In Honor of BritWeek: My Top 10 British Things

BritWeek sounds smashing. It naturally makes one think about all the local reminders of Great Britain. Never having been to England (something that's scheduled to change very soon), these evoke memories of that jolly old land.

1. Westminster. There's a city by that name sandwiched between Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove and Seal Beach. Strange but true: there's one in England, too. Someone named Abbie lives there.

2. The other Olde Ship. The British owned and operated Santa Ana pub/restaurant is mentioned so frequently as a BritWeek locale you would be forgiven for forgetting the other Olde Ship in Fullerton. But there it is, looking amazingly similar on the outside to the Olde Ship in Santa Ana. Fortunately, that's not all that is the same. Some watch soccer matches in the wee hours at the Fullerton spot, too. The menus are much the same, and the taps at either locale spit out Newcastle, Tetley's, Guinness, Murphy's, Young's Oatmeal, London Porter, Fullers ESB, Smithwicks, Harp, Bass, Boddington-Ale, Babycham, Old Speckled Hen and Beamish. 

3. Newcastle in a bottle. When I used to be able to afford it, this was hands down my favorite ale at the supermarket, despite the protests of vegans in the family who claim it is made with meat. I've since switched to Taurino, the Salvadoran beer Fresh & Easy was practically giving away at $5.77 a 12-pack last week. But if you're buying . . .

4. Union Jack Fish & Chips. This apparently has joints in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley. I've never been as I'm constantly striving to maintain my girly figure. You know what they say: "A second of a glob of hot batter and bottom-feeding cod on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, unless it dislodges itself and moves up to your aorta." But if you've got a craving, at least it must be better than Long John Silver's.

5. Double-decker buses. You've seen these around the county. Orange County Doubledeckers rents them out for birthdays, weddings and other special events. They also book trips to LA, Vegas, Palm Springs, San Francisco and even the Grand Canyon. Wonder if they pass the London Bridge on the way? Wonder if it's falling down, falling down? Huh? Huh? Well is it, my fair lady?

6. Pasty Kitchen. This is a little hole-in-the-wall in Los Alamitos, if it is still there. I heard raves about the pasties here before I finally checked it out. Either someone was playing a cruel joke or these are one of those acquired tastes. Then again, if I could have afforded a Newcastle to wash it down with, or even a Taurino, perhaps I would not have had to pft-tew the pasty onto the sidewalk. 

7. Pepperland Music. The store for CDs, DVDs, musical instruments, instruction and more at 850 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, uses a cartoon of the Fab Four and a yellow submarine against the Union Jack as its logo, even though the place is named after Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In Pepperland's defense, it would have been hard to fit all the people behind the Beatles on that famous album cover in a tiny logo.

8. The old white British guy who did brick work at my house. His accent was so much classier than my own that I felt I should take the bricks out of his hand, take orders from him and even succumb to taxation without representation. BTW, this probably is not a photo of the retired, 107-year-old bricklayer who did small jobs on the side when he wasn't playing soccer or presiding over Tony Blair and the Freemasons.

9. Annie Lennox impersonator at Club Ripples. Sweet dreams were made of  this guy! He probably does other chicks at the Long Beach club also. BTW, for the lone LBC reference on this list, I was originally going to cite the Queen Mary. However, the last time I mentioned the QM on this blog, I mistakenly used a photo of the QM2. So, afraid of repeating that embarrassing error, I went with this. I just hope I did not upload a photo of Lennox Lewis.

10. My Elton John record collection. Remember way back when Sir Elton was peeved at comedian Sam Kinison, who shot back with a homophobic joke about "the dirt" referenced in Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy? Good times! Hey, whoever borrowed my Madman Across the Water to, can I have it back?

Okay, Orange County, surely I'm forgetting something else British.


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