Thursday, December 17, 2009


Few things distinguish the British and the Americans quite as much as breakfast preferences.

For example, many of us British will happily consume Marmite which I have heard more than one American refer to as “tasting of earwax”. (It is only male Americans who say this, leading me to assume that female Americans have never experienced the joys of an exploratory dig around the lug-ole followed by a tentative testing of the result – I believe the correct word here may be “Eeeewwwww”. Girls, you don’t know what you’re missing, and I advise you to keep it that way)

Similarly, many Americans (and I’m with you here) will enthuse over peanut butter and jelly (though I, as a snob, insist upon the finest conserves, with big lumps of fruit in rather than the rather insipid jelly). Lots of Brits, though, have less than complimentary things to say about this culinary combo.

Imagine, then, if you will, my mingled feelings of delight and horror when I encountered a person this morning (she runs our restaurant in the office, which explains a lot) who eats Peanut Butter and Marmite on toast for breakfast. Personally, I find the idea abhorrent in the extreme. However, it immediately presented me with a mental image of those “Venn Diagrams” I learned about as a kid, when doing set-theory. Remember, all those circles with intersections? In my mental picture, the circles have the entire American and UK populations in them but the intersection for PB&M (I cant bring myself to type it again) has one single, solitary, lonely person in it.

That explains the horror, but why the delight?

Simple, really. Usually, the lone occupant of the ‘Billy-no-mates intersection’ is none other than yours truly. For once, I can feel normal. Ish.