Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 183

Wrong side of the road

Today, for the first time in a while, I drove on the wrong (that is left handside of the road…). Weird. Not sure why I did that. Preparing for those roads in the UK, perhaps?

Drive on the left, drive on the left....

Drive on the left, drive on the left….

I won’t sue, I’m British

Last week I visited the dentist. They couldn’t complete my check up because I had to dash to work. Come back, they said, we need to finish the exam.

So in I went today.

I had an exam and it took exactly two minutes.

‘Why did I need that done?’ I asked, a little perturbed at the inconvenience.

‘Because it is required as part of your insurance that you receive the full service,’ they replied earnestly.

‘But, I won’t sue you,’ I assured them. ‘I’m British.’

(I would probably actually apologise to them for not being able to make the appointment, such is the British way!)

That's right, British at heart I am!

That’s right, British at heart I am!

Tastykake and other incredible stuff

My friend Nicole is a gem for giving me little nuggets of Americana to feast on. This time she mentioned to me Tastykake (I imagined it as ‘Tasty Cake’ tho).

The excellent expat blog site The Displaced Nation aptly states that for an expat, ‘foodie-ism is endemic to our way of life’. They add that ‘Food is, and will always remain, The Displaced Nation’s number one obsession.’ True, I confirm this absolutely.

So what is this TastyKake that we do not have in the fair isles of England?

I believe Nicole had this:

The Best of Both Worlds! The taste of a candy bar, the freshness of Tastykake! Light and fluffy chocolate enrobed cakes with a delicious créme filling in a unique kandy bar shape. These delicious kakes are made with real Hershey's flavors and will grab you by the taste buds. Available in S'mores, Peppermint and Peanut Butter.

The Best of Both Worlds! The taste of a candy bar, the freshness of Tastykake! Light and fluffy chocolate enrobed cakes with a delicious créme filling in a unique kandy bar shape. These delicious kakes are made with real Hershey’s flavors and will grab you by the taste buds. Available in S’mores, Peppermint and Peanut Butter.

She also told me about Ring Dings and Ding Dings, which just made me snigger like a naughty British schoolgirl – again.

Whatever next - Ding Dongs?! ;)

Whatever next – Ding Dongs?! 😉

Dumb laws

Okay, so we know there are some weird laws in the USA. Like freaky weird.

My top three states for crazy laws that tickled, confused and bemused me….

Sweet Home Alabama

– Bear wrestling matches are prohibited.
– Incestuous marriages are legal.
– It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.
– It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
– Dominoes may not be played on Sunday.
– It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
– Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.
– Boogers may not be flicked into the wind. (Hahahaha!)
– It is legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street if you have a lantern attached to the front of your automobile.
– You must have windshield wipers on your car.
– You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.
– Masks may not be worn in public.
– It is considered an offense to open an umbrella on a street, for fear of spooking horses.
– Women are able to retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce. However, this provision does not apply to men.

Let’s hear it for Tennessee’s law-abiding citizens!

– Students may not hold hands while at school.
– It is a crime to share your Netflix password in Tennessee.
– In Tennessee it is illegal to post images online that cause “emotional distress” “without legitimate purpose”.
– No Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.
– You can’t shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile.
– Hollow logs may not be sold.
– More than 8 women may not live in the same house because that would constitute a brothel.
– It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
– Any person who participates in a duel may not hold any public office in the state.
– Giving and receiving oral sex is still prohibited by law.
– Stealing a horse is punishible by hanging.
– It is illegal to place tacks on a highway.
– Skunks may not be carried into the state.
– The definition of “dumb animal” includes every living creature.
– Interracial marriages are illegal. (REALLY??????? In 2013? Someone tell me this isn’t true…)
– Tattooing a minor is a misdemeanor.
– It is illegal to dare a child to purchase a beer.

Texas, there’s nothing about no yellow rose in here…

– One must acknowledge a supreme being before being able to hold public office.
– It is illegal to sell one’s eye.
– A program has been created in the state that attempts to control the weather.
– When two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.
– It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
– Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
– It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
– It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.
– A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
– Homosexual behavior is a misdemeanor offense. (GRRRRR!)
– The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home. (OFFS!!)

And there are many more laws to be upheld in the USA in the other states…..take a look at them and gasp away!

New York and the Cockney gal

Sally used to tell me stories about living in the USA when we worked together 10 years ago (yes, really Sally!). She said I would love it, and she was spot on!

These are Sally’s memories of living in New York in the 1980s….

Sally’s Story

Hi I’m Sally Dopson and I’ve been married to my husband Del for 44 years have two daughters and four grandchildren, three girls and a boy, age ranges 23 down to 13. I live in Cheltenham, as do my family, and hubby and I are both retired and enjoying life doing what we had to cram into two days a week and a bit of travelling. We visit Florida to see my ex-New York neighbour and friend Diane, we’re off to see her at the end of Sept. Singapore and Malaysia are also favourites of ours.

Sally and her friend Diane hanging out

Sally and her friend Diane hanging out in NYC

We lived in New York from 1982 to 1984. Del worked in Manhatten, Wall St area and we lived on Long Island, Dix Hills, 10 mins from Robert Moses beach. He always said we lived on Long Island but he just slept there!! My girls certainly grew up there, made them worldly which has stayed with them, gave them so much confidence.

What fascinates you most about the USA?
I am fascinated by the diversity found in the USA, the choices are so amazing and sometimes overwhelming whether it be food, clothing, Home Depot etc. etc.

The Big Apple

The Big Apple

Having lived in the USA, what are your favorite areas/memories/traditions?
When we lived in NY we were in a predominately Jewish neighbourhood and I was fascinated by the Jewish traditions and learnt such a lot about a different religion. My favourite memories are of the times I spent with by American friends and how they took us to their hearts and included us in their lives. I will always love NY city – the city that never sleeps, how true!

What differences do you think really exist between our cultures?
I think the differences are that as Brits we are much more reserved than the Americans and not so materialistic. Having said that, Americans are very hard working and reach their goals and ambitions come what may.

What do you remember most about living with Americans?
I think Americans are very confident people, sometimes very loud and “in your face” but get past that and they have hearts of gold.

The girls are still friends after all these years :)

The girls are still friends after all these years 🙂

PS.I think we have something money can’t buy and that is our English accent, whether it be Oxford English, Scottish accent or my Cockney accent, they seem to love them all. My girls were always invited to play with other kids in the hope that their Cheltenham young lady accents would rub off.

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8 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 183

  1. Driving on the “wrong” side of the road – I’d like to think you enjoyed our reminiscing about England so much that you actually felt like you were at home Claire.

  2. Hi Sally,

    I enjoyed your post and really appreciated the lovely sentiments about Americans. Come back now, ya’hear?

  3. Sally Dopson says:

    Coming back in Sept. to Boca Raton and then off for a few days to the Keys.

  4. Diane says:

    Hi, I am Sally’s American sister Diane and yes all the feelings are quite mutual. I fell in love with my new neighbors who in fact became our instant family. We not only share wonderful memories of our friendship when it was young, but keep it fresh and very much ongoing today. In fact our respective children joke that we have these marathon, 1 hour phone conversations twice a week. We’ve shared everything that a close knit family could possibly share including the death of all our parents and the births of all the grandchildren and hip replacements. in short, a very special relationship! However, good thing the Dopson’s hadn’t lived in say, Wisconsin for 2 years. They would have had quite a different experience. I doubt that they would’ve ever returned to the US. As far as the diversity, they moved to New York where anything is available 24/7.
    By the way Claire, I learned to drive in Manhattan and consider myself to be an aggressive New York driver but frankly, the roads in the UK freak me out! Sally has tried on more than 1 occasion to get me behind the wheel in Cheltenham (even in an empty car park) and it won’t happen! The roads there are much safer without me.

  5. Sally Dopson says:

    Thanks me old friend! I’m working on getting my sister Chris to come to Boca to share all the experiences too. xxx

  6. Diane says:

    Stranger things have happened and one can only hope!

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