I’m sitting at my desk whilst two of my colleagues are having a conversation next to me.
Her – “It’s so big”
Him – “You’ll get used to it”
Her new phone had arrived and they were talking about the size of the screen.
This morning, as I was lacing my shoes for work, the song ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ came on the radio.
I won’t lie….In that moment I felt a rush of self confidence and awesomeness. I felt like I was in an 80’s ‘getting ready for the thing’ montage and actually tied those laces with more intensity and purpose than ever before.
It was a little bit like that scene from ‘Commando’.
I should feel embarrassed that I actually did that, but I don’t. To be honest, we should all be able to do stuff with more vigor and intensity when that song comes on.
“Dun………dun, dun, dun………dun, dun, dun………dun dun DUUUUUUUUUN!”
Actually…..my shoes are a little bit too tight now.
I know I try and stay away from any religious content because, well, America. But sometimes they poke the bear a few too many times and I have to at least growl a bit.
So, this billboard is a real thing over here.
Hmm, I’m not sure these pillocks know how procreation works. Without lust, no-one would be having sex and then we wouldn’t have babies to continue the species.
Oh wait, these twats also put these up.
Well, at least Jesus saves. I mean, as long as you don’t count cancer, AIDS, cot death, famine, poverty or any disputes, conflicts or wars in his name.
If you’re an avid reader of my blog (and why wouldn’t you be?), then you’ll know that the last 3 years or so has mostly been content around the cultural differences between the UK and the US…and a plethora of fart and dick jokes too.
Anyway, I’ve noticed a few other small cultural differences; one of which I wanted to share with you.
This difference revolves around the phrase,“We really should get together soon and catch up”
In the UK
Me: “We really should get together soon and catch up”
(Translation: “I’m saying this to let you know I like you enough that the mere idea of us getting together socially is something I would enjoy IF we were to do it. But we both know that we’re unlikely to arrange it anytime soon, or EVER, because neither of us really feel like socialising with anyone to be honest. However, please know that if I WERE to socialise with anyone, the thought of doing it with you is tolerable and I wanted you to know that I value you THAT MUCH as a friend to suggest it in the first place”)
Brit: “We really should!”
(Translation: “I am subscribing to this social dance we’re doing. I like you too, but let’s not have this social anytime soon…or ever…unless we absolutely have to, but thank you for asking”)
In the US:
Me: “We really should get together soon and catch up”
(Translation: See above)
Yank: “I’m free this Saturday”
(Translation: “I’m free this Saturday”)
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so naturally everyone at work is starting to wear green, drink green beer, and eat Lucky Charms (or whatever it is that Americans think the Irish actually do). In fact, some people have been wearing kilts and playing traditional Irish music including ‘Scotland The Brave’.
I shit you not.
I don’t think they realise that Scotland and Ireland aren’t the same place.
Anyway, during this morning’s drive into work, I had the radio on as usual and I was listening to a show called ‘Mercedes in the morning’ in which Mercedes – a woman, not a car – and her co-host, JC (not jeebus christ, just a metro-male called….well….JC) were talking about St. Patrick’s Day and all the fun and frivolity that goes with it.
Hey, by the way, did you know the mascot of Ireland is the Leprechaun? I didn’t! I wrongly thought it was a type of hat wearing fairy from Irish folklore and NOT something used to sell god awful cereal to sugar addicted snowflakes! In fact, I was so taken aback that they called it a mascot that I contemplated calling into their show and correcting them, but then I realised that profanity – an ACTUAL Irish tradition – isn’t really tolerated in the US, let alone live on air. So instead I decided to smile, shake my head disapprovingly and mutter lots of Irish traditions under my breath.
And by ‘under my breath‘, I meant ‘out loud, with the windows down, scaring other drivers‘.
But I digress.
Mercedes said there was a recent study regarding the number of drink-related injuries on St. Partick’s Day.
Really, a study?
She then went on to say that the maximum amount of drinks typically imbibed before some sort of injury occurs is 8 drinks for men and 6 drinks for women.
‘Fair enough’, I thought to myself.
It was at this point that Mercedes exclaimed, “8 drinks?? Who can drink 8 drinks?? I get to 3 drinks and I’m feeling all woozy!“. Then JC said proudly that he would occasionally knock back 8 drinks in his younger ‘party‘ days.
Fuck me, 8 drinks is what you consume at home BEFORE you head out on the piss!
In fact, my friend and I used to polish off a 12 pack of beers EACH on the sofa, and then get all miserable when we ran out.
Maybe if the US reduced their drinking age back down to 18 (yes, it was once 18), they could build up their tolerance sooner and keep up with us expats who are desperate for drinking buddies who can go the distance.
And get a fucking round in, from time to time.
On the drive into work this morning, I was stopped at a red light. This was unusual because, oh…wait…no it wasn’t.
I hate red lights.
There were three or four cars in front of me as we all sat there for around half an hour waiting for the fucking lights to go green. After a few minutes the driver in front of me opened their1 car door and appeared to vomit directly onto the tarmac.
Then again, this is Las Vegas during the days between Christmas and New Year, so I suppose it’s not that unusual, right? There is a lot of drinking going on around this time.
What concerned me the most was that I was worried more about rolling my tyres [tires] through their previous evening’s poor fast food choices than the fact the driver might still be drunk.
Then it occurred to me that maybe the driver hadn’t been sick at all, but had simply dumped out their coffee cup.
That made more sense as I could see there was a little bit of steam rising from the dark puddle of questionable fluid slowly spreading out across the road.
Then the lights turned green and the traffic started to move.
As I approached the puddle of coffee I decided to drive around it, no longer concerned about the level of inebriation of the driver, but by the fact the ‘coffee’ appeared to have some lumps of – I want to say – carrot?
So, not fast food then.
1 – I didn’t see the driver, so let’s play the pronoun game!
So, today I would like to talk about a massively contradictory double standard here in the US.
As you may know, in the US it’s a cultural ‘no-no’ to say something that omits or discriminates a particular race, religion, sex (or sexes, depending on which one (or ones) you identify with), or if it discriminates based on fashion, wealth, political leaning, car, shoes, hair, ….actually I think i’m making some of this up, but you get my point.
In a nutshell, we should all be talking like this….apparently:
So with this in mind, it’s fashionable to say “Happy Holidays” in the US rather than “Merry Christmas” because it’s considered offensive to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ if they’re not a Christian/Catholic/Mormon etc.
But is that really true, or are we implying that other cultures aren’t tolerant?
But I can tell you one thing, I am NOT touching a religious debate with a barge pole. Oh, wait, that’s probably offensive to people who aren’t familiar with that saying…or to people who drive barges, or to those who don’t.
Wait, do you drive a barge? Or do you sail one?
Either way, I’m not touching this with a barge pole / Christmas tree / Driedel / Kinara.
Is…is that better? Seems a bit of a mouthful. (Insert penis joke here…..and also insert ‘insert penis’ joke here too)
I suppose it’s the same as people wishing me a “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Happy 4th of July” when I’m English and don’t celebrate them. Oh, I get SO offended! I can’t believe that people have the audacity to….nah, i’m fucking with you, I don’t care.
I recognise that Thanksgiving is a thing at the end of November, like Christmas and Kwanzaa is a thing at the end of December and Hanukkah is a thing around the same time as the other things I just mentioned; it’s all a bit confusing if i’m honest. But just because I don’t celebrate these holidays, that doesn’t mean others can’t wish me good tidings at their belief’s time of year; good for them! I appreciate the gesture because it’s NOT ABOUT ME!
This post wasn’t intended to be a rant at the ‘I’m offended’ culture (as much fun as that is), but more of an observation of a massively contradictory double standard around this time of year, hence the opening sentence.
So, we say “Happy Holidays” to avoid offending those who don’t celebrate Christmas, but apparently we’re OK with:
And, above all, a lot of workers get the day off on Christmas Day! Although i’m sure the non-Christmas folk out there insist on going into work that day instead of taking a paid day off with their families.
But that’s OK, because it’s our right to celebrate Christmas as long as we don’t do it openly.
What a farce.
By the way, if you go to somewhere like Greenland and see a reindeer, is that considered offensive?
Food for thought.
Unless you’re offended by food.
Merry Christmahanakwanzika everyone! (I really wish I’d made that word up….sigh)
1 – We know
2 – Not a single image of the Holiday Armadillo I’ve noticed. Sorry Ross.