I’m learning to speak the lingo, a little bit every day. America is pronounced “Mericuh” and rhymes with “duh!” around these parts, I’m reliably informed. Today I consciously noticed that Americans (or at least, midwesterners) say “Excuse me,” when they want to get past you in the supermarket or need your attention. They do this on occasions where I find myself saying sorry. I need to stop apologising and learn to let people know, politely, that I’m here.
Yes, we were taught to say excuse me when I was a child. Mum taught us that it was polite and well-mannered. Manners are a dying art now in the south of England, as far as I can tell. Most people would rather drop a door in your face than wait a few extra seconds to hold it for their fellow human. At least, that’s my impression. I was rather stressed what with crazy shift work and all.
Then again, they sell ammo here in the local superstore. Yes, the same nice people who say “Paper or plastic?” at the checkout and bag your groceries for you can load you up with live rounds too.
I’m kind of glad that the people buying and selling these things are all so awfully friendly and polite. I can just imagine what would happen if the inhabitants of Watford or Hemel Hempstead were able to shop for bullets along with the groceries. Something along the lines of, “Are you tawkin’ t’ me? Are YOU tawkin’ t’ ME?” Blam! Blam! Blam! “Excuse me.” “Excuse you? Sure, I’ll excuse you! With this!!” Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam!
England, I found, was very stressful.