Culturally Discombobulated

Tag: Pepsi

America Comprehended: “Is Pepsi Okay?”

“IS PEPSI OKAY?”: Apology-cum-disclaimer uttered by wait staff after you’ve tried ordering a coke in restaurants that don’t serve coca-cola products. The correct answer to this question is always “no,” but you can never bring yourself to say that. Instead, you try and muster a smile for your waiter to assure him/her that you are totally okay with this and are absolutely not now wondering if this is part of a larger malaise in the establishment for settling for second best. If you are in a diner, a quick look to see if they serve Hunt’s ketchup rather than Heinz will confirm or invalidate this fear.  


“Back after these messages” – What an American audience may have learned about the British from this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

20120207-164139.jpgAt the table next to mine at brunch sat a quartet of elderly women sipping Bellinis through collagen lips and gossiping with each other. Naturally, I eavesdropped.

I’m glad I did because I was able to learn something about myself. For instance, I learned from these women that I, being British, like my eggs plain – as God intended. We certainly don’t want fancy, frenchified stuff going on with our eggs. One of the women had been able to ascertain this fact from watching the opening scene of The Iron Lady where Streep-Thatcher is spooning up the yolky contents of a soft-boiled egg with relish. If only Streep-Thatcher had shared her love of plain eggs* with the striking miners – perhaps some common ground could have been struck.

The other observation that I learned about the British from these women (who also had very kind things to say about Princess Margaret’s fashion sense) was that we like to keep dogs. Not just one or two, but lots and lots of them – each British household resembling a puppy mill. The root of this observation being that the Queen has a lot of corgis.

Later that day when watching some of Super Bowl commercials it struck me that some Americans may come to some interesting conclusions about the British based on the ads.

What we learned about the British from this year’s Super Bow ads:

From the Pepsi ad – that we make for flamboyantly, camp royalty.
From the H&M ad – that we are tattooed narcissists.
From the Skechers ad – That the middle-classes really, really love dog racing.

*Thatcher did (and still does I imagine) have a particular fondness for eggs, but I think that says more about her than it does the other 60 million of us. I also imagine Thatcher’s fondnesss for eggs as an illicit and unholy urge like Mrs Censordoll from Moral Orel (almost certainly too obscure a reference).