How to blend with the English – a bluffer’s guide.

(posted by Mike, inspired by Mark, and dedicated to D)

1. Cultivate an appreciation of draught beer. Vital, unless you’re an Old Compton Street queen (imported bottled lagers) or an Essex girl (Bacardi Breezers).

2. Sartorially, either go for anonymous muted tones from Marks & Spencer (you will think of this as your “classic” look), or else adopt a suitable street-style which “expresses your individuality” in some way.

3. Your sense of humour should be evenly divided between gentle self-deprecation, wry observation and bitter, withering sarcasm.

3a. If you consider yourself to be a person of breeding, then you should also add “hilarious” impersonations of regional dialects to the above list.

4. In conversation, be prepared to hold forth at great length on:
· the weather.
· house prices.
· the appalling state of customer service these days.
· road works, diversions, and detailed discussions of the best route from A to B, quoting full road numbers and motorway exit points.

5. Complain about everything – but never directly to the person or persons who have caused your grievance, because that would be drawing attention to yourself.

6. Never deliberately draw attention to yourself.

6a. Unless you are drunk, in which case the reverse applies.

7. Use any of the following words/phrases:
· Blimey!
· Dearie me!
· Cheers mate! (double points if used sarcastically to someone who is just out of earshot)
· Oh, that’s all we need…
· Too clever by half.
· Just a quick one, then.
· Anyway. (used on its own, in an attempt to wind up a conversation)
· I’d give him/her one. (an all-purpose expression denoting a wish to commit an act of sex or violence; meaning differs according to context and gender)
· Here we go! (South of England) / CUMM-on! (North of England)

8. Speak – Very – Slowly – And – Distinctly – To – All – Foreigners.

9. Never attempt sexual congress when sober. Because that would just be embarrassing. And you wouldn’t want that.

10. Never cry in public, except in the following circumstances:
· Royal funerals.
· Major sporting defeats.
· When appearing on light entertainment shows.

Finally: never win at anything. There is nothing that the English respect more than a noble loser.

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