click here July 4th is always a big holiday at our house. We start with a late afternoon BBQ of burgers and hot-dogs, followed with Brody and a few other Dads shooting off fireworks while the Moms and kids all Oooh, Ahhh and scream “Neill, get back!!”, over and over.
This year, however, we will sadly be missing all the festivities as we are out of the country. And nothing makes you appreciate America more…than not being there! So, in honor of July 4th and all things great about America, we Kanes have compiled a list. It should be noted that as I’m typing this column, Brody and the kids are still shouting out things to add to my list, however, since Telling Tales isn’t up to two full pages just yet – I’m going to stick with the …
Top Five Things Americans Do Better
I don’t know who invented the ice cube but I’ve got a hunch it was an American! That’s because, in Europe, ice is basically outlawed. No matter what the drink, be it a Coke or juice, every drink is served a few degrees cooler than room temperature. It’s become my “thing” to ask for ice, which is usually met with a sneer, followed with “No Ice, … sorry!” But I don’t believe any one of them are truly sorry. For one, their tone clearly indicates otherwise, but mostly because, seriously, how hard is it to freeze water in an ice cub tray?!! No, after two weeks of practically begging for a cold drink, I’m convinced whoever did invent ice somehow insulted the entire continent of Europe and his product has been permanently banned.
To that end, as soon as we land, I’m finding a Sonic and ordering the biggest cup of crushed ice that they sell. Actually, I’m going to order three, one for each hand and one just to stick my face into!
The Big Cup
While we are on this topic, let’s talk about their big cups or lack thereof. So, I know most Europeans are thinner than us, claiming it’s because they walk everywhere. Well, they are liars! Their lack of weight gain is the direct result of the fact that they can’t drink their calories, like we can. And that’s because every cup here is tiny, from my morning coffee to my evening Sprite, their cups are basically shot glasses. I’m certain I could make millions here by opening a kiosk serving only ice in big cups! I’m not kidding, they may have given us democracy, but once I give them ice in a big sonic cup, we’re going to be even. In fact, at that point, I’m thinking they owe us!
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m not the best driver, but these people over here…they really, really, really can’t drive! It’s as if they get in their cars each morning – with one thought – I’m going to run Angel over! And, who knows, maybe they heard about my “ice thing” and are really gunning for me. But I’m guessing I’m not the first westerner to ask for ice, so I’m hoping it’s not personal. Driving here is definitely at your own risk, so is crossing the road or even walking down the street. At this point, I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes so many times, I no longer fear death.
How is it that the women over here can wear the craziest outfits and look positively posh, but if you saw me wearing the same thing, you’d call Brody to tell him “she is walking around Walmart, wearing tights, wedge heels, a jersey dress with holes cut into it, a leather satchel and a scarf. I’m sure she’s had some sort of mental breakdown, come get her quickly.” Whereas you can spot the Americans, here, from a mile away. We are the ones in shorts, tank tops and our $5.99 flip flops! And while the natives do look 1000 times more fashionably forward than me, they also look HOT! So hot that I want to cry out “Hey people, ice, big cup, lose the scarf!” I mean its July- who wears scarves in July!
They charge one Euro ($1.40) to use their public restrooms and some of them consist of nothing but a hole in the ground. When you enter the “water closet” there’s usually a rather large woman sitting there, smoking, as she takes your money and hands you a tiny square of toilet paper. And let me tell you from first hand experience, there isn’t any amount of my precious American hand sanitizer, that I lugged all the way over from the U.S., that can fix this mess!
So on this greatest of American holidays, when our country celebrates it’s independence, we Kanes are immensely grateful…more grateful than we’ve ever been before, that our forefathers won that war! Because I’ve seen what life would have been like had they not, and believe me, while we would’ve all been incredibly thin and stylish, we would also be unbelievably hot and thirsty and I’d still be “holding it” until we could get home!
To read more of Becky and Angel’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlviingmagazine.com.