But this time they've gone from understatement to overboard. Suddenly, all the U.S. anger at BP, once called British Petroleum, is being taken as an affront in the U.K.

How dare we get so crude about the crude oil fouling an entire region of our country, courtesy of BP? How could we get so worked up over the company's, dare I say, dithering?

It seems that our new national pariah is a national treasure over there, so jolly old England is not so jolly about the scorn we're heaping on its pride and joy.

Part of that esteem is tied to dividends. The oil behemoth has a long record of paying substantial ones to its stockholders. That would include a sizable chunk of the British population. So those dividends are now paying, uh, dividends when it comes to PR. Those who get them are rallying around their cash cow.

But if dividends mean so much to them that business practices don't matter, why don't they search out even more lucrative opportunities? Surely, some financial whiz can incorporate a dividend-paying drug cartel. Maybe a porn filmmaker would be the way to go. Imagine the prospectus, to say nothing of the crowds at the shareholder meetings.

Before the Brits start firing their shots at us colonists on the other side of the pond, they might want to consider the havoc BF has wreaked on the Pond of Mexico. This is something else we have in common. We all have earned the right to be right to be really angry at BP.

Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.