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Changes In Britain

Here in England we may be stuck in the midst of a very gloomy recession but we don't let it get us down, do we? Of course we don't. And I've got good news for all of you -- well, all of you who are coming over here.

Because the authorities at London's Heathrow Airport now intend to give every visiting American tourist a free cup of steaming English tea and a traditional jam cookie just to cheer you up. It's a special offer for one week only in November - times are hard, you know - but if you've flown business class you can even have some sugar in the tea..

And while you're here, I thought you might like to know about some innovations designed to maintain the spirits of our own community. All over the country, England's intrepid traffic engineers are planning a most exciting scheme to make us drive more slowly. And the slower we drive the less we spend on gas, so it must be a good thing. Mustn't it?

The idea is to remove as many signs as possible from the highways and streets in order to create what is known as naked motoring. I'm afraid it isn't quite as raunchy as it sounds. No Paris Hilton waiting for you at the crossroads. Ho George Clooney on the sidewalk. But the traffic experts believe that by stripping out all these signs we will have to take more care.

Apparently the effects have been proved in experiments in other European countries. Without road signs, if we don't slow down we are all going to get lost. And so are you.

But there is one sleepy backwater of England which has an alternative plan. The village of Wiveton in North Norfolk, on our chilly eastern seaboard, has come up with a home grown solution to the problem of speeding motorists. They intend to take down their old warning sign and put up a new one written in the local dialect.

So if you visit Wiveton please drive carefully and observe what it says: "slow you down, me lovelies". They might even give you an extra jam cookie if you do.
By Ed Boyle

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