Sunday, April 22, 2012

The British Invasion

The British are coming; the British are coming! Paul Revere knew there would be a problem when he made that historic ride supposedly shouting those words, though historians do take umbrage with Longfellow's taking liberty and freedom of the press in writing his classic poem.

The US had another British invasion when the Beatles brought the new world order of music over the great pond. I thought I had seen the last of the British invasions, but alas or crikey, was I wrong. Budapest is invaded regularly with British party hooligans who have left all manners, common decency, and culture behind in jolly ole' England, if they had any originally.

Now don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite people who I admire, respect, and care about happen to be British. However, now thanks to budget airlines, the young Brits, usually men come here en-mass, in swarms, multitudes, droves, herds, mobs, assemblages, flocks, bevies, clans, gaggles, collections, hordes, coveys, crowds, packs, and throngs. Generally what entices them after the cheap flight, is the cheap booze.

Yesterday is just one example. Down three doors from us is a rather nice pub with cheap drinks. Now that the weather has warmed up enough to melt a cube of ice, they have reissued their outdoor claim to the sidewalk, making a thoroughfare barely one lane for thin people. All others need to proceed with caution so that they don’t get hooked on the corner of a table and drag it along with them. Even the anorexic waitress holds in her breath when going from table to table.

Yea, back to yesterday, we were coming back from shopping; it couldn’t have been much past noon. Every chair inside the pub was filled, their windows were open, all chairs outside were filled with butts, but now that there is no smoking indoors, the sidewalk was also crammed with flesh. To continue home, it was a toss-up between playing dodge ball with inebriated humans on the sidewalk or the racing cars coming down the street when you are the ball. The cacophony was such that there was thoughtus interruptus causing critical thinking to be on par with a cow's decision making process.

Once upstairs, three doors away, 4 floors up, windows closed, but trying to read and edit theses, the piecing sounds of the British progeny of poor taste echoed as it bounced from sandstone wall to sandstone wall, cutting through the glass of  double windows still wafting over twenty feet to assault my ears while on the computer. For 4 hours this continued. They must have years of voice training to enable their vocal cords to be abused in such a manner. I think I heard they have hooligan practice at football matches in preparation for the next stag party in another country. You know the old saying "When the queen is away, the boys will play". 

To say that their vocalizations were blatant, blustering, boisterous, booming, cacophonous, clamorous, crashing, deafening, deep, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, emphatic, forte, full-mouthed, fulminating, heavy, high-sounding, intense, loud-voiced, lusty, obstreperous, pealing, piercing, powerful, rambunctious, raucous, resonant, resounding, ringing, roaring, rowdy, stentorian, strident, strong, thundering, tumultuous, turbulent, turned up, uproarious, vehement, vociferous, and enough to wake the dead, is just putting it mildly. Pardon me if I cannot come up with the right words I want to describe such rude behaviors.

What is intriguing and generous on their part is that they share. They may stay in one place for 4 hours, but then they do roam the city like a band of wild dogs, not soaking up the culture, but the culture’s alcohol production, sharing their foreign customs with all neighborhoods, lest one should profit entirely.

Last night, we went to a birthday party at a wine pub, had a delightful time, but left for home close to 11:30 pm. We were just about 2 blocks from our apartment building when "they" appeared. We all have "they, them, or those people". How "they, them, or those people" are defined can be based on color, religion, ethnicity, appearance, sexual orientation, or a list of other things. We need "those people" so we have someone to shake a finger at. Well, our "those people" appeared like a white tornado combing the street.

The gang of forty men speaking some form of the English language, like British English mixed with Ebonics or Esperanto were all decked out in white t-shirt. They were being led by a young blonde woman. My guess was that they were on a pub tour, which confounded me. It has always seemed that stag party revelers  were able to sniff out pubs like pigs sniff out truffles. Costumed in their white shirts, there was something extraordinary about them. On the front of each had the custom printing “Ryan’s Last Party, 2012”. Ugh! Did he have to be named Ryan? Couldn’t he have been named Gauge, Tanked, or I would even have settled for Loser, but not Ryan; it besmirches my name. Does this mean Ryan can party again in 2013? Is that in his contract?

It was when we caught sight of the backs of the shirts that gave us a momentary chuckle. Each of the guys' shirts had their own special imprint on the back. Some were funny, some were downright confounding. One said “Bi-Polar Bear”. We weren't sure if this meant he is on both sides of the fence, a switch hitter who is looking for a hirsute somebody or is it in reality a warning label regarding his mental and physical condition? I had not been pumped with enough alcohol to ask. 

However, had I been tipsy in the least, what would have sobered me instantly was when the female blonde ring leader, stopped at our corner. This caused me to hesitate to see if her congregation was going to make a right turn, following us, desecrating our neighborhood yet again. They didn’t, but she made a point of announcing that this was the street that their apartment was on. Notice singular ~ apartment. If I had one last wish from a genie at that moment, I would have wished that they got group amnesia, because had they left a trail of breadcrumbs, it was too late for any bird to eat the evidence. 

Then they continued on to the next watering hole.
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