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Last of the Brits

Last of the Brits

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Published by Charlie Gregory
A trip to town
A trip to town

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Published by: Charlie Gregory on Oct 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/22/2014

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Last of the BritsWe tend to leave home around about ten in the morning when the worldis having its second mug of tea
. The travellers haven’t hit the road
yetand every-where is quiet. W
e’re on our way to town
today.
We don’t
gothere all that often, maybe
once a month, but it’s always worth the
trip.No need to spend a fortune on foreign travel anymore; the circus hascome to town.
Take this trip, for example. We’re
cruising along, half-chatting, half-listening to Ken Bruce on Radio-2, when a Chinese woman zooms past ona motorbike with a toddler sprawling on the petrol tank. There is nothingholding the kid in place, and neither of them is wearing a helmet.
 “MyGod,” I
tell Liz,
 “That poor woman’s
taken a wrong turn coming out of Manky Pooh and ended up in South Wales. S
he’s
probably trying to findher way back home, but the signposts are in gobbledegook. Poor girl;s
he’ 
s doomed to wander the valleys forever
.” 
 
 “How do you know she’s from Manky Pooh?” Liz demands
cynically.She challenges all my deepest revelations.
 “It doesn’t matter,” I
snap
. “
The implications are horrendous. Thereare umpteen zillion motorcyclists in China. If they all make the samemistake and come zooming through the Channel Tunnel like a plague of locusts,
they’ll end up choking our
motorways and roads like so muchsludge in a gutter, to say nothing of the towns and villages. Before weknow it, everywhere will be knee deep in noodles and fried rice, and we
won’t be able to move.” 
As a responsible citizen, I take these things
seriously. “Something has to be done, and quickly,” I tell her. That’s when
I was inspired to start my online petition to have the Channel Tunnelbricked-up at Folkestone.
 “In the meantime,” I tell Liz, “we should
get everyone to lobby theirMP to have all road-signs displayed in English and Chinese, in the hope of helping these lost souls to find their way back to Yingyang County. Getthe WI onto it.
” 
 By now we are moving through the inner city. Bearded men inwhite nightshirts walk paces ahead of black shrouds that glide overpavements, silent and unswerving in hypnotic obedience. T
he ghosts of the night being led back to their daytime hidey-holes,
I deduce
.
 
 “
Holdon
,” I whisper
, and step on the juice.In town, we mosey up High Street on the way to the market. Alongthe way we pass a gypsy woman
. She’s been standing there
ever sinceRomania boarded the EU gravy train, pumping furiously on a tunelessaccordion, like a desperate blacksmith aiming bellows at the last spark.
I’ve
mentioned this girl before, not a note in her head, poor soul.
I’m no
virtuoso myself, but this critter has been practising for months andgetting nowhere.
 “I hope she’s saving up for lessons,” I mutter.
 In a department store, I need to powder my nose and head for thetoilet. A gathering of Muslim women is blocking the foyer.
They’ve kicked
off their shoes and are having a prayer session, facing Mecca via theurinals. I navigate through them and point Percy at the wall.
If I felt theneed to pray while I was in this place,
I muse;
I would head for theLingerie Department and meditate among those shapely dummies inflimsy knickers...
Outside, we encounter the last of the Brits; teenage girls withglazed eyes and heads full of din, lugholes bunged-up with earpieces.They could be robots; electronic cigarettes sticking out of their mouthslike teats. Further along, a posse of women gather at a bus stop, singingprotest songs..
. They carry placards that announce, “Every woman has a

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