Did you hear about the bigot?

Did you hear about the bigot who hates all things English? He makes a good living in the concreting business, because almost everything in the city depends on this industry. It’s just a pity that reinforced concrete was invented by W.B. Wilkinson in Newcastle, England.

Our bigot’s home uses electric power generated by steam turbines, which were invented by Sir Charles Parsons. Many of his home appliances use electric motors, which were invented by Londoner Michael Faraday. These range from vacuum cleaners, the invention of Englishman Hubert Booth, to sewing machines, invented by Englishman Charles Weisenhall back in 1755.

Not all of his appliances run on electric motors, though. There’s his microwave oven, based on the magnetron invented by Sir John Randall and Dr H A H Boot at Birmingham University. Or his modern central heating unit, designed by Englishman A H Barker. Even his TV set, the brainchild of Englishman Shelford Bidwell, while its production depended on the invention of the cathode-ray tube by London physicist Sir William Crookes.

All these things reminded our bigot too much of England, so he turned on his radio for news from some country more to his liking. It didn’t help much though, because he remembered that satellite radio transmitters are powered by fuel cells invented by the English chemist Francis T Bacon.

He thought of expressing his frustration by writing an angry letter. But it wouldn’t go anywhere without the postal system, created in London by Sir Rowland Hill. That is, unless he chose to send his letter by e-mail on a computer – the brainchild of Englishman Charles Babbage.

Our bigot briefly considered getting away from it all, flying off to some remote place with nothing to remind him of English genius. But then he recalled that modern jet aircraft engines were designed by English test pilot Sir Frank Whittle.

He decided to do some home chores. So he thought of washing the dishes – but his sink is stainless steel, invented by Englishman Sir Harry Brearly. And some of his utensils are made of plastic, the brainchild of Birmingham professor Alexander Parkes.

Desperate to avoid the brilliance of the English, he headed out of doors – passing on the way out his modern WC, designed by Londoner Alexander Cummings. The lawn was a bit overgrown because he couldn’t bring himself to use a lawn mower, originally designed by Edwin Budding of Gloucestershire. That’s why he scraped himself, and was briefly glad that his tetanus shots were up to date – until he remembered that immunisation was discovered by Dr Edward Jenner, another Gloucestershire man.

All this contact with things English might well give him a heart attack. It’s just as well that he’s been fitted with a cardiac pacemaker, the invention of English surgeon W H Walshe.

Perhaps by this stage our bigot is secretly wishing that he could have a transfusion of good Anglo-Saxon blood. Well, it can be arranged – thanks to James Blundell, who pioneered blood transfusions at Guy’s Hospital, London. But whether that would turn him into a creative Englishman is another question altogether.