Tuesday, 30 June 2009

American quote(s) of the week

Overheard by The Doctor on the train yesterday:

Commuter: "So, what are you doing for the Fourth of July weekend?"

Fellow commuter: "Well...let's see. Friday, I think we're going to some barbecue. But I don't know what time. Saturday, I think there's another barbecue. I'm not sure what time or anything. And Sunday....well, let's see, I think we might be going to a barbecue."

Other than watching fireworks, is there any other Fourth of July activity? I think we had better buy some more charcoal....

***********

We are also enjoying the coverage of Wimbledon on US television. The NBC opening credits are especially great - shots of Big Ben, the Queen and the Tower of London. Then split screen shots of the players reminiscent of 'Dallas'. Every time they show Andy Murray they play that Brian May guitar riff on "God save the Queen'.

It's also refreshingly irreverent. Take the closing of the Centre Court roof, yesterday. As the roof slowly closed over, we could just imagine that back home on the BBC John Lloyd or someone would be intoning about a 'historic moment'. The US comment? "Hey, this is weirdly exciting!" followed by "well, you know it doesn't look you're inside at all - it's not like being in a giant Costco or something."

I'm sure the poker-faced officials at the Lawn Tennis Association are relieved about that.....

11 comments:

Nicola said...

I have been invited to a bbq too this weekend - it's all the rage on 'holidays'. Can't believe you are still buying charcoal tho and haven't yet been converted to the Great American Gas Grill!!

My favourite ever conversation that I heard when I had been in the states was actually in the shower of my new gym. Two girls were in adjoining cubicles having a conversation about a man...the girl hearing the story kept exclaiming, 'SHUT UP!' in the most American accent to every thing her friend told her. It was more like 'shuuuuDUUUP!' It was quite horrifying and I stood there stiflying giggles thinking 'yes, please do shut up, cos you're making my ears hurt.' Didn't stop me earwigging tho, thinking this would never be a conversation that would be overheard in the UK.

Expat mum said...

Wait - no. Shut - up!! I thought you were living in the 'burbs? There has to be a community pool involved somewhere.
Here in Chicago, where we have a big firework display on the lake front. if you're not invited out onto someone's boat you should just keep quiet and leave the country.

Potty Mummy said...

I think I may try and plumb into US tv for the remainder of Wimbledon then. (Although I have to be honest, I am totally not a tennis fan so the chances of my actually listening to any commentary at all are slim and none, and... oh, you know the rest...)

Mud in the City said...

And this year is the first year the LTA has stopped referring to the female players as "Miss" or "Mrs" on the scoreboards.

I mean, standards.....

Janet said...

Hi,

In some towns across America, there will be Fourth of July parades and massive fireworks. In some neighborhoods, children decorate their bikes and form their own little parades.

I live in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from DC. So, there will all the festivities on the mall and the fireworks in the evening to the north and then to the south, Mt. Vernon (G.Washington's house) will probably have fireworks.

Isn't this when Nathan's on Coney Island has the hotdog eating contest? The appeal of that sort of contest eludes me.

It's true about grilling; everyone has great huge gas grills, and many look like they belong in a commercial kitchen.

nappy valley girl said...

Nicola - fantastic. I think Ive heard the 'ShudddUP' form of conversation in American sitcoms. Will have to spot my first real life example though!

Expat Mum - well, seems like the fireworks at the local beach took place on Memorial Day. And we were going to go to Brooklyn to watch some with The Doctor's cousin, but then he found out they were in the Hudson this year instead of the East River, so you can't see them from his flat. So it may just be barbecues and watching fireworks on NBC for us.

PM - I must admit I'm less of a fan than I used to be. Andy Murray may be good, but I still hanker after the days of the (gorgeous) Stefan Edberg thrashing Becker...

Mud- ooh, that had passed me by. What with that, the roof and the floodlights, the tone is definitely being lowered!

Janet - I fear we have to upgrade the barbecue we inherited with the house - an ageing old-fashioned grill with one wonky leg. Looking forward to seeing what our town has to offer on the day itself...

mothership said...

Just SUCK IT UP AND BBQ, DAMMIT. Otherwise they'll revoke your visas ;)
Enjoy the fireworks and rampant, alarming patriotism. Nothing quite like it..
Also, listen in mild, hilarious astonishment when people say 'Oh, you guys don't celebrate the 4th of July over there?'
Tee hee.
xoxo

Absolutely Write said...

That's hilarious - don't ya just love Americans. I laughed at the image of a Dallas-style split screen, with the players looking very earnest I'm sure. Hope you're enjoying the coverage - does it make you feel a teeny bit homesick?

nappy valley girl said...

Mothership - would you believe that 10 mins after reading your comment I've just seen a raccoon in our garden? I was so excited I had to sit down and email my sister right away...

Absolutely Write - the only thing I'm homesick about is the sun. Why is the first summer I'm away the nicest one in years, whereas here June has been incredibly wet? Typical.

Iota said...

Husband got so fed up with his students asking whether we celebrate July 4th in Britian, that he now tells them we do.

Elizabeth said...

The other Chicago option is, of course, driving to Indiana to buy fireworks to set off on your own street. YMMV depending on neighborhood. Nothing says Independence Day like blowing off your hand.