I Say, Old Chap!

Is it my imagination or is Tony Blair beginning to look like Prince Charles?

I just saw him on The Daily Show - and, boy, what a nice guy. All smiley and saying such nice things about George Bush like "I like him" when you know there was some tension between those two guys.

But Blair looks thinner, grayer and his ears are starting to stick out a little bit. He's morphing into Prince Charles.

Maybe it's a British thing. Maybe when Brits age, they all move toward the same look until by the time they're 100, they all look like the Queen Mother.

Before I actually knew any British people, I, like most Americans, was oblivious to the charm of the British.

There was a time when a British accent kind of grated on my nerves. I couldn't stand to hear Hugh Grant open his yapper. And then my husband and I became friends with Jonathan and Nicola and got all caught up in the charm of the British accent. I could sit and listen to Nicola's mum talk all night now, couldn't I?

Then we discovered British humor. I used to not like it at all and when flipping through the channels and seeing one of those English comedies on PBS I had head shots of Benny Hill flash before my eyes and I couldn't change the channel fast enough.

And then about a year and a half ago, Jonathan and Nicola gave us a season of The Thin Blue Line on DVD. The first time we watched it, we just laughed. It was just funny. And then the more we watched it, the funnier it got. A month after Jonathan and Nicola left, my husband and I were spending most week nights with our wine in front of Thin Blue Line laughing our butts off at British antics, whistling along with the theme song, and repeating lines along with the show. Sad as that may seem, we did it on most Friday and Saturday nights, too.

When we were in England two years ago, the Londoners were very nice and didn’t make fun of our American accents, but they were sometimes slightly condescending. The kids and I were at the top of The Monument and I pointed and said, “Look, there’s the ferris wheel.” I could hear a woman next to us, Emma Thompson, start to chuckle and then she turned to her companion, Paul McCartney, and said, “Ohhh, how cute! She cooled it a ferris wheel!”

Well it is a ferris wheel! And not just in the States either. You can make it all big and charge 12£ to ride it, and cool it The Eye, but it’s still the thing that American George Ferris invented for the American World’s Fair that was held in America.

Now before you think I’m anglophobic (which is a real word; you can look it up) or anti-British, keep this in mind: I loved England when we visited there. If London weren’t so expensive, I’d try to talk one of my kids into moving there.

And one of my favorite all-time things to do with Jonathan and Nicola is to hear their impressions of an American. Hearing Nicola twang, “Let’s go into Newton and buy some stuff at the storrrre” makes me laugh harder than the Queen’s Birthday Present episode of The Thin Blue Line.

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