Archives for category: Over-cheeriness

From the Google group/message board for our building:

We met in the lobby a few weeks ago, you spotted Henry, my little
Chihuahua and thought he might be a suitable playmate for your little
I will be visiting this afternoon, is there any chance for a

No comment required.

A Rod takes a swing (thats Madonnas steroid-loving former squeeze to you)

A Rod takes a swing (that's Madonna's steroid-loving former squeeze to you)

This week, we went to see the New York Yankees play, er, no wait it’s coming to me, the Tampa Bay… Rays. Anyway, off we go on the B train all the way up the enormous new stadium in the Bronx, and here’s me expecting to find tons of material for this blog, but what do I get? Almost no surprises at all.

Because if you’ve seen any American telly or movies at all, hardly any of it comes as news. From Sex and the City, I know it’s all about drinking beer rather than watching a game. From Seinfeld and When Harry Met Sally, I know about the hot dog and popcorn sellers who come to your seat. And from every baseball movie I ever watched as a kid (Major League, Field of Dreams and that one with Susan Sarandon), I remember the little organ jingles they play when you’re sitting around waiting for something, anything, to happen.

(Not being a big sports fan, I wasn’t prepared for everyone to stand up at the beginning, Yankee cap on heart, and sing the national anthem. I stood, out of peer pressure, but self-consciously put my hands in my pockets, out of Britishness.)

One surreal ritual I didn’t know about? At one point during the game, when the guys come out to rake the grit smooth, the sound system chirps up with YMCA, and at each chorus, the rakers pause to do the dance. And everyone loves it. They also love the big screen instructions to clap in time to other bits of music, and no one seems to mind the unending advertising in every pause in the game. When you stop noticing the ads, it’s all over, right?

There are many excellent reasons to live in America. There are also many uniquely British things you come to miss. Like intelligent, serious news, that occasionally deigns to present, say, the Palestinian’s point of view. Or maybe anything that’s happening outside of the USA and Israel.

That is why we pay an extra $20 a month to get cable TV, which is the only way you can get BBC News America here.

But disastrously, it’s presented by the smuggest man your brain could conjure up: Matt Frei, that gorgeous creature pictured above. He is incapable of resisting a cheap quip, right in the middle of a serious debate. He is, in short, an egomaniac, and one who thinks he’s miles above the competition. Mention his name to any Brit (or Irish) expat in this country and I guarantee that they will start spitting with rage.

Might John Humphrys like a transfer to Washington? Please?

I’m told that New York doesn’t make as big a deal of St Patrick’s Day as Boston or Chicago, which dyes its river green.

How, then, do you explain this:

How's he planning to eat that sandwich?

How's he planning to eat that sandwich?

The main event is a parade, featuring lots of little girls doing dodgy Irish dancing, bigger girls twirling batons in front of marching bands, and some very large men. Many of the men are firemen or policemen, with each squad marching in order of seniority, meaning that the oldest and largest-bellied are at the front, and the flirtiest and youngest are at the back. Moustaches are apparently mandatory for all.


But as a Britisher who grew up in London in the 70s and 80s, the bit that left me openmouthed was the presence of a group marching under the banner, ‘Irish Republican Army’. ‘Ooh, it’s the IRA,’ said the couple standing next to me, and cheered.

It took all my strength, I tell you…

Unless your name is Vanessa, I doubt it:

Chinese takeaway really does come in the cute little boxes you see in the movies!

Chinese takeaway really does come in the cute little boxes you see in the movies!

And yes, some of the won ton sauce ended up on the shirt.

This is how my decaf latte arrived the other day…

And it's not even Valentine's Day yet...

And it's not even Valentine's Day yet...