Not the Mama Blog

You would think that because I am a stay-at-home mom it would be natural for me to make this a mom blog. Now I have nothing against mom blogs. Lord knows, I read my fair share when the Sprog was little, and there were days when she decided that Torturing Mommy was the Best Game Ever!

That favorite yogurt you just bought 12 pots of? It's poison! I don't want it anymore!  Photo courtesy  of Wikimedia Commons
That favorite yogurt you just bought 12 pots of? It’s poison! I don’t want it anymore! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Any words of solidarity were welcome and needed, and I came across a few that were well-written and relevant to my experiences.  Like anything on the Internet, it took a long time to find what I needed, and I had to weed through a lot of crap to get there.

So why am I not returning the favor? Lots of very good reasons actually…

  1. There are tons of mom blogs out there. Women love to write about their kids and their lives with their kids. It’s understandable because once you become a mother, it touches just about every facet of your life from how you arrange your career, how you manage your intimate relationships, how you eat, how you sleep, and even whether you go to the bathroom by yourself when your children are really young. (To those in the trenches, you do get to pee alone. It will happen. I promise.) I really do not need to contribute to that discussion when there are so many women in the mix already.
  2. I always wonder about the role of the spouses in these blogs.  In the poorly written ones, they show up like the goofy neighbor next door in sitcoms.  Perhaps, the writer is just casting the spouse that way for comic relief.  Maybe I am reading the wrong type of blogs here, but I would love to see more where the other spouse is more of an active and engaged parent, like the Boffin, instead of a bumbling fool.  I would love to be proven wrong here.
  3. There is a risk of overexposing the Sprog. I believe children are human beings who have a right to privacy. Just because they do something cute or noteworthy does not mean I need to snap a photo and plaster it all over the Internet. I feel I don’t have the right to tell my side of the story of a fight we had and not give her the forum to tell her side. Yes, I could portray every real struggle and triumph that I have as a mother on the blog, but to pretend that what I say does not effect my daughter is magical thinking at its finest. She may not understand it now, but she will be able to read it later and call me to the carpet.  And rightly so.  Until she is of the age where she can give the proper consent and a rebuttal, I will not give out the details of the inner workings of our relationship. It’s my own personal policy.
  4. The “my type of motherhood is better than your type motherhood” is a minefield I want avoid entirely. Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding. Career vs. Staying-at-Home. One child vs. Two+. Boys vs. Girls. Homeschooling vs. Traditional Classrooms. Soccer vs. Morris Dancing.  No matter what you decide, there will be somebody there to judge or question your decisions. You can’t win with the public, and I don’t feel the need to justify why we do what we do with the Sprog.
  5. I would find writing about the Sprog to be boring. Don’t get me wrong. She is most beloved to the Boffin and me. She is a quite interesting topic of discussion to those closest to us. However…the subject of children can be quite tiresome after a while. We have all been there, and you just want to sedate the people who insist on sticking to the kid subject when there are a plethora of other topics out there. True story time:

I was at a friend’s house who was having a get-together with a bunch of moms in the Sprog’s class. The conversation was all about the kids for an hour at this point, and the current topic was half-day kindergarten. I was sincerely wondering if these women ever read a book or watched a movie.  Anyway, I decided to try to steer the conversation to something else.

“Well, the Sprog had full-day kindergarten when we lived in Massachusetts.”

Dullard Mom #1: “Really? In Massachusetts?”

Me: “Yes.” (Smiling and expecting questions about life in Massachusetts.)

Dullard Mom #2: “Oh.”

Dullard Mom#1 and #2 proceed to turn away from me and start talking about their kids’ diving class, leaving me to stare at the cake on my plate and question humanity.  Just because I am a mother does not mean that I find children infinitely fascinating.

I guess this touches on a grander theme. The Sprog is my kid and very important to me, but she isn’t my life. She is going to grow up and leave home and create a whole world separate from the Boffin and me. I better make damn sure that I am secure in my own identity, develop my own interests, and nurture my relationship with the Boffin and other adults.  And it may behoove the rest of us, ladies, to do the same, if we are not already.

This British-American Life in the Kitchen – Cottage Pie

What is not to love about ground beef (beef mince) in a flavorful savory sauce topped with mashed potato, baked in the oven until the top is nicely browned and crusty? Actually, if you are vegetarian/vegan, lots. I understand. But to the omnivores out there, it’s hard to argue how this dish would not hit all sorts of happy places in your brain, if it is done right.

Now, to the Americans, you are looking at what I am describing and going, “Oh, shepherd’s pie!” And I am going to tell you to stop calling it that right now. Cease immediately. Shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb and only ground lamb. This label makes sense, since, excuse me while I shout, SHEPHERDS DO NOT HERD COWS. This is the kind of thing that makes the Britons think we only learned to walk upright last week.

My late cat, Pandora, would be giving you the Smug Look of Derision, if you keep this up.
My late cat, Pandora, would be giving you the Smug Look of Derision, if you keep this kind of stupidity up.

For those who are new to making cottage pie, this is my American modification of the BBC Good Food recipe.  (And if you want some gastroporn, feel free to explore the rest of the site too)

Cottage Pie – The American Modification

Ingredients

For the beef and veg

3 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs ground beef

2 small onions, finely diced

3 large carrots, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp plain flour or 1 tbsp of corn starch or potato starch

1 tbsp tomato paste

Large glass of red wine (optional)

Several glasses of red wine for the cook (optional or mandatory.  I won’t argue.)

24 oz. (3 cups) of beef stock

1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

Few thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

For the mashed potatoes

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced

8 oz (1 cup) of milk

2 tbsp of butter

8 oz grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the ground beef until browned. Remove beef from the pan.  Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour/starch and tomato paste, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
  2. Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon meat into a 9″ x 13″ dish. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Heat oven to a 400°F and cook 30-35 mins, or until the topping is golden.  If the topping is not browning adequately, you can set your oven on to “broil” for a few minutes to finish off the dish.  Just keep a close eye on your oven.

Do I use this recipe to the letter? Honestly? No. It’s at a point where the Boffin and I use the “Throw Whatever We Have Around the House into It” Method of making cottage pie. I can give you some hints that can help.

TIPS:

  • Whenever we make mashed potatoes, we always make extra and freeze them for this occasion.
  • Keep bags of your frozen pea and carrot mix or your favorite mixed vegetables on hand.
  • Don’t be afraid to add other herbs or seasonings in.  We like to add ketchup, oregano, and HP sauce to ours.  We also make up our own herb blends and throw them in.  It’s your dish.  Have fun with it.
  • To make the cottage pie kosher, omit the milk, butter, and cheese from the mash and add parve margarine, kosher salt, pepper, and beef stock to give the potatoes flavor.
  • Place a cookie sheet underneath when baking the pie.  Sometimes the dish has a tendency to drip, and this saves on the messes.

In summary, I think this dish is the closest to American meatloaf in the sense that every household seems to have its own recipe; it evokes comfort and wholesomeness when it is made well; and the leftovers are better than the fresh meal.  It’s affordable.  It freezes well.  It’s a kid pleaser, especially by working the vegetables into the meat mixture, as the Sprog would attest.  It’s very simple to make.  So give it a go, and maybe you can start to see the loveliness that is British cuisine.

Heave-Ho, Heave-Ho

One thing we have in common in both cultures is the tendency to amass too many things. I admit the Americans win the contest as far as the amount of stuff we accumulate, especially since we have a significantly higher population (about 4 times that of the UK) with sufficient disposable income and more access to pointless products. Any nation that foists things like the Snuggie, which is basically a bathrobe (dressing gown) worn backwards, onto the buying public has a lot to answer for.

I am going to digress a bit. While I was researching this blog, I found an interesting advert in the UK for a model kit for a Lamborghini.

So, there is no price for the kit. You get some of the parts every month (24 packs). And when do you get the build guide? Five years later? I appreciate the time and patience it would take to build a model, but in the space of two years, wouldn’t it be better to build an actual car? What am I not getting?

Anyway, bringing it back to the subject at hand, both countries have various outlets of relief when we are buried alive in our crap. We have charity shops, giveaways to friends and relatives, eBay, Freecycle, and jumble sales to name a few avenues. But I want to compare and contrast two institutions.

First we have the British car boot sale. For those not privvy to British terminology, the boot is the car’s trunk. People would put their stuff in their cars, gather someplace like a car park (parking lot) of a school, church, or downtown area. A lot of times they set up their stuff on tables and tarpaulins by their cars. Sunday is usually the day for it. Summertime, when the weather is nicer, is usually high car boot sale season, but more places are offering indoor “car boot” sales throughout the year in community halls. And I used a very important word. Community. People gather in one spot, so it is a one-stop shop for the bargain hunter.

One drawback to the the seller has to watch out for are the rise of professional dealers who will try to strip you of your good inventory before you even open and resell it for a profit. However, car boot sales, if done right, can be an art form, and you can make a fair bit of money while making space in your home.

I also want to share a little ditty called “Car Boot Sale” by the great artist called, simply, Bill. Nobody seems to remember this song, but this was a staple on Steve Wright’s afternoon show in the 90’s on BBC Radio One and has become one of my most dreaded earworms. It was a good thing that I did not qualify for the EOD flight (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) because of my lack of depth perception. I can imagine what would have happened if I had to deactivate a bomb, and this was at the forefront of my mind. Go to 1:30 to find out some of the glorious things you can find at a car boot sale.

Now let’s compare this to the yard sale or garage sale. Here, you have to go to other people’s houses to look at their stuff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because, if you are in the market for something large, like frat house quality furniture or a 6-foot wide mirrored Budweiser sign, you may find something to suit your needs.

I don’t do garage sales because I don’t want to deal with the general public when it comes to selling my stuff. Truthfully, I don’t want to deal with the general public. Case in point, I am not a haggler. That is the Boffin’s territory. He’s the one who can get a manager at a car dealership to beg for mercy. The Boffin, armed with spreadsheets and car prices from the inventories of other dealers, can make anyone in auto sales weep and curl in the fetal position. Negotiations are important for big ticket items like cars and houses, but I have no interest in arguing whether a blouse is worth 50 cents or a quarter.

Anyway, to compound the haggling, garage sale shoppers are an interesting breed with the motto, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.” They look around, see what you have, and think, “Well, they don’t have any fishing gear on the tables, but that does not mean there is no fishing gear. I know, I will ask if they have any.” To someone like me, that would be annoying because, if I wanted to sell my fishing gear, I would have put out my fishing gear. Even better is when they SEE something that is not obviously part of the sale and want to put an offer on it.

“That guy. Gray hair, glasses, blue pants. How much you want?”

“That’s my grandfather.”

“OK, $250.”

However, there are people who would sell anything they own, if the price is right. I am just not part of the Art of the Deal crowd who enjoys that sort of thing.  And I am certainly not putting anyone down who enjoys shopping and getting a good deal at these respective venues.  I just don’t want to be the one who sells them the stuff because I am not cut out for it.

To me, the whole point of these sorts of endeavors is to just get rid of your stuff. I just want to make a list of the items, box it up, take it Goodwill, and claim the deduction on our taxes. And I try not to bring home too much else to add to the donation pile, especially anything labelled As Seen on TV.

You Know You Are in a British-American Household in America When..

As the American spouse, you find yourself in the kitchen screaming, “Dammit, why can’t we use metric measurements in recipes like normal people?!?!?”

You, as the British spouse, don’t look awkward wearing a baseball cap the traditional way because you know how to position it on your head and mould the brim properly.

Love you, Lewis, but you can flip pancakes with that brim, dude.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Love you, Lewis, but you can flip pancakes with that brim, dude. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Your children’s friends won’t understand them because they whip out terms like “lost the plot,” “scarper,” and “have a butcher’s.”

You are all too familiar with the standoff in the morning over who is too pathetic to put the kettle on to make the first cups of tea.

But I have 7 hours of conference calls today, and my bunions are on the tender side!

You, the American spouse, have learned to accept that your beloved finds The Weather Channel fine entertainment and will want to talk to you about the programming, thinking that constitutes real communication. Old habits die hard.

The Weather Channel goes to Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day.  I'll let the British minds go where they will.  Photo courtesy of Anthony Quintano
The Weather Channel goes to Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day. I’ll let the British minds go where they will. Photo courtesy of Anthony Quintano

My apologies to the British spouse, but you end up softening your accent to make yourself understood around these parts, even to the point where you have to pronounce some words OUR WAY. Your British family will hear banjos when you speak.

You may as well become a Hatfield. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Your children will go to school with superior lunch box treats like Penguin bars and sit with smug satisfaction while savoring their delights, since food sharing is not allowed in American schools anymore.  The lucky friends who come over to your house to play get their snacks from the Stash.

Your British relatives call and still ask, “What time is it over there?” even though you have been in the States for 15 years.

To the British spouse, the odds are, your love is going to be irrational about food. Either you are going to get someone who will eat only 5 meals, and you will be in a culinary rut the rest of your life. Or, because of the incredible amount of choice we have over here, you will end up with a pain in the ass like me who loves all sorts of foods but has these elaborate rules that refresh every 15 minutes. There are going to be certain dishes that are sacrosanct and can never be altered, but there are other recipes that can be experimented with and “improved” for time eternal. There are certain kinds of foods that can be eaten multiple times during the week, but others that can only be eaten once per month. And certain restaurants are only good if you are wearing khaki pants, and your biorhythms are humming “Jerusalem.” Accept that you will never completely know the right answer. Just be happy when your spouse can make a decision.  If you happen to be married to an American with a healthy relationship with food, congratulations.  You discovered a unicorn.

You have multi-national get-togethers with your friends at your house during the World Cup matches, and they are more lively than Super Bowl parties.

On a more serious note, my fellow American, you will happily go toe-to-toe with anyone referring to the U.K. as a “third-rate power” or any of those yutzes with Irish ancestry who think the Real IRA should resume their bombing practices tout suite.

And, my dear Briton, Independence Day eventually won’t feel so much like a holiday that takes the piss out of you than an excuse to drink beer, watch fireworks, and appreciate the home you made here with those who love you the most.

This British-American Life at the Movies: Sixty Six (2006)

There is one little tidbit I haven’t shared about us yet. We’re Jewish. Well, the Boffin is Jewish, and I’m along for the ride. We’re of the Reform variety, so that means that the Sprog is considered Jewish without the maternal bloodline. We belong to our temple. The Sprog goes to Sunday school and Hebrew school. She sings in Kavannah (the youth choir) and is planning her Bat Mitzvah even though she is only 10. And we platz like nobody’s business. Oy vey.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, it’s quite pertinent to the the movie review. Sixty Six is a comedy-drama that centers around the year 1966 and a soon-to-be 13-year-old boy, Bernie Rubens, as he approaches his Jewish coming of age. Bernie, being a lad who gets ignored a lot and is “not very good at breathing,” thinks his Bar Mitzvah is the moment that he will finally shine and take his place in the world. But fate plays against him because family hardships with the grocery business means the celebration has to be scaled back. Even worse, England is doing uncharacteristically well in the World Cup, and the final is scheduled on his big day! To put this in perspective for the Americans, 1966 World Cup final when England beat West Germany is one of the jewels in English sporting history. It was the last time they won the World Cup and is still discussed ad nauseum to this day. No one would have gone the Bat Mitzvah, if England made to the final, so Bernie spends a lot of time wishing for England’s demise.

The movie is a Working Title production. They are the same people that brought you Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love, Actually. Don’t let that detract you, if you are not a rom-com fan. The plot is based upon director, Paul Weiland’s own Bar Mitzvah being shadowed by the World Cup, so there is credibility to it. Although Sixty Six starts off slightly slowly, it picks up pace and proves to be engaging, quirky, funny, and well-acted. The stand-out performances go to Gregg Sulkin as Bernie who is really captures the angst of understanding that life is not about getting everything that you want, but at the same time wondering when it is going to be his turn. Eddie Marsan’s portrayal of Bernie’s meek, hypochondriac father was skillful in keeping him a character and creating not a caricature. You will also see solid performances from Helena Bonham-Carter, Catherine Tate, and Peter Serafinowicz.

The most interesting thing about the film is the grander theme. Look out for the tug-of-war between national identity vs. religious/personal identity. Bernie and his immediate family are trying to hold steady to their lives and plans while the nation around them is pushing forward with its own agenda in the form of the World Cup and the modern supermarket. There is much pressure to conform, even within the Jewish community. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but it’s interesting how it all plays out. I would imagine that an American movie would yield a different outcome.

So take the time to watch Sixty Six, if only to get a glimpse of a different part of England.

In Praise of Cheeses

I have heard a many complaints from Britons over the years about one particular type of food served over here in the grand old U.S. of A. That, my friends, is cheese. Let’s be fair; we don’t make the case for ourselves when we habitually spell cheese with a “z”.

“Try Lay’s Jalapeño Chocolate Cheez-ee Pork Rinds! They’re Kosher!”

However, I also think we are not given a fair shake in this department. Lots of Britons go to the mainstream tourist places and frequent the restaurants that most of the locals avoid because tourists eat there. They have these burgers covered with vulcanized, day-glo orange tar and come back wondering why we insist on putting things like that in our bodies. It’s the same in reverse when Americans go to London, find the worst possible touristy pub grub in places named The Wanker and Spittle, and come back to report how flavorless and drab the cuisine is. Not fair to either side, but par for the course, really.

Well, I am going to make the case for what we call American cheese. It has a very specific legal definition as a pasteurized processed cheese that is made up of a blend of different cheeses and does not include products like Velveeta, cheez in a spray can, Cheez Whiz, or anything like that. American cheese was made to be mild and to melt easily, so it is the ideal cheese for burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheese dogs, in other words perfect for fast food or the ball park concessions. OK, you can say it’s mediocre, mass-produced, holds no value as foodstuff, and is no substitute for the real thing. And you are right, but neither does Bird’s Custard Powder, so I think we are even on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now, not all American cheese is alike. This is the kind of American cheese I bring into my house because I recognize the ingredients.

20150414_103003

So you make your own food with ingredients you know. And having a mild cheese can enhance the flavor of the meat on a burger, if done right.

But enough about that. Believe it or not, we do make other cheeses over here, good cheeses, worthy cheeses. And I am not writing about one farm with an old goat and a cow (who just happen to be the proprietors).

The Boffin, The Sprog, and I have been fortunate to have lived in two places in close proximity to two of the main states associated with dairy. While we were living in the Boston metro, our vacations were spent in Vermont. Now that we are in Chicagoland, Wisconsin is a short drive away.

Now, I am married to Mr. “I bought my cheese at Harrod’s Food Hall while I was at university,” Mr. “I did my last year of university in France and stunk out the dorm with my sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees.” He cares deeply about his cheese. Sometimes I think he cares more about cheese than me. Nevertheless, this is a man who will happily eat domestic cheddar that has been aged for 10 years and does not pine for the corresponding namesake of his homeland. That says a lot.

Here are a couple of photos of the cheese section of my local supermarket to prove how far we have come. I apologize for the quality. The employees found me suspect and rushed me along. I guess they thought I was casing the joint for The Great Cheese Heist.

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These are just two of three high cases of the posh cheeses, and I did not take pictures of the low counters. I would estimate half the stock is domestic cheese. Regarding the U.K., you can still get some old favorites, if need be. Every so often, I indulge in a block of this…in one sitting.

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And the US is just starting to make their own distinctive kinds of cheese. An example I can give is Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, CA. In the States, this is the one that is recommended to people when they are new to goat cheese because it is creamier and on the mild side. Our palates are changing over here, and there is more call for variety.

So, this is my travel tip. If you happen to be in the States, especially in a major metro area, instead of going to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, find a local grocery store that has the salad bar, hot food bar, sushi bar, coffee bar, biker bar etc. Those are the places that have the large cheese counters and bakeries too. Whole Foods is a national chain, but there are local stores that offer those services too. And depending what state you are in, you can get your wine or beer there. 1) You will have a variety food to choose from, not just the cheese. But try our cheese.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  2) You will be able to control your portion size and still get something nutritious. 3) Chances are, it will be easier on your wallet, at least by avoiding the whole tip conundrum. 4) It’s quick, if you are pressed for time.

Of course, what is on offer is going to depend heavily on where you are. I cannot guarantee that you will find a good Wisconsin Caerphilly in Paducah, Kentucky. But I know where to get great barbeque, and that is a different post.

10 British English Words that Should Be Used in the States

When I leave my house, I sometimes forget that the language that I use with my family is not the language that the rest of the country uses.  Even though the world is getting smaller through technology, there are still words and terms that have not reached mainstream American English that, I think, would add a bit more flair to it.

  • Laughing gear – n. mouth. This is usually used by saying, “Get your laughing gear around this,” while handing someone something to eat or drink. Yes, it is a more colorful way of saying, “Here you go.” I do enjoy that, which is why I am including the term. However, the giver really does not need to tell me to put the item in my mouth. I know what do with food, considering I have kept myself alive for almost 42 years. I figured that biscuit was not meant be used as a suppository.
  • Wazzock – n. a an idiot or fool. Most of the time when I have heard it used, the recipient of the label was the pompous, know-it-all type. We have our own wazzocks on both sides of the Pond. We are probably related to some of them. It’s pretty mild as far as insults. You can say this in front of your grandmother at Christmas dinner. Heck, you can even call her one at Christmas dinner. I don’t care. Do what you want.
  • Naff – adj. a combination of unfashionable, tacky, cheap, and tasteless. 2) pointless and worthless. Some people also use it as a verb by telling someone to “naff off.” There is no equivalent word for it in American English at all, so we need it. And maybe I don’t have to laugh like an 8-year old when I pass one of these. I am pretty sure international franchising is off the docket.
  • Knackered – adj. extremely tired. This word just conveys the feeling better than pooped, exhausted, dead on my feet, or any other term I can pull from my mental thesaurus. You can just feel yourself in the yard…with the retired horses…without an ounce of energy left in your bones. This word is enough to get your spouse to cook dinner or order in while you watch videos of Russians injuring themselves on YouTube.
  • The Dog’s Bollocks (testicles to Americans) – n. something really, really good.“Mum, that stew you made was really the dog’s bollocks!”“Son, you say the kindest things!”No one has ever been able to explain to me why dogs’ bollocks achieved the gold standard as far as testicular quality. Perhaps there was some sort of cosmic animal bollock competition in the style of the Eurovision song contest.“Gerbils – nil points.”Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Gormless – adj. clueless or stupid. Obviously, one is clueless because one lost one’s gorm. To be without one’s gorm is a bad thing. Remember that, kids.
  • Trump – v. to fart. I only included this because I just want flatulence associated with The Donald…you know, a wazzock. A hairstyle resembling Weetabix (shredded wheat) gone wild just isn’t enough for me.
  • Bog roll – n. toilet paper – I just want to try anything to get rid of the term “bathroom tissue.” Bog roll really reflects the tone of what the stuff is used for. Bog. Roll. Bleah. Bathroom tissue is one of those made up advertisement euphemisms that only overly delicate crazy people would use in real life. Shit happens, and we need to clean it up.
  • Whinge – v. to whine, moan, or complain. Rhymes with hinge. Another term that goes along with it is describing a chronic complainer as someone who can “whinge for Britain.” I love the thought of an Olympic competition based upon our mildly stereotypically annoying traits. The USA would definitely take gold in “worst fashion while abroad,” “eating too much mediocre food and thinking it is good,” and “not knowing socialism if it walked up to them and bit them in the ass.”
  • Meat and Two Veg – n. the penis and testicles. The best dick slang ever. It should be the new name of The Journal of Urology.

And on that low tone, I must ask, do any of you have any nominees for your favorite British slang? Feel free to comment below, if you do.