Dear American friends,
I wrote just a few days ago, almost apologetically, about the weirdo Brits weve been sending your way to attend the Jackson trial. From the emails I have received, it seems I am not alone in thinking it unusual that we are sending you strange tourists, and not the other way around. How fortunate then, that today I happened across an event that was to restore my faith in the natural order of things. An event that I simply would not have believed had I not witnessed it myself. It was something that could have been in a movie, and that movie would have been called An American Abroad. OK, so in the movie, the main character would also have been wearing plaid golfing trousers, but everything else was just perfect. Very early this morning, as is my wont, I was perusing the wares for sale at a famous antiques market in Bermondsey, South London, whereupon I overheard the following exchange, between a lady American and one of the more exclusive market traders.
She says (Imagine an accent that was originally Rockaway Beach, tempered by perhaps 10 years in Miami), “Sir, can you tell me about this?” and points at a huge and beautiful silver tea service.
”Certainly Madam,” says the trader. “Its a five-piece, sterling silver, Georgian tea service, 1765.”
At which point she bellows across to the other side of the market, ”Harry, Harry! You gotta come take a look at this its a sterling Georgian silver tea service, and its only seventeen sixty-five!”
Then she turns to the market trader, purse in hand, and leans forward. She whispers conspiratorially, “Will ya take fifteen?”
– Barry Shaverin