Tag Archives: Mad Dog

The Mad Dog and the Englishwoman: A Concept Revisited

I have just discovered that the 100th novel written about Doctor Who, my most favouritist televisual delight, bears a title in happy alignment with this blog. Not so sure what to make of the terrifying poodle, mind you.

This discovery facilitates a neat sidestep to an issue I have only just discovered to be an issue: this blog’s title. Apparently, if my editor is to be believed (and he usually is), a “mad dog” in American slang is someone unlikely to be invited into polite society. Which is most definitely not where I was going when I named this blog.

It also casts certain aspersions upon my poor husband, who, after our dog refused to properly take up the mantle and thanks to the photograph I chose to illustrate the sidebar, has by default taken on the role of the mad dog to my Englishwoman.

I was actually referring to a line from a Noel Coward poem, which reads: “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. The poem satirises the unwillingness of the English to adopt the customs of the locals when abroad. More specifically, to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day when visiting the tropical climes of the colonies, back in the days of the British Empire. A bad idea when your bodily systems are adapted to drizzle and two-week summers.

As you might guess, I picked it to highlight my own ineptitude when it comes to learning new tricks. This is something I believe I prove with every step along my American journey, particularly when confronted by peanut butter. Although I suppose it remains open to interpretation whether this makes Hubby the type of mad dog Coward was referring to, or the type my editor disapproves of.

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun
The Japanese don’t care to, the Chinese wouldn’t dare to
Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one
But Englishmen 
Detest a
Siesta.
– Noel Coward, Mad Dogs and Englishmen

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