Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Grey

November 6, 2009

The citizens of many countries have always had a way of looking at things in black and white. (South Africa and the southern states of the US in particular). However for the English this has never been the case. What may seem straightforward to others is a little more complex to the advanced mind of the Englishman.

For example, war. What is it good for? Well, sure it has its knockers but the English have always found it a handy way of expanding the empire and learning new and exciting cooking techniques.

Or love. Considered to be generally a ‘good thing’ but doesn’t it lead to all that tedious, sweaty procreation business with the inevitable mess and embarrassment?

No, for the English there needed to be a middle way. A choice more in line with the English weather, English complexion and colour of English boiled potatoes and so it was that in 1952 Henry Thorpe invented grey. It turned out to be the defining creation of the decade and soon became a firm favourite of the English.

Grey

I think we all know who looked the most sophisticated in this special Anglo-Italy-US episode of Blind Date first aired in 1983.

Related non-invention:
Gray (Non-invented by the Americans): No Lance, you can’t spell it and you can’t carry it off. Stick with your gaudy colours. That’s right, colours!

Squirrels

August 22, 2009

Up until 1962 the world had been satisfied with the cat and the mouse as two distinct animals.

The mouse was the ideal animal for when you needed some cheese eating, some squeaking or there was a housewife who needed to be scared up onto a stool, skirt gathered round her knees.

The proud parents share a tendor moment.

The proud parents share a tendor moment.

The cat didn’t really have a purpose. They would lounge around, occasionally half-heartedly chase a mouse or pull an amusing face in the hope of a photograph being uploaded to the internet with a witty caption.

It took the genius of Wilfred Stevenson to realise the advantage of combining these two animals. Wilfred was a prolific inventor having previously invented the LSD smoothie and the “Quiche Insane”, a quiche containing magic mushrooms and hallucinogenic frog meat.

Wilfred had a dream of a conventional small rodent but with the bushy luxuriant tale of a cat. In March 1962 he initiated a mouse/cat breeding program. There were some teething problems, the cat trying to eat the mouse, the mouse hitting the cat over the head with a frying pan so large you would have imagined the mouse would be unable to lift it, that kind of thing.

Eureka! The first squirrel, Tony

Eureka! The first squirrel, Tony

However, Wilfred fell back on his medical knowledge and started giving the two participants varying amounts of Ecstasy and poppers. Soon he had the breakthrough he had been dreaming of, and in August of 1962 the first offspring was born. The squirrel had been invented!

Related non-invention:
Grey squirrel (Non-invented by the Americans): As often is the case the Americans made a bigger, crasser version of the original and tried to pass it off as something new. Close, Chad, but no cigar.

The cocktail

June 18, 2009

The English invented the first recorded cocktail when in 1832 a Mr Campbell Johnson of Basildon, Essex asked for a pint of beer with “just a splash of lemonade” in it.

The “lager top” had been created and soon the classic English cocktails the “shandy”, the “lager and lime” and the “snakebite and black”  were the most popular drinks at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Waldorf in New York, the Dingo’s Nuggets in Sydney and all other colonial back-waters.

Tom Cruise prepares a Lager Top, his signature cocktail in the film "Cocktail"

Tom Cruise prepares a Lager Top, his signature cocktail in the film "Cocktail"

Related non-invention:
Cocktail onion (Non-invented by the Californians): It’s just a small onion.  You don’t put onions in your drinks Keanu!

Talking

June 17, 2009

In 528 B.C., having just invented the first language (English), the English went on to invent talking.

Not stopping there the English went on immediately to invent the first ever question (“How are you, old chap?”), the first ever reply (“Mustn’t grumble.”) and the first ever platitude (“That’s good to hear.”). Although invented by Englishmen it was Englishwomen who went on to excel in talking and really took it to the next level.

Two English women practising talking in 1982. By this time many other countries had tried talking themselves (with varying degrees of success).

Two English women practising talking in 1982. By this time many other countries had started talking themselves (with varying degrees of success).

Related non-invention:
Rapping  (Non-invented by the Americans): Talking whilst wearing oversized trousers does not make it a new form of communication,  Dwayne