1. The Blues
The Blues is a uniquely American musical form, having its origins in traditional Native American music (don’t believe me – read this, or listen to the music of Tuscarora artist Pura Fé), blended with the music of African slaves. Without the blues, we wouldn’t have Rock & Roll, Jazz, or Country & Western. And although there are those who wouldn’t mourn the loss of C & W, America’s contribution to music is undeniable.
2. Food in New Orleans
Jambalaya, gumbo, blackened shrimp, hush puppies, fried frog legs. Stay for several days so you can try it all without slipping into a food coma. Oh, what the hell – slip into a food coma. Can’t think of a better way to go.
A tropical paradise as one of the fifty states. Sheer brilliance. Americans can enjoy beautiful, warm, weather and stunning tropical vistas without worrying about passports or border security. Us Canadians just have to keep hoping that Tahitians will develop a sudden longing for mooseburgers and the midnight sun.
4. The Classic T-Bird Convertible
Most of us have never embraced the Mac computer, but the technophiles among us (myself included) are entranced by the ability of Apple products to provide a seamless workplace. Thanks to the magic of iCloud, the books I’m writing appear automatically on my iPhone, iPad, and PC. And, OMG, OMG, OMG – I can pick up any of my devices and find the books I’m reading open to the exact place I left off. Yes, even on my PC! I think I’m in love. A huge thank you goes out to the late Steve Jobs, a truly great American, for bringing Star Trek technology that much closer to reality.
6. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, dancers, performance groups, clowns, marching bands, celebrity performers. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a fifty-foot Mr. Potatohead float past the office window?
A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, each separated by a layer of stuffing. Genius.
8. Vegas Weddings
Nowhere else in the world can you be married by an Elvis impersonator at a drive-through chapel in the middle of the night. Or, if you prefer, you can be married in a gondola, a Denny’s Restaurant, atop the Eiffel Tower (not the real one, of course), or underwater. And the truly sick and twisted can opt for the vampire, zombie or god of gore package at Eli Roth’s Goretorium. Ah, romance. It almost makes me want to get married. Almost.
9. The Grand Canyon
No words necessary. Just freaking awesome.
10. Friendly Neighbours
Canada shares with the United States the longest undefended border in the world, and there’s been peace for two hundred years. We’ve forgiven them for trying to annex us, and they’ve forgiven us for burning down the White House. Sure, it’s not like it used to be prior to 9/11. We now need passports to cross, and gone are the days when an orange cone sufficed to close a border crossing for the night, but for the most part, cross-border traffic continues unhindered.
And, sure, it’s not all rosy. We disagree. We bicker. We fight over natural resources, foreign policy, and hockey. You know, the important things. But, in spite of the way our governments and certain fringe groups like to screw things up, Americans are pretty darn good neighbours to have!
Happy Fourth of July!!