I have to admit it: the English are some of my favorite people on earth. While I've never been accused of being an Anglophile, it's hard not to take a shine to our friendly neighbors across the pond. So here are 10 reasons why this US dude loves the English:
1. I love their accents.
I'm convinced you can get away with saying anything with an English accent (think: Russel Brand) and it all sounds charming. An Englishman can curse us out, slinging the the most vile insults, but US people will just smile and say "Isn't that cool, he sounds like James Bond!" Words like "bloody" and "cheeky" never cease to amuse me, and I'm intent on practicing my fake Cockney accent until I, too, can pick up drunk American girls who are out of my league just by chatting them up.
2. They travel.
The British get out and see the world, not as fancy high-budget vacationers, but by backpacking humbly amongst the locals. Everywhere I've gone around the world I've run into English backpackers since it's almost a rite of passage to get out and see the four corners of the earth when you're in your late teens/early twenties. Then again, if I had to live in some of the rainy, miserable towns they call "home," I'd probably want to travel, too! One word of advice, if I may: put on more sunscreen because you guys burn like lobsters.
3. They read.
"But wait, that's not fair," you might be saying, "Americans read, too!" The TV Guide doesn't count. After all, the English invented our damn language and have a reverence for good literature like none other. Whether reading a Shakespearean sonnet, Orwell's biting political metaphors, or a humble American travelogue called South of Normal, the limeys always fancy a good page-turn while discussing it over a pint. They even add extra vowels to words, like favourite and armour, just to check if we're still paying attention!
4. They make amazing music.
The English have surprisingly good taste in music for a lily-white, tone-deaf people. Of course we all remember a little band out of Liverpool called the Beatles, but the Rolling Stones, the Police, the Clash, the Cure, the Sex Pistols, Led Zepplin, Elvis Costello, Queen, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, etc. are also English groups. I love it that their music tastes aren't confined to one genre - acts like Brian Eno, Morrissey, and David Bowie push the musical envelope, and certainly we Americans are suckers enough to listen to any attractive bird if you give her the last name "Spice." But I still wonder why they all sound American when they sing?
5. They back us up in every war.
Damn straight, we'd all be goose-stepping and speaking German if it weren't for the huge cojones of Winston Churchill and the English people. Throughout history, no matter when or where the US had a scuffle, the English have been there to watch our backs - even when it wasn't their fight. Except, of course, when we fought them, ourselves, in the American revolutionary war. Just a hint, fellas - next time don't stand out in the middle of a field wearing bright red.
6. They are polite.
An Englishman's civility knows no bounds. Our friendly flyers of the Union Jack still believe in civility, chivalry, and manners, concepts that their US counterparts wouldn't recognize if they jumped up and bit us in our McDonalds-sized bums. In fact, the English are so polite that they won't give you a direct "No" answer, instead skirting around the question for hours so not to appear rude. The funny thing is that English people think us Americans are so sweet it's sickening, but in reality it's just our waiters and waitresses because we're trying to squeeze a bigger tip out of you.
7. They are champions of justice.
Sure, the British empire kicked everyone's arses at one time, colonizing countries with less effort than it takes to spread marmalade on their biscuits, but OTHER than that, these blokes have been pretty good guys, especially when it comes to their national condemnation of the slave trade. The royal government was the first to outlaw the African slave trade, and then stop the practice of slavery all together to their colonies. They were champions of the Abolitionist movement in the western world, even though it placed them at a huge financial detriment.
8. English humor is hilarious!
This is another surprising trait of English life, but they are damn funny! I grew up watching the dry wit of the Benny Hill show (though mostly for the scantily clad women in bikinis) and then enjoyed Monty Python's the Holy Grail and Spinal Tap. That later evolved into an appreciation for the comedic genius of Ricky Gervais, as well as movies like the Full Monty. Even a Canadian playing an Englishman, like Mike Myers in Austin Powers, is hilarious! But sorry, you lost me with the whole Mr. Bean thing - he's just creepy.
9. Their passion for soccer. Oops, I mean football!
Ahhh footy! There's nothing like a good kick on the pitch with the lads! Though I do think it's bollocks that players flop and roll around just to get a red card pulled, but we can work on that. Their passion for football is second to none, so well respected by Americans that we stole the name "football" and assigned it to our own sport that's all about throwing and catching a ball with our hands. Typical American logic.
10. It's easy to poke fun at the English.
Sorry, chaps, but it's too easy to "take the piss" out of ya. You smoke fags, you dance like left-footed zombies, and some say your teeth look like you could eat corn through a chain link fence (though I don't find that to be true anymore.) But I still get sadistic pleasure watching ya'll go bloody crazy for a football match, only to see it end in a tie. (I don't get it! Someone just score, already!) You talk about the weather more than the average American meteorologist, line up in queue like it was no one's business, and revel in "curtain twitching," (which I thought was a freaky sex thing, but turns out is just spying on your neighbors.)
So those are my 10 ten reasons this US guy loves the English! Thanks for being some of the most friendly, cool sons-of-guns on the planet. Good on ya, and God save the Queen! The next pint is on me!
Please stop in and say hi, or read my next article:
"Top 2 ½ reasons why I love the French."