Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

My human rights have been violated, and those of thousands like me.

This week the EU caved into pressure from British imperialists and excused the UK from going properly metric.

bananas
A bunch of metri-sceptics

The imperialists argued that it was their right to buy and sell bananas by the pound and their beer and milk by the pint. They resisted with all their might the forty-odd year project to get Britain using the same units as the rest of the sane world.

I, on the other hand, demand my right not to buy my bananas by the pound, and not to buy my pint by the pint.

I was one of the first generations not to be taught imperial at school. Everything I did was metric, or decimal as the money was called.

I remember the change from pounds shillings and pence to just pounds and pence. My grandparents were baffled by the new fangled and entirely logical monetary system. I embraced it, having never learned the old system which was calculated in unfathomable bases of 12, 16, 396 or the amount of kelp you could stuff in the pockets of a pair of plus fours on a rainy Saturday morning in Norfolk.

At school we were never taught the arcane imperial way because, we were told, the future was metric.

Now, because of silly EU bureauprats caving in to the fox hunters, the witch dunkers and the Keep Britain Backward campaigners, I am stuck with miles, pounds and pints.

I have no idea how many yards there are in a mile, except that it is a totally random number based on, I think, the distance a medieval pikeman could run in full armour before dying of French arrows. I wouldn’t know a fluid ounce if it tried to drown me.

When I moved abroad I adopted easily the kilometre, the kilogram and have even become friends with the kilobyte.

When I return to the UK and explain that I live 35km from Osaka, people ask, ‘How far is that?’ You see, I cannot even hold a normal conversation. I cannot buy cheese from a deli because when I ask, ‘What does 200 grammes look like,’ the answer will be ‘What are grammes?’

No, I am not at all in favour of this latest EU decision. I demand a return to the new ways. Mark my words, this unitary climb down will mean rivers of blood.

That’s metric rivers of blood, of course.

September 15, 2007

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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