Wetherspoons at last orders, and other British locations that will shatter American tourists' illusions

TO Americans, Britain is Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge and Hogwarts. To maintain the illusion they should avoid these locations:

Any supermarket

Our supermarkets are neither Harrods nor the village shops of wartime dramas. The British shopping experience consists of industrial quantities of frozen food in trolleys, with a good smattering of rough families in Adidas buying microwave oddities and vodka. Groceries aren’t packed in paper bags so they’ll get stung for a 30p Bag for Life, while the pensioner behind tuts because they’re friendly to the cashier and were late joining WW2. 

Wetherspoons at last orders

At the best of times it’s not a cosy pub with a raging fire, darts and a dog to pet. Rustic ploughman’s lunches would be an unwelcome distraction for the red-nosed 7am regulars. But kicking out time is when the violence begins. On the upside Spoons sells shit beer to make Americans feel slightly at home, but tourists seeking an interactive art exhibition can witness a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life at 11.20pm at The Capitol in Forest Hill.

The away end at the footy

Americans will quickly realise this is not the sporting experience they’re used to. Here we have no national anthems sung by beloved R&B stars. No lush green outfield of a major league baseball ballpark. No, this is lower tier football. A nil-nil draw on a mashed-up pitch at Leyton Orient. Here we don’t celebrate our athletes. We call them wankers. It’s normal to threaten to kill your own team’s 19-year-old winger if he missed a sitter in the 95th minute.

The British seaside

Nothing about our shitty seaside towns is quaint. It’s raining and the seagulls are in attack formation,  so shelter in arcades and pretend to enjoy a 2p-shoving machine and a cacophony of random noise. Then they can get fish and chips that are surprisingly shite given they’re the town’s speciality and return to their hire car which has been clamped in a dodgy ‘£3 all day’ car park. 

Catching a train

Visions of the Flying Scotsman are mistaken. Coastal trains do not scenically snake their way through dales. 90 per cent of services are two-carriage rattlers with no compartments, no dining carriage with waiters, and no commuters in bowler hats with briefcases. Tracksuit bottoms and ankle tags, maybe. Oh and your journey costs £300, which is a little bit like the Orient Express at least.

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Six alternative, face-saving reasons you've been dumped

OFFICIALLY you were dumped because you’re a selfish knobhead. Comfort yourself with six more palatable and delusional reasons your ex had to let you go: 

She jumped before she was pushed

Your girlfriend undoubtedly caught wind that you were about to dump her and seized the initiative by dumping you first, out of respect. She must have picked up on a subconscious vibe, like the fact your relationship had been coasting along for years and you’d let the spark die.

She wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment

Neither were you but that’s besides the point. Your immature and emotionally unintelligent ex couldn’t stand the thought of being shackled to you for the rest of her days, even though she’d single-handedly been pushing the relationship forwards before giving up. Hopefully the next one will be in it for the long haul.

You were too much for her, sexually

Being a skilled lover has its drawbacks. Your ex was obviously intimidated by your sexual prowess as you’d make her come at least a few times, you think. ‘How many people has he practised with to get that good?’ she likely thought. A gentleman never tells, but does your hand count? Because your number of conquests could do with all the help it can get.

Her friends were jealous

You can tell by the way they called you a waste of space that your ex-girlfriend’s mates wanted you for themselves. Why else would they try to besmirch your good name, if not to lure you into their own clutches? After all, the sisterhood never looks out for one another with a fiercely protective sense of loyalty, especially when it comes to useless men.

She put your career first

She was an anchor, mate. You were climbing the ladder of your dead-end office job, meanwhile she was dragging you down with her own business that raked in a fair bit, granted, but was heading to overextension and collapse. If anything she’s set you free, so try not to hold a grudge. Now you can put all your energy into entering data into a spreadsheet like a robot.

You wanted different things

She hoped to get married one day and have a family. Your aspirations include sitting around all day in your pants and unlocking every achievement in Diablo IV. It was never going to work. Better to call things off after the best part of a decade so you don’t waste each other’s time. Good luck to her finding someone better. She’ll come crawling back.