Well, I've been hiding under a rock. Even from my blog. But who could resist Antichristmas as a return to ersatz-public life? So. Piece of cultural information. The emergency services number in the UK is 999. Bet you never really thought about what the emergency service number would be somewhere else, did you? I thought not. Me neither. Culture shock is the combined impact of ten thousand things like this. Plus, I have the added bonus of being Australian, the culture for which British people have a complex and rich stereotype. So my culture shock is actually the tasty chocolate crust of British culture, plus the creamy centre of what British people think Australian culture is, neither of which bear any relationship to me. But I was going somewhere with the 999 thing before my raging expat issues distracted me.
Joke based on piece of cultural information:
Q: What do Australians dial in an emergency?
Uh-huh. Hilarious. You mean, you don't call Beelzebub when things go to hell?
So today, I got carded. Say what? Recall, dear reader, that the age of majority in this country as it applies to alcohol, purchase and consumption thereof, is eighteen. It had to have been at least conceivable, in the mind of the minion in the tasty Sainsbury's orange-fleece corporate wear, that I was seventeen years old. It is important to keep in mind, while I tell this story, that lately I have been feeling aged in the extreme. My eyebags are so big they cast their own shadows. My face holds up little placards which read "Gravity: Operating here for thirty-two years". So the right response to to the orange minion is surely, good heavens, how wonderful! How dewy, how fresh and carefree I must look today! I am not the crumpled kleenex of a human I thought I was!
Instead, I wanted to tear off her eyebrows with my teeth. Are you kidding me? I was making a newspaper cutting scrapbook project about the Challenger disaster before you were even born, sunshine! And now you won't let me have this cheap-ass bottle of New Zealand semillon blend which has too many damn food miles on it but I wasn't giving a rat's furry buttocks about that right now because I just want to get home so that I can keep trying to get this stupid degree, which by the way is my third? Fine! Go shove it up your multimillion dollar corporate conglomerate nickel-and-dimed ass!
If this is not evidence of the presence of the Beast, I don't know what is.