What was originally intended to be a single post, “Quirky Americans” became way too much to write in one single post. I divided my thoughts about this into three posts. We have now reached the conclusion of the journey. Here is the third and ﬁnal segment of “Quirky Americans”.
18. The way we greet people is strange
Many cultures and, and even some people in America greet one another with a standard phrase like “good morning” or “good evening”, or even a simple “hello”. Then there are those who approach a total stranger and say, “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” A few folks sincerely are interested. Most, however, couldn’t give a ﬂying fuck how someone else is. That “how are you” is simply a rhetorical question. They don’t care how you are, they’re just saying it. I was listening to a radio program one Saturday morning. The caller says “how are you this morning”. Before proceeding to the subject of the call, the host tells the caller (and the audience) never to ask how he his, because he doesn’t care how the callers are, and that no one cares how he is. He called it simple honesty. So, that’s my thought there.
19. Wall-mounted showerheads
Why this is a concern to a tourist, god only knows why. Too short to reach the spout? Can’t adjust the pressure or the angle of the faucet? Damn the bad luck.
20. Currency denominations look alike
Well, they don’t call the dollar the “greenback” for nothing. At least, the money used to look the same. Now they’ve got all sorts of weird colors on the bills. I guess some countries have different-sized bills for different denominations. That would suck. Or imagine discontinuing the $1 bill? Most countries don’t have a paper bill under 5 (like the Euro, Canadian Dollar, Brazilian Real, British Pound, etc). Could you imagine a server carrying around a pocket full of dollar coins? *clink clink clink* Actually, it’s all starting to look like a bunch of Monopoly money to me…🤨
21. Getting carded at 40
(How ironic that the one about getting carded is #21, the age to buy booze) You’re used to hearing about people getting “carded”, or asked for ID to prove they’re of legal age to buy alcohol or tobacco, or certain video games and medicines. Usually 18, sometimes 21 is the legal age, though many stores have a policy of carding someone who looks under a higher age, for example 27. Some places will go to the extreme of carding anyone who looks under 40. For me, that’d be a compliment. Oh, I look younger than 46? Thank you! Some get offended by it: “Ugh! I can’t believe you think I’m that young!” Well, okay Susan, don’t get your panties in a twist. I’m just covering my ass, because that’s store policy. Besides, you should be grateful someone thinks your old, pruney ass looks younger than you are.
22. Weird coffee drinks
Now, I don’t drink coffee, but some of the ungodly shit Starbucks has released (like the sickeningly sweet Unicorn Frappuccino that looks like a unicorn threw up in the cup) is absolutely mind-blowing. And to further boggle the mind, the fucking weird things people order, which special requests have been known to require as many as four stickers on the side of the cup. One news reporter in California even had a song made after the name of his Starbucks order. I believe it was something like triple venti upside down non-fat caramel macchiato, easy whip or something absurd like that. That’s mild compared to some bullshit orders.
There is a picture on the internet of a Starbucks coffee with four stickers on the cup. On the cup was written $32.51. Imagine paying $32 for a coffee. I imagine this being one of those “how much would one of everything cost” pictures, as the cup pictured was empty. But you get the idea. Or what about the most expensive Starbucks drink, coming in at $149? It wasn’t in a standard Starbucks cup, but it had 170 shots of espresso and contained 11200 mg of caffeine (yeah, about 1/3 of the quantity needed to kill someone). The report says he shared the drink. I hope so, because his heart would be suffering some major palpitations after that, or even go into some kind of coma!
23. Easy Cheese
The last item on our European friend’s report on weird American shit. Cheese in a spray can. And not even the good kind. Basically, canned Velveeta (or American-type cheese). It can’t be real cheese if it can be sprayed from a can through a tiny nozzle. It tastes like cheese (or even bacon), but it’s 100% artiﬁcial shit. Because ‘Murica!
Now, I’ve taken upon myself to add a couple of things that even I, as an American, don’t get.
Bonus #1: Tipping
I get that you’re eating out, and you want to show your server some gratitude for a job well done. Give them a little cash bonus. But since when did it become the onus of the customer to supplement a server’s slave-labor wage (a federal minimum of $2.13 per hour)? Most of these poor souls end up writing a check to Uncle Sam in April because their meager per-hour rate was less than their taxes being withheld. Payday nets them a big, fat goose egg. Wouldn’t it make more sense to pay a server a decent wage? Make them slave their asses off, catering to the customer’s every whim, to make a few cents? And hope the customer has the good graces to leave them a decent gratuity? My hat’s off to servers and the bullshit they go through. I could never do it.
Bonus #2: guns everywhere?
So, someone wants to defend themselves. They live in a really dangerous place. Criminals have guns, why not defend yourself with one? But is several per family needed? I get owning a handgun. A .22 or a 9mm are good defense. But is there any known reason to own an assault-style weapon? Citizens can’t own automatic weapons like the military, but a common joe can get semi-automatics. There’s only one thing those were made for: killing things. After so many people have been mowed down by AR-15’s in recent memory, why are they still legal? There’s absolutely no practical use for a fucking semi-automatic weapon. No private citizen should be allowed to have one, in my opinion.
Bonus #3: Portion sizes and eating times
You hear it constantly in the news: America is fat, and getting fatter. Food and drinks in the United States are growing, proportionally to the people’s bellies. Everything seems to be “extra large and super jumbo”. Fast food joints used to serve 12, 16 and 20 oz drinks. Now, there’s 20, 30 and 40 oz. Plate sizes are gigantic. Food at some buffets can be seen piled higher than the plate is wide. Where I work, many people get plates of deep-fried food that is also swimming in gravy. Fried chicken strips with triple sides of fries, or plates of nothing but four helpings of macaroni and cheese. Or the chicken & dumplings plate, with three extra sides of dumplings (which if you don’t know what Cracker Barrel’s dumplings are, they’re just biscuit mix, ﬂour and buttermilk, mixed, rolled ﬂat, cut up and boiled in chicken broth). Lots of starch and carbs. 🤢
You could also go to your local 24-hour fast food drive-thru. Triple cheeseburgers, taco/burrito party packs at all hours of the night. Judging by the shit that some people eat, and the time they eat it, it’s no wonder some people are so damned obese. Or, as Carlin once put it: huge piles of redundant protoplasm lumbering through the malls, like a ﬂeet of interstate buses.
Holy shit. I thought I’d be able to tackle this is one post? Jeez Louise! This turned out to be a three-parter. Hopefully I don’t have to do that again for a while!
Always remember, if you haven’t already done so, go check out and like/follow my Facebook and Instagram pages! Whew, that was a long trek. Next week should be a normal, single-part post. On what? Only time will tell. Until next Sunday, be safe and be well.