How They Celebrate The 4th of July In England, Britain.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, MP and Mayor of London, born in New York, is not amused.


 The Scene

donaldct4th of July 1985. Donald Court, Woodbine, Maryland — a new, ‘middle class’, 4-acre lot housing development. We had been there for about 2 months.

My 2nd 4th of July in the U.S., the FIRST as a British citizen. The other had been in 1968, in Buffalo, NY, when I was 14. I was, however, a citizen of Ceylon at the time (only having changed nationality in 1983).

Big, neighborhood cookout across the road. Very communal community. Around 3 in the afternoon. The sun is beating down. As ever I have a glass of wine in my hand. A lady, one of the neighbours, sidles up to me and puts her delicate hand on my arm.

“So, Anu, tell me, how do they celebrate the 4th of July in England?”

“Quietly, very quietly!”

I kid you not. This is a true story. It was my best rejoinder EVER. I am so proud that I was able to come up with that. I have got so much milage out of this story, in Britain, when I used to do seminars over there. I would start off with this story. The Brits loved it.

So I am sharing it with all of YOU in case you too were wondering how the British celebrate the 4th of July.

Some Other Memorable, “This Really Happened To ME”, U.S. << — >> U.K. contretemps during my many (30++) years in the U.S. as a British subject.

>> “These, what did you call them, ‘pounds’, is that like a currency, like money, like the dollar?” ((“Know they are better than the dollar, about two and a half times better”. This was in 1980 when a U.K. pound (£1) was worth around $2.40. Phoenix Airport, Arizona — trying to pay for excess baggage using airline issued MCOs (Miscellaneous Charge Orders).))

>> “Arthur C. Clarke was British? Well, we wrote damn well for NOT being American!” ((This was by a retired, highly respected surgeon in Laconia, New Hampshire, in September 2001 during a Laconia Rotary Club Meeting.))

>> “He got his first degree from the “University of Whales”. ((Laconia Rotary Club Newsletter, Fall 2001, after I had told them that I got my first degree from the University of Wales. The writer of the piece, a newspaper editor and now the Mayor of Laconia, claimed that he had NEVER heard of Wales!))

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