Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm so sorry, Uncle Winston.

As Dave Barry is fond of saying, I'm not making this up. (Not that I won't make up a news story when it serves my nefarious purposes. I'm just not making this up.) And let me add that, despite some evidence to the contrary, my heart is not entirely hardened to the British. They did a fine job in World War II, for example, with the added benefit that for those few years they were somewhat distracted from evicting, bashing, imprisoning and generally oppressing the folks on the Irish side of my lineage.

But as further evidence that a once great nation is in its final decline, we have this news item from The Press (proudly serving North and East Yorkshire since 1882):

.22 bullet found in Fossgate, York

A STARTLED man has told how he found a bullet lying in a York city-centre street.
Tim Stark said he was unloading items into the MOR Music store where he works in Fossgate yesterday morning when he spotted what he believed to be a live .22 bullet gleaming in a puddle.
He said he immediately called police, who came and took it away.
“I have no idea what it was doing there,” he said.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said the bullet had been put into safe storage, and CID had confirmed it was not thought to be connected with any incident currently under investigation.
He asked anyone with any information about the bullet and how it came to be in Fossgate to phone the force on 0845 60 60 47.
Mr. Stark was "startled." The bullet was taken away by the police (I'm imagining a teeny-little bomb squad van built out of a Mini Cooper). The bullet was "put into safe storage". (An old crumpet tin?*) The knicker-twisting** hysteria contained in this account is Python-esque. More so the Upright Citizens Brigade tone of the accompanying comments.  My favorite:

Well done that man from the music shop! Where else would one responsibly dispose of a 'live round'?? The bin? I think the right action was taken, if I had any live ammunition in my drawers I would jolly well ask the police to dispose of it!
But then I saw that this comment was attributed to Elton Trowler of Wetwang. (Again. Not making this up.) Surely, I thought, this was proof that the entire story was just The Press having us on.*** But a quick visit to Google Maps confirmed that there is indeed a town called Wetwang in Yorkshire.

Still, there's a chance this is all a hoax, right? I mean, the British don't really say "jolly well," do they?

* I'm unclear on exactly what constitutes a crumpet, and unsure if they come in cans, but I do the know the English call cans tins, so no one can say I'm not being all "hands across the sea" and whatnot.

** See what I did there? Instead of panties in a bunch?

*** Could have been a cheeky colonial and insisted on saying "pulling our leg." Didn't.

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