Friday, December 31, 2010

The Tower of London and Other Old Things

            “Did that sign really say that this wall was refurbished in 1221 A.D.?”

            “Yes it did.”

            “That means that it had been built earlier and needed to be repaired in 1221?”

            “Uh huh.”

            “William the Conqueror put up the original wall sometime around 1066?”

            “Yes, that’s right.”

            “You’re putting me on.”

            “It’s no big deal, really. In Britain, we have walls that are much older than these in the Tower of London. Over here is where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. She’s buried under the altar in that church right there. She was Henry VIII’s second wife, you know.”

            “I know; I watched The Tudors on Showtime. What year was that again?”

            “In the year of our Lord 1536.”

            “That was before European settlers landed at Jamestown.”

            “Yes, I believe it was. Over here is the chapel in which Henry VI is reputed to have been murdered. We’re not really sure about the details, though.”

            “Why don’t you know for sure?”

            “Well, it was in 1471, and the time period was rather turbulent with the War of the Roses going on. Some of the records from that time period have gone missing.”

            “That makes sense.”

            “Thanks for your understanding.”

            “Are you laughing at me?”

            “Me? Absolutely not. I love Americans. You look at history from a totally different perspective than the British do.”

            “We do?”

            “It’s refreshing, really, the way you see everything here as ancient. We Brits have to go to Egypt to see really old stuff.”

            “I get your point. It’s all relative, isn’t it?”

            “Exactly. You Americans aren’t as slow as everyone says you are.”

            “Golly gee whiz – thanks a bunch, mister. That’s mighty kind of you to say.”

            “No problem, love.”