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“It’s A Wonderful City”

I was in my San Francisco apartment watching the news. They’d been saying it might snow, but of course it didn’t. The snow never came. It got me to think how fantastic it would be to live in a place where it snows. I mean, why does it never snow here? It’s bullshit! Right. I got angry and yelled a few cuss words to the big guy upstairs…not God, you understand, my upstairs neighbor Doug…huge fellow…feet the size of kayaks clomping around. The guy’s a moose. Anyhow, I guess I pissed him off because he got mad and came down to confront me about all my yelling about how San Francisco got ripped off because it never snows.

He said, “Calm down, let’s go for a drink and talk it over.” I grabbed my keys and wallet and he smiled. “You’d better wear a coat; I mean it might get cold out there. Wrap up.”

“It’s like 52 degrees out,” I scoffed.

We were in the elevator and he said, “Do you really think San Francisco would be a better city if it snowed here all the time, like say, Minneapolis or some such place?”

“I do,” I said adamantly.

We stepped out of the building and lo and behold in front of me was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen: a winter wonderland. It was as if a white, fluffy blanket had been dropped from the heavens and landed on the city. Cars were immobilized under piles and piles of snow; they were just white lumps in the street. It was so quiet, peaceful, and yes, idyllic. The sky was a sort of laundry-error dirty white.

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

“How is this possible?” I asked.

“It’s what you wanted, isn’t it?”

“This, wow, this is so beautiful. I’m amazed. I can’t wait to send my mum some pictures of this.”

“Your mum? What mum? You don’t have a mother. You were never born. Your father was a semi-professional skier and as a young man he came here for the powder and broke his leg in four places, never walked again. He never met your mother and consequently, you don’t exist.”

“That’s crazy, Doug. Of course I exist; you can see and hear me can’t you?”

“A simple trick. Smoke and mirrors stuff.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

I ignored Doug’s stupid joke and we trudged carefully down the street. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the city just seemed different. At first I thought it was just the snow, but it wasn’t. There weren’t many people around and those that were, seemed hardened and unfriendly and very, very white. Everyone looked the same: All the men had beards and the women seemed timid. It was like small-town…not San Francisco at all. Nothing looked familiar. We got to what I thought was my favorite bar, but now it was an ice skate repair shop. We walked in anyway.

“Hi, I was wondering when you took over this business? I was here what seemed like a month ago and it was still Frank & Kelly’s Bar.”

“I bin here for thirty-two years now,” the man behind the counter said. “No such place as Frank and whatever you said.”

“No, you’re wrong; Frank and Kelly– gay couple, they lived above the bar. Really sweet. They got married last year.” I smiled.

“Married? You tellin’ me two fellas married each other? Why I don’t know where you’re from, mister, but even jest talkin’ that ways a likely to git you strung up.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

I turned to Doug. “What the hell?”

He grimaced. “San Francisco is not San Francisco. There was no gold rush in 1849, because of all of the snow. This city is not even a city, it’s a town the size of a mosquito bite on a whale.”

“No!!…San Francisco is one of the most popular cities in the world. It’s got the rolling hills, the cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, The baseball champions, the Giants finally won for God’s sake, Doug.”

“Not San Francisco. There was no Spanish mission here. The town is called Santa Falls…on account that if Santa ever came here, which he doesn’t, he would likely fall over from all the snow. It’s worse than the North Pole they say. Yes there are hills, and every year at least ten kids die trying to toboggan down them. No cable cars, couldn’t run in the snow, and too dangerous if they could. No Golden Gate Bridge and definitely no baseball team. There’s no money to build a ballpark, no one ever comes here. Hell, the best we got is a Sunday league hockey team made up of ice-fishermen and drunks. Let’s face it, not many people want to live in Santa Falls. The place is the 679th most popular place to live in America, behind Devil’s Lips, Montana and Detroit.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

“This is crazy. Okay, okay, I don’t want this; make it back the way it was, Doug, please.”

“Well that involves some heel-clicking and promises not to gripe about no snow.”

“I promise, I promise. Anything.”

Next thing I knew, I was in my Upper Market neighborhood, the sky was bright blue and the snow was gone. A scruffy deadhead hit me up for a dollar. “Get away from me you stinking hippy” I said, and threw him a buck. Doug laughed. Every face we saw was different in color and personality, a wonderful melting pot. Doug suddenly pointed upwards and exclaimed, “Look!”

I gazed up and saw a giant rainbow stretched across the skyline and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Mary, Mary, where are ya, Mary?

“Thank God. There’s no place like home. There really is no place like home. Come on, Doug, let’s go get that drink.”

You Eat What???

 

 

It’s hard to defend being British sometimes.

An orgy of Bangers ‘n’ Mash. I mean look at this for God’s sake. If it didn’t already look like it was being made love to by an army of Gurkhas wouldn’t you be all over that?

It’s a sausage in pastry. It’s the perfect accompaniment to warm beer. It’s packaged like a chocolate candy bar because it’s never too soon to get the kids on to the Sausage Rolls.

Black Pudding…made with blood. Delicious, right? And the best part is, it’s not even a pudding.

Aunt Bessie knows what’s up. A little toad… and it’s in a hole. It’s irresistible…and just the way I like it… Oh, Aunt Bessie, you salacious tart, are you hitting on me?

Figgy Pudding: It’s what’s for Christmas. There is enough alcohol in this little bomb of fun to entice a rhino to make lewd suggestions to your grandmother. Can also be used as a weapon by dropping on your opponent from a short-to-medium height.

“Artificially Colored,” Mushy Peas…because peas aren’t quite green enough.

Penicillin Sauce comes in a separate can with prescription.

The Bay Area Brit Is One-Year Old…

…which would likely explain the maturity level of some of the jokes and cartoons.

Valentine’s Day is the The Bay Area Brit’s one-year anniversary. And what better way to celebrate by giving fake awards to Brits who have popped up on the American radar in the last year.

Award For The Funniest And Meanest Way To Get Back At Your Celebrity Wife 

"I'd like to thank my iPhone and Twitter for this award."

Russell Brand exposed his wife, Katy Perry to the TwitWorld sans makeup. Normally this would be a “so-what” situation: a woman without makeup–big deal. I like to see it as the first layer of exposure. Next comes Brand’s homemade audio files of her singing off key in the shower and then of course the inevitable porno tape. Who knows what started it? Perhaps a fight over whose maid should do the dishes, or maybe there was a verbal joust regarding whose 15 minutes would be up first. Either way, we here at the Bay Area Brit commend Mr. Brand’s efforts to prevent boys aged 13-77 from lusting after his wife.

Monty Python: Funny. Jeremy Clarkson: Unfunny.

Award For Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth And Then Not Only Failing To Remove It, But Trying To Cram The Other Foot In There As Well.

Jeremy Clarkson is the host of a popular British TV show called “Top Gear.” On a recent episode, he referred to Mexicans as “lazy, feckless, flatulent oafs” and Mexican food as “refried vomit.” Understandably, Mexicans are angry at the comments, and Clarkson has failed to apologize; in fact he continued to make even more racist comments that he believes is “humour.” To make matters worse, he claims that, “the Mexicans have no sense of humour.” Which is kind of like me taking a crap on his floor and telling him that, “he’s only mad at me because he hates cleaning his carpet.”

We here at The Bay Area Brit think that Jeremy Clarkson’s the one lacking a sense of humor.

Award For Pissing Off Hollywood Celebrities By Making Fun Of Them 

No need to apologize for being funny, Ricky.

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for the second year in a row. It’s refreshing to see an awards show host who is secure and comfortable enough to fearlessly make fun of the irritating pomposity that these affairs usually bring. I mean he’s drinking a beer at the podium for God’s sake. He skewered some easy targets but even went after the guy that signed his paycheck that night: the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press. One of his best lines made fun of the Cosmo-swilling cougars from Sex In The City.

“I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that “Sex In The City” poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

The distinction between Gervais and Clarkson is that Gervais targets himself as much as others. Plus, Gervais went for the jugulars of the wealthy and famous, Clarkson cruelly generalized and negatively stereotyped an entire nation.

Celebrities seen here demonstrating outside Ricky Gervais's hotel

Award For Most British, British Movie Star : Colin Firth

Colin Firth: Seen here not dressed as a King

Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI sealed this year’s award of being the “Most British, British Movie Star.” Cheerio, pip, pip and all that rot, Colin. Good luck winning a real award at the Oscars for “The King’s Speech.” We are all counting on you.

Award For Best Attempt At Killing Your Career Just As You Were Making Money And Achieving “C”…Maybe “D-List” Status In America

British soccer analyst Andy Gray covered the 2010 World Cup in the United States and received positive acclaim and attention with his excitable, yet no-nonsense approach and analysis. He was recently fired by Sky Sports for making sexist comments regarding a soccer official during the broadcast of an English Premier League game. “Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.” 

Well done, Andy; women don’t know how to drive a car, change a flat tire, fly a plane, be an astronaut, or lead a country, and they certainly couldn’t possibly understand the complicated offside rule. Idiot!

Happy Birthday, Bay Area Brit, here’s to another year. Oh, and in case you missed it–here you go.

"I'm sorry I called you a stupid, British monkey...Please don't Tweet that pic."