|Posted on October 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM|
With an election looming there's a lot of talk about America's immigration problems. Republicans, who are quite literally this country's senior citizen standing on the front porch and yelling at foreigners to "Get off my lawn!,'' seem to prefer the giant fence approach. Without going too far into it I think it's worth repeating that, with the exception of Native Americans, each and every one of us comes from a long line of job-stealing ocean-hoppers. That being said, there are a few things that new residents can do to make their transition from war-torn hell-hole to 'Land where the streets are paved with cheese' a little easier for everyone.
1. Learn to Drive.
That is not to say that every person who arrives on these shores is shocked and amazed by our mechanical carriages. I'm sure you know how to drive a car in your country, and that's great, but now it's time to learn the American way. This is going to be tricky since every city has its own idiosyncrasies, but the one thing that is true everywhere is that the single most unpatriotic thing you can do is fail to go right on red. Not to put too fine a point on it but if you wait for the light to turn green when you're making a right turn then the terrorists have won.
2. Take it Easy with the Food
Unless you come from Mexico, Italy, China or Japan (hooray for sushi) you can just go ahead and keep your weird food to yourself. This might hurt some feelings, but, the cuisine from at least 95% of the cultures in the world is just awful. My ancestors are from Denmark and the pastry that bears its name is the only edible food to come out of Scandinavia. European food is horrible and for some reason it's always grey. Food from other parts of the world is just as bad and usually looks like it's already been eaten once. If there is anything good anywhere on your menu, trust me, we will find it and build a fast food franchise around it. Until then, you eat it.
3. Learn the Language
This isn't a 'Speak American or get out' tip. Quite the contrary. If you came from a non-English speaking land then you owe it to yourself and your offspring to pass that down. Being multi-lingual is an advantage that can make the difference between "You're hired" and being an also-ran. You will have to learn English though; it is the dominant language here, after all. So a word of caution about where you get your Yankee tongue. The great thing about this language is that you can make it your own, the shitty thing is that a lot of people take that to mean that vowels don't matter and that letters and numbers are interchangeable. Between text messages, hip-hop, L33T-speak and LOLcats you're more likely to end up with something that resembles profanity-laced algebraic equations than a coherent sentence. Don't be that guy. Read a book (but, for the love of all that is holy in heaven and on Earth, nothing by Stephanie Meyers), because the fate of our dialect may very well be in your hands.
4. Quit Dry-Humping the Flag
Of course we want you to love this country more than the last one, but we also don't want your newfound patriotism to make us look bad. Most Americans have a strange older sibling-like relationship with this country. It's OK for us to stick it's head in the toilet and make fun of it but the second some outsider does it, it's head-knockin' time. You're stuck in an uncomfortable spot since we'll assume you’re a terrorist if you don't wanna bang Lady Liberty, but if you say the Pledge of Allegiance too loud with a goofy accent you'll make your new neighbors feel guilty.
If you follow these simple tips you'll feel at home in no time. Before long, like hillbillies at a flea market, we will be rooting through whatever bits of your culture you brought with, taking what we like and claiming it as our own. The real strength of this country comes from the variety of people that call it home, and to be perfectly honest, our religious zealots are starting to get kind of boring so if you have any of those, we need new ones. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses with unpronounceable last names, we can't get to the next level unless we have a complete collection.
Except Canadians. We have enough of those.