A Message adapted and updated from Mr. John Cleese:
To the Citizens of the United States of America:
In light of the strong possibility you are about to elect an elderly gentleman with a bad temper and a lady who thinks she can run foreign policy because she can see Russia from her house, as President and President-In-Waiting of the USA and thus to risk Life As We Know It for everyone else on the Planet, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy). She won't actually be in charge, but she'll greet foreign leaders as necessary and not put her foot in it or vomit on anyone at dinner.
Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. He will choose someone who does not have his or her hand in the till and has significant experience in running Big Things. You have not had one of them for almost a decade and trust me, it is a big plus.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. They have given away too much of your money already to rescue incompetent business executives and soon your American Dollars will resemble Zimbabwean Dollars in total worthlessness. There is no free lunch you know. Although we originally let you get away with secession because King George was robbing you blind, recent events demonstrate that your present leaders are doing much worse things and unfortunately you have not noticed.
A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether more than half of you still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11. Information to the contrary will again be provided by the rest of the world and we request you read it this time and refrain from invading the wrong country ever again if you possibly can.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.
1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as '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.
Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
3. 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 -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.
4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. But we have a lot of Bank Holidays you will enjoy instead.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.
Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $9/US gallon. Get used to it. Your driving armoured cars to buy groceries is unnecessary, boorish and killing the planet.
10. 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 catsup but with vinegar.
11. We will require that people running things, like your government, are at least moderately competent and not related by blood or bribes to those who benefit from their decisions. We know it makes you more cozy when your leaders know as little as you do, but, honestly, it is short sighted: you need doctors who know more about medicine, pilots who know more about flying and leaders who know more about leading.
12. We respectfully request you give up this notion that Politics is Entertainment, and that very complicated things can only be explained to you in less than fifteen seconds. If you wanted to have a democracy, honestly, you'd really need to have taken the time to understand things a bit more before you voted. And may I suggest the startling notion that politicians don't need to look good to do a good job? And it really is acceptable if they are a bit boring, so long as they do their homework. It's especially important if evidently you have not done yours. Poor old Al Gore. Poor old John Kerry. And by the way, are you happy now you chose a Governor for California based on his teeth?
11. 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.
South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.
12. 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 McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
13. 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). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.
14. 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 will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first in their country. The six out of ten of you who don't own a passport will need to get one first.
15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
16. 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). Although this will raise your taxes, remember that the Neoconservatives will no longer be robbing you blind and so your Dollars will stop shrinking. Didn't you know that inflation and government bailouts of huge companies were really paid for by you? We must do something about your educational system. What on earth is going on over there? Are you oblivious to the crushing debt you are leaving your children? You might as well throttle them now.
17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.
God Save the Queen. But at least God won't instruct your President to invade any more wrong countries.
Adapted from John Cleese.