Thursday, July 31, 2008

England Trip - July 31th, 1983

Sunday was Gordon the bus driver's day off and we hung around Winchester. Matt arranged for a different bus and driver to take us to the Broadlands for a day trip but we never made it. The entire group assembled for the journey but there was a miscommunication and the backup bus never arrived. Marc and I watched Sink the Bismark on the BBC and they showed commercials. I thought English TV was commercial free but this was not true.

There were many advertisements for teenagers dealing with "spots", or acne. Certain ad campaigns copied their American counterpart. The UK version of the Snickers bar is called a Marathon bar and they showed a commercial that paralleled one from the U.S. where a candy seller at the local baseball game is counseled by a mentor on how to sell it baby. After he tasted a Snickers bar he understood how the perfect blend of chocolate, caramel and peanuts lent itself to an enthusiastic sales pitch. Same deal in the UK, but with different actors, a different product name, and it took place at a soccer match. There were also commercials for Wimpy, a burger chain restaurant. Every town had one, with its orange/brown decor, and it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the video enticements on the tele.

That night I wandered into a restaurant/pub holding a cabaret night of mellow guitar jams with pop favorites sung by a middle-aged gent who looked like Professor Falken from War Games. I requested Buddy Holly. His rendition of a nameless Holly song was too slow-core and I didn't recognize it. I kept asking for Buddy Holly even after he played it. It was a lose-lose for the lot of us. This was not my kind of place. I don't know if the Brits had yuppies but if they did, I think they drank wine at this establishment. There was a sign posted outside the entrance that banned soldiers from the nearby army base. See my pants-less push-up story from Canterbury. There was nothing to stop me from dropping trow and doing a few knee bends, except of course for what was left of my dignity, and so to bed.

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