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05 July, 2007

My First Fourth


Whilst flicking through the various blogs I try to read daily I noticed a surprising lack of Independence day related posts. Maybe I'm just reading a little too early in the day but I had expected a bit more...patriotism, acknowledgement, comment. I had always thought that this was a big holiday. A day for celebrating everything American. As Ms. AllClick and I drove to her parents house for a "cook-out" (I usually call this kind of thing a BBQ regardless of what is actually cooked) I commented on the lack of flags and decoration on people's houses. I saw much, much more for Halloween. She agreed with my observation, stating with a sigh that "for 3 years after 9/11 everyone was patriotic and would display it at every moment they could. Now it's changed." Regardless, I enjoyed the time off, the cook-out and spending time with my girlfriend's family. We also managed to see a one or two fireworks from a distance which were impressive but then were caught in the not-so impressive traffic and torrential rain. "Never mind," I said "We can see more fireworks on Firework night."

In honour of this holiday I thought I'd go ahead and give a list of some of the things I love about America (well, West Virginia). Hopefully this will inspire some of the natives!

1. Drive-Through Banking
A genius thought of this idea! No longer must I struggle to find a place to park and then run into the bank to be held up in a queue of people wanting to exchange their million pennies for real money. My worry level of being mugged at an ATM has decreased considerably.

2. Friendliness
Regardless of where I am or what I'm doing, if i make eye-contact with a stranger I'm bound to get a friendly "hey!" or "How's it going?". It even happens when I don't make eye-contact sometimes. This is a refreshing change from a usual cold, blank stare or even the possibility of a fight that eye-contact usually meant for me.

3. Free Drink Refills
Surprisingly, I still haven't tired of this little perk at most restaurants. My teeth probably aren't so pleased. Especially with all that ice that they usually come with.

4.Leaning Chairs
These babies have the ability to turn a crappy movie into an average movie-going experience. Just lean back, put your feet up and relax. Sweet. Even better is they usually have those arms that you can move completely out of the way.

5. TV
I was never really was one to watch TV back in blighty, but my experience of the device has changed muchly since being in WV. Over a hundred channels of non-stop information, education and entertainment. Sure there is a lot of crappy television and a heck of a lot of adverts...but never before have I had access to watching Seinfeld, Family Guy, King of Queens and Scrubs episode every single day! I get my fill of education (and Mythbusters) on the History and Discovery channels (yes, I'm a geek I know) and I learn at least one cooking related thing a day from the Food Network.

Well, that's the top five. I'm sure I'll add more to this when I can...

4 comments:

RedZeppelin said...

My wife and I noticed the lack of flags flying yesterday too. Ours was flying proudly.

The Film Geek said...

Terrific post!

Many people--myself included--aren't feeling as patriotic these days. for the obvious reasons...

Chris James said...

The lack of free refills in Britain probably made me mutter "I hate this fucking country" more than anything else while I was there.

It sure sucked arse getting charged two quid for a half-can of Coke, then another 2 for the other half.

At least the Swedish college student at BK gave me free iced tap water (he had studied in American in high school).

Spike Nesmith said...

The older I get and the more I feel the need to whittle my life away to just the important things, I understand patriotism less and less.

Scotland has always suffered an inferiority complex, despite the obvious benefits of living there. That's something that America has never suffered from, quite the opposite, in fact. But as time has gone on and I've embraced the thought that it doesn't matter where you live, it matters only what you do where you live, I get more and more puzzled by flag-waving. I have no emotional ties to anything other than family and friends. I'd fly that flag over one of where I happened to be born, or where I just happen to live any day of the week. That and the Freak Flag. ;)

But Film Geek also makes an excellent point (as usual) for the case against.