Saturday, March 1, 2008

Letter from John Cleese

USA: Under New Ownership
Written by John Cleese and very good!

Now they've done it............We are Repossessed.................

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.
A Message from John Cleese

To the Citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for
President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give
notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical
duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas,
which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for
America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may 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:

You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You
will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and
'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without
skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by
the suffix -ise.

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to
acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises
such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of

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. You
will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. 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.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything
more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you
wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for
your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what
we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and 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. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you
understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French
fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato
chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in
animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be
referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted
provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also
acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation
on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of
British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as
good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to
play English characters.

Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and
a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a
cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind
of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough
will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities
to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every
twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of
nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash
you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will 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 2.1% of you are aware that there is a
world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will
learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to
take the sting out of their deliveries.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all
monies due (backdated to 1776).

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never
mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in

God save the Queen.

Only He can.

John Cleese

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love this one. Kindly allow me to respond, seriatim, as an Anglo-American Pythonophile who expatriated to the Mother Country for some years:

    1. Maybe the spelling of aluminium became deflated as the price of the metal did. In the early 1800s it was so rare that the ostentatious nourveau-riche used it instead of silverware.

    2. In London I once heard an elderly English Catholic lady complain that the new Catechism used American spelling. The Priest said, "yes, 'Savior' is spelled without a 'u', but I assure you it HAS been approved by the Vatican."

    3.a Alas, English youths have adopted the same habit of filler words like "like".

    3.b The music - although not the lyrics - of the American national anthem was set to an old English drinking song, "To Anacreon In Heaven." That seems appropriate since most of America's founders were usually blinding drunk by noon. Which made them very English, come to think of it.

    4. July 4th is "Thanksgiving Day" in England.

    5. To become truly English again, Americans will have to stop resolving personal issues at all, and relearn the English custom of slagging off behind others' backs.
    Granted, it does cultivate a more harmonious society, sort of.

    6. Vegetable peelers are soon to be banned in California, consequent to the endeavours of the Vegetable Liberation Army.

    7. Impossible. Banning cars will render Americans homeless.

    8. Americans will welcome going metric when they see their average adult body weights dropping from 264 to 120.

    9. No objection.

    10. Stop eating fried potatos altogether. Cf part 8, supra.

    11. This requirement is unnecessary as the American drugs of choice are now xanax and prozac and therapy.

    12. The proposed remedy is inadequate. Hollywood ought to be abolished altogether, and all American actors of any talent relocated to Bollywood. But only the ones who can dance.

    13. Australia will agree to offer political asylum to any Americans who dare to play rugby in New Zealand.

    14. Impossible. Baseball never really stops.

    15. Elvis killed JFK.

    16. Back taxes will be paid in the paper Continental Dollars which circulated in 1776, and in paper Confederate Dollars out of respect for Britain's support for the Confederate States of America.

    17. Only if you send real tea and toss the standard American brands into Boston Harbor.

    By the way, Mr Cleese and his admirers might enjoy this Canadian spoof song about the War of 1812:


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