Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why I Like Americans

After reading my post "The Good Ship USS Highjack This You Fags", a friend has emailed to say that the post betrays my anti-American prejudices. I would like to clear up any confusion that has arisen from recent posts.

I am very fond of our transatlantic cousins, almost sinisterly so in some cases. I have travelled extensively across at least four states and can report that every person I met was polite, friendly and welcoming.

I recall when I was 24, taking the train from Boston up to Concord to visit the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. It was a charming little town, a piece of Americana straight out of the fifties: a thousand flags aflutter in the afternoon breeze, white picket fences, you get the idea. On the porch of a nineteenth century townhouse converted into a restaurant I ate the most delicious burger I have ever tasted. It was a glorious summer’s day and I strolled out of town listening to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, which is nice if you like that kind of thing.

At the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne I met a rather plump, dowdy yet companionable woman in her late thirties who graciously offered to drive me around various sites of local interest, including Walden Pond* and Louisa May Allcott’s house. After a lovely afternoon tootling about the back roads of Massachusetts, we ended up standing by the grave of Henry David Thoreau, who is buried only yards from noted writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. I have always been a fan of HDT and admire his commitment to living life as he saw fit without the intervention of his fellow man. His isolated life by Walden Pond has been a major influence upon my libertarian philosophy, although I have long suspected that his mum did his washing for him at the weekends.

My companion advised me to surround myself with a protective aura to ward off the spirits of the unquiet dead. Not being versed in the black arts myself, I did this as best I could - it was something of a surprise when she then spent the journey back to Concord talking about pagan sex goddesses while fondling my knee and playing with my hair.

“Watch the fucking road, woman!” I screamed in a girlish voice, “You‘ll kill us both!”. Perilously, her mind was set upon more base purposes than observing the laws of the federal highway.

Well, suffice to say, I got away unmolested. Indeed, I was grateful to her for having shown me the sights, although I would’ve preferred more subtle sexual overtures, or none at all. Mind you, I still let off a particularly nasty fart just before I stepped out of the car - for all I know, she could’ve pursued me across the train tracks, salivating and rending her clothes had I not done so.

So I think that disproves the whole ‘anti-American’ accusation quite succinctly. Frankly, I’m rather offended that the point was even raised in the first place.

*Incidentally, in the UK a pond would be ten feet by six feet at most and would contain goldfish and a water feature. I believe the word that the locals were looking for is ‘lake’.

Update: In the unlikely event that anyone cares, the cemetery I'm talking about is delightfully called Sleepy Hollow and it has just gained another famous resident.

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