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I expect to see this every twenty meters

In two days I leave to go to America for a month, I am both utterly excited and yet totally terrified of arriving in the “land of the free”. So in honour of me jetting off to the place I have literally always wanted to end up in, I think I am going to note down a few things I expect to see, hear and come across over in the states. Now I am writing this not out of a hatred for the Yanks or simply to make sly remarks at our cousins over the pond, but because as a person of English and Irish descent I am more than used to stereotypes. I mean after all I’m such a tea drinking, Guinness guzzling dancing friendly leprechaun that both knows the queen personally and am the only person aware of the whereabouts of my pot of gold. Those aside I feel like letting you Americans know what I expect from your great big country full of steak houses and Italian American gangsters.

You will all be wearing cowboy hats; I also expect at least some of you to carry around a six shooter and am part of some kind of posse or horse rustling gang. On the subject of cowboys, I also expect every other bar I enter to have those cool saloon type swingy doors you just can’t find here in the U.K.

I expect to meet at least seven to thirteen celebrities during my stay. After my sister said she once saw Kirsten Dunst in a bar, I have always thought that one day I will happily walk into some random pub and find Will Ferrell, Mark Zuckerberg and maybe Morgan Freeman playing pool or doing shots. I feel after devoting myself to a life time of watching movies and following American pop culture, I am owed that.

Everyone must love me based solely on my English accent. Disregarding the fact I have grown up in Wolverhampton and not Buckinghamshire, I expect to be judged purely on my ability to say “arse” instead of “ass” and “grarss” rather than “grass”, it’s only fair as I will be judging you exclusively on how many actors you have met.

Tell me if you own a gun. Now this is a strange one, growing up in Ireland and England, and what’s more in the suburbs of these two relatively gun free countries, I have personally never really seen a live gun, let alone shot one. So if you’re all about your second amendment, do explain it to me, as the thought of being able to own guns is alien to me, unless you’re Farmer or a rich wealthy country estate owner.

I expect anti English banter. I think American sports are shit, but our teeth are bad, you will say that you own the world; we will say we had it before you. Its healthy banter, I expect this, what has the world come to when two allied countries can’t rip the piss out of one another. Perhaps you will say that you kicked us off your continent and even celebrate the fourth of July because of this, in which case we will probably have to resort to the sports thing again.

Well there is a few of many expectations I have of the Americans, I can’t wait to see how ignorant I still am when I return from my journey. So where exactly is Central Perk?

Lee Smith

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16 thoughts on “The Ignorant Englishman’s Outlook on America

  1. I am fully American, and I will attempt to answer your assumptions:
    1. Cowboy hats? Really? I mean, unless you’re going out West, but still.
    2. Unless you plan on going to someplace where celebrities are known to hang out (ie Hollywood, New York), I wouldn’t bet on it. I myself have only seen about three celebrities in my life.
    3. YES!! You are absolutely right. Everyone would be totally jealous of your accent. You should utilize it anywhere and everywhere you can.
    4. No comment.
    5. I don’t think this would happen, but just don’t start anything- we Americans are terribly territorial. 😛 🙂
    Have fun in the “Home of the Brave” 🙂

  2. Well, the accent part sounds just about right. The rest depends on where you are visiting. Wherever you go, I’m fairly certain you can hawk your pot o’ gold as there seem to be a lot of people around standing on corners spinning signs proclaiming “Cash for Gold” these days, but maybe that’s just in the poor parts. Good luck.

  3. I’m also going to respond to your outlooks:

    Cowboy hats: Yes, we do love how they sit on our heads and give us rugged look when we are wrangling the cattle on our trusty steeds.
    Celebrities: I in fact have 20 celebrities on speed dial, and another 50 as acquaintances. It’s such a small number compared to my friends, I know.
    Accent: Everyone will be falling to your feet, begging for friendship. Don’t be surprised if young children give you presents and/or ask for you to adopt them even if their parents are right there.
    Guns: We all own guns. Every single one. I got my first pistol at the age of 6. We especially like sitting on our porches with guns drinking beer, any age, legal or not.
    Banter: I hope you aren’t cooking for any natives, none of us really like puking after a meal unless we are bulimic (if that’s how you spell it…)

    Welcome to the home of the free! ;D

  4. LOL, Lee, this post is hilarious. I hope you love it here. You are right though; people go nutty over an English accent.

  5. Hah! You’re my type of tourist. Yeah — we all have our strange expectations when visiting other countries … like, hey, since your English … can you give Robert Pattinson my phone number?? Thanks.

    Going over your assumptions …
    – Cowboy hats. You’ll see them. Everywhere. On the strangest people. No, there isn’t an abundance … unless in Texas, but you will no doubt run across at least one person wearing city shoes and a cowboy hat. It never fits, and you know that person has never set foot on a farm … but hey, freedom baby. 🙂
    – Unlikely meeting or spotting a celeb. This isn’t like England where Prince William is accessible to everyone 😉
    – Everyone will love you based solely on your English accent. I expect most women will throw themselves at you. Give you proper marriage proposals as well. Oh, and probably ask you about Robert Pattinson. Poor guy.
    – Guns? Most people own them. Most won’t tell you. Unless in Texas, where you’ll just see it.
    – I really don’t know about banter … I really expect you mostly to get questions about British Royalty and Robert Patt — oh wait, I’ve already said that.

    Have FUN and enjoy this strange land of pretentious but endearing people. If you find that you just must marry an American in a shotgun wedding in Las Vegas, I’m always free 🙂

  6. What state are you staying in?
    Haha this is hilarious, you should expect many people to fawn over you accent, but maybe not as many cowboy hats (I am guilty of having quite a few stored in my attic, but they’re from some western themed party that my dad attended).

  7. 1. I live in Texas and rarely get to see people sporting cowboy hats…unless I go to a country dancing venue or way out into the country. It’s disappointing, I know.
    2. It is quite normal to run into celebrities (mostly pro-athlete’s) at incredibly random places around town. It always blows my mind.
    3. Yes. Honestly…have fun with that one. Women will fall over themselves to get to you.
    4. Again, I live in Texas, every other person owns a gun. And almost everyone has fired one. I didn’t understand the appeal of them until I got to shoot one…now I’m obsessed. It’s a problem.
    5. I would be careful with that one. Remember, we don’t all own guns, but we probably know someone who does!

    Enjoy your visit!

  8. Wow nice one,you just spoke my mind word for word.this is exactly what I hope to see whenever in the world am opportuned to visit America……one last thing don’t forget to post what you saw and how much of your expectations were met when you get back.*winks*

  9. Interesting and quite funny thoughts about how you (and other people) see Americas.

    “I mean after all I’m such a tea drinking, Guinness guzzling dancing friendly leprechaun that both knows the queen personally and am the only person aware of the whereabouts of my pot of gold.” — Funny.

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