English Toffee


Thanks to Na’aman Yehuda for this nice pic (or Todah rabbah, of course).

To our cousins across the pond — if they (or YOU) can spot the references that I put in the story along with some other “goodies,”  you get extra credit.

I also dedicate this story to Dale Rogerson who asked the musical question, “Don’t you have anything else to write?”  OK, so she didn’t express it that way, but, yes, it is a NEW story.  Have at, peeps.  Love you Dale! 😉



They shook hands on the bus.



“Where you from, John?”

‘Here in London.  You?’

“Iowa.  I’m here to meet a girl.”  Tim showed Emma’s photo.  John looked it over, impressed as hell.

‘You have marvellous taste. You fancy her?’

“How did you know?”

‘The colour in your face.’

“Really? My face changed color?”

‘Oh, I realised it, all right.   Here’s some of my advice —- have her stir your tea anticlockwise. Oh, here’s my stop.’  John stepped off the bus.  

“ ‘Anticlockwise?’ “   Tim paused, shook his head, and scoffed, “Britishers!”

John adjusting his bowler, proceeded down the street, sighing,  ‘Americans!’



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48 Responses to English Toffee

  1. Gabriella says:

    colour, color, realised. I am sure I missed a few others though. Languages are so interesting and the source of a few misunderstandings.

  2. neilmacdon says:

    To add to Ian’s list, marvellous and fancy are, of course, British expressions. Well-observed, William

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Neil. Did you get who was who and how? For example, no one has noticed another “anomaly” in the writing. Oops! Just gave it away! 😉

  3. Dear Cuzzin Kent,

    We all know that Mr. Steed wants his tea stirred anticlockwise. Emma, eh? She sounds a-Peel-ing. It was nice that Tim and John could connect for a bit of a chinwag. At last a blast from the present! Congratulations on writing something new! Thank you, Dale. 😀


    Cuzzin Shelley

  4. Tannille says:

    Ah the Dale shame… It worked though 😀.

    Nothing like a bit of rivalry between friendly races. Australians pick what they want from mum (England) and Pa (US) in terms of language, spell more the British way but word choice is fair game.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yes, I delineated the characters via their spelling, punctuation usage and idioms. It was kind of an experiment and who better and cooler to meet on a bus than John Steed, huh?

  5. Nice one! But I am still perplexed about why SHE would be stirring HIS tea? Do women still do that?

    • wmqcolby says:

      If you ever saw the TV show The Avengers, Emma Peel (Diana Rigg in her final episode of the series) tells her replacement, Tara King, that her new secret agent partner, John Steed, ” … likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise.” It’s probably the most famous line in the series because people loved Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. So, that’s the reference. As for whether women still do that, I don’t know. I didn’t grow up with the tradition of tea at four o’clock or whatever variant of that. In America, we are pretty much coffee drinkers. I’m not much of a coffee drinker (hardly at all) and I DO like tea, but prefer cold drinks, so I like my tea ice-cold.

  6. Dale says:

    Fun one… Loved the difference in spelling…
    And I love that you pushed yourself to write something new! Woo hoo! And it was good, too 😉
    By the way, Neil wrote it but since John was speaking, marvellous takes two L’s 😉
    Now I have to see which way I stir my tea… I’m thinking clockwise…

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yeah, i saw that. My spellcheck is American standard, so I had to deliberately “misspell” some things. I’ll correct it. I actually wrote this a couple of months ago, waiting for the right moment and thought, “This is it!” However, I DID decide, and it seems to be working out, to write every other week, yeah. I stir clockwise, by the way. Thanks, Dale, for the kick in the processor. 😉

      • Dale says:

        He he he…
        I know. I have to “misspell” all the time.
        Glad the moment was right!
        I realised I never stir my coffee because I put the milk in first so it mixes itself – and I’m already sweet enough so I add no sugar.. 😉
        Glad to provide the necessary nudge…

  7. ceayr says:

    Well, Kent, if you expect me to remember a line from a TV show half a century ago you are smoking good stuff.
    But, as you managed to spell ‘realised’ correctly, I’ll ‘Honor’ you with 5 out of 5 for this.
    See what I did there!

  8. plaridel says:

    i’m left wondering what would happen if tea is stirred anticlockwise or shall we say counterclockwise? or maybe he was just making conversation? 🙂

  9. granonine says:

    I had to pick up the spoon beside my empty cup and pretend to stir. Clockwise. How about that. Never paid any attention before.

    I spotted all the rest. I read lots of Brit lit 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Ah, yes! Congratulations, Linda! You are spot on it. Of course, James Bond would prefer his martinis shaken, not stirred probably because he likes the taste of bruised vermouth. On the other hand, why would John Steed care if his tea is stirred the other way? Oh, well …

  10. Well …. Well … Well … a new story from you.
    I’m sure you would have started writing new ones even without influence.
    You’re timing just had to be write … I know its right but I was jesting!!!
    Buen escrito, mi amiga.
    Be safe … Be Healthy … Be Happy
    Isadora 😎

  11. wmqcolby says:

    Gracias, Iz. Have a terrific July 4 weekend!

  12. You say eether and I say eyether
    You say neether and I say nyther
    Eether, eyether, neether, nyther
    Let’s call the whole thing off!

  13. wmqcolby says:

    Haha! Thanks, Keith! Always a pleasure.

  14. That Dale can certainly be persuasive. We have a new neighbor who was born and raised south of London. Connie has to ask her to translate phrases into hillbilly-ese for us to understand what she’s talking about. I’m sure our “down-south” idioms confuse her as well.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! Make me wonder what Dale will do in that situation — “How’s you all, honey-child, EH?” What say you, Dale, if you’re still following us on this thread?

  15. Liz Young says:

    It’s decades sicne I watched The Avengers, and I never knew that line was famous!

  16. wmqcolby says:

    Yeah, it was according to a special on ITV that Joan Collins hoisted on The Avengers series. Diana Rigg was, essentially passing the baton to Linda Thorsen and it was Diana Rigg’s final line in the show.

  17. Bill says:

    Good one. I thought it was, “Brits” and “Yanks.” But what do I know?

  18. wmqcolby says:

    Hmmm. Yeah, it could have been. But then, what do I know anyway? Thanks, Bill!

  19. Sandra says:

    an interesting piece. I see you’ve put some work into this. I think I got most if not all of the references, partly because I remember one ex FF-er who persistently corrected my spelling and terminology. He appeared to take offence at my reactions. 🙂

  20. wmqcolby says:

    I was hoping you’d like this, Sandra. I wrote it with you in mind, really, because you worked in British TV. Sorry the M-F-er … I mean the FF-er took “offense” at your spelling. 😀 Thanks! 😀

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