Saturday, May 15, 2010

England Swings Like a Pendulum Do. If By Pendulum You Mean 50,000 Square Miles Inhabited by 51 Million People Ruled by Constitutional Monarchy.

I have been to London!

I have met the Queen!

Actually, two queens.
Co-owners of 69theGrope.

I mean, 69theGrove, the charming B&B where we stayed in Vauxhall, a quiet residential neighborhood where visitors can enjoy some good clean fun.

We met in church David said, squeezing Kanley's hand.

Normally, I'm not that comfortable staying in the sort of place where you have to stare at a notecard proclaiming Christ is Risen while you eat breakfast. But in this instance, Christ seemed to be risen from his disco nap, just before slipping on some tight pants and heading out to the local.

Because London is all about a good time.

I know what you're thinking, dear reader. Wasn't traveling difficult with my current injury? Well, though the flight was no picnic (despite the presence of plastic cutlery), the week itself was great, since like certain other international travelers, I realized the value of having a strong young man to tote my luggage.

Of course, when you've been with someone as long as I've been with the Cheez, you know he isn't merely a rent boy. More a long-term lease boy.

Remind me to use my stomach muscles to support my spine I said before we departed. Which he took as license to spend the entire week shouting Suck in that gut, soldier.

England was very educational. Even the flight over, on which we watched The Young Victoria like we were cramming for the history exam.

Here's what I learned: circa 1830, sending a chick sheet-music was the equivalent of making her a mixed tape in 1987.

If my knowledge of Brit history was shoddy, my knowledge of Brit geography was even worse. Riding the tube from Heathrow to the B&B, I realized that everything I knew about London came from Clash songs.

White Mac at Hammersmith Tube Stop

As we wandered around the city that first day, I did manage to recognize Buckingham Palace. Even without the usual assortment of flowers and teddy bears they festoon it with every time something so crap happens in Britain they put it on the American tellie.
Oh my, I hope they aren't going to pre-empt my Wheel of Fortune for this one

Tellie, btw, is British for T.V. This is one of the confusing things about Britain: they barely speak English over there.

Fancy a fag? is British for Want a cigarette? whereas Fancy a bloke? is British for Fancy a fag? It's an amazing place, really.

Speaking of fancy fags, at the Tate Britain we learned about the early-17th-century roots of Glam Rock, as in this stunning work, Portrait of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, Later 3rd Marquis and 1st Duke of Hamilton, Aged 17.

Nothing I enjoy more than a little glitter dust and an interregnum.

Much of the art in England seems to be portraiture. This is not exactly a good thing, given how unattractive the British are.

That is not me being narrow-minded, btw. It is a proven fact. It was in the Telegraph. The Telegraph is British for slightly less sleazy newspaper than most of the rags we've got over here, but what are you complaining about, at least when we're reading them on the Tube you don't have to see our faces.

It was actually the ugliness that sold Cheez on the trip in the first place. Let's go to England, he said, we will be like Supermodels compared to everyone there.

We were mostly supermodels of rudeness, since we spent the entire trip talking in a wide array of fake British accents. Upon viewing this JMW Turner painting, Cheez felt the need to proclamate upon its subject matter:
Religious cows is queued up for church. More godless ones is in the foreground, grazin. Whereas I would find myself rummaging through my luggage as I struggled to get dressed each morning, intoning Where's all me knickers at?

The thing about the British is, they really talk that way. All the damn time. We saw a family in the park playing with their dog, a fluffy white terrier named Snowy. At some point, the adorable daughter of the family threw the ball and Snowy caught it just before it landed in the lake in the park. A mustachioed sixty-something man passing by happened to observe the scene and said to the dog, Well done, Snowy. As if the pup had just rescued his entire regiment from the Germans.

I swear, the whole country is like a freakin Monty Python sketch. Right down to the physical comedy.

Turns out, John Cleese etal. weren't writing comedy. They were merely transcribing it.

I took that video at the Tower of London, another educational stop. We learned that if you are locked up in the Tower awaiting execution, you might as well graffiti the hell out of the place, because what are they going to do if they catch you?

Also we learned that you can trace just how fat Henry VIII was at any given time by checking out his suits of armor, which escalate in size from Normal to Husky to What Else Can We Melt Down to Get Enough Metal to Cover this Fat Fuck?

It is a true fact that there is nothing I enjoy more on vacation than a
ranger-led tour.

In England, due to not having had the good sense of inventing Smokey the Bear, they do not have rangers in Smokey the Bear hats.

So their version of a ranger-led tour involves a guy dressed up like the bloke on the gin. Who spends an hour or thereabouts traipsing around the Tower of London telling you tidbits like For five centuries, we had a moat here that was the largest open toilet in London. Quite a line of defense. Or Pardon me, that was the marmite and cheese panini repeating on me.

Apparently, they should actually call this attraction The Body Functions of London.

We had a great empire not so long ago Smokey the Beefeater noted. We should be proud of that. But we're not. Because we're British.

It's true, they were British. I love it here said Cheez the Canuck I've never been any place where people embarrass even more easily than me. And he was right. At an event at the Victoria and Albert Museum, when a young hipster approached a craft table out of turn, I jokingly muttered Orderly queue under my breath--causing said hipster to apologize profusely and flee the room in mortification.

They were such easy pickings, it was hardly worth mocking them.

And yet, we did.

More of which to be detailed in my next blog post, which at the rate I'm going, should be made sometime in July. July 2011.