Dronfield: A town not quite American as apple pie.

Blue Stoops Dronfield

Howdy there, and welcome to part 2 of my comparison between our purty town and the good ol’ United States.  In this final half, I’ll give you the lowdown on why us Dronfieldians are nowt like them Americans.

I don’t know whether the weather will improve

It’s no secret. We’ve got some of the most insane weather conditions in the world, despite the fact that we are well out of the range of hurricanes, dust bowls, wildfires, monsoons, tsunamis, etc.  But by gum, when it starts raining round these parts it’s an absolute travesty, sir. My family hail from North Carolina, and during several of my stays I’ve been exposed to rainstorms the like of which would reduce lesser towns than Dronfield to a sopping wet pile of rubble. Does it bother the locals? For about ten minutes, and then they get back on with their lives. If we had the same, we’d all be standing around exchanging Yorkshire-type grunts of disbelief for weeks.

A relentlessly chipper population, prone to light eccentricity, binge drinking and casual violence

Another thing that sets us apart from our American cousins is the good old English disposition. An attitude shared by a nation, one that says quite simply to the rest of the world, “come hither, good sir, and have a go, should you have a mental conception that you are hard enough”, followed sometime after by 40 pints down the local. There is also our vastly superior sense of humour, one that I have tried to explain to my close friends, usually after about 7.5 pints. In short, nobody really gets us, as a nation, yeah.

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

The Americans concept of tea is nothing like ours. I once was asked by a friend of mine, “What do you do for fun?” To which I of course replied, “Well, I go to my mate’s gaff, we stick the kettle on, have a few cups of tea and have a banter.” My friend’s response to this was to spend the next 12 minutes laughing in hysterics at me. But nay, she wasn’t just laughing at me. She was laughing at our love of that most beloved British symbol, a brew.  Not to mention the look of disgust you get in an American restaurant if you ask for tea with milk, as if you had just loudly asked a pallbearer for a triple Bloody Mary at the start of a Funeral.

Everything is bigger in Texas

Not just in Texas. From East coast to West, everything is bigger. This is primarily because England has roughly the same square km as Louisiana, which is about the median sized state. To them, we are but a strange, eccentric island built mostly from castles and discarded tea bags. I won’t speculate to the reason why, but everything is bigger over there. Land, food, cars, sports, arts, populations, religion, name me anything and I guarantee you there’s a bigger, better version of it over there. Us Brits manage with what we’ve got. Instead of making something as big as English-ly possible, we think, “Nah, on second thoughts, we’ll make do.” And that is one of the key differences between us.

It’s just a 30 hour car ride

Distance. Distance is key. I frequently am told, and have been part of journeys where the driver, when asked about the distance of the pending journey, says something to the effect of “It’s just a short trip” or “It’s just down the road”. A few days later, I’d emerge from the back seat, deprived of tea, sleep and sanity. Saying something to that effect over here would suggest what it says on the tin. A few hours driving from Dronfield and you’re on the coast. You’ve literally run out of England. Somehow the equivalent driving in the states isn’t enough, until you’ve crossed several states. We love a good journey, but if it’s longer than a few hours and you’re still in the UK, it either doesn’t warrant the trip or it’s just barely acceptable.

So concludes my comparison of Dronfield and the United States. It’s been an exciting adventure, but for now we must part ways.

Yours English-ly,
Matt Cross.

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