A Short Guide to Great Britain (7)…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s narwhal is the one enjoying a nice bowl of tomato and basil soup in Harrod’s cafe. (N)

Shall we have another look in that slim pocket-sized book found in a junk shop A Short Guide to Great Britain, which dates from the dark days of 1942? It was handed out to all the US troops to read on the boat over to prepare them for the UK and its culture.

The British Like Sports. (continued)
You will find that the English crowds at football or cricket matches are more orderly and more polite to the players than American crowds. If a fielder misses a catch at cricket, the crowd will probably take a sympathetic attitude. They will shout, ‘good try’ even if it looks to you like a bad fumble. In America the crowd would probably shout ‘take him out.’ This contrast should be remembered. It means that you must be careful in the excitement of an English game not to shout out remarks which everyone in America would understand, but which the British might find insulting.

Indoor Amusements.
The British have theaters and movies (which they call ‘cinemas’) as we do. But the great place of recreation is the ‘pub’, or public house, is what we could call a bar or tavern. The usual drink is beer, which is not an imitation of German beer as our beer is, but ale. (they usually call it beer or ‘bitter’) Not much whiskey is now being drunk. Wartime taxes have shot the price of a bottle up to about $4.50. The British are beer drinkers – and can hold it. The beer is now below peacetime strength, but can still make a man’s tongue wag at both ends.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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