Home of the Brave… and Quirky!

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Well right now I am in Vegas, for some partying and poker. Epic dinner was with had with some mates last night including fellow blogger Nolan Dalla, whom is going to write up about some of those shenanigans!

Let me start by saying that I love America, I’ve spent a lot of my life here.

I also love Americans (well some of them). However, it must be noted that you do have some quirks.

You may not know you’re doing them, so perhaps it’s time we had a little talk.

Here are some things that stand out to an outsider:

 

1)     Overuse of the word “like”:

I don’t know how this has developed – I’m talking squarely to you, Generation Y – but it is a blot on society. Like is currently being used, like on average, like once every four words. Life is not one big simile, kids of America!

Stop using “like” as a sentence filler.

Even worse is when “was like” is used to replace the word “said”. Folks, you do realise it is shorter, and easier, to simply use the correct term “said”.

Point in question. Rather than saying “And I was like, I should totally get this skirt. And she was like, you totally should”.

Perhaps try “And I said, this skirt is delightful! I simply must have it! Her reply emphatically supported my notion.”

 

2)     Superficial, Over the Top, Insincerity:

“How’re yooouuuu?” The long, drawn out, 1½ second “ooooo” sound really bugs me. It feels superficial. It feels insincere. It feels fake. Stop it.

I know what you’re going to say – would I prefer genuine rudeness over superficial friendliness?

Yes. Of course I would. It’s honest. It’s real. And I respect that.

What I don’t respect, is being patronised by someone who really, really, doesn’t give a fuck.

 

3)     No metric system:

Seriously America. Why?

It is so easy to use. Factors of 10. Simple.

You are one of only 3 countries that haven’t fully adopted the metric system. Can you guess the others?

The global powerhouses of Myanmar and Liberia.   But you’d better be quick, Myanmar are in the process of making the switch.

Here’s the thing. You’ll have to make the leap eventually. It is inevitable. The longer you wait, the harder, and more costly it will be to introduce.

And if by chance the aliens do one day visit us, you don’t want to be embarrassed, do you? Just you, and ol’ Liberia in the corner, licking the windows.

 

4)     Tipping:

Yes, EVERY foreigner goes there. And yes, I’m going there too.

Why do you suppose that is? It is because the system is fucked up. You’ve let tipping rule you. And it shouldn’t.

I have no objection to tipping well for good service. I will also tip exceedingly well, for exceedingly good service. What I do not feel comfortable doing, is tipping for mediocre service.

Sort out your minimum wage system, charge us enough to cover the worker’s wages in the price of the service, and allow people to tip – at their discretion. It’s really straightforward. The rest of the developed world does it. Why can’t you?

Don’t come back at me with “but that’s just how we do things”. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten – gently, mocking jibes from the rest of the world. You don’t deserve it, so sort it out.

Tipping a taxi driver. Fuck me.

 

5)     Super Sizing:

There should be a law, that you can only order a supersize meal, if you can prove it will be shared amongst a small to medium sized family.

No single human should consume that volume of food in one sitting. Not even if it *was* healthy.

 

6)     Guns:

Yes, yes. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people (and small, furry animals).

But when was the last time you heard about a “mass stabbing”?

When gun reform was introduced in Australia after the Port Arthur Massacre, there has not been one single mass shooting. Not one.

Check out John Oliver’s 3-part piece that tells it better than I can. Whoop de fucking doo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pOiOhxujsE&index=1&list=PLoO6eym0L0F3mJ7qk4ogi8loeiMH8Osrj

 

7)     Non-compulsory voting:

Non-compulsory voting would be fine, if more people actually turned up to vote. In the 2012 Presidential Election, the voter turnout was just over half (~57.5%). That’s pretty abysmal. 42.5% couldn’t give a fuck? Is it apathy? Disinterest? Disenchantment?   Contentment? Indifference?

Don’t assume that those who do turn up to vote are the “right people to make the decisions”? You’re a patriotic nation. It’s your duty (and privilege) to vote.

Take an interest – make a difference. You live in an awesome country. Don’t let everyone else decide how it’s run. Have your (informed) say.

You have no right to whinge about the government, if you sat on your hands when you had the chance to do something about it. Worst comes to worst, at least you can say “I voted for the other guy”.

 

8)     $1 bills:

Dump the fuckers. They’re useless wallet fillers. Switch to coins, and you will boost the economy by over $5 billion over 30 years, simply by reducing the need to reprint old, worn currency.

The rest of the industrialized world replaced their $1 bills with coins. And don’t complain that they would be too heavy. No-one complains about carrying quarters. One $1 coin is lighter than carrying 4 quarters.

I will conceded that it is harder to stuff a $1 coin into a g-string.   But you can throw them further…

9)     The “World Series”:

Yeah, you know where I’m going with this.

You know you technically shouldn’t call something a “World Series”, when the rest of the world isn’t competing. No other country does this.

Surely you’re all self-aware enough to be just a little bit sheepish about this one.

 

10)  Flags:

You’re patriotic. I get that.

You’re proud, I get that too. You have much to be proud of.

What I don’t get, is your obsession with flags. Flags are EVERYwhere. And not just in civic settings.

But who exactly is your target audience, when you hang a flag in your front yard? Is it to prove your allegiance? Is it to one-up your neighbour? What do you do if they then buy a flag? Buy another flag?

You are the most flag-obsessed people on the planet, and I just don’t get it.

 

11)  Pickles:

What is it with America and pickles?! The average American eats around 4kg (over 8lbs) of pickles every year.

That’s a lot of fucking pickles.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good pickle. But please stop with the complimentary pickle.

If I desire a pickle, I shall ask for said pickle.

And why pickles in the first place? Why not a banana? Why not a pretzel?

 

12)  Product Pricing:

Include any taxes in the total advertised product price. Let people know in advance, exactly how much they need to pay for an item.

By all means, provide a receipt which shows the cost of the goods sold, along with any relevant taxes, but when advertising a product, be upfront and honest.

Do you not include taxes in the advertised price because it looks cheaper?

Is it because taxes vary from state to state?

Is it because you simply like to fuck with your customers, at every opportunity?

Surely it is not difficult to put a sticker on shelves in front of items, featuring the full purchase price? I appreciate there is extra work involved (it’s really not that much work, but I’ll throw you a bone), but the advantage is the service you provide your customer, and the resultant satisfaction. This is Business 101. Customer retention. Small gestures often reap long-term rewards. And it is seriously, not that hard.

Other countries in the developed worlds have sales taxes. They seem to be able to advertise the full ticket price.

Frankly, it just seems, as per a lot of my points, you seem strangely addicted to retaining goofy systems.

 

13)  Cheese in a Spray Can:

How did this product even come into existence?!

Can you imagine the round-table discussion by the focus group boffins?

“I like cheese, but I hate the inconvenience of having to unwrap the cheese. Cut off a slice. And then put it on a biscuit. All before I can put it in my mouth? Seriously, I don’t got that kinda time. If only there was a way of fast-tracking the union of cheese with gullet…”

And hey presto. Cancer in a can was born.

 

14)  Religion:

As an atheist, there is far too much religious zealotry in the USA for my liking. It invades politics. It invades schools. It invades your televisions.

There is no place for religion in public policy.

 

15)  Bastardising the English language:

Or as the Americans would say, “Bastardizing”. Why have you selectively changed the spelling of the mother tongue?   You are the sole reason there are two English language options in most software applications.

Do me a favour? Stop changing the way favour is spelled… (or colour, or honour, or recognise, or plagiarise).

 

16)  “African American”:

Not the actual people – just the term “African American”.   The point is they are just people. American people. Why is there a need for any qualifying label? I don’t know of any other country where this nomenclature exists. African Canadians? African Italians? African Irish?

Dr King’s dream would appear to still be a long way off.

 

17)  Canned Laughter:

Give the viewing audience some credit. They will know when to laugh, without prompting. In fact, there are few things worse, than canned laughter inserted after something flagrantly unfunny. Like after anything Tom Green says.

 

18)  Pizza Pie:

Pizza and Pie are both lovely things in their own right, but they are surely different. A pizza is not a pie. Ask the Italians. They’ll back me up.

 

19)  Giant Gaps under Toilet Stalls:

Why? I absolutely, do not wish to be able to see another person, or have them able to see me, when I’m “dropping the kids off at the pool”. I fail to see why this phenomena exists. Who wants this?

Incidentally, why do you guys call it a “Rest Room”? There aren’t even any bean bags?!

 

20)  Walmart.

Enough said.

 

Change, don’t change, it’s up to you, you quirky bastards. I’m still going to love you (although I will talk about you behind your backs).

2 thoughts on “Home of the Brave… and Quirky!

  1. Paul Dransfield

    Looks like you are one fun guy.
    Marcel Luske The Flying Dutchman my partner is out there.
    Keep an eye open for him.
    I told him you are a marketing genious.
    I noticed your tweet about the time it takes to register for events.
    We are working on an electronic version, involving NonClonableID in a nutshell it is impregnable cannot be replicated.
    Marcel and i may need your marketing assistance and contacts.
    Also I see you are involved with Sportingmouth again might need your help, my friend Ross McKinnes is hosted World 8 Ball Championships in Scotland end of Oct they are looking for small sponsors. It is well known Pool players like to wager amongst themselves. Your Sportingmouth App would go down well with pool players sround the globe. Let me know if this intetests you.
    Good luck at the poker tables.
    Regards
    Paul Dransfield

    Reply

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