Coming home through LAX late last year a steely eyed guardian of your gates peered suspiciously at my Green Card and, as is now sadly customary for we poor semi-citizens of your great and growing empire, finger printed me and photographed my eyeballs.
“How long have you been a Green Card Holder?” he asked suspiciously, though his screen could surely have told him that and much much more.
“Oh I have had it for ages” I said “More than twenty years.”
“Then why aren’t you an American?”
I was flustered. I was bothered. Was this a proper line of questioning? Of course you must never complain to a Customs Officer, or they’ll have you bent over in a back room snapping on their rubber gloves ready to poke around in your rectum. Why is it arseholes always choose the arse for punishment? I sometimes wonder if those alien abductions when sophisticated beings from another planet descend in glistening saucers to perpetrate anal penetrations on poor witless rednecks is not actually some Alien Customs program. Or maybe an extra-terrestrial pro gay marriage program. Do the rednecks say as they feel the alien probe on their little redneck buttocks “Why aren’t you an American?”
What should I say? What is the right thing to say? My thoughts were racing but somewhere deep inside me outrage was simmering. Enough was enough.
“Because sir I am an Englishman. Born and raised in England under the bombs of Hitler. A member of one of its most prestigious Universities dating back to 1498. A man who watched England win the World Cup at Wembley in 1966 and Man U lift the European trophy in 1968. An Englishman, a proud Elizabethan, heir to the traditions of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Wilde, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Dickens, a graduate of Cambridge University, a pre-baby bubble boomer, a survivor of the Sixties and a member of one of the most famous comedy groups in the world.
“Is it not enough I live in your fair country and pay taxes to your bankrupt system, ruined by the systemic avoidance of tax by your greedy corporations, who claim rights hitherto reserved for citizens and earn exemptions for themselves thereby bankrupting California, because you must not shackle business, oh no, better to shackle your schools and social systems than threaten one bonus payment to another billionaire. Now you wish me to put my hand on my heart and pledge allegiance to a series of greedy, gay bashing, racist, Republican retards who deny evolution, and the rights of women and would return America to the dark ages of Puritan New England?
“The French do not shrug at me sardonically and ask me why I am not French. The Norwegians do not stop me on their shores and insist I wear thick knitwear and a large red anorak. The Swedes don’t demand I marry a pale blonde and retire into the countryside suffering from Ibsen and ennui. The Australians don’t force me into baggy pants to stand on planks with orange sunscreen hurtling across their shark-infested waters singing Advance Australia Fair.
“No, sir, enough, sir, I am a tax payer, a member of your Academy, a Grammy winner, a Tony winner, a father of an American, a lover of America, married to an American wife with an American child but not, sir, an American!”
Did I say any of that?
Are you kidding me? I fear the alien anal probe.
“Good question” I replied.