04 July 06
The Danger of Being a Brit in an American Prison on Independence Day (Part 2)
As a lone Brit surrounded by inmates running wild with July 4th excitement I
knew I was taking a big risk going to the chow hall. The breakfast special – pancakes, omelettes with turkey ham, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls – had induced a unique brand of patriotic madness into the crowd.
“Jon, your tray’s ready,” said a voice that could barely be heard above all of the noise. It was the midget Short Dog, the diet cook, who, for some reason, had chosen not to serve my chow through the hole in the wall, but instead to deliver it.
Mocking voices demanded I go immediately to Short Dog. I squeezed through the crowd and found Short Dog holding a tray containing a single bread crust and a cup of water. Suddenly, I was the laughing stock of about one-hundred-and-fifty inmates. I froze. I couldn't speak. My eyebrows twitched wildly.
Short Dog looked up at me, and said, “Happy July 4th, you Limey redcoat. You’re lucky you’re gettin’ this breakfast 'cause we don’t feed redcoats on America’s birthday. Here’s your bread and water. Sorry I couldn’t find a lime for your scurvy. Down with Queen Elizabeth. Down with Manchester United. Don’t make me get my squirrel gun.”
Insults rained down from every direction.
“Who authorised the water?” Officer Cooke yelled. “That’s way too generous.”
“Down with Beckham and the Spice Girls!”
“Write the queen,” T-Bone said, “and tell her America said thank you.”
“I’ll show you my Prince Albert,” Little Wood said, thrusting his pelvis, threatening to pull down his trousers.
“Let’s have a Boston Tea Party,” Slope said. “We kicked the goddam Limeys outta our country once. Why do they keep comin’ back?”
Two Tonys began singing "The Battle of 1814."
Slope commenced "The Star-Spangled Banner," and others joined in.
Oh say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light.
“Beckham can’t play for shit,” Short Dog said. “Down with King George.”
The slandering of the sports figure was the last straw. Although I was deep in enemy territory, it was time for me to respond. Like a fire eater, I theatrically tilted my head back and opened my mouth wide. I tossed the piece of bread inside.
My act of insolence raised some cheers, and George, in the fashion of a loyal retainer to the British cause, burst out in song:
Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
After chewing the bread several times, while getting angrier and angrier over the defamation of Beckham, not to mention the slur on the Spice Girls, I decided to up my defiance, so I spat the half-chewed bread onto the tray and yelled, “Bugger Independence Day!”
I was promptly imprisoned in a corner of the room where I tried to blend in with the wall until my real meal was served.
Later on, I thanked the mastermind behind the prank, Slope, for giving me something to write about.
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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood