So there I was, minding my own business, idly flicking raisins at a ceiling fan and watching them ricochet with lethal speed in random directions, when I received a mysterious e-mail from a mysterious stranger:

"Dear Mr. Yahtzee,I sadly, did not have the extreme fortune to be born and raised in the U.K.  I... I am an American. A fact I am not proud of. As a result, in the future, when I have the funds and the ability to leave the country I plan on doing so, and living either in England or Ireland. Hopefully the former.

So, I was wondering if perhaps you could help out by writing an essay on your lovely website titled "How To Be British" or something to that effect. In this essay, as the title implies, you would explain not only how wonderful it is to be from your native country, but also explain to us slow and dim-witted Americans how to be a proper English gentlemen or lady.

Thank you very much for even taking the time to read through this email, and thank you even more so if you are considering to grant my request. You're my hero Yahtzee.



And since I didn't have anything better to do, I figured, what the fuck. Let's write the poor dear an article for the benefit of her and any other poor saps who for some reason think this country's a better place to live than wherever they are now. Unless they're from Antarctica or something, but at least Antarctica isn't run by grinning bastards demanding more income tax to spend on large pointless marquees.

Anyway, here we go: my guide for clueless immigrants on how to become British.

Step 1. Looking the part

The national dress of Great Britain is, from the ground up, a pair of Roman sandals, a kilt, a gunbelt, a t-shirt bearing the likeness of Mr. T, a garland of flowers and a horned Viking helmet. It is advised that you arrive in the country dressed in this manner, as any other outfit may cause you to be ostracised and lynched. Once you have been in Britain for a little while, you may be permitted to remove the helmet and/or the garland when out in public, but you'll only be able to wear something completely different after you've been in the country for twelve years, or have embarked upon a de facto/married relationship with a British citizen for eight years.

Once you've reached that stage, you still have to be very careful what you wear. Like in the film 'Logan's Run', what you wear dictates your status. There are many different signals different articles of clothing can give off in Britain. For instance, people who are fond of detective dramas wear black shoes with grey socks, and people who enjoy listening to Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' wear their collars two centimetres below the hairline. This is not to be confused with wearing your collar 1.8 centimetres below the hairline, as this means "I enjoy sudden, unexpected homosexual rape; come and get it, boys."

If you're unfamiliar with the right codes and worried about creating the wrong impression, then try to only go out in public on days beginning with T, as these are days when public nudity is legal and, indeed, keenly encouraged.

Step 2. Mastering the language

As you should know from the depiction of British people in American films and television, all British people speak Cockney rhyming slang at all times. This has gradually developed from idle inanity to full-blown language, and may seem slightly intimidating to the newly-arrived traveller. To help you get by, here are some all-purpose phrases:

"Please direct me to the station"
"I enjoy frenzied masturbation"

"I would like to order the chicken chausseur"
"You are an incredible tosser"

"Good evening, officer, do you have the time?"
"Why don't you piss off, you mound of execrable slime? I bet you don't even know how to use that truncheon. Come on, let's have a fight, you pansy."

"The government is doing a fine job."
[Not applicable; you will never say this]

Step 3. Understanding local customs

- "Twilight" is the Word of the Millenium. Whenever anyone says that word, it is customary to yell like a foghorn and punch that person in the face. (the previous Word of the Millenium was "Haughty".)

- The Queen is universally despised. Going around with a sandwich board bearing a Photoshopped picture of her violent rape and murder will help you gain acceptance.

- When watching a football game in a public house with many hooting skinheads, it is an ancient British custom to change the channel just before a goal is scored. Do this to show off your impressive knowledge of the country. You will quickly gain many new friends.

Step 4. Some sights to see in Britain

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Possibly one of the most famous icons of Britain. MPs are notorious for their excellent sense of humour; why not pretend to be a suicide bomber and take them all hostage with imitation machine guns? They'll have nothing but appreciation for your excellent joke!

Buckingham Palace

Why not stop off for a visit to the Queen's London residence? It's a little known fact that if you can knock off the furry hats of three Buckingham Palace guards, you win a coconut.

The Millenium Dome

It's all been closed down now, but you can still visit the wreckage and think to yourself, like so many have thought before you, "Why the fuck did they charge an entrance fee for this thing when they built it with taxpayer's money? Have they no shame?" No. No, they do not.

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