Monday, 24 September 2012

Being one in ten thousand almost every day.

It's Saturday night and Mark is watching the Smithsonian Channel while I'm editing photos. It's a World War II documentary narrated by Martin Sheen.

You know about the rule of cable TV? There always has to be at least one WW2 documentary broadcasting at a time. It's like the screaming baby rule on long haul flights; if there's no screaming baby the airline has to find one and put it on the flight.

I'm not paying much attention to Sheen's dulcet narrating tones until Mark exclaims: "Grannies. You had grannies?"

Me: What?

Mark: Your army had grannies?

Me: Uh, that'd be the home guard.

Mark: The what?

Me: You know, Dad's Army.

Mark: What?

Now I'm singing the theme tune to Dad's army. Mark has no idea what's going on.

Me: You've never seen Dad's Army? How can you never have seen Dad's Army? That's important historical television! Okay, well, you know the bit at the beginning of Bedknobs and Broomsticks?

Mark: No.

Me: You've never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks?

Now I'm singing 'Bobbing Along' and it's kind of freaking Mark out. Maybe it's the rhythmic bobbing I'm doing. I start gesticulating wildly.

Me: But it's about World War II, witches, medieval knights! It's got live action AND animation. And the home guard. It was our "well-organised militia" if you will.

Mark: What? Well-organised grannies? No wonder you needed our help.

Uh oh. It's serious now.

Me: Oh yeah? And just when did World War II start?

Mark: 1942.

Me: 1939!

Mark: It wasn't the World War until we saved your asses!

Me: It started in 1939, buster. You guys were late.

Mark: Did you ever see Patton?

Me: No.

Mark: You've never seen Patton!? Did you see Saving Private Ryan?

Me: Uh, no.

Mark: You've never seen Saving Private Ryan?!

And so it went on.

Our transatlantic marriage can quickly degenerate into a full-blown argument about our respective countries' efforts in World War II. It's almost unbelievable how heated and protective we can get about the wars, while throwing in disbelief at our differing pop culture exposure. Just ask any American when World War II started: You'd be surprised how many say 1942.

But after we poke fun at each other comes the best bit. On an average day, in our transatlantic marriage, one of us is one of the lucky ten thousand people in the US learning about something for the first time.

What side was Naboombu on in WW2?
From xkcd, which I love, and you should too


  1. I'm forwarding this to Jon and his father RIGHT NOW. we had this exact same conversation last weekend! too funny.

  2. hahahah!! THIS IS AMAZING! because my husband and i have conversations like this all of the time.
    'the steelers aren't in michigan?' etc.

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails // current giveaway

    1. American Football is just too much fun to play with. I have given the teams made up nicknames just to annoy Americans - Sharks instead of Dolphins is one of my favorites.

  3. That's hilarious!! I've never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks either... But yes, you're right, most Americans have the same convictions about U.S. presence in World War II. Very funny post :)

    1. I grew up with that movie. It's got a similar British Disney feel as Mary Poppins. Although we ended up watching it on Sunday, and it's pretty darn long. Longer than I remembered. At the end I turned to my husband and told him it's exactly how WW2 happened.