How the English Do Multiculturalism

It’s pretty much a mishmash of, “Here’s some shit we brought back from conquering people we now intend to honour, why are they always mad at us?”

St. Patrick's Day display with wrong things in it

Actual display in Cambridge today, untouched photo.

If I wasn’t so tired and busy (as you can tell from the lack of updates to this blog as we’ve gone back and forth overseas making our UK move permanent), I’d run a contest to name how many things are just so very utterly wrong with this display.

In England…

…cars warn you that if you put short people in a backwards capital L in the front seat, the air bag may deploy and turn the person red as they are sent flying through the air because apparently backwards letter Ls contain no restraints.

After this happens, you are required to read a book about the alphabet from the last page about the letter ‘h’ through to the first page about the letter ‘i’. Presumably this is so you can spell, “Hi, sorry we made you all red and airborne.”

Although you’d think they’d also require you to get through to the letter ‘l’ to see how to properly install your person-containing letters. That’s government cutbacks for you.

airbag warning

This needs a speech balloon that says, “WAHHH!” But of course, not “WHOAH!” because that’d be just wrong.

I Guess It Beats “Crunchy Frog”

It’s well known that the UK has a dessert named “spotted dick” and that it’s funny. They know it, I knew it growing up in Canada, and I’m pretty sure Americans and other English-speaking nations know it. It’s a joke so overdone that it’s fairly boring.

But what I wasn’t prepared for was how weird other food and grocery store items would be here in the UK. I have posted before about Tesco offering strange substitutions and I’m always glad when the bad substitutions they’ve brought me have never been a whole, loose octopus in lieu of walnut bread. Truth be told I’m rather terrified to ever order walnut bread from Tesco given our family’s constant issues with sharknadoes.

Still, avoiding the sea-life-inducing nutty pastries hasn’t kept me safe from stumbling across all manner of weirdness on the Tesco site. For instance, they offer romantic drug pairings:

Tesco recommends pairing paracetamol and ibuprofen

I suppose it’s better than recommending a nice chianti to go with your fava beans and MAOIs.

They can only sell you two of them because UK law prevents non-pharmacies from selling larger quantities of over-the-counter drugs. Also, because allowing paracetamol-ibuprofen combo parties to rage all night long would be inappropriate in a nation that has historically been corked to the gills by a respectable bedtime.

Then again, you might need multiple kinds of pain killers if you had to deal with jerks all day long and were required for some reason to glue them together:

tesco jerk paste

Or maybe this is something we’re supposed to slather on Steve Martin?

And yes of course I understand what it actually is. Just be glad I didn’t make a much more disgusting joke about it.

Not that anyone could make a disgusting joke or three about putting toads in one’s holes on a daily basis:

Tesco everyday value toad in the hole

Don’t you value toads in your hole every day?

Or even leaving such strangeness to your poor aunt:

aunt bessie's large toad in the hole

Aunt Bessie is apparently looking for a reason to have an all-night paracetamol-ibuprofen party.

No doubt there are Brits out there right now ready to rail at me about the deliciousness of “toad in the hole” and okay, fair enough, hot dogs on a bready base is probably quite tasty. I’ve been meaning to try making some, especially since our rental house here has no smoke alarms (!!!) so the whole bit about super-heating oil in a pan first at least won’t be as loud here as it would back in our Austin house.

But sometimes when you’re browsing Tesco’s website you stumble across something even more disturbing than imagining your aunt with large amphibians in her orifices.

Sometimes there’s this:

Mr. Brain's pork faggots

* mic drop *