Top 10 British Things Americans Are Missing out on This Independence Day

By Shabana Arif on at

Happy Fourth of July! The day when President Bill Pullman saved the entire world because he figures out aliens were scared of water, or something like that. I'm no history buff.

What I do know is that on this day in 1776, none of the exciting stuff we've come to associate with the American holiday happened, but the Declaration of Independence was finalised and unleashed upon the masses, so that's the date those filthy rebels remember. They turned their noses up at our dapper red coats, and chucked a load of our tea into the sea, and we were so affronted that we left.

Well the joke's on them, because after all of these years and the inserting of an ocean between us, Americans may have ended up with the shitty end of the stick. Here are just a few examples of what they're missing out on after telling the empire to bugger off.

1. Tea


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Good tea. An honest-to-goodness brew, only found on the shores of our little island. The scent is practically non-existent, it only takes a couple of minutes to brew, and it'll do the job rain or shine. And it won't give you the dreaded coffee breath that plagued teachers in my youth. Most Brits will swear by a hot cup of tea on a summer's day, which sounds absolutely ridiculous but can actually cool you down. Had a bad day at work? Tea. Cat got run over? Tea. Got an hour to live? Pop the kettle on. Coffee may be the hot drink darling of America, but the stalwart tea is just as worthy - if not more. There are no baristas, or men in white linen trousers plunging their hands into a bags of beans on their sun-soaked coffee plantations atop a mountain somewhere. Tea is coffee's less-obnoxious cousin, and there's a pleasing symmetry in there somewhere.

2. Beer


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It's become a British custom throughout our storied history to serve this hoppy beverage to thirsty patrons, and not just toss a bucket of horse piss in their general direction. I could wow you with facts I just googled about why American's prefer bland beer, blah blah bottom fermentation, but I've been talking out of my arse for long enough. We all know it's terrible but that's the price you pay for freedom. Enjoy.

3. Electric kettles


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We may like our tea, but we also enjoy the convenience of a kettle that can be used for things other than tea, so the prevalence of the stove-top kettle in the US that takes up residence on the hob, rather than the designated spot near the toaster, is truly a mystery. Why go through all that rigmarole when you can just flip a switch and wander off, meandering back into the kitchen at your leisure without having to worry about melting your kettle. Such technological innovations have eluded those across the pond, precisely because of the aforementioned tea-shunning.

4. Brown room temperature eggs (with optional poo)


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If you pop into a supermarket to pick up some eggs, you'll find the anaemic American equivalent sitting in fridge, with nary a hint of bum-crust to be seen. The main difference here is that you don't have to refrigerate your eggs in the UK - it's purely down to preference - but the divergence in how the food industry handled them has lead to Americans having to wash them, stripping them of their naturally protective layer, and then having to keep them refrigerated throughout the entire handling process because a cold egg left out will get sweaty, and sweaty eggs get mouldy. You can read more about this fascinating topic here, but the long and short of it is that a lot more time, money, and energy is being frittered away to get the same result - an edible, salmonella-free egg. Time-wasters. And a bit of chicken droppings never hurt anyone.

5. No surprise sales tax


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Is there anything more bloody ridiculous than putting a price tag on an item then springing an additional charge on customers at the till? For a nation that got its knickers in a twist over a bit of taxes, you'd think this would be the area it would have perfected by now. Yes, sales tax my vary between states and counties, but is it really my job to be working that out? I don't want to. I want to look at the price tag, and pay that price, and I don't want to hear your excuses. If you can sort out drive-through everything to get us one step closer to living in Wall-E so we don't even have to get out of our vehicles to pick up something at the store, then you can slap on some new price tags.

6. The letter 'U'


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When you throw off the shackles of a ruling empire, there are bound to be unforeseen consequences of such magnitude that it if given the chance to do it again, you just might reconsider. And the abandonment of the letter 'U' is one such example. Followed closely by getting 'er' the wrong way around, but that's for another time, and another list. You can thank fringe lunatic Noah Webster for these heinous crimes. This is the same genius that tried to make 'wimmen' a thing, and you pointing out that he's one half of Merriam-Webster dictionaries won't make me budge.

7. Cadbury's chocolate


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You leave the colonies, and you get shit beer and sub-par chocolate. Them's the rules. I imagine that's written on a charter somewhere. American chocolate is the worst, so it's impressive that its obesity epidemic has reached such dizzying heights given that it's having to come from savoury food, because no bugger should be ingesting that stuff. Here in the UK, I'd like to think our own issue with an overweight populous is single-highhandedly down to Cadbury's.

8. Proper washing machines in kitchens


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The vast majority of washing machines in the US have historically been beefy top loaders that use copious amounts of water to swill your clothes around in, and are usually stowed away in a utility room somewhere. Here in the UK, we have compact, energy-efficient, front-loading machines that can be hidden away behind facades that make it look like just another cupboard. In fact, if the entirety of your white goods can't be found behind a cupboard door, do you even kitchen? And forget about a washer-dryer top loader. They're big, bulky, and don't perform effectively. Get new washing machines.

9. Real gravy


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What is this? Botched bechamel sauce perhaps. I'll tell you what it isn't - gravy. Thick white sauce glooped on top of everything that cools down almost immediately, coagulating into a layer over your plate is not even in the same ballpark as a proper gravy. A real gravy, some might say. Ours might not be suitable for biscuits, but we have tea for that - for dipping.

10. Free healthcare


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The final nail in the coffin. You leave the island, wipe out the majority of the native population in a new land with your European germs, then hundreds of years later, you end up having to pay to nip to the GP for something as inconsequential as a sniffle. You go to the hospital to have a baby and come back with a bill. The biggest argument against free healthcare is, of course, that Breaking Bad wouldn't exist without it, but we know you'd trade Walter White for socialised healthcare in a hot second.

And that's not even mentioning crumpets, real biscuits, or the great British fry up. So enjoy your freedom this July 4, while you ponder if it was really worth it.

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