There are tribal people in the nether regions of Northern Canada who eat nothing but cold bark and retarded snakes and live inside igloos made of antelope dung
There are women in the mountains of Afghanistan who spend nineteen hours a day milking donkeys
And there are Ethiopians who walk for three days straight just to see a doctor
Men serving life sentences
I live in the United Kingdom
And I would trade places with any one of them
I moved here from America nine hundred and forty three days ago and quickly figured out that the Downton Abbey-Royal Wedding-Wimbledon stuff they export was just an illusion - pretty wrapping paper and a Union Jack bow - all dressed up, carefully folded - artfully disguising a big box of shit
Yes, the shit
The sorry my faults
That actually mean
Fuck off wanker
I would happily trade all of this to sleep inside an igloo built of shit. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with another British electrician showing up drunk, a week late - or not at all
Would I rather walk alongside those Ethiopians for three straight days to see a doctor? Of course I would. At least I’d be in the sun and fresh air and would only have to wait three days for the doctor - instead of camped out in the Wexham Park A & E waiting room for months on end, sleeping in a cracked plastic chair, sandwiched between a woman with no arms and her tattooed nine year old grandson - a grandson who, without even looking up from his Nintendo Switch, occassionally reaches across my chest to lift a flask of whiskey to his armless grandmother’s lips
What’s that? I couldn’t possibly trade places with those poor souls on Hospice? Are you kidding? I envy them. I really do. I mean, they’re so doped up on liquid codeine they don’t even know they’re living on this crap bowl of an island.
And then there’s death
Sounds bad right?
Death compared to what?
Compared to a lifetime eating pub salads that are nothing more than a testicle sized tomato resting inside the broken wing of a single piece of lettuce? Paying 30p every time I have to piss at Euston station? Death compared to another evening wandering around the tarmac at Luton airport looking for the EasyJet tram - the one that, predictably, only appears out of the cold dark fog five minutes before takeoff? Death compared to standing on the platform at Slough station - day after miserable day - in the whiskey-scented darkness - watching as another train rumbles past without even stopping, farting a trail of exhaust that rises up to the electronic train board, the one filled, from top to bottom, with the words 'delayed' and 'cancelled.'
Pay and display to get groceries
Pay and display to see the doctor
Pay and display at school pickup
Pay and display at the A & E while my father in law dies in the car
Pay and display in my own driveway!
This American chooses death
Even though, sadly, when my family comes to visit - they will have to stand in front of a semi-operable pay and display machine - in the cold crap rain - and rummage around their pockets for exact change because, of course, this is England, the wankhole excuse for a country that makes you pay for parking wherever you go - including, of course, the cemetery.