Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wordy Wednesday: Us and the US

I'm not a great fan of Ricky Gervais, creator of "The Office", but I enjoyed reading about his appearance on the Letterman show, and his top ten stupid things that Americans say to Brits. At number three was one of Dan's favourites, "What do you mean lets go and smoke a fag?". Whilst number 9 was "Do you know the Queen?"

There's been quite a lot of coverage of America on the news recently. Apparently there was some kind of election there. On the Aimilia Hour, they showed some interviews where they asked Americans why elections were held on a Tuesday. Most of them didn't know. The reason is so that people travelling by horse and cart can spend all day Monday getting there and Wednesday getting home without missing church on Sunday, and whatever TV shows are on Thursdays. 100 million people voted yesterday. That's a lot of horses. The roads must be covered in shit.

Here we always have elections on Thursdays. No one appears to know why this is, and the practice only started in the 1930s. People in the UK tend to walk to polling stations rather than go by horse, but that doesn't usually take 3 days, so I bet that it's something really boring like being able to set up the polls and count the votes all on weekdays so they don't have to pay anyone weekend overtime rates.

One American who probably left his horse at home yesterday and went to vote in something a little more modern was Ken Imhoff, who spent 17 years building a Lamborghini in his basement, because he couldn't afford to buy one, and then had to pay someone to come with a digger and dig a hole in his house so he could get the car out. I wonder at what point during those 17 years he realised that he had a problem?

The lounge in my third floor flat is probably just about big enough to build a car in, although I suspect the landlord might have something to say about that, not to mention getting the car out, so I'm trying to think of something I could build instead. An airplane would probably be too large. Perhaps a jet pack or some kind of helicopter? I'll keep thinking, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.


Chris Wood said...

First! In your face everybody!

Chris Wood said...

I had no idea that was why American elections were on a Tuesday! Live and learn, eh?

No, I have no idea why ours are on a Thursday. Maybe it's because the next day's Friday, so even if your party loses, there's some good to it.

Actually, that sounds far too sensible for our system.

Brian o vretanos said...


There must be a reason, but even Margaret Thatcher when she was PM claimed not to know, which is odd, since she would have been choosing the dates. If I was PM, I'd hold one on a Monday just to see what happened.

Most European countries have theirs on Sunday.

Bee said...

Nice synchronization with Chris to be first on each other's blogs. Brings a tear to my eye!

Bee said...

I can't believe I learned something about my country from a Brit (I say that in the nicest of ways).

The polling place for our area is a bowling alley one minute from my house. They also serve beer.

Brian o vretanos said...


Ours are in schools. If they laid beer on I'd be much more inclined to vote ;-)

Bee said...

I would build one of those motorized scooters for handicapped people. You can put racing stripes on it so it'll look fast while you're rolling it down the stairs.

Brian o vretanos said...


That's a great idea! I love those things, because you're allowed to drive them on the pavements and send everyone flying.

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm pretty positive I'll never get my couch out of the house, so to think about even building a car (or another couch, for that matter) has to get scratched off my to do list, post haste.

Jean Knee said...

so, do you know the queen?

how bout you, Chris-do you know the queen?

Brian o vretanos said...


Instead of making a car, maybe you should construct a door big enough to get the couch through. Problem solved! ;-)

Jean Knee:

Although we live on an island that would fit into your average Texan ranch, I've never bumped into the Queen, amazingly enough.

Tracy said...

See, I skipped all of the hoopla on Tuesday and did the early voting thing last week. I'm no dummy. I found out four years ago that Election Day is the day all of the crazy fanatics come out and stand by the road and wave their signs at you and yell at your car as you drive by. I kept getting the overwhelming urge to run one over so I decided to stay home this election day. I didn't want a huge dent in the Super Mini Van made by some crazy fanatic sign holder who wouldn't stop screaming at me.
I do have three questions though that I hope you can help me with, Brian Dear:
1. Why do you need to have elections at all? Isn't the Queen the end all be all? If you have the royal family running things, who is being elected for what?
2. Is there any way you all could just come and "collect" Posh but leave Becks here. I kind of like to look at him. But when I look at her it makes me want to hit someone with my supermini van.
3. DO you know the Queen??? :)

Brian o vretanos said...


1. The House of Commons holds virtually all of the effective power, and it's them that we elect.

2. I hadn't actually realised that Posh and Becks lived in the US - surely he lives in Europe somewhere playing football? America is the ideal place for celebrities like them, so I wouldn't dream of depriving you.

3. ;-)

catscratch said...

My horse is tired now and I'm home in time to go to church Sunday.

Brian o vretanos said...


More importantly, you're home in time for some well-earned beer!

Dan said...

smoke a fag ja- ja - ja
That still makes me giggle.

We should make election day a national paid holiday, show proof to your employer that you voted to get paid for the day.
The turnout would be amazing.

Brian o vretanos said...


Good idea. Better make it 3 days paid holiday, though, so that people travelling by horse aren't disenfranchised ;-)