Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Here I am. America: Land
of Opportunity.” And that’s fine. Go on thinking that,
in your flashy Atlantic City sharkskin suits, with your pearly white teeth
and shiny Pontiac Sunfires. But say you’re thinking that, and
you’re walking down the street whistling and smiling about America and
a gang of street toughs come by and kick you in the shins and punch you in
the face ’til you’re nothing but a bloodied, smiling idiot on the
sidewalk. Well buddy, I bet you won’t be thinking that
Why do states have a state bird and stuff like that? It doesn’t make
any sense, unless one day they were going to have a big free for all where
they put all the birds in one aviary and they all have to kill each other.
My money’s on Florida. You’ll see.
When I was eleven my family decided to take a road trip to Disney World in
Florida. We packed up the car and headed down the southeast coast of the
glorious U.S. of A. As we cruised down the coast of the Carolinas and through
Georgia, I thought, there’s one thing to be said for the southeast:cotton.
The first time I had apple pie, my big sister gave it to me. “I like
apple pie,” I declared happily after my first taste.
My sister chuckled, and said, “That’s not apple pie, that’s
“Well then,” said I, “I like apple fritter.”
“Did I say apple fritter?” said my sister. “I’m sorry.
I meant natural critter.”
“What?” I said, confused.
“That’s a possum,” said my sister.
Nothing’s finer than my American-made bored-out Chevrolet 454 big-block
with ram-air intake and a Holley supercharger. That baby can power a
street-ripping, pavement-tearing, American muscle machine fast enough to
make our red, white, and blue blood boil over and tears come to the eyes
of John Wayne himself. Now, who stole my fucking wheels?
My dog recently got a tick. I started tweezing, and eventually the tick let
go. I figured I’d make the tick suffer for the distress he caused my
dog and me. So I threw him into the sink. The closest thing in sight was
some nail polish remover. I dumped a few ounces on him. Watched him squirm
as his useless little tick eyes burned, and his comfortable dreams of endless
supplies of blood dissipated. But the tick’s torture wasn’t over;
I asked my brother to quickly retrieve a match, remembering how acetone was
highly inflammable. The match was lit; the sink eprupted in a fireball reaching
high above our heads. The tick’s itty-bitty legs burned to a crisp as
his exoskelton crackled within the flames. “Take that to your tick
friends,” I said, and justice was served.
One Fourth of July, I decided to celebrate my independence…from my
parents’ rules!! We got a bunch of illegal fireworks that Troy’s
uncle got from Mexico, then went up in the hills where it was secluded. That
night we camped out under the stars, with no bedtime, no curfew, no limits.
That night, on our own, we learned what it really meant to be an American,
and accidentally started a wildfire causing millions of dollars in property
damage. One person died, but she was only a little girl, so it wasn’t
too big a deal.
The great thing about America, and the Americas in general when you get right
down to it, is no matter how many trees we cut down, there’re still
Golden Retrievers are by far the most American of all the American dogs and
my own Golden Retriever of years past was about as patriotic a dog as they
come. Alex embodied all that America is in her golden lasciviousness. She
was loveable, overweight, and only sprang into action when she had something
to gain. This recalls an anecdote from many years ago when I was but a girl
in Virginia. My two brothers had pinned me to the floor and had meticulously
placed a chunk of steak–I believe it was rump roast–directly between
my eyebrows. Hair and shoulders pinned to the floor, I was unable to wriggle
the steak off of my forehead. They then called
Alex-A!-A!-A!–our enormous heifer of a dog–out of her
languid napping to lumber over and wolf the steak from my head. Imagine if
you will that Alex was America, only getting her fat ass up to ruthlessly
maul my forehead in order to gain only a bit of sustenance, and I perhaps
represented the Native Americans, as I endured the trauma of her gain, and
well, I guess my brothers represent the Pilgrims and maybe my neglectful
parents are the worthless French or something. Actually I’m not sure
how this analogy ends but I still have a scar. God Bless America.
I never really liked baseball very much until one day my dad took me to see
a real baseball game, in person. The seats weren’t too bad, and he bought
peanuts and ice cream and hot dogs–all sorts of great baseball snacks.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, next to the food poisoning I got
that day, baseball was pretty good. I’d rather have stayed at the game
than gone to the hospital. But then, we would have had to go anyway when
Dad got beaned by a foul. That’s why he’s in that coma, in case
I don’t know what all the fuss is about America. This is pretty much
the same crap they pave the streets with everywhere else.