Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Happy Birthday America

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   The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday. The whole barbeque, fireworks, and parades bits are right up my street. You just cannot get more American than that. No way, Jose.

   I am very proud to be an American. That said I would like to clear up what seems to be an American misconception. I would like to put an end to the All-American paranoia that other nations do not like us. That is dead wrong. We Americans are very well thought of, almost universally. (Do not include North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela.) Moreover, I would even qualify that by saying that the people in those nations probably like us despite what their leaders say.

    You have to remember it is the politicos that get all the press, not the average guy on the street.  You cannot expect foreign leaders not to get into America bashing. One rule in politics goes, “When you have trouble at home find a villain outside your country”.

   I am not saying that you are going to get the keys to the city when you travel overseas, but you are going to be welcome and you are also going to have to answer a bunch of questions about America. There are some exceptions.The waiters in Paris being one of them.

   Parisian waiters do not like anyone. If the Last Supper were held in Paris, they still would be waiting for dessert. Get a few miles outside of Paris and the people love us. There are too many American cemeteries dotting the countryside and the people know very well why they are there. The same goes for the Dutch and the folks in Belgium.

   Any kid in the places where we have had the military knows that a GI is the softest touch in the world. The average dogface will give away candy if he has any, his water (a serious military no-no), and his last meal without hesitation.

   However, there is a down side. Following Joe there usually shows up more soldiers with red crosses on their arms and they insist upon using those cold chest listening things, giving shots and checking the teeth of everyone.

   Next a bunch of the troublemakers with big equipment who bore wells, cleanout ditches, and worst of all rebuild the school, vacation is over.

   A recent example of this is when the earthquake that hit Haiti. A US Marine engineer unit established a base camp that had medical facilities, kitchens, and shelters to help the victims. A representative of the administration was on an inspection tour (i.e. photo op). She was there to observe and report back. The lady told one of the Marines to take down the flag as it might be an insult to the some of the locals.

   There were three mistakes made. The first was that US Marines NEVER strike their colors. The second was that nobody, but nobody tells a Marine what to do unless they are higher up in the chain-of-command or God. Third, as the crusty Leatherneck pointed out, ‘Old Glory’ is a universal beacon of hope where sufferers can come for aid and know they will never be turned away. The flag still flys, USMC 1 PC 0.

   The Japanese are polite to us despite the nukes. Then again, they are polite to everyone. You cram that many people on a small island and you better be polite or the whole place would be karate chopping each other all day.

   Even the Germans and Italians think we are swell. They had a close look at what the Russians did to Eastern Europe and what we did after WWII. In comparison, we are a bunch of pussycats.

   The only complaint that is generally heard is that we lack sophistication. I disagree. Take me, for example, ahhhh…ummm. Okay, let’s take you for example. You make guys like Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter look like a bunch of drooling, toothless hillbillies. Right? Even I stopped picking my nose in public before I was 16.

   There are some food issues. Our fast-food takes an occasional ribbing. However, I’ve been asked questions like, “Do you eat schwansticker knoodles in America”? My reply is usually, “Only in some parts of Minnesota and usually there is a lot of beer and a bet involved”.  There is some odd chow out there particularly in the Far East.

   So don’t be hesitant about travelling overseas. We have done great things worldwide and you are going to be welcome. It’s alright to be, “Proud to be an American”. We’ve earned it. © 2010 Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

July 6, 2010 at 4:42 p07

Posted in Americana, Humor, Politics

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