During the Battle of the Bulge, Germany equipped a squad of a few hundred English-speaking soldiers in captured allied uniforms, and sent them out to penetrate America’s front lines. To prepare for this assault, the Germans worked on their accents, and studied American idioms.
For a while, these infiltrations were very effective- causing confusion and paranoia in the allied ranks, but once word spread, U.S. soldiers were quick to come up with a solution. They set up checkpoints where everyone who approached was asked questions about baseball. If you didn’t know the answer, you might be asked about Mickey Mouse, or the Star Spangled Banner. If you failed, you’d be detained or even shot. These tests worked, and in the end, the German assault failed.
This got me thinking, that it may not have worked for the Germans, but what’s to prevent someone from trying this again. The British, sharing our language, would have clear advantages in this kind of subterfuge. Yes, the UK is an American ally, for now, but we have fought a couple of wars against them, and we should be prepared for more. Brits in Hollywood have shown that our accents aren’t hard to imitate and thanks to the internet, it’s easy to look up baseball scores, so the ‘old ways’ from WWII wouldn’t work today. Even worse, American pop culture is more widespread than ever- I bet most British people could answer questions about the TV show The X-files or about which Muppet plays the piano. We need to think outside of the box if we’re going to protect ourselves!
So, just in case, I’ve come up with a foolproof test that can help you determine if the person trying to infiltrate your checkpoint is a red-blooded, apple-pie eating, freedom loving American, or a gin-drinking, meat-pie eating royalist.
If we are at war, you may shoot anyone who gets any of these questions wrong (since you are American, you are of course probably already carrying a firearm):
British people know Saturday Night Live alumni from their movie roles, such as Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, but they are completely unfamiliar with the TV show that made them famous. Exploit this weakness!
- COMPLETE THIS EXCLAMATION: “Jane, you ignorant [ ]!”
- EXPLAIN HOW BASEBALL TREATED GARRETT MORRIS’ CHICO ESCUELA CHARACTER:
- WHERE WERE THE CONEHEADS FROM?
They may have our TV shows, but they don’t have our TV commercials in the UK. Bonus points if you can trick the Brit into using the word “advert.” If you hear it, shoot first, ask questions later.
- COMPLETE THIS SONG: “Plop, plop, [ ]”
- RECITE ALL THE LYRICS TO THE “MEOW MIX” SONG. DO NOT OMIT ANY OF THE WORDS.
Ask the suspicious party to recreate key moments from this U.S. TV classic, which is unknown in the UK. Shoot if their performance isn’t up to snuff.
- TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY, DANCE LIKE ONE OF THE PEANUTS KIDS AT THEIR CHRISTMAS PARTY
- IMITATE THE SOUND THAT GROWN-UPS MAKE WHEN THEY SPEAK TO CHARLIE BROWN
Read these questions carefully, your country’s freedom may depend on it:
- WHAT INGREDIENTS MAKE UP A S’MORE?
- ASK THEM: ‘WOULD YOU LIKE A TATER TOT?”*
- HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OLIVES, ARE THEY SWEET OR ARE THEY SAVORY?**
- HOW COLD DO YOU THINK A PINT OF ALE SHOULD BE: a)slightly cold, b) quite cold or c) very cold**
*If they say no, open fire. All Americans love tater tots. Those poor British sum’bitches don’t even know what they are.
**As a god-fearing American, you of course would know that this is a trick question, and that the only correct response is “What the hell does savory mean?” Bonus points if you can get them to spell savory with a “u.”
***Of course this is also a trick question, with the only correct response being: “A pint of Ale?!? What are you some kind of French communist?! I drink beer, ice-cold, from a can- the way God intended.” If you hear otherwise, shoot.
END OF TEST
GOD BLESS AMERICA
In the interests of fair play, my next blog will reveal how to spot an American posing as a Brit.