Dronfield: A Mid-Sized American Town

Butchers, High Street

Before the satire starts, I’d like to point out that I am lucky enough to be a dual-national citizen of both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and I am proud to be part of, and respect both these nations equally. Even though both are fundamentally nuts in the mind.

Having pondered the differences between the UK and the US for most of my life, I have drawn several parallels between the small towns both here and there. So here goes with part 1, my four reasons for Dronfield being one with America.

Burn the witch!

First and foremost, I can state with complete honesty that the “small town” mentality is alive and well on both sides of the Atlantic. The people like what they like and anything viewed as new, or different, however controversial, is an abomination and should be regarded as such and damned by all. And preferably burnt at the stake. Although on this side, us English types are content with simply rolling our eyes and emitting a sharp sigh in this face of change. I won’t say what happens to different things over yonder, if I’m not careful I may be disowned.

‘Cos you wanna be where everybody knows your name

Looking at it from the opposite angle, the advantage in small towns is that everybody knows everybody. And if you don’t, you almost certainly know somebody through somebody else. That is just de facto, on both sides of the pond. The difference arises on how people react to meeting new people. I’ll always say it, Americans, on the whole and in my experience, are incredibly friendly people who would perform open heart surgery on you if you asked, but his is another subject all together. Everybody knowing everybody else can be viewed as a disadvantage, dependant on whom you know through whom, and if they are, or are not, a prat. This again leads me to my next point…

We don’t care for your kind around here, mister

Picture the scene. You’re in the boozer one early summer evening. It’s raining, obviously. You stand at the bar in the traditional enforced silence, supping a pint. Somebody you’ve never seen swings the door open, the expected sound of spurs clinking replaced with the clinking of cheap tins of beer in (insert supermarket name) bags. This isn’t what you bargained for when you parted with your hard earned £3.50 ($5.55 American). To make this uneducated passer by realise their misjudgement, you and the several other patrons descend on the interloper with icy stares until the intruder turns on their heels and scarpers away, defeated. Granted, 9/10 times this doesn’t work. But you will find this situation in any bar or tavern on the other side of the ocean, guaranteed.

You damn kids get off my lawn!

Finally for now, teenagers. Our tweens and teens are the spitting image of the current stereotypical American teens. Stupid peaked caps, jeans designed for prisoners, bad dye jobs and expensive t-shirts with single syllable verbs badly printed on them. The sooner our young adults realise that tweed and paisley are the way forward, the sooner we can get back to the darn programme, and the better off we’ll all be.

And so concludes part one of my epic journey from Dronfield to the USA. Join me the same time next week for part two, why Dronfield is nowt like America int’ slightest.

Y’all take care now.

Your pal, Matt Cross.

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