Fishing in England

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 00:36:10 -0500
Subject: Fishing in England

Remember: it’s deadline time for bulk mail Valentines.

Notes from the road? It could work. Like “What I learned on my English Vacation, or Bubba does England.”

ENGLAND–The British have never learned to make a decent cup of coffee, even their cappuccino is either too weak, or it just tastes like water with a little bit of mud thrown in it. Just to add body, you see. Just like the water from their great river Thames, which should by all rights, be pronounced in a much different fashion. Let’s face it: the Brits can’t do coffee or English right. But I did learn a thang or two bout them. I like Wales. It’s cold, dreary, and grey all the time. Sun never comes out. Sky sort of drizzles, not like a good, Texas-Turd-Floating rain, more like that mist which comes out of the sprinklers at the outdoor fern bars.

Somewhere, Wales got good and sideways with the cosmic master-the odd gods made this really pretty country, and the people are friendly enough, but they all speak Gaelic. And the weather, on a good day, mind you, the weather is miserable at its very best. All this enchanting countryside and nothing but terrible weather. It was a dark and stormy night. But perhaps bit of true British surrealism came that one morning in Convent Garden, I mean, there I was with my little Welsh girlfriend, I told I like the people in Wales, and we were sitting in French Bistro, eating British Breakfast Food, and listening to Elvis on the stereo.

Then there’s this appearance thing. I was wandering around King’s Cross Station, looking for the Urania Trust, or desperately seeking astrology in London. Normal enough, one would suppose. Levi’s, biker jacket, long hair, earrings, I mean, the traditional black garb is really rather appropriate seeing as the how the sun comes up around eight or nine in the morning, and it sets long before tea time which occurs at 4 in the afternoon. In other words, it’s black outside the whole time. So my black clothes fit right in. But it happens every time, there I was, rotating my London A to Z, trying to figure out where I was, where the astrology bookstore was, why the buildings had burglar bars on them, and up walk a couple of kids with backpacks. “Do you know where King’s Cross Road is?” I look at them, fix my steady Scorpio-rising eyeball glare on ’em, and I drawl, “Like I have a clue? I’m lost’rn shit.” Then, not two blocks further away, it happens again. Now, I implore you, when you’re lost in a foreign country, don’t ask strange looking Texans for advice. I took care of the last person who asked me by giving them a lengthy set of directions. I don’t know if they found the tube stop they were looking for, but I don’t have much patience with ugly American tourists. Be careful though, especially when I start to channel Elvis.

Maybe England’s got the Queen, but the King is American.

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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