Tuesday, June 15

Great English Inventions

The English invented meat
and they invented everything else
with any kind of value in the world. For example,
tins to keep biscuits in, pen holders, Sellotape,
trees, fridge magnets, music, New York School poetry,
and shampoo that smells of strawberries. In 1857
the troops in Africa were getting a little hungry
and they were fed up with eating small dark native huts,
and turned their attention to the small dark natives.
Within hours they had invented roast beef,
chops, mince, and turkey. They proceeded to export
their new invention all over the world, except to
those big wet places: the oceans. Then they invented fish.
And wow, with all those spectacular minds, with
all the wonderful things the English can do, it’s so ironic
that I had to go to America to be set straight,
to find Love. Americans invented stealing people's hearts
although it’s a popular belief that cannibal Englishmen
did this first. But the English invented irony.
It was a few days after they invented iron. The word
was first used as an adjective: "That thing is very irony".
Did I mention how the English also invented adjectives?
But some people, Americans mainly, think we have not
yet invented modesty. We have invented modesty,
actually, but we don't use everything we invent.
Some things we give to others. We also invented
generosity. But Americans invented Botox and will live
forever and out-invent all the English and look damn good
doing it. Being superficial always wins. But the English
invented "poetic daring". Never forget that.

© Emily Zaborniak & Martin Stannard, 2004

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