Fifty-two things they do better in America. Not. The guy who wrote this is obviously a Brit whose only time in the U.S. has been on holiday. As someone who’s actually LIVED in both countries for a significant amount of time, here are some of my corrections:

    2. Senior citizen reductions at cinemas and in restaurants from 60 years, “with ID” (ie driving licence). Huh? Every cinema I went to in the U.K. had an “OAP” (Old Age Pensioner) discount.

    3. Free refills of coffee (without asking). The only places that happens are diners and Big Boys (i.e. places with really, really bad coffee). And personally, I hate when the waitress comes around and ruins the perfect ratio of milk and sugar I had painstakingly created, which was the only thing allowing me to drink the sludge in the first place.

    4. Supermarket baggers – courteous youngsters who expertly pack your purchases at the checkout while you fumble with your wallet. I worked in a grocery store for four years. We’re not courteous, and we’re not experts. We’re high schoolers getting paid minimum wage. The only reason I didn’t squash your eggs was that I didn’t want to get yelled at.

    8. “Less talk, more rock” on pop radio – ie 15-minute music blocks (no ads, no DJ chatter). Ha! Try driving to Chicago on a weekday morning. Turn the dial all you like; you won’t hear a damn bit of music unless it’s a commercial. And I hate that Mancow guy.

    9. Overtaking on the left or right on the motorway. Only if you’re in the wrong lane, Pops. Get in the slow lane or you’ll cause an accident.

    29. One dollar (70p) bills and 1c (0.7p) coins. Small denominations mean that shopkeepers can’t overcharge you by rounding up. Are you kidding? It was such a hassle when I went home to suddenly be given handfuls of dollar bills as change. I much prefer a pound. And hello? I had pennies in Britain. Pennies are the worst things ever. You can’t actually buy anything with them. All you can do is save them up and take them to the bank to change in, which banks are getting more and more reluctant to do (or the bastards make you put them in “rolls” when you know darn well that they’re just gonna weigh them anyway). Actually, I think I like the Australian system best. They have no pennies; everything is rounded up to the nearest nickel (which is only about two American cents, anyway). Small price to pay for the luxury of having less change to carry around.

    30. High-school graduation, and regular class reunions. High school sucks. Graduation sucked. Nobody likes class reunions.

    42. “Happy holidays!”, not “Merry Christmas!” at the festive season. TV stations say “Happy Holidays” because they don’t want to offend their audience. Everybody else who isn’t Jewish says “Merry Christmas”. You just do.

    52. Timeouts in spectator sports like basketball (you have a chance to pee and not miss the highlights). Wrong. Timeouts are so the networks can make more money by shoving in commercials, you incontinent old man. Ever been to a real football game? TV timeouts are the most annoying thing to a real fan. Learn to hold it or buy a Tivo.

Wow. That’s my rant for the day.


Add yours →

  1. Kris,

    As a Brit who’s spent time in obscure parts of America (Michigan 🙂 though not lived there. I have some comments on your comments or even in addtion to them…

    3. Our coffee in similaish places is pretty rot, at least you only pay for it once!

    4. Supermarket baggers always weirded me out. Sometimes they do it here and it weirds me out more!!

    8. Ummm BBC Radio! No ads. OK some chatter, but if you just want to hear non-stop music there are these things called CD’s.

    42. Happy Holidays. Alia (did you know her?) spent half the day Monday bugging us (ok we were all taking the piss) about what to say on an email then she sent it and it was a lamo one about use cases Duh!

  2. Ooh I read the full thing now.

    Um maybe people refill things in the restaurants more quickly ‘cos they like get bigger tips if they do!! Unlike here (UK) where service is shite.

    16. Big bananas from central America (not those pathetic yellow midgets from the Caribbean). – Ha! Europe nearly had a trade war over that one to keep the little midgets. Yay! Quality over GM’ed quantity I say.

    24. Single-cost public transport (in New York) payable by cash or token. – Um this occurs in just about every country apart from the UK, well Europe anyway and they have good public transport everywhere.

    27. “Paper or Plastic?” (what the bagger says in your friendly 24-hour supermarket). – like when?

    43. Kerbside check-in at airports (much missed, and starting to come back, after September 11 suspension). – Errmm is this really a good thing??

    Who is this guy? Besides every country does stuff better than us. Well apart from Empires that is !!! 🙂

  3. Exactly. It should’ve been renamed: “Things I saw on my weeklong holiday in New York that I kinda liked.” It was all shit about supermarkets and transportation. We should come up with a list of things the British do better. I’ll start:

    1. Beer

  4. 2. Dance music (though the overall worthiness of the genre is debatable)

  5. 3. Television documentaries

  6. 4. National healthcare. Sure, the system sucks, but at least you tried.

  7. 5. Public telephones. (This one is the Snook’s.) “Ones in America are complicated and you can only put in quarters and it costs $3 to connect a long distance call and you never get all your change back.”

  8. 6. Indian food. Ask my sister to tell you her “Chicken Curry Saga of Northeastern Indiana” sometime. (Dude, I really should’ve put all these in one comment.)

  9. OK I’ll add…

    7 THE BBC

    8 Drinking alcohol at University.

    9 Mobile phones – more widespread earlier etc.

    10 Less likely to listen (or should that be pander to) our own indiginous religion/s (CofE).

    Though I had a nice Indian in Grand Rapids in 2000 or was that 1999?

  10. Grand Rapids is quite yuppified, so you may well get a good Indian there. Not a lot of other places, though.

    I agree with you on everything but the BBC, because I kind of included that in “television documentaries”.

  11. Ah but the Beeb is more than just documentaries. Where would you be for instance without the extremely depressing Eastenders Xmas day episodes! 🙂

    Oh another thing we Brits do better,

    Public (or for the public) financed building project farces! See the Dome, the Welsh Assembly and Wembley Statdium for perfect examples of many many people with no clue putting their noses in to produce something ill-concieved.

  12. Maybe they spell better that you as well Mart…

    Does having a history over five minutes count?

    How about appreciating Bill Clinton?

  13. Oh and if BSE ever really takes off in America I reckon it’d be bigger and better there too, probably just on one farm in Texas…or just Texas…

  14. I absolutely hated that Mancow guy, too. I was ever so happy to see him taken off the air in Fort Wayne… Cocky bastard…

    There’s a “new” radio station here in DC now that actually DOES play more music than other pop stations, but unless you’re deeply in love with adult contemporary (ie. Matchbox 20, Train, Natalie Imbruglia (sp?)), you won’t want to tune in. Plus, I think I heard the same Train song played at least 5 times in one 8-hour period. Ugh… Lame.

    And I could do without pennies myself. The Coinstar machine at Safeway ends up seeing each one I take home, and I’m one of the biggest contributors to the Take-A-Penny-Leave-A-Penny dish at the Lassus Handy Dandy or the 7-11. They’re annoying and heavy and you just can’t buy ANYTHING with them.

    Try going into the 7-11 and pay for a can of pop with a handful of pennies. Note the store clerk’s murderous glare as they count each one into the register. Hear the sighs and groans of the other customers in line behind you.

    Yep. NO ONE likes pennies.

  15. Yeah, appreciating Bill Clinton is a big one. Other countries not only can’t see what the big deal was about Monica, but they also have a better view of the impact his foreign policy had (something most Americans care little about).

    All the best Bush jokes I’ve seen have been in other countries. We’re too busy being embarrassed in America to come up with the good ones.

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