown most recently when walking down the main street of Ciutadella in Menorca. That is a lovely town on a lovely island. This particular street has these covered walkways with white arches lining the street and eventually the open up on the main cathedral, a building that glows in a mottled shades of rose in the sunset as the last lights of the day glint off its limestone blocks.
Here, just as evening was setting in, I encountered an older English woman talking to a similarly old and similarly English friend. Without missing a word, this woman tossed a cigarette she was smoking in to the otherwise clean and stone-lined street. Once satisfied that the cigarette had been properly littered, she then let the most thunderous of farts that sounded like a rubber-soled shoe skidding for five meters down a linoleum hallway.
While this was all quite exceptional, I had really wished that there was a small child eating a bowl of pasta in a restaurant near her so that she could have climbed up on to the table, squatted and taken a piss on said child’s meal. That for me would have fully rounded out every diamond-edged facet in this gemstone of classiness from which this English woman had been carved.