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12:42pm on Sunday, 20th August, 2017:

Quintessential England


When people ask me to explain the quintessence of England, I usually refer them to the final episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation.

In this episode, Captain Picard is visiting Data at the University of Cambridge and a tealady enters pushing a trolley.
Tealady: How'd you like your tea?
Picard: Tea? Earl Grey, hot.
Tealady: Course it's hot, what do you want in it?
Picard: Nothing.
(She pours him some tea)
(Smalltalk ensues between Picard, Data and La Forge)
(Picard sips the tea)
Picard: You said that this was Earl Grey, I'd swear that it was Darjeeling.
Tealady: Huh.

The above would probably apply to the rest of the UK, too, not just England.

However, I now have a second example to present, thanks to the good folk of Tunbridge Wells which is definitely English on account of how "Outraged of Tunbridge Wells" is a well-known stereotype of Little Englanders (that being how, apocryphally) they sign the letters they send to newspapers). It concerns the recent news story in which a festival of sex and sadomasochism set up in the woods on the outskirts of the town. Immediately, locals complained about the event to their councillors — not because it was a "kinky rave festival" but because they were worried about the parking problems it might cause.

Yup. You don't get much more English than that.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).