"Clueless in America," by Peter R. Edwards. ISBN 978-1-60264-146-4 (softcover) $12.95, 188 pages.
Clueless in America tells the story of a group of mainframe programmers who found themselves in America, more by good fortune than by planning. They didn't take it very seriously. Because if anything went wrong, they could always head back to Britain and pick up the pieces there.
The seventies were a time of disco and singles bars. Jimmy Carter was President. Gas was 60 cents a gallon. "Happy Days" was on TV. The Internet had not been invented and the Hells Angels were still young enough to be scary.
Although it was mostly an adventure, the majority of these programmers wound up staying in the US. Not all of them married Americans, but they all became citizens.
Initially, America looked very strange to these young people. There was a culture shock that took some getting used to. And America definitely found them strange. They talked funny and acted daft. But despite the vagaries of youth, they were all successful and became rather staid and middle-aged.
Nowadays, their kids are getting married and have always spoken with an American accent. The kids' friends think the British parents are cool and will spend hours reenacting scenes from Python's "Holy Grail". Usually unasked.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author is one of those pale, deluded Celts who stumble out of the mists of England, rather surprised the world has become so modern.
He was educated at a school that resembled Gormenghast, and went to college on the high, wet plain overlooking Bath, where he studied Maths and Beefheart.
After a stint at the Gas Board in the seventies, he stepped off a 747 into the New York winter and was promptly relieved of his greatcoat by a cheerful chap he met on West 42nd Street.
Falling on hard times, he eked out a miserable living programming mainframes, and soon had enough to buy a suit.
He moved to Chicago and joined a community theater in Wilmette. Sadly, it was unpaid, but I'm told he wowed them in Winnetka.
Finally, he opened a British restaurant in St. Pete Beach, Florida, called "Tea and Crumpets". Naturally he was soon broke and forced to return to coding.