There is a Downton Abbey mattress pad.

I’m not a fan of the series. To be fair, I only watched three episodes.  My mother and I watched the pilot together, as I was in London when it debuted.  Neither of us found it appealing. It’s all a bit too much “watch the servants being treated badly! Watch rich people behave just like they’re in a modern soap opera, but somehow classier!” for me.

(BTW, the secret to being classy is the accent.  Makes everything sound more posh.)*

But really? A mattress pad? I’ve seen the fake jewelry, and the tree ornaments, and even the “accessories” (a cheap wooden wine bottle box with the logo, and a picnic basket are the only ones I remember). I guess you really can slap a logo on anything and someone will buy it. That’s a bit sad, really.

I just don’t understand the USA’s infatuation with Britain.  I mean, I get the whole “my ancestors came from Blahblahblahton-on-the-Wold, so I feel a deep connection to everything Blah-related”, I do. We all like to have a connection to our past.  But I don’t understand Anglophilia.  You guys fought us “English pig-dogs”*** off with the help of the French, so why aren’t you lot Francophiles****? Most Americans don’t even know who Lafayette is, let alone that without his help, you’d still all be speaking… English.

Okay, bad example.

But I mean, we burned down your White House.***** (We didn’t burn down a church full of people, though, that was the Nazis in WWII). And before that, we taxed you guys with all sorts of unfair taxes.  You guys hate unfair taxes, right? Right?? Also, your ancestors that came to America for a better life were the servants and beggars of the Downton Abbey world.  Your forebears would have been sneered at and turned away at the scullery door.

Unless, of course, your great-great-great grandfather went to the US, made a fuck-tonne****** of money, and you sent your daughters back over to England to marry aristocrats so your grandchildren would be nobility (but not you, of course, you’d still be scum, and not invited to parties).  This really only worked for about 50 families, tops.

Nope, aristocracy isn’t to be admired, it’s really not.  It caused inbreeding, haemophilia, and the Hapsburg lip.  Also intense confusion for regular people in the US before WWI, as the Russian Tsar Nicholas, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and England’s King George V were cousins, and all looked kind of like each other (first picture, Tsar Nicholas on the left, George V on the right, second picture, George V on the left, Kaiser Wilhelm II on the right):

Image result for george v of england Image result for kaiser wilhelm 2

Spooooooky.  And an excellent reason not to admire aristocracy; they’re all inbred up to the eyebrows.

I’m still somewhat at a loss over the mattress pad in particular, since I remember beds in grand houses as having mattresses made of horsehair, unpadded metal springs, and terrifying unidentifiable lumps that sometimes moved of their own accord. Sheets, far from being soft and fancy, were made of a kind of linen that is usually reserved for making tents, and were more exfoliating than a ten-minute sandstorm. You might have a fireplace in your room, but more often than not, the chimney flue was closed off, and if you tried to light anything, you burned the carpet that had been laid under the grate. Warmth was sometimes provided by a single-bar electric heater, but more often by a rattling old radiator that gave off 2 BTUs an hour*******.

Comfort is not really an English thing, especially for the upper classes, who regard terrible food,  awful beds, and rock-hard furniture as “character-building”, along with freezing-cold rooms and a layer of ice in the toilet bowl in the winter. Comfort is for people who didn’t go to the “right” schools.

Anglos non! Vive la Franco-Americains!


*Except Donald Trump. He can buy as much gold-plated furniture as he wants, but he will never seem as classy as an English upper-class accent.**

**It’s called ormolou, Donald.

***Mind you, English pig-dog bites can be pretty nasty.

****Fans of France, not James Franco, though he’s pretty hot.

*****Not my family personally, though I’m sure they’d have been fine with it. Also, not the Canadians, Donald.

******Metric; about 1.75 US fuck-tons.

*******BTU: British Thermal Unit. An often talked-about, but never actually seen form of heat.  We think it looks like a hedgehog crossed with a pangolin.  That way, at least you can feel slightly amused as you wrap yourself in ten blankets and attempt to not lose limbs to frostbite.

 

 

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