I’ve written a few other blogs in the past, none as succesful as this one. Fourpints.com was the last BIG one, very popular with a handful of people but never the big hit I wanted it to be. It was about a Englishman living in (and ranting about) the U.S.A. It was fun to write though all defunct now. The site doesn’t exist now but thanks to the wayback machine I’ve managed to grab some of the best bits and post them here. It is rather a large entry so, I don’t mind if you don’t read it all in one visit!
May 16th 2004
This week I was thinking about ranting on about my wifes driving habits, but as I’d like to sleep in my bed and not on the couch, I think I’ll lay off that one for the time being. I think what I should do is talk about my accent. As most of you know I’ve lived in Detroit now for a little over two years, and as the MacDonald’s advert says “I’m Loving It.” Lost of great people and lost to see and do. When I first got here I was so impressed by how friendly people are. All that “Have a nice day” stuff was for real. People would buy me drinks, and genuinely be interested in any bullshit I spun. I could tell people I was part of the royal family but got kicked out because I didn’t keep up my union fees and they would seem to take it all in. People would ask me how I came to be living in the States, I got bored with telling them I met my wife on the net so I’d come up with more and more outlandish tales just to see how far I could go. So far I’ve told people that I’m an international drug runner and hiding low for a while in Detroit, I chose Detroit because of the fine Chuckie Cheeses restaurants, I’ve told waitresses that I’m over from England scouting locations for a major motion picture and that they could be perfect for the lead role. People would just take it in, I know where ever you go you are going to meet gullible people, but I seemed to be scoring a home run every time. In the end I put it down to one thing, my accent. It seemed to get me everywhere, but after two years of “I love your accent” or “I don’t know what he said, but it sounded so cool” or “Hey are you Australian” I got have to say I’m a little pissed of with it. I just want to go into stores or restaurants without having a crowd of people gathering around going “say something, I don’t care what I just want to hear you talk.” I mean imagine pulling up to the drive thru at Taco Bell,
Speaker: Hi welcome to Taco Bell, what would you like.
Me: I’ll just take four chicken quesadillas please (I was hungry OK)
Speaker: Sorry what was that?
Me: Four chicken quesadillas.
Me: Chicken quesadillas
Speaker: Yes we have those. How many would you like?
Speaker: OK. anything to drink
Me: Just a coke please
And so on and so on, it drives me nuts I tells ya!
Maybe its all my fault and I should not judge? But why is it so hard to understand me? So when I say the word Butter it comes out Budder. or If I say Free I don’t mean I’m giving stuff away, I’m saying the number three.
I have got so fed up of repeating my self I now go nowhere without my wife. I’ll say something and If I don’t get understood first time, I nudge the wife and she acts as my translator. We speak the same language goddamnit.
August 15th 2004
Not seeing someone for two years is a bad thing. You get to miss your family. MJ I noticed when I first saw him again was missing stuff too. Like some hair. No wonder he was wearing a hat! He had also gained a little weight. In fact in two years he’s changed a lot. Though I did notice he had the same socks.
MJ had chosen to come on a fly drive via Canada so he got to drive over here, an experience I wont forget in a hurry that’s for sure. I know it took me a while to get used to driving over here, but at least I have never driven on the wrong side of the road. MJ also had a little problem with the concept of turning lanes. These are a great Idea. Basically what they are is this, in the center of most roads here is an area where you can stop if traffic is a little heavy when you want to turn off. this way you don’t block all the other traffic behind you just because you want to go to Taco Bell.
Me: You can go dude, just stop in the middle.
MJ: Theres a truck coming!!
Me: Its OK he’s not allowed to hit you there.
MJ: I’ll go when I’m ready!
A little testy did our MJ get.
My fave though was this
Me: We need to turn right just here.
Me: Just here (pointing)
MJ: I can’t turn this guy is right up my bumper!
Me: He’s not allowed to hit you!!!
MJ didn’t seem too impressed with the Mall, no egg cups for him there, oh yes our MJ collects egg cups. In fact when I asked my wife about where we could purchase such an item, she laughed and said she hadn’t seen one since she was a kid. I thought she was joking, so I asked my mother-in-law, she says I haven’t seen one of those when Dawn was a kid. Still un-daunted I asked my Grandmother-in-law she said I haven’t owned one of those since Dawn broke it as a kid. MJ decided that a shot glass with DETROIT written on it was as close to an egg cup as he was going to find!
We decided to take MJ to see a spectacular fireworks show in Downtown Detroit. Each year about a million people go to watch the sky light up, and to be honest it was a pretty damn cool display. it wasn’t till we got home we found out that we only 400 meters away from some mad man who shot nine people.
We took MJ up north to the In-laws place by the lake, where he got to enjoy his first jet-ski ride, he liked it so much we didn’t see him for two days as he was out on the water all day long. And of course he fell off, which was hilarious, he dunked daughter number one in as well, just to make it really funny. The rest of the time MJ was here he was itching to go out on the water again. He should have been here for July 4th, the water was even better for riding! When he couldn’t ride the rest of his time was made up of drinking beer and playing FIFA 2004 on the PS2. All in all an enjoyable time was had by all. The rumour is that MJ will return some time next year, all I can say is he better bring more IPA!
December 15th 2004
The Amish Strike Back
I went out for a meal with Mrs Fourpints the other night, Logans Steak house by the way, you need to know if I ever come there again that when I say “Well Done,” I mean that I want my steak not to be pink in the middle. The Wifey ordered hers medium and mine was dripping more blood than hers. Do we see an error here? It’s the first time I’ve ever sent food back to a kitchen and quite frankly it ruined the whole evening. Logans does however allow you to throw peanut shells all over the floor, so I tipped the whole bucket of nuts over the floor before I left.
Our conversations our usually pretty bizarre, and to be honest I’m not sure how we got onto the subject, but we started talking about the Amish people. For those of you with you head in the ground, or are unaware of who these folk are. The Amish are a very simple folk who shun technology and electricity and hot baths. They work 16 hour days and pray to God in German. so check out www.amish.com for all things Amish. Though why a group who shun technology should have a website is beyond me! As I say I have no idea how we got to this but we came to talking about the Amish Mafia. Now before I get any complaints ( yeah right, I ripped into all faiths in the Anti-God rant and got nothing) the Amish Mafia does not exist. They just generally go around being nice to everyone. So the thought of a man in a black hat riding a horse and cart coming to get you for being nasty made me laugh. The Amish Mafia of course would not leave a horses head in your bed for non-payment of a debt, they would probably leave a nicely carved piece of furniture. If they were going to kill you for sleeping with one of their wifes (who just happens to be her husbands sisters), with a scythe that Ezekile had forged himself that very morning, they would feel obligated to build you a coffin from the finest pine then plant your dismembered corpse inside to a hastily erected barn. If they couldn’t find a scythe the could always turn out a wonderful Louisville Slugger to bash you round the head with.
The Amish are a quaint load of people. which is why it is fun to tease them at gas stations. “Hey, Whats that horse take, leaded or unleaded?”
They have a knack of turning the other cheek and smiling nicely at you. A smile that says, you will be burning in hell! For more information listen to Weird Al Yankovichs – Amish Paradise!
August 5th 2007
Almost the Same
Here are a few differences I have noticed about my old home town of Bury St. Edmunds in England and my new place of residence by Detroit.
1) In Bury St. Edmunds it can cost you five pounds to park your car for the day. In Detroit it can cost you $20 to pay someone to watch your car to make sure the battery doesn’t get stolen.
2) You can never tell what you are going to catch from West Stow lake, or from the working girls on 8 Mile.
3) Motown gave fantastic music to the world. Bury St. Edmunds gave the world Bob Hoskins!
4) Bury has many fine hotels such as the Angel, Detroit has many hotels where you can rent a room by the hour!
5) In Detroit you can get held up by a gun. In Bury you are more likely to get held up by a tractor.
August 4th 2007
Eight Random Facts
Random fact 1: I once got strangled by Harry Harrison in Dublin. We were sitting at a table drinking Guinness and talking about the old country (not too sure which one) when I mentioned to him that I’d never read any of his books. Next thing I know he lunges at me. So out of fear I went out and bought all his books.
Random fact 2: I once was ranked third in the UK for full contact martial arts.
Random fact 3: I have only ever broken one bone. My left foot. While at a very drunken event in Hinckley near Birmingham (U.K) I decided that it would be a really great idea to dance. At the time I thought I had merely twisted my ankle, but after three days of wincing and moaning I went to the hospital to find that I’d broken my foot. Man what a hang over!
Random fact 4: I have never been to Leeds.
Random fact 5: I once had a 25ft flag pole hit me on the head and knock me out.
Random fact 6: I have played Trivial Pursuit with Mimi LaBonq (Sue Hodge) from the BBCs T.V. Sit Com Allo Allo!
Random fact 7: I have a secret desire to one day own the car from Starsky and Hutch.
Random fact 8: I hate a lot of things, basically cos I’m a grumpy old sod really. A while ago I did this thing called 101 things I Hate. I was going to post a link but then I thought why don’t I just cut n paste it.
101 Things I hate
These are in no specific order.
102 People who don’t read things properly.
101 Throwing my back out.
100 That no one other than me remembers Christopher Lillycrap.
99 The Phrase “running around like a blue assed fly.”
98 People who say their times like “Two AM in the morning” or “Three PM in the Afternoon”
97 or ATM Machine….DUH WHAT DOES THE “M” STAND FOR IDIOTS!
98 Having no beer in the house.
97 My wife driving too close to the car in front.
96 Norwich City Football Club.
95 Gregg Henson on Live 97.1fm farting all day. (he got fired so I need to find a new 95)
94 My CD’s and DVD’s not being in alphabetical Order. (the kids move them!)
93 That the Band The Big Dish never made it big.
92 People who think that saying “WHATEVER” is how to end an argument.
91 That I can’t play the guitar.
90 Pigeon Street Flooding, but no water damage happening to the tower block.
88 Fish. the fishy type, not the lead singer of Marillion.
87 Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” song…..YES IT IS ABOUT HIM YOU STUPID WOMAN!
86 Not having enough money.
85 Getting Old
84 Kids running on my lawn.
82 When a song you really like comes on the radio and then someone will walk up and talk to you all through it.
81 That I can remember my 9 times table, but none of the other ones.
80 Colin Lee the Former Spurs player. He was the only sticker I never got in the 1979 Panini sticker book.
79 Being older than I was when I wrote “getting old” for number 85
78 The youth of today.
77 People who tell you how to do something, when it’s quite obvious that you are all ready doing it!
76 Reality TV. If I want Reality, I’ll go to work!
75 The Lack of Cheese N Onion Crisps in America.
74 Having to explain myself when it so obvious that I’m right.
73 People who make me repeat anything quick-witted I say. It ruins the entire joke!
72 That I can’t explain why it takes 15 paces to get to my fridge from the computer but only 14 to get back.
71 The Kids wondering why i’m shouting at them when I see them sticking a knife in the pop-up toaster.
70 That I can walk around my yard at night and not trip the security light, but when I’m trying to sleep any tiny insect can set it off every five minutes.
69 People with dirty minds. (you work it out)
68 People who don’t leave voice-mail messages and then wonder why you never call them back.
67 Why the government insists on covering up U.F.O.s
66 Why the government wont cover up David Icke. (preferably with a plastic bag over the head)
65 Nostradamus not predicting Grand National winners instead of Hitler.
64 Why my dog will not play with a squeaky toy, but will play with the only clean pair of socks I have left.
64 Music not being as good as it was.
63 Waiting a minute longer than I have to.
62 Bognor Regis
61 Gas (petrol) Prices going up again.
60 Terrorist Cowards blowing up innocent people in the name of God.
58 That I can’t find the oil leak in my car.
57 Being woken from a deep sleep to be moaned at.
56 Adverts for anything. If I want to buy something I’ll go looking thank-you.
55 Not being able to listen to Elton Johns “Tiny Dancer” without hearing the name Tony Danza by mistake.
53 J.K. Rowling.
52 Making stupid lists.
51 Really wanting a Marlboro even though I gave up two years ago. (now eight years ago)
50 Motor Car racing of any kind.
49 People who interrupt a conversation you are having and change it to what-ever they want.
48 People who talk about car engines as if it’s the most awesome thing ever.
47 That I can’t get a chicken pot noodle here.
46 The Guy who shot John Lennon.
45 December 4th.
42 Not being able to get up north more often.
41 Myself, for starting this list.
40 People who beat my straight with a flush.
38 The F.C.C.
37 That I can never find a pen when I want one.
36 That the Young Ones were Killed off.
35 That I could never solve Rubik’s cubes.
34 Missing my pals back in England.
33 Not being at events where I get set fire to. (you have to be in the know, to know ;-))
32 Dog Poop.
31 Gangsta Rap.
30 Pogo Sticks
29 Having 300 channels and having nothing on that is watch-able.
28 That my wife has never gotten to see Bagpus.
27 That the world will end on December 21st 2012.
25 That I get no gratitude from my wife for working 70 hour weeks, but man, remove a spider from the bath and you are a hero.
24 Volkswagen Beetles.
23 Kids Cartoons of today.
22 The Discworld novels (after pyramids)
21 Banana Songs. ones that go na na na na na na.
20 Repeating myself.
19 Repeating myself.
18 Roget’s Thesaurus. Man that guy had too much time on his hands.
16 People using mobile phones in cars.
15 Trailer Trash.
14 Being called David.
12 The Number 13.
11 The New Wembley.
10 Being paranoid that my toilet might have the 1% of germs that Domestos doesn’t kill.
9 The ending to Bards Tale III being so disappointing.
7 Greeters at Wal-mart.
6 Being stuck in a traffic jam for an hour and not seeing what the hell it was that held you up.
5 The intersection at 23 Mile and Gratiot.
3 Rain on my day off.
2 Frogs. The ones from France that is.