Last Sunday’s London Marathon included one Bristol resident, Bryan Smythe Smiley.
Smiley was ebullient, but tired. When we interviewed him at the finish line, we were struck by his pronounced British accent.
“I get that all the time,” he said. “People think I am from Bristol, England. Don’t let the O.B.E. after my name fool you. That stands for ‘Order of Bristol Envelopes.’ It is something only a person from our Connecticut chapter would get. My whole family lives in Bristol in Connecticut, U.S. of A., by George. My grandfather was even 11th Earl of Bristol.”
Back in Connecticut, a local historian Jack Maize was beside himself. “What Smiley claims is not true. The voter rolls even show he resides in Bristol, England. And Bristol never had earls. I should know. My great aunt was High Executioner for this town back in the war.”
We caught up with another local historian, Greg Putank, hanging outside Greer’s Chicken with a sign saying, “Will Provide Historical Context For Food.” Putank vehemently decried these distortions of the truth. “Both men are lying. In fact, the second man is not even a historian. I usually see him dumpster diving outside Price Chopper. Believe me, no historian would go near their dumpsters. We are loyal to Stop & Shop!”
“It is an ideal place to get a diachronic perspective for reconstructing aspects of individual and group identity shaped by current political exigencies through contextual analysis of the disposed comestible and toiletry repertoire. I also like the bagels they toss.”
Price Chopper had no comment, but did brag that one London Marathon finisher was Georgina MacStewart, an employee with their new London store. Or New London store?