Jason Brenier Wins Submersion Contest in Aruba!
From the 207
photos posted, it's hard to see that those speech technology
people actually do any work at their Caribbean conferences, but at
least Jason got something out of it. Here he is accepting the prize at
the conference banquet for being the first (and only) person to leave
the banquet table fully clothed, submerge himself in the ocean, and
return to the banquet. The prize was a one-hour massage at the
John Cleese's Letter to America
To the citizens of the United States of America
In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA
andáthus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation
of your independence, effective immediately.
Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will resume
monarchicaláduties over all states, commonwealths and other
territories (exceptáKansas , which she does not fancy), as from Monday
Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor
for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the
Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year
to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the
followingárules are introduced with immediate effect:
- You should look up `revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Then look up `aluminium', and check the pronunciation guide. You will
be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
- The letter `U' will be reinstated in words such as `colour',
`favour' and `neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell
`doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix `ize'
will be replaced by the suffix `ise'.
- You will learn that the suffix `burgh' is pronounced `burra';
you may elect to respell Pittsburgh as `Pittsberg' if you find you
simply can't cope with correct pronunciation.
- Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary
to acceptable levels (look up `vocabulary'). Using the same
twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as `like' and
`you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
- There is no such thing as `US English'. We will let Microsoft
know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to
take account of the reinstated letter `u' and the elimination of
- You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The
Queen, but only after fully carrying out Task 1 (see above).
- July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November
2nd will be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only
in England . It will be called `Come-Uppance Day'.
- You will learn to resolve personal issues without using
guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers
and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be
independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not
adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a
therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.
- Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry
anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be
required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
- All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is
for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand
what we mean.
- All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you
will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same
time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of
conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you
understand the British sense of humour.
- The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling `gasoline') - roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.
- You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call
French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on
calling potato chips are properly called `crisps'. Real chips are
thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with mayonnaise but
- Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive
- The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be
referred to as `beer', and European brews of known and accepted
provenance will be referred to as `lager'. American brands will be
referred to as `Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine', so that all can be sold
without risk of further confusion.
- Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors
as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors
to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt
English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience
akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
- You will cease playing American `football'. There is only one
kind of proper football; you call it `soccer'. Those of you brave
enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some
similarities to American `football', but does not involve stopping for
a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a
bunch of nancies).
- Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable
to host an event called the `World Series' for a game which is not
played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that
there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.
- You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
- An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her
Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the
acquisition of all monies due backdated to 1776.
Thank you for your co-operation.