English Lessons

July 22, 2007 -

John Heald

Did you have a nice weekend?

The reason I ask is I really miss weekends at home, buying the Sunday Newspapers and reading them while Heidi or my Mum cooks the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. You see, on a ship there is no such thing as a weekend. Everyday is the same and sometimes it is hard to remember if it is Saturday or Tuesday but for some strange reason, I always know when it is Thursday. So, today is Saturday and the beginning of your weekend and a day at sea for us. I have to admit it has been a tough cruise for quite a few reasons. Here are some of them.

1. The number of International guests is very high. Even though we provide all the information in the various languages that we can we still have a lot of shortfalls in this area.  My opinion of course and not one that may be shared by others. I think we can learn a lot from our sister company Costa Cruises who carry many International guests and I shall try and ask them for some advice. Now, this may be me being slightly paranoid and I am sure they (the International, non-English speaking guests) have had a great time but I do feel I could do better in finding ways to entertain them and provide more information in their own languages.

2. We had some entertainment issues this cruise as well as I reported in a previous blog with the act that had no luggage and the replacement act who did not make his flight. Ninety percent of the guests were OK with the last minute change but as always the 10 percent who were not were very vocal. The shows though have been received very well. In reference to point number one, I am arranging for as much visual entertainment as possible as the count of 1800 International guests seems as though it will be the same for the remainder of the summer.

3. Now, I have not written this before as I have never felt the need to but I do today. I think more than anything that this cruise has been tough because for some reason, a lot of the passengers don’t seem happy. By this, I don’t mean that they are not happy with the ship or the cruise….they just don’t seem happy people in their own lives. Example….I cannot tell you how many times I have walked past someone and said “good morning” and received no response or even a nod of the head.  Obviously, this is applies to just a very small percentage of guests but you do tend to think about them and worry as to why. We have also had guests complain about….other guests this week and the most common one is those not traveling with children who are upset that children are ….well….doing things children do.

Many, many, many guests (I know that is terrible English) have stopped me and said this was the BEST CRUISE EVER but for some strange reason I have a feeling there are some people onboard who are just not…happy people …I hope I am wrong.Time to be positive

Look at this.


This was made for me by Sam and now sits proudly on my desk.

Can I also say a quick hello to all the bloggers who were cruising this week and I hope they will all write in and share their experiences.

Here are today’s photos which are all from onboard…enjoy.







Here are three letters for the “IN THEIR OWN WORDS” section. The first one I slapped on is just to show you what strange letters and requests I get, please note it contains bad language. The second is a really nice letter and the third is from two 14-year-olds who wrote me five letters asking to be allowed into the disco with the older teens.




It’s time for some Q and A….at this point some of you will scroll down to the next bit so goodbye, see you in a minute and we will miss you  :(For those of you who are staying, here we go.

Lets start with a follow up regarding a ship called THE WORLD. Someone was asking about the ship and if it was a success. I of course had no idea so I picked up the Red Phone and called in our Super Spy, PA 007.  Here is what he discovered.

Residensea’s “the World” developers failed financially and the unit owners had to take control of the ship and pay all the operating costs. Our thanks to PA 007 who has gone back into hiding until the next time we need his super cruise powers.

DAVE AND BARB – Your booking has been confirmed… try the Veal Chop! I miss certain things about the Carnivale as well especially the size of the ship, which allowed me to get to meet so many more guests. However, we have come a long way and I the fact that you have been sailing since the days of the Carnivale shows the support you have for the company. I will see you in October and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and the Cruise Critic group.
MAXINE – I am really glad that you have found the blog especially as you have cruised with me before. I am also sorry that we just missed each other on the Carnival Liberty. It looks like that might happen again as you asked where I will be in December and the answer is at home. I will leave the Carnival Freedom some time in November after what will have been nine straight months onboard. I was upset to hear that you always try and call Carnival to find out who the Cruise Director will be before you book and can’t seem to get an answer. This blog should be able to change that so from now on if you or anyone else needs to know who the CD will be on a cruise you are taking please let me know. You asked about Donald Cameron. For those who have never cruised with Donald before….well all I can say is….watch out! This is a guest who has cruised probably 100 times. He is 5 ft nothing, has red hair and is as Scottish as a Haggis and loves the ladies. I think I should tell a Donald Cameron story sometime so watch out for that in days to come. Please read the blog as much as time will allow Maxine and I truly hope you find it fun and informative.
KATHIE – I am so sorry to hear that you are still suffering from ATCOCS SYNDROME (Addicted To Cruising On Carnival Ships).  It seems like the cures I offered have not worked and I am very upset with Pierre as usually having this small and smelly French person beat you with an onion usually works. I have to get you cured soon otherwise you will be showing signs of stage three of the illness which has resulted in past sufferers doing very strange things. Take the case of Mrs. Sheila Edwards who had suffered from ATCOCS for some years. She thought she was cured and went on another cruise line instead, I cannot say which one. On the first day at sea the full symptoms returned and she was found drilling a hole in the ice rink to go fishing and on formal night she was seen to be running up and down Promenade Deck naked shouting ” You haven’t got the fun, you haven’t got the fun “. She was finally removed from the ship when she was found to be dangling over the side of the ship writing these words on the Bow. Rubbish Carnival Impersonator. Therefore, you need help and the only cure that’s left is for you to please book that Carnival Splendor cruise that you seem to want so much or even the bloggers cruise. So, pause, have a think and if you want my suggestion, book the BLOGGERS CRUISE, its nearer and if you don’t you could end up like Sheila Edwards, sitting in a dark corner somewhere cuddling a solid gold plastic trophy. GET HELP…NOW.
SHELLYP – Good to hear from you especially as you have a question. You asked about if carnival has the refillable cups or if indeed we have coupons for sodas. Actually, neither. We have what is called a Fountain Fun card which allows guests unlimited Sodas for one price. It is a great deal and there are special prices for adults and children. Now, you are going to ask me how much, in fact they are about to change and I will let you know what they are very soon but they will be of great value if you are a soda drinker. Please let me know if you need further help in planning for your group to sail and please also keep reading the blog thingy.
NANETTEALI – Grasyarse mucho mi amore and for those who don’t speak fluent Spanish like you and I do, many thanks for such sweet words. I am not sure I have ever had anyone say they are addicted to me before but I am truly flattered. Meeting people like you and your family brings Heidi and I great joy and is without doubt one of the highlights of the job. Back to Spanish. Buenos Nachos, much hugo para youo – asta lavista moochachcto.
DAWN – We will indeed cash travelers checks onboard at the Exchange Desk on Promenade Deck 5 and also remember to bring your ATM card as well if you need Euros while ashore. In Turkey even though they have their own currency ‘Lire,” the stores prefer US Dollars or Euros so my advice is do not buy any of the local currency. Hope this helps Dawn and you will love the shopping, especially in Istanbul.
LISA AND ELAINE – Welcome back from the rural areas you have been visiting that have no Internet Connection….were exactly is that? Anyway, I am glad that you slapped on a comment and let me answer your question.You asked about the Bloggers T-Shirts and yes they are nearly ready. I will be presenting them on a special Bloggers Cruise Blog Thingy in the coming week and there will be special ones for the Bloggers cruise plus great ones that you will be able to buy on line via this blog site page thing. So, look out for that. So, welcome back and glad you have found the blog again and thank you so much for the kind words that you slapped on. See you in 180 days.
SUSAN AND RALPH – Will do…and many thanks 🙂
ROBERT – I enjoyed the review mate about the Carnival Freedom, it was very positive and the constructive words of what we can do better were very useful indeed. I wish I had some Jersey Tomatoes although the ones in Sorrento and Napoli are pretty good as well. I have not had a diet root beer for 9 months   🙁 All the best mate and I look forward to seeing you and Suzann in your usual spot.
KICIASKI – Welcome home George and Linda. Having you onboard for 24 days was so fantastic. My only regret is that the pressures of the job did not allow me to spend more personal time with you both. The one thing I noticed was that you were always together, a sign of just how much you love each other…Heidi and I both saw this and we both hope that we can be like you. I still have no direct information on the naming ceremony of the Carnival Splendor but I am sure that guests who have booked the inaugural cruise will be able to see the ceremony and the moment when AJ kisses and hugs me and says ” lets go to my cabin “. I will of course let you know. You mentioned also that you had read on Cruise Critic that the dining rooms on the Carnival Splendor will serve buffet’s only…I think we have entered the realms of fantasy here but I am checking and will let you know ASAP but I very much doubt it. Ken and Jogi will indeed be the Maitre D’s and I think you will recognize a lot of faces from the Carnival Freedom on the Carnival Splendor. So, go back to the washing but know that we miss you both and thank you for all your kindness.
LINDA THE MOUSE – I am sorry that the scapbooks were not available when you cruised as they are as you said really nice. Let me see if I can arrange for them to be sold online and maybe here from the blog. I will let you know. I do not think I will ever get used to boxer shorts and I have a secret supply of briefs for when Heidi is not looking…like now. I will get back to you on the Scrapbook thing. All the best to you and the mice.
MRSMISSINGTHE SMOKEFREEPARADISE – Harry Potter Mania has indeed swept the world making J.K. Rowling a multi trillionaires. I personally have never read a Harry Potter book, have you or Mr. Missingthesmokefreeparadise? I saw on the news kids lining the streets, waiting for the book shops to open and although that is rather radical, I do think it’s brilliant that kids today who live in a world of computer games like Storm, Deathkill Kung Fu, Transvestites, sorry, that should be Transformers, that reading is still enjoyed by so many. I wonder if people will line the block when I write my book…probably not.
IVANA…. Since writing the remark about scrap booking, I have learned that indeed scrap book workshops are very popular. So much so that I have asked for these to be included in the plans for next year and for the Transatlantic crossing of this ship in November. The Carnival Valor has beautiful Caribbean scrapbooks which are now available fleet wide. I hope you enjoy it even Heidi has one and I have started a scrapbook full of photos of my old favorite pairs of underwear and photos of Angelina Jolie. Heidi says it’s not scrap booking, it’s stalking. All the best Ivan.
RUSS AND NINA FRANKLIN – Hello both of you and thank you for letting me know you read the blog from beginning to end. I apologize that your wife is obsessed, as you state, with the blog which I see is true as you say she copies everything to a word document, prints them, takes them to work, reads them at her desk and tells everyone else about them. I am horrified to learn she even reads them in bed, so it appears that you and I are pretty much the same. I am Thursdays, what day are you? Congratulations on booking the Carnival Pride next week, I am sure your bank manager is wondering where all the money is going, I think we have another ADCOCKS SYNDROME sufferer. See you in January and I will have a special hug for your wife and a “I am so sorry handshake” for you.
TOM AND JANE RATCHFORD – It was my pleasure and I will pass your message on to Jude via an e-mail to his Maitre ‘D. Best to you both.
TIM KRIEBEL – I guess I am responsible for yet another person who has ATCOCS SYNDROME. According to you, she has had this since she cruised with me on the Carnival Ecstasy on 1992 and today you have booked cruises 15 and 16. As you have guessed, constantly cruising with Carnival is the only know cure (except being beaten over the head with an onion by Pierre the smelly Frenchman) so, thank you for looking after your wife.  Yes, Michael Andrew, the “nerd” who roamed the ship and later transformed himself into an unbelievable singer. Michael is still a great friend of mine and has moved on to great things, check out his website: http://www.michaelandrew/.com I miss him. I am sorry I may not be with you in November, although, that is not for definite and Tim, Carnival is proud to continue its support of all serving and retired military personnel.
Again, I apologize for causing your wife ATCOCS SYNDROME. As long as you keep cruising, she will be fine.
BILL ZYDECOCRUISER – I guess I made a mistake, it’s Po Boy, not Pep Boy. What’s a Pep Boy? Did you see the photos of Fish & Chips today? I put those there, just for you. If you want, I can mail you a fried oyster. Thank you for all the links. Heidi and I really miss New Orleans. We used to wander through River Walk, there was a restaurant at the end, don’t remember the name, but we loved it. Send our best to the Big Easy.
DAVE AND BARB – The trans-Atlantic, in answer to your question, will have a different show every night. I have already planned every entertainer, this will include:
Penny Mathisen – a brilliant vocalist who will sing a fantastic selection of international music.
Goronway Thom – the funniest juggler/comedian, ever.
Mel Mellers – whose comedy and magic will have you in stitches.
Al Ernst – Carnival’s 471st funniest comedian
Of course, starring our brilliant cast in Big Easy, Jump, Jive and Wail and Ticket To Ride.
There will be other special variety acts which I will keep as a surprise. Here on the Carnival Freedom we do not confiscate liquor that has been purchased in the ports of call, however, if you do buy wine, there is a corkage charge if you take it in to the dining room. Thank you also for the information on LANE BRYANT, does Big Ed shop there? If so, can you pick me up a pair of drawers? We will see you very soon.
HEIDI – BETH – Wow, another scrapbook fan and yes, they are available on the Carnival Glory with the new Caribbean photos etc. As I just mentioned it seems classes on how to use them are very popular and it was my ignorance that thought it was just a case of gluing them into a book. The letters in the IN THEIR OWN WORDS SECTION are a real chance for me to give you an insight to the requests, advice and complaints I get every day. I actually counted them this cruise and now, on day 10 I have received 254 letters. Thank you for your kind words towards Heidi and I was very shocked that a child so young could use such language. Anyway, it is great to hear from you and I appreciate your lovely words so very much.
JOYCE – I have confirmed your Supper Club reservations you requested…try the Prime Rib. Looking forward to seeing you.
TAMMIE – She is having fun, will send you a scrap book back to the office so you can show everyone shore side.
DOCTOR RICK – Hello Doc. What kind of Doctor are you? Yes, Howard, he is truly one of a kind and from your story, which I found fascinating; I can only hope that if I live to be 90, I am like the man in your story and Howard. Thanks for letting me know. I don’t remember typing your name in before, so I thank you for reading the blog thingy.
KEVIN – I am waiting to hear what you intend to do and for which cruise line. I was also disappointed to hear that you are not coming on the bloggers cruise but I understand that a family wedding is more important. Can’t wait to see photos of the car, as I have a feeling the photos of your Aston Martin will be as close as I ever get to see one for real. Maybe you should become a NY taxi driver using the Aston, I am sure you would make loads of money. Please let me know if you hear any news on your new job and every time you press the START button, think of me.
CRUISER MARY – Your Supper Club reservation has been confirmed…try the Trio Of Chocolate desert. Looking forward to seeing you in September.
DOROTHE CALIMBAS – Kids today. That’s all Heidi and I could say after hearing the words from someone so young. I know, when Heidi and I have kids, we will hopefully raise them the right way. Thank you for your concern. It’s always great to hear from you.
DIANE – How fantastic to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your Grand Med cruise so much. The scrapbooks are indeed brand new and just arrived and on your next cruise on the Carnival Legend they will be available, so enjoy! My best to you and your husband, hope to see you again soon.
JUDY – Have you ever thought about becoming a weather girl? :)) It never ceases to amaze me that some people are so surprised that we have sunshine in Europe although this may not be the case in England at the moment. Talking of that, anybody heard from Essex Man? Anyway Judy, thanks again for the laugh and all the best.
BONNY AND PRINCE CHARLIE – And you are correct. The parents of the children who were misbehaving and swore at Heidi were so unconcerned, it was quite remarkable. I expected the children to be chastised but no, nothing. Thank you for the visual of Charlie peeing by the side of the road, that is definitely one for televisions video bloopers. Are you heading home now?
BRYAN – Bryan, just in case you missed the ones above, you will be happy to hear that the new scrapbooks are available fleet wide.

That’s enough Q & A for today, more tomorrow.

I would like now to introduce our guest interview for today. This is our Chief Purser, Margherita Castagliuolo. Her last name by the way, means Tequila, in Italian. Therefore, her name is Margherita Tequila.

So, here she is and there is a very interesting question about lost luggage.

Chief Purser, Margherita Castagliuolo

1. Can you tell us something about you. Where were you born and tell us
something about your life at sea.
I was born on a beautiful island called Ischia, it is located in the Golf of Naples Italy. My childhood was fantastic, to be born in such a gorgeous place was a real blessing. I was also surrounded by many caring friends and family members. Life at sea! Well? my secret passion! The sea was the thing I have loved the most since I was very young and my dream was to travel. I guess I have combined the two things and started my new life at sea. I have been with Carnival Cruise Lines for almost 10 years, this proves that I took the right decision. I enjoy working for “my” company.

2. So, what exactly does a Chief Purser do and what are you daily responsibilities.  Manage the Department and Operation to ensure company service, administration, and guest and internal guest relation standards are met. Ensuring that all guest inquiries and comments are followed up and resolved in a timely manner. Make sure that full assistance is provided at the front desk and that guest expectations are exceeded whenever possible. Encourage and support office accord that facilitates developing the full potential of the Team. Responsible for customs and immigration documentation, ship manifests for clearance inward and outward in all ports. Liaise with Port Officials, Port Agents. Ensure compliance with port papers and documents as required by all ports visited. Responsible for the crew office personnel, ensure that proper service is provided to the crew and that crew customs and immigration requirements are met. Responsible for the groups coordinator and groups functions onboard. And ….much more! I could write forever.

3. One of your jobs is the clearance of the vessel in each port through Customs and Immigration. Can you explain exactly how this is done and what paper work is needed to accomplish this? In order to clear the ship we must comply with the requirements of the different ports of call. Most of the ports will request electronic Guest and Crew lists along with the nationality lists to be sent 48 to 72 hours prior to the scheduled arrival time. Some ports might require additional pre-clearance paperwork while most of them request that we present the rest of the paperwork upon arrival. There is a long list of paperwork to be presented upon arrival and the list changes according to the different requirements of the port visited. As soon as we get into port I meet the ship’s agents and the local authorities at the gangway. I escort them to the designated clearance room where they check the paperwork prepared before giving the final clearance. The officers on the bridge are notified as well as security at the gangway as soon as the clearance is received, only at this point Guests and Crew are allowed to get off the ship? it is time to enjoy the port.

4. Our Information Desk is open 24 hours a day. Please can you tell us how many Pursers work here on the Carnival Freedom and what is a typical day like for them and what are some of the duties they perform? We have 23 pursers onboard the Carnival Freedom they all work very hard to try to exceed guests expectations. They work on average 6 to 8 hours at the front desk however there is much more going on behind the scenes. The back office is the place where they follow-up on our guests concerns and try to resolve the several issues that are brought to their attention. They also have additional side duties to take care of throughout the cruise, these duties are fairly shared in between all of them. Some additional duties: Lost Luggage follow-up, Translations, assist large groups with special requirements, Port papers and Port Requirements, Organize the debark process, provide assistance to our international guests in 9 different languages, currency exchange….and more! Duties vary from day to day but their main goal is always the same …to make sure that every guest enjoys their vacation.  We also have 3 pursers assigned to assist crewmembers and provide the port authorities with the crew paperwork required.

5. What languages can we converse in through the Purser’s Office. Please list them? There are 9 official languages advertised on the Carnival Freedom – Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean. However we also have pursers that speak additional languages. Unfortunately I only speak three of those 😉

6. Now, we have to talk about lost luggage which all the thousands of readers are interested in. What does a Purser do once a guest reports their luggage missing. Can you describe the follow up and what goes on behind the scenes? Behind the scenes there is more work involved than anyone can imagine. We have 4 pursers constantly following up on lost luggage. They first ask the guests to fill in a lost luggage report, while they do so they try to obtain any additional information that could help to locate the missing luggage. These reports are recorded in our onboard system and also forwarded to our main office and ship’s agents in the different ports of call. During the cruise the 4 pursers are constantly on the phone in contact with the different airlines trying to obtain updates and informing the airlines of the location of the ship as well as of the future ports of call where the luggage could be shipped to.  Hard work especially taking in consideration that most of the employees in the lost and found units rarely speak English and most of the communication is in Italian, Spanish, German or French. Whenever the luggage is located and the airlines advise the pursers that the bags will be sent to the next port of call the pursers immediately contact the port agent to dispatch a truck to the airport to collect the luggage and deliver it to the ship. If the pursers do not receive satisfactory information from the airlines on the location of the bags they ask the port agents to personally go to the lost and found of the different airports to try to obtain additional information. There have been several occasions when the pursers went personally to the airport hoping to find some luggage for our guests. Of course the Guests are advised daily of the updates received.

7. We have had 155 pieces of missing luggage this cruise. How many have the airlines recovered so far? – 115 so far. We received 19 pieces in Rome, 6 in Naples, 31 in Rhodes, 36 in Istanbul, 23 in Athens.

8. Before you got promoted as Chief Purser, when you worked behind the desk, what was the most interesting / funniest request you have ever had? A guest asked me to change his cabin since he had paid for an ocean view cabin but he could only see a building from his window. It was embarkation day and the building the guest was mentioning was the terminal / check-in building… which “disappears” after departure.

9. You are very lucky to be living on board with your long time partner, Staff Captain Luigi De Angelis. You just came back from vacation in the Naples area, what did you do to relax? I could have not asked for a better vacation. I spent most of it on my island, Ischia. The weather was fantastic and we had time to enjoyed the beaches, the gorgeous thermal gardens and thermal springs. However, I really missed being on the ship so I went to the airport in Naples every day to see if I could help with any missing luggage. 🙂

10. Which of these three famous people would be the best Chief Purser you think, and why?
– Paris Hilton
– P. Diddy
– Bill Clinton – Bill, he has wonderful interpersonal skills and knows how to speak to people,,,,, he would not be a Chief Purser immediately, he would have to be an Intern.

Today, I had yet another example of “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. Following my Q&A for the debarkation process, Heidi and I were approached by a gentleman who asked us a question about the shuttle bus service that goes from the ship to the entrance of the port in Civitavecchia. I explained it again (I had covered this very clearly in my talk) and the man looked me in the eye and said: ” You know, you need to learn to get rid of your accent as people do not understand you as you do not speak American “. Both Heidi and I giggled and smiled and at the same time we both realized that this man was serious….He really thought I didn’t speak American.  I asked the guest if he was serious and he said “Yes,” and then I said, “Could you explain what you mean?” He then told me that American was very different to English and my accent was too strong for him to understand. The guest was from North Carolina and he seemed very frustrated stating that he had not understood me at all during the last ten days. I apologized to Mr. Linton and he also told me that he felt the ship should have an American Cruise Director. He left with the information I had given with the addition of a soft American accent. Later I was finding myself second guessing again. Did I really have a strong accent or was this a one off? Certainly it’s not something I have ever heard a guest say to me before.  Now, as I am writing this, I find myself a bit angry that my English skills should be put into question. I could argue this point, but instead I will leave it in the hands of the Master Mr. John Cleese who penned this famous speech which I share now with you all, not in ridicule or to make any political statement, but purely in fun with the hope that Mr. Linton will read it and realize we invented the bloody language.

To the Citizens of the United States of America

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix  -ize will be replaced by the suffix  -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday, and instead it will be known as Everybody Drinks Tea Day.

You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; Tea shall be served Hot not Cold and lessons be given at all schools in the correct way to make it.

Fags are Cigarettes and we won’t discuss the word Fanny.

John Cleese

Cheerio (Yaaaaa’l )

Your Friends
John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.