Wednesday, 4 July 2012

America the Beautiful

The United States is constantly under fire for, well, most everything. They are collectively to blame for all the world's evils, apparently. Don't get me wrong - the US of A does have to bear responsibility for many seriously global concerns, financial, environmental, ethical, legal, what have you. With great power comes great temptation for corruption. Canada has its own dark closets, that are becoming more and more like whole rooms in our house than regrettably decorated nooks. Glass houses and stones and all that.

In the spirit of camaraderie, a sort of recognition that Ohmygod, WE suck TOO, I'd like to talk today about the things that I, as A Canadian, love about the USA.


I love the idea of these pants but not so much the reality.

Tiny legged American Goddesses. I envy.

 How do I love thee? Your preppie fresh styles modelled by gamine, pencil-legged sorority sisters draw me in like a child at a candy store window. I've had pretensions in my past of wanting to sport a more sophisticated, bohemian-y, industrial, punk, cowgirl or prostitute aesthetic, but let's face it. I'm going to wear JCrew, and JCrew like clothes until I die. In fact, if there is a heaven, I'm pretty sure it will include a JCrew flagship store and I'll have the never ending store credit.

Jacksonville, Oregon.

 And the area around it. This part of the world is just beautiful. I looked for photos to pop in, but there'd be too many copyright issues so do your own Google search and be amazed.

Hollywood Blockbusters. 

Who doesn't love explosions and vistas and one liners that become part of our cultural vernacular? (see "I'll be back", "What do you do, what DO you do?", "You can't handle the truth", etc.). I like a classy art film as much as the next douche-bag, but really, when I see a movie, I want to be distracted and transported to someone else's exciting post apocalyptic, slender armed world where children are respectful and villains are obvious.

Sesame Street. 

My brother learned to read at the age of, like, six months, thanks to Sesame Street. I learned to read at about 5, but more importantly I learned to love puppets, cookies, and the generosity of the number 3 and the letter K, without whom Sesame Street would not exist. When I watched Sesame Street, Grover was a new resident. Elmo wasn't even a twinkle in his eye. Is Elmo Grover's son? I have no clue. I told my mom I wanted to marry Bob from Sesame Street and I remember her muttering, he's probably married with 5 kids. What did that matter? I was 4 years old and in love. I still have great respect for Sesame Street although I've had that damned "Twelve" song with the pinball graphic stuck in my head for, like, 35 years.

LOL Catz. 'Nuff said. I'm assuming it's an American thing. 

Toilet paper. 

Yes. Patented by New Yorker Seth Wheeler in the late 19th century, he was the great great grandfather of Kitteny Softness, the Charmin Dingleberry bear and the affectionate term "Ass wipe". So many reasons to give thanks, here!


I know that there are many issues with plastics and the leakage of toxins into our stored food, as well as there just being too much plastic in landfills and what not, but Tupperware is amazing because it's so organized and you can pour your cereal from one container into another and it will look all matching. My friends know I have an issue with Tupperware in that if I send you home with leftovers in my Tupperware, by not returning it to me you are basically stabbing me in the heart and you might as well never speak to me again. Return my Tupperware. Or I will cut you. In the face. With a rusty thing.

Rock and Roll.

Move me, groove me, paid for my house.

Padded bike seat

Invented by Art Garford of Ohio. This version has gel in it!

Would you like to sit on the alternative?

I would not. I would not like to sit on that. Ever.

The card game Gin Rummy.

Invented by Elwood and Graham Baker in 1909, this is the card game I play with my mother where we shed all pretence of civility and go for the jugular. 


Cut throat Rummy, we call it. I know I mentioned in a previous entry that my mother lets me win at Gin Rummy. She does not. 

About to annihilate me.
Nor do I let her win. I could be on my death bed playing our last game ever and she would take me down like so many penny carnival ducks. We are merciless.

Here is a score card. Editorial comments by my mother.

Of course there are lots of other things American that are super amazing - the internet, cotton candy, the artificial heart, bubblegum, the fortune cookie, Wikipedia (where I got a lot of the above info, thanks) - too many to list here. But I just want to provide a sampling of a few of my favourite American things. So Happy Birthday to you, U S of A, from your Northern Neighbour Elpoo.


  1. I travelled over from Ireland to work in the USA for a summer a few years ago. Delaware to be precise. I'm not gonna lie. I did not love America. But I do love a few of the things you just mentioned, including Sesame Street, which was one of the reasons I wanted to experience American life from a young age, only to have those dreams a bit shattered years later.
    But anyway. Happy Independence Day. I'm with you in spirit all the way from my lovely little green corner of the world.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - 11.12.

  2. Elpoo,

    Great post! I, too, love the American-ness of America, but you did forget to list a few other great American things like gelato, pizza, Japanese cars, the Concorde, the Great Wall, high heels, and oceans.

    We Americans invented, like, *everything*. And please note that we are very humble about it. You're welcome.

    ps-- just saw that I am on your blog roll! WOW! You made my day, thank you!!!

    1. America did NOT invent poutine. And it also did not invent my bum. My bum is MY invention and I am Canadian.

      Long live my bum!