Battle Cry

(Don’t get up in arms, I’m just taking the piss.)

 I waged war the other morning, but it was the crows and magpies that started the battle. They swooped across my back yard, screaming at full volume. After a good twenty minutes, I couldn’t take the noise anymore. Besides, I don’t want them moving in. I set my small Bluetooth speaker on the deck, crept away like it had nothing to do with me, and played the song, Revolution, by the Beatles. Only, I played the Jim Sturgess version because it’s a little raunchier. The birds left in 20 seconds. 

It got me thinking. I didn’t pick John Lennon’s version because the letter L in the word, ‘World’ is so soft that it’s hard to believe he’s singing about revolution. And I wondered, how on earth did Britain take over so much of the planet using such a poncy accent? When you hear Brits like Prince Charles speak, you think, yes, you can run a library. You can bring back farming without pesticides. Or be in a famous band. But don’t ever be a general. Don’t try to be a bad guy, either. You just don’t have the accent for it. 

When facing the enemy, perhaps Britain could have a Yorkshireman shouting insults across the battle field. The only problem is, no one would understand them. ‘Find us a Cockney from South London!’ That might work. Realistically, they’d need the Celts back, with their animal skins and blue faces. It wouldn’t matter if no one was there to translate. Everyone would be too busy running away. 

Where does that leave Canadians? If you’re from the East Coast, the enemy would pause for a long moment. ‘Can’t understand a damn thing they’re saying but I’d really like to give them all a hug.’ If the army was from Ontario, everyone would think they were American. If they were from Manitoba or Saskatchewan and possibly Alberta, a shout would go up. ‘They’re from the Dakotas! Stand down!’ (It’s different than being American. Think of the movie, Fargo. Yeah, that accent.)

If you really want to terrify an enemy, use a Russian or Slavic accent. It’s all those Die Hard movies, or possibly,  the Mission Impossibles. A Scandinavian should remind us of Vikings, but all I can hear is the Swedish chef on the Muppets. A whole lot of ‘lurty, flurty’ going on. The Aussies would fall for the old, ‘Here, have a beer,’ from the enemy, and the New Zealanders, once again, would not be understood. My niece Heather’s, husband, Adam, a handsome Kiwi, once called our house asking to speak with Heetha. I hung up three times before I realized he meant ‘Heather.’ 

I’m going for a paddle soon, and I’ll be having a chat with those obnoxious otters again. Perhaps I’ll pretend to be Russian. But since I’m terrible at accents, I’ll have to stick with my Marge, from Fargo impression. It’s one I land every time.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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