In recent years, a joke has done the rounds that depicts a famous Hollywood actress as the murderess to an unnamed individual. The clever mixup of everyday cutlery items befuddles and delights all of whom that are fortunate enough to hear it. It masks a harsh truth.
I am, of course, referring to Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon.
But, Witherspoon’s Cluedo connection is not all she’s known for.
She is, without doubt, a decorated talent.
An Academy Award for a movie about Mr Jonathan Cash.
Actress, Singer, Producer. She has her fingers in a plethora of pies. More than enough, some would say.
Despite Witherspoon’s undeniable onscreen talents and naturally blonde hair, one part of her illustrious career cannot (and must not) go unmentioned.
Honest British locals have been mispronouncing the names of their local pubs. And distinguished Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon is at the root of it all.
Imagine coming home from a day’s work down the quarry and calling your wife Elaine instead of Marge.
During a short visit to the United Kingdom in 2006 to promote Illegally Blonde – a movie which she described as “putting the Bond back into blonde” – Witherspoon embarked on a more personal agenda that distanced herself from the already flailing production.
A passion project.
Newport is a city in South Wales proudly home to 3 J.D. Wetherspoons pubs in the city centre alone.
And Reese Witherspoon’s painstaking campaign began in my hometown of Newport, South Wales.
Newport was granted city status in 2002 by QEII and we’ll never forget that. However, it seems wholly vulgar and arrogant to say “home city”. Is it perfect? No. Are we doing something to make it closer to perfect? Also no.
Newport recently lost its claim to fame as #2 arson capital of the UK.
Witherspoon’s campaign of hatred began in The John Wallace Linton, on Cambrian Road (the top end of town `spoons). She arrived with an entourage of “Witherers”, each dressed in a blonde wig more horrifying and distasteful than the last.
They had a plan. A secret plan.
At first, the locals exercised their ever-so-British right to ignore anything that resembles a Nazi-rally or a leftist protest or a charitable cause or a person trying to take your money or a person trying to ask for directions or help or an ambulance. “The Witherers” held their own for a longer period of time than it takes the average Newportonian pub-goer to finish a pint.
Jason from Lliswerry (Newport): “I saw this sea of yellow `eds comin’ t`wards the Tom Toya Lewis (Wetherspoons at bottom end of town). I never thought this kind of thing would happen in Witherspoons.”
Witherspoon had won.
Ever since that day, people in my hometown and other towns and other cities across the country have been misnaming their very own shit local pubs.
Reese and her cohorts had won. No longer do people pronounce it ‘Wether-spoons’. It’s ‘Wither-spoons’. Due to a sinister plot. A successful, sinister plot.
Illegally Blonde (2006)