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 When England scammed Arizona...true!

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Old Master
Not quite a Newb


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Location: In the Goat Locker


PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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Did you know that England scammed Arizona? Ohhh, it was ugly, ladies and gents. Here are the facts; and remember...everything written in here is sad, but true...you have my 100% risk-free promise:

Back in the mid-1960s a rich tourist named Robert McCulloch, from Arizona, USA, was strolling around London in his plaid bermuda shorts, striped casual shirt, red snap-brim hat, white knee socks, and black Italian-leather shoes. He took a photo of this, and of that, and that statue over there. Before long a smallish chap, Mr. Pennywhistle, who has been observing the man, sidled up to Mr. McCulloch, glanced around furtively, and said out of the side of his mouth:

"Pssst...guv...can I 'ave a word wid ye, guv?" he whispered, continuing to look around nervously. [Writers note: This American writer is practicing a generic English accent, not trying to get any particular regional dialect correct. Forgive me.]

"Howdy partner!" Mr. McCulloch shouted, slapping the wee chap on the back, "What's that ya say? Speak up, man, speak up!"

"Uh, yes, right," said Pennywhistle under his breath, "Guv, I can see yer a bloke's got an eye for the finer things in life. Can I show ye this lovely gold watch, or this one, or this one...?" he muttered as he pulled his left sleeve higher and higher.

"Nah, don't need another watch," yelled McCulloch, causing Pennywhistle to shrink even further inside the threadbare coat he was wearing.

"Splendid, splendid..." whispered the little man, "But look at these, now, Yank, didja ever see anything so lovely?" he said as he pulled out a thick stack of French postcards, "Fresh from Paris, they are, and I can let the entire batch go for only..."

"Nope, nope, nope...ummm...nope," McCulloch said, even while he slowly thumbed through the stack of French...art, before handing them back.

"Blimey, Yank, it's a sticky wicket ye are...oh...wait...I know...," Pennywhistle closed one eye against rising smoke from the fag stuck in a corner of his mouth, smiled a leering, gap-toothed grin, looked around once more, then whispered, "Yank, 'ow would ye like to buy...100% risk free...London Bridge?"

McCulloch's head snapped around; he stared at the little man, managed a discreet cough into his closed fist, and uttered a strangled, "I've always wanted a bridge...how much money we talkin here?"

Okay, that was the beginning of a lovely little bait; a straight bait...where the Party of the 1st Part offers an item of value, say, London Bridge, to The Party of the 2nd Part. They agree on a price satisfactory to each. The Party of the 1st Part receives the consideration...and disappears. But it was different in this case. Here the item of value was actually delivered and Pennywhistle made a lot of lovely money. [To the Americans reading this: Brits say lovely a lot.] Here's how the deal came out, in as few words as possible:

London Bridge was falling down...hence the children's ditty. More accurately, it was sinking slowly into the mud at the bottom of the Thames River. The members of HRMSBC (Her Royal Majesties' Sinking Bridge Commission) voted unanimously to tear down the bridge, and use the rubble to build a new, modern gravel road in India that would support the weight of larger and faster donkey carts. The commission hurriedly voted the proposition through...faster than normal since it was almost tea time and that stunning young bird from the scullery was going to be serving tea that day...the one who always wears her, uh...ahem, ahhh...her "bodice" so enticingly low and revealing. Yes, yes...it's tea time...let's not muck about with a bloody auld bridge.

The last commissioner out of the room reached to close the door, and playfully uttered a fateful comment, overheard by one interested party.

"Were it left to me, gentlemen, I should like to make a bit of profit on it. Sell it, perhaps to one of these bloody daft Americans we have wandering about Picadilly Circus, the Tower of London, and yes...London Bridge, in their bloody silly clothes and with their Polaroid cameras. Ha-ha!"

Standing quietly and unseen in the background, as was the proper role for those of the servant class in England, was a smallish lad with a face that was well on its way to becoming as "prune-like" as Mr. Pennywhistles, his father. The listener was Jocko Pennywhistle.

"Cor, da!" the boy squeaked to his father later, on their walk home together, "I 'eard 'im wid me own two ears! Sell London Bridge to a Yank, is wot 'e said...oi swear, da...on th kings own grave, I do!" [Writers query: Is that a good Liverpool dialect?]

Well, that tidbit stunned Mr. Pennywhistle. Just how, he thought, does one go about selling a bleedin' great pile 'o rocks to a Yank? Most of them were dumb, he reasoned, but not THAT bloody dumb. Hmmm, sell London Bridge to a Yank, he thought as he shook his head side-to-side doubtfully...but then he envisioned himself with a new coat, a new tie...p'haps even new trousers. And shoes! Oh yes...yes indeed, those luvly brown leather hi-tops whats been sitting around Mr. Tumblebottom's shoe shop fer months now.

Ill do it! he vowed, and in anticipation of great riches soon coming his way, Mr. Pennywhistle stopped and, using the money from a gold watch sale that day, purchased three sacks of fish and chips, and ten Players for after supper...six for him and four fer th auld woman. That night he dreamed of possibilities...and bridges.

Right here lets eliminate three chapters of boring detail, the gist of which involves Mr. Pennywhistle introducing Mr. McCulloch secretly to a member of HRMSBC who shall remain nameless due to death threats to this writer if revealed, and the Commission actually selling London Bridge to Mr. McCulloch for the princely sum of only $2,460,000 USD, not including delivery but including 700 wired via WU to one Barrister Knicely John, somewhere in Africa, for some unknown reason.

Fast forward again to Lake Havasu City, Arizona a couple of years later. London Bridge has been transported from the UK to this small desert town, and reassembled in secret with the help of a paid assistant, David Blaine. On the day of the grand unveiling, London Bridge was covered in a massive piece of royal blue silk arranged in a way that would allow it to slide gracefully away on cue. Balloons, flags, bundles of ribbon-tied Jimson Weed, and some other ragged stuff flew in gay profusion. The unveiling had been heavily publicized over the entire state, and the resulting mass of humanity, estimated to be 180 strong, held their collective breath, then released it explosively when they learned the unveiling was the following day...the newspaper printed the wrong date.

Well now, all of that pent-up breath, released explosively, violently tore away the royal blue silk bridge covering and revealed, in all its stunning glory...London Bridge! The crowd gasped in something that approximated a mix of surprise, delight, disappointment, heat exhaustion, and for some, joy (when they recognized the Jimson Weed for what it was.)

A BBC reporter, Paxton Pawley, on hand for the occasion with his huge, portable, battery-powered tape recorder, strolled among the crowd and recorded the spontaneous comments of the Arizonans as they contemplated their new bridge...London Bridge...right here in Lake Havasu City! Later in his motel room he reviewed the contents of the tape:

Harry, is that the new bridge? It doesnt look very English.
Dad, can I have a quarter to buy a balloon?
Wonder why they put it here, where theres no water?
Mom, does them English people speak American like we does?
Pssst...hey man, have you tried that Jimson Weed? It is far out, dude!
George, I thought this was the London Bridge...wheres the towers?
Hey! McCulloch! Where are the towers? Ain't this London Bridge?"

Hey, McCulloch, where are the towers? Someone finally noticed the scam pulled on Arizona by Mr. Pennywhistle and HRMSBC. Everybody knows London Bridge has these two big towers on each end, right? I mean, that is right, isnt it? ISN'T IT?

Well, no, actually. The bridge with towers is Tower Bridge, and as far as they know, its neither sinking nor falling down. Our Mr. McCulloch, after a stiff drink, held a press conference where he stated most emphatically, Ocourse I knew London Bridge didnt have towers; you think I wouldnt know something like that...ya think Im stupid?"

So thats how England scammed Arizona. London Bridge stands to this day, still without towers, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It has water under it sometimes, during winter months. Mr. Pennywhistle has recently written a letter to Mr. McCulloch, informing him that Big Ben is for sale. And Mr. McCulloch, after reading the letter, crumbled it in his hand and swore softly, but at great length, under his breath.


I swear this is true! Very Happy Rolling Eyes

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Doctor X
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We gave them Dynasty and McDonalds.

Our revenge is cold and swift.

--J.D.

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To be fair, many foreign visitors to London still mistake Tower Bridge for London Bridge. I think it's because Tower Bridge is so much more recogniseable and appears in lots of London landmarks brochures, postcards, etc.

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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Mom, does them English people speak American like we does?


Mom : "Kinda!" Laughing

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Hekate
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Doctor X - I liked Dynasty! Razz

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Dott. Giascopato
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Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wasn't there a story about someone selling the Eiffel tower?
And he scammed Al Capone, obviously.


Edit:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lustig
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lustig

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breadcrumb
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ I know we dont like scammers here, but THIS guy was a genius....lolol....and he really got BALLS...I mean scamming Al Capone is a little different from stealing the life savings of an old lady Shocked Shocked Laughing

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