INSTRUCTIONS FOR OPERATING YOUR WATER TEMPERATURE
1. Turning the temperature control anti-clockwise (to the left) increases your water temperature.
2. Depressing the red button and continuing to run anti-clockwise (to the left) will increase the water temperature further.
In the United States, these instructions would consist of an arrow pointing left, and the word HOT. More efficient, yes. But less polite, and far less entertaining.
Which brings me to my favorite thing about the Brits.
WARNING: ANOTHER CLICHÉ AHEAD
These people have an excellent sense of humor. I mean, all of them. Whatever the joke is, they get it. My favorite experience here was participating in the International Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship in a pub. Now, this was a funny event, but the humor could easily have been ruined, in two ways:
1. Somebody pointing out that it was funny. Nothing drains the wackiness from a wacky situation as quickly as somebody going, This is so ridiculous! Because its rock, paper scissors! Ha ha!
2. Somebody taking it too seriously that is, actually wanting to be world champion of rock, paper, scissors.
In most places, if you hold a rock, paper, scissors tournament, you will quickly see both of these humor-killing behaviors. In the United States, lawsuits would be filed. But not here. Here, the people in the pub and there were hundreds executed a perfect parody of spectators and competitors at an important sporting event. They never broke character; they displayed great passion and intensity throughout, without a single ounce of sincerity. It was brilliantly funny, and nobody ever said so.
It almost makes me wonder whether the Brits were kidding about the Olympics, too. Probably not; they seem genuinely proud of the way things turned out. As they should be.
But Im pretty sure the mushy peas are a joke.