Black Friday, Obesity, Grey Squirrels and the Other Worst US Imports

By Gary Cutlack on at

Look anywhere on the internet today and you'll likely be flooded with suggestions that you buy things you don't need, as this previously vacant day of our calendar has been hijacked by internet retailers — thanks to the importation of the American phenomenon known as Black Friday.

Black Friday is the Friday after the US' Thanksgiving day, a day near enough to Christmas that it's when the Americans do much of their shopping. Hence an almighty scrum among retailers to tempt people and their wallet in with the promise of discounted nice things.

And because they have it and speak English to a degree, we now have it too. And it's awful. Unbearable, even. Along with these other ways Americanisation is ruining us.


Have you seen a pancake recently? They're now all about an inch thick and come covered in blueberries, syrup, jam, chocolate sauce, vicodin, some other stuff that might even be gravy (I wouldn't put it past them) and has, somehow, become a breakfast? Bring back the 1mm thick British pancakes, the insubstantial semi-treat it's OK to have after dinner with all the positive health benefits of its customary lemon drizzle.

Black Friday

Never before have so many emails been deleted unread. And it's not only Friday, either. You get Pink Thursday, Yellow Wednesday, Cyber Saturday and more, as the shops compete with each other to get their pretend deals to us first.

The sad thing is, we have to join in. Because, as awful as it is, couldn't we all do with a half price SSD or a cheap spare mouse?


Of course we've always had Halloween. But it used to be different. It used to be... weird and boring. The highlight for me in the very late 1970s and early 1980s was perhaps being allowed to light a candle outside in the dark. There was one year where I set fire to the free bible they gave us at school, to see if anything bad happened (it did, I ended up here, doing this 30 years later).

But now it's all so structured. So organised. You wear this, eat that, say this, watch these things on TV. Halloween has become a boring, predictable day, one that's the same every year, and all about selling things.


Thanks for the burgers, thanks for the sugary snacks with more carbohydrates per mouthful than an entire Sunday roast, and the drinks with more sugar than fluid. And the crisps. Seriously, thanks for the crisps. Those chilli Doritos can stay.

The ironic thing is, we're so Americanised that when our children suffer hearts attacks at the age of 29 they'll all dial 911 to get help. The suffering won't end.


Our drug used to be lager. Two per cent supermarket lager that it was OK to drive after. Nowadays we're all off our bloated man tits on the latest designer import, purchased off the internet via American pharma giants. Or we're simply absorbing low levels of antibiotics from the meat America has made it so fashionable to eat at every meal.

Grey Squirrels

Came over here (admittedly with some help from wealthy landowners) and started eating our nuts, rummaging through our bins and squeezing our lovely red version out of existence. Sod off back home, you fat louts, and take the rest of your stuff with you.