In theatrical script writing, sketch stories, and poetry, a vignette is a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting, and sometimes an object. -Wikipedia
I was sitting outside of a bar early on my shift a week or two ago, right around 6 PM or so, and a British guy in his early 60’s comes up to my window. I asked him if he needed a taxi and he said, “I do indeed.”
He’s obviously more than a little drunk, and I asked him where he needed to go, and he grins wide and held his hands out to his sides and said, “Look at me! The sun’s not even down, and I’m a fucking disaster! I need to bloody well go home!”
That made me laugh, and I told him to get in. He’s drunk, but not too bad, and in my experience, British people are competent to above-average drinkers and can usually keep their shit together, much better than Americans. He wants to go to a nice waterfront neighborhood that should be about an $18 or $20 ride, so I loaded him up and we are on the way.
We are chatting on the drive, and he says, “Bloody hell… what a fucking disaster! I had to get up early for work this morning, but then I got talked into coming out and meeting some mates, and now I’m pissed and just knackered, and I have to be on the pitch at seven in the morning. It’s going to be maftin tomorrow, bloody miserable with a hangover…”
I used to work with an all-British crew for about two years, and we drank hard in those days, so I speak pretty good drunken British. I knew what “maftin” meant (hot and muggy), but I said, “On the pitch?”
He said, “Rugby tomorrow, which is played on a ‘pitch’… what you Yanks would call a ‘field’…”
Seeing as this gentleman was at least 10 years older than me, I said, “Aren’t you a little long in the tooth to be playing rugby in ninety-degree temperatures with a blinding hangover? You must be one tough sonofabitch…”
He laughed a little and said, “Oh no, I don’t play, I’m a referee… but it is still going to be dreadful.”
I laughed and said, “Wait a minute… a rugby referee? I don’t know anything about rugby, other than it is really popular in Australia, and our cousins downunder really are some tough sonsofbitches. I know rugby has goals, but I didn’t think rugby even had rules, let alone referees… do they keep score? I thought they just beat the shit out of each other for an hour or two, and counted up bruises, stitches, broken bones, and missing teeth to decide who won.” He laughs, and then goes back to bemoaning his sorry state, and about how he needs to roll out of the house by 6:30 because they will be playing at 8 AM, and he fears he is going to be hellishly hungover in the morning.
As I am driving down his street and getting close to his house, he says, “That’s my place up ahead on the left, with the big Dodge truck.” And as we get closer to his house, I see that his huge pickup has lettering on it for a boating business, and a massive trailer hitch jutting out the bed of his truck, just like on a big-rig. He apparently can come fetch your 100 foot yacht and tow it to the shop. He also has a gigantic Gadsden flag flying from the corner of his house, at least eight or ten feet wide.
I started laughing pretty hard, and said, “I’m sorry… I just never expected to see a British man flying a Gadsden flag… that’s awesome!”
He replied, “I’ve been an American for my entire life, I just had the misfortune to be born on the wrong bloody continent. 240 years ago, I would have been shooting at these pricks myself. I know more about our bloody Constitution than most people BORN here.”
I said, “Our Constitution? You are a citizen?”
He said, “Nearly fifteen years. I must have spent a million dollars over the years, moving my business here and rebuilding it here in The States, paying taxes that you wouldn’t believe, year after bloody year… I INVESTED in America, and it just chafes my ass to see the state of things today.”
I replied, “Sir, I am saddened and ashamed to say it, but you are probably correct about knowing more about the Constitution than most… and I think you are probably overestimating your fellow Americans. I believe it’s going to take something very loud and very messy to wake these people up. As a good American, have you availed yourself of your Second Amendment rights?”
The gentleman rolled his eyes at me as if to say, “Are you joking? “, and pulled $30 out to pay his fare. I looked at his Gadsden flag again and chuckled, and said in a faux British accent, “Fuck King George! Come on, say it with me! That has to feel good for an English-American to say!”
And the AMERICAN guy said in his British accent, “Fuck all tyrants. Fuck Obama.”
He got out and headed to his door, but stopped in front of my car. He extended his middle finger, and even though my windows were up and the AC was running, I heard him yell, “And fuck Hillary Clinton as well! Piss off! Don’t tread on me!”