2012 is shaping up to be one of the merriest of years in merrie olde England. For the engineers in MoT‘s Celebratoria, which is housed in the Department of Festive Studies and Fun-Time Rituals, that means overtime. Significant projects have bene undertaken (supported by funds from a MacArthur Fellowship . . . that we’re still waiting for) to celebrate, albeit long-distance, all manner of Britophilia. In addition to a whole new year of hat-wearing by the Kate The Nearly Impeccable (any new hat day is reason enough for the full MoT staff to drop everything and pop open the clotted cream with a shout of huzzah!), a few specific big events are posted on the calendar: the Royal First Anniversary (29 April), C. F. A. Voysey’s 155th Birthday (28 May), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (2-5 June) and the Olympics open in London (27 July). If for some reason you have not received your invitation or secured your tickets for these big events, never fear. MoT can help you turn your living room into a wee colony of Little Britain in three easy steps and at varying levels of economic investment (to which we are sensitive; times are tough!) and relative interest in the Royal Family (for which we have no sympathy; get with the program, mate!).
Step 1: Prepare your feast. British food gets a bad rap but, while it’s not cuisine française, you can navigate your way away from murky fields of kidney pie and eel grossness to the juicy and carboriffic heights of a roasted meat and baked pudding wonderland. High end: Eat the kind of thing the Queen and her Jubilee guests will enjoy: roast lamb, Beef Wellington. A bit less so: Toad in the Hole with long-simmered onion gravy. That’s still too much work: Lay out a proper afternoon tea with scones, clotted cream, jam, sandwiches, cakes (and if you go to the Italian Bakery down the street because your staff pastry chefs threw the whole pan of cakes–pan included–into the rubbish bin in frustration, we won’t tell). Don’t know a Chelsea Bun from an Eccles Cake: Cut the crusts off your kids’ PB&J, butter up some English muffins, and call it good.
Step 2: Plan your attire. High end: Bring out the gloves, gems and regalia, if you have them. I’ve Got a Hot Glue Gun and I’m Not Afraid to Use It: Spend $10 at Hobby Lobby and become your neighborhood Philip Treacy. Make fascinators for yourself, your friends, your children, your dog. You must be kidding: Please, at least wear something that needs ironing. Iron it. Not allowed: Scorn your droll guests who wear their Sex Pistols t-shirts from college; it’s neither ironic nor clever.
Step 3: After taking gratuitous picture of Dog In Fascinator and dealing with the resultant canine thrashing, blot spilled tea with paper towel, spritz with a solution of water and vinegar. If carpet stain persists, gently rub with dish detergent or salt, alternate with more cold-water dabbing. Tune in BBC, turn up volume loud enough to drown out complaints of husband. Proceed with festivities.
There you have it: the MoT Geek Guide to Britophilia in three easy steps. Cheerio!