Wisdom of listening to Dolphins
PUBLISHED: 11:11 02 November 2007 | UPDATED: 23:08 28 May 2010
I ve always known that the American people are inward-looking and not particularly interested in what goes on outside their own country. Apparently most of them believe their country is all that matters in this world and that they just need to go about th
I've always known that the American people are inward-looking and not particularly interested in what goes on outside their own country.
Apparently most of them believe their country is all that matters in this world and that they just need to go about their business, making sure the US of A remains as great, powerful and influential as they know it is.
I was absolutely stunned at the weekend to learn that this acknowledged British prejudice is probably accurate.
Wembley Stadium hosted its first American football match on Sunday, Miami Dolphins versus New York Giants.
Before the match one of the players, Channing Crowder, admitted he did not know where London was, even though he was in it.
Even more bizarre and frightening is that he was unaware people living in London spoke English.
He is reported as saying: "I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries."
But he did demonstrate amazing geographical knowledge when he proclaimed: "I know Italy looks like a boot."
Mr Crowder, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and plays for the Miami team which lost Sunday's match, earns far more than most and can, therefore, open himself up to infinitely more influences than most of his fellow countrymen.
Yet he doesn't seem at all fazed by the fact that he is mentally duller than Fenland's muddiest ditchwater. "I swear I don't know what nothing is," he said.
So the two obvious questions are: Is he a one-off? Does he typify the average 21st century American?
With America being the most powerful nation in the world - at least for the time being - the answer to both questions will
dictate how well we all sleep at night.
I know Britain is supposed to be Europe's fattest nation.
But we can all take heart. We're not as fat as we thought we were. Well, at least not quite as heavy.
Scientists have discovered that the 40 or so supposedly identical platinum cylinders, which define exactly how heavy a kilogram is, have drifted apart in weight.
And - would you believe it? - the British kilogram has become slightly heavier than the international prototype which is housed in Paris.
That means our kilograms are too heavy, and the ultimate adjustment will mean we are all a bit lighter.
I know the difference is minuscule, but it makes me feel a bit more cheerful. I'm less over-weight than I thought I was; and that's official.