When we first arrived in California everything was fun, new and exciting. We knew that our new homeland was just like the one we left, apart from the accents. The main difference between England and America, apart from the accents, was that so many things were so hilarious. Everything was so funny. We were delighted with the stereotypes, confirmation of our prejudices. We saw them everywhere and oh how we laughed. The huge chap with the knee high white socks in open toed sandals, the plaid shorts down to his knees no less, the bigness of everything, oh what fun.
I wrote regularly to my family once a week, as the international telephone calls were too expensive. I told of our adventures in oh such a foreign land, the sprinklers that erupted to soak you unexpectedly, the six lane traffic in residential areas, the salads that were the size to feed a whole neighbourhood. My lightweight airmail letter contained a flimsy example of those mad cap Americans, a carefully folded paper toilet seat cover. What could be more hysterical? Oh what joy, but of course Brits always gravitate to scatological humour. The most joyous thing of all was that Americans didn't realize how amusing they all were with all their funny little ways. They all thought they were perfectly normal!
We of course, knew differently.
Oh what a long time ago it all seems. As we'd wipe away the tears of mirth, it was difficult to fathom which was more funny, that Americans were funny or that they didn't know how funny they were?
As we move out of Winter into Spring my son has difficulty transitioning to the changing seasons, or more specifically, the lighter clothing required when the temperature reaches the 90s. Although it's already May, he is still clad in fleece trousers and several long sleeved T-shirts. These days I let him be. In previous years I dictated clothing. I stopped dictating short trousers when I found I was unable to prevent him from moving the shorts down to cover his ankles regardless of whatever else was exposed as a by-product.
I rush after him first thing in the morning as he squeals towards the toilet. I remember those funny toilet seat covers. I watch him sit gingerly, with caution and a grimace on his face, even though the seat has been sanitized and dried to meet his exacting standards of hygiene. As I watch and wait, I notice something else.
“Ooo you're wearing shorts today!”
“Yes I am be brave!” Shortly thereafter, the waistband is up and so are his snowy white socks. “Are those your shorts dear? They look a bit big.”
“Dey are not big, dey are long!” I beam at the two inch gap between the hemline of his shorts and the cuff of his socks.
To end, I might remind myself of learning curves. I can tell you that the first time the police came to call at our house I was delighted. Imagine! At last I would have the chance to tell everyone at home that the Sheriff had visited. I was tempted to exaggerate, to mention a non existence horse, but I relented and instead I regaled them with graphic descriptions of the very shiny Sheriff's badge. What a jolly jape! Could it really to be true, a real Sheriff just like in all the Westerns. What a hoot! How hysterically funny, the guy was such a wag. The second time he came to call it somehow wasn't quite so amusing, although it was hard to take the chap seriously with his funny hat and handlebar moustache. The third time he came to call on the same day, I could tell that he was less than amused, although I couldn't see his eyes behind the flashy sunglasses. I wondered if the gun in his holster might not be made of plastic?
In case you are a foreigner, I should warn you that if you call the emergency services willy nilly, such behaviour is considered to be:-
1. a nuisance
2. the offence of wasting police time
3. A financial fine will follow
I am no longer laughing.
Here are my last 3 moans on Trusera:-