Lest you think that I was ready to abandon my life in LA in favor of the verdant shores of England, I must admit that there were a number of things that caused me to want to return to the not-so verdant shores of home.
First, the British and perhaps the Europeans as well, need give up the whole Sarah Palin, head in the sand thing and admit that global warming is upon us and invest in some 20th Century ventilation systems. I’m thinking Encino, 1980. They know how to keep things cool in the San Fernando Valley and have done so for a while now. I’m sure they could teach these Brits a few things. The subway cars, buses, taxis and many fine museums are stifling torture chambers in the heat of summer. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hated the subway ride I attempted during the “Hurtwave.” It was truly awful, dreadful and vile – all at the same time. Take me back to the US of A where I need a cardigan and a wool blankie mid-summer in order to survive any indoor experience, be it an office, a shopping mall or a movie. In West Los Angeles we have no public transportation, but I’m certain the trains would be cold if we had them.
Second, there is the issue of appliances. I just don’t understand them. I needed to wash the towels that my in-laws used when they visited. These are modest people who do not engage in unwarranted towel use. However, with the size of our washing machine I could wash exactly two towels at a time. With a minimum two- hour wash cycle it took me a week and a half working day and night to clean my in-law’s towels. Recently, I was camping with dear friends who are twins (tall, funny, used to be hard to tell apart until one of them started wearing bright orange crocs 24/7). They told me about this great new product called an “Action Wipe,” which is described on the company’s website as a, “Natural, full body wet wipe for when you can’t shower.” My friends regaled me with just how useful these sperm whale-sized wipes can be. I cannot even repeat what the two of them can accomplish with a single Action Wipe. They neglected to tell me that the company motto is, “Your face is not a baby’s butt, don’t wipe it like one,” but that wasn’t my point. MY point was that I ordered a case of them and put them in the guest bath for the rest of the summer. No more endless sessions washing towels. Problem solved. And really, it was only my sister left to visit. But I digress. Back to my list of reasons to return to LA.
No baseball. My boys and I tried to watch cricket, which I assume the Brits think is an acceptable substitute for The Great American Pastime. Let’s put that matter to rest right now. I know a bat is involved, and a ball, and even something that vaguely resembles a pitch, but beyond that I cannot figure out how the sport differs from just standing around having a smoke. It also must be said that any athletic pursuit that does not involve actual movement, fails to cause accelerated cardio function (except perhaps in the fans) and, that can be played in an outfit suitable for a formal brunch at The Plaza Hotel, cannot actually be called a sport (I believe bowling, not withstanding the non Plaza Hotel-worthy outfits, should be similarly disqualified).
No English Muffins. If you come to America looking for American Cheese, well there it is, in every grocery store, gracing every Big Mac, all bright and smooth, and incandescent orange, just like any good cheese should be. But request an ENGLISH muffin in England and you’ll go hungry. We trudged kilometer after kilometer and searched shop aisle after shop aisle, to no avail. Someone needs to get on this immediately.
Next, there is the issue of our phone. You see it never rang. I mean not ever. Not even solicitation calls. No mortgage refinance offers. No promises of lower phone rates. No personal calls from Antonio Villaraigosa asking me to vote for this City Council person or that Assembly member. How could we possibly survive in such oppressive phone silence?
No peanut butter. First my children’s school, now the entire British Isles. It’s just plain wrong.
It’s flat. I mean F-L-A-T, like Kansas, only verdant. When you’re done with a seven-hour round of cricket and you want to get some actual exercise there is nary a hill to climb. Or what if you want to signal someone because you’re in distress? Generally you would climb to the highest point so that people would be able to see you for miles around. But you see, there’s the rub, there isn’t a hill, not even one. The tallest point in London appeared to be The London Eye, also managed by the same people who run Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the utterly fabulous London See-Not-So-Much-Sea-Life Aquarium. Given that they suckered me once I was stuck down in the flats. I did miss a good hill to climb. I need a little variation, even some undulation.
It’s landlocked. Well at least London is. Britain, not so much since in actual fact it is an island. London has the Thames, which is a tidal river, though I asked some of the natives about high and low tide and they seemed appallingly uninformed. When does it come in? When does it go out? How often does it happen? Is there any surfing involved? They knew not. Truth be told, I just missed the Pacific.
My children wanted the following items added to my list above.
- No In and Out Burger
- No nanny (theirs)
- No fish tank (ours, not the kind in an aquarium)
- No relatives, except when someone visited
- No massive collection of stuffed animals
And my husband wanted it noted that he missed his coffee machine.
Thank goodness we went home in August.Print This Post