Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Britain - A semi-civilized country

I have a little joke I like to tease my friends with. I tell them that Canada is the only civilized country in the world. There are only 3 qualifications for it, but Canada is still the only country.
  1. They speak English.
  2. They drive on the right side of the road.
  3. They use the Metric system.
Now this always gets people into a tizzy, but it's only a joke.

To a certain extent.

I will overlook all you island-dwellers driving on the left. You are on an island and there's no one else to confuse with this. Plus the fact that there's no really good reason for that to be counted other than right is a synonym of correct. So that let's the Australians off the hook. But when it comes to using metric, there is no excuse. Especially when Britain is half-way there already. Why can't you just go all the way? Anything you buy in the grocery store is measured in metric. The temperatures are given in Celsius. But you use the heathen Imperial measurements of miles and gallons when it comes to driving. Yes, heathen! It's evil, it's silly, it's ancient and makes no sense. I know my parents still occasionally use it, despite having conversion forced upon them in the 70s. But they at least do know and understand and normally use metric.

Even worse is when it comes to measuring a person's weight. They use rocks. Sorry "stone". At least as casual measurements. I think they might just be civilized enough to use kilograms for official things. But stone! What, do we live in the time of Fred Flinstone and the only thing we can weigh people with are rocks? Before pregnancy, I weighed around 11.5 stone. G weighs around 14.5 stone. To anyone outside of Britain, we could be really close or really far in weight, there's no way to tell. I heard on the radio that Nicole Ritchie was arrested and told police that she weighed 6 stone. My first thought was "I bet she didn't tell police how many rocks she weighed". My second thought was "Is that a lot for what she's supposed to weigh or only a little?" I had no idea, I had to sit and do some mental math to figure it out. Which was before breakfast and not my favourite time to start the brain in high gear. The whole stone thing drives me around the bend.

I thank the powers that be that at least the Brits managed to decimalize the currency before I arrived.

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