It feels like just yesterday, but it’s been almost exactly a year since I started this blog. My first post was written in early September, 2014. The world was a different place. Donald Trump was still just a run-of-the-mill, angry, idiot billionaire, not a presidential front-runner. A young Ed Miliband was captivating all of Britain with his passionate and stirring speeches. People everywhere were dumping buckets of ice water over their heads, to challenge themselves to do… something. And this little blog, created in the hope of entertaining two mighty nations through humour and satire was born. My first ever post: some poorly written tosh about how Canadian expats are constantly reminding you that they are Canadian, and not in fact Americans. (As if there’s any real difference).
Since then, more than 50 other magical postings have followed. The most-popular blogs have been about British pubs and Thanksgiving celebrations, and the least-popular, about American wrestlers and an expose on
Britain’s England’s secret shame: Morris dancing. I have even dragged my family into things. I’ve complained about how my own daughter is “creepy” because of her British accent, and I sent my father a fake chain letter, faux-complaining about all “the muslims” in Britain.
But looking back, I fear that my little comedy blog has been more successful at enraging, rather than amusing audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. It seems Americans don’t like it when I make fun of Americans and British people don’t like it when I make fun of British people. Who would’ve thought?
To celebrate our first anniversary, I will share with you a sample of a few of the more opinionated comments I’ve received over the past 12 months. Some were posted here on my blog, some on my facebook feed, some on reddit, and one or two were taped to rocks that were thrown through my window:
“What an arrogant prick. Who thought you could be so smug over juice.”
—Ribena, whybena? A guide to the strange beverages of Britain (and America)
“I’m not clicking on that shit to give you page views.”
“I guess leaving the country to escape the .00000001% chance you’d be a mass shooting victim makes you feel smart, but from where I am (NYC) you just look like a drama queen.”
—How do you find comedy in mass shootings?
‘Good guide, but don’t use poncey in that context. poncey means that something is effeminate and so you describing everything like that won’t win the affection of the locals. You will raise silent eyebrows…”
—An American expat’s guide to tea in Britain
Editor’s note: The above comment I consider to be the most vicious and vehement I’ve ever received. If you live in Britain, you will know that when someone here warns of “raised silent eyebrows,” it’s the UK equivalent of an American saying: “Check yourself, or you gonna wreck yourself” or “Don’t start no shit, there won’t be no shit!” A threat. Subtle, but pointed social opprobrium always follows. [shudder]
“[Thanksgiving] involves massive gluttony of the highest order. Consumerism is rampant not only because of the sheer consumption of food but because Thanksgiving is also associated with sales and the start of the shopping season for Christmas. I would understand if a day of thanks and being grateful didn’t revolve around gorging yourself silly and running over people in stores. Especially since the entire routine is repeated less than a month later for Christmas.”
—A guide to Thanksgiving for British people
“Dumb article. We don’t do it because it isn’t a British tradition. Why not write an article on why the British don’t do much for Diwali.”
“What a sad waste of the internet.”
—Why the British hate Halloween (it’s not just because it’s “too American.”)
“It’s a shit article, that bares little resemblance to the many pubs I’ve drunk in.”
—An American walks into a bar: A guide to unlocking the secrets of British pubs
“The British are bitter a-holes”
“worlds 5th largest economy and mother country of USA, not fascist “fatherland” of the USA”
—Are they right? Does America suck?
“This would be a good article and you have alot of good facts to promote your point. But if you actually presented an argument instead of mindlessly bashing the U.S. I would have respect for you as a journalist instead keeping a mind of contempt throughout your shitty article. BTW You come off as an Anglophile douche. Bitch.”
—American politcs, more awesomer than British politics
Editor’s note: It is a bit of a stretch to call me a journalist, as I blog mostly about things like biscuits, sandwiches and dodgeball. I may very well be a douche, but in terms of being an Anglophile, it seems some readers would strongly disagree:
“A typical arrogant septic. Why have you been here for ten years if you are so bitter & twisted? Don’t they want you back ?”
—Post-Christmas apologies and corrections.
— What a typical person from Liechtenstein thinks of Britain
—A cultural guide to British biscuits
In answer to the last comment, here’s who cares: My massive audience of dozens of loyal readers. It’s for them that I continue my quixotic quest for trans-Atlantic understanding. I will forge ahead.
Here’s to another year of Claptrap! These are some of the topics I’ve got lined up for the 2015-2016 blogging season:
- American people drive like this, but British people drive like this: An analysis
- Why the beer is warm in Britain- hey, it’s not! Who knew?
- Something about how British people are polite, but have bad teeth. HAR-DEE-HAR HAR!
- American people are fat. How fat are they? I’m glad you asked!
That’s the kind of quality you can continue to expect from Expat Claptrap. Thank you all for your continued support, and for making me, the single most popular blogger on expat issues who has ever lived in my home.